Can you get life insurance with depression?

Yes, you can get life insurance if you have depression or had depression in the past.

With 1 in 4 adults experiencing a mental health problem every year in the UK[1], it’s not uncommon for insurers to provide cover to those with depression.

In many cases, it’s possible to be accepted for life insurance straight away at the standard price, with no further information needed.

If you’re worried about applying for life insurance with depression, then it can be helpful to speak to an expert such as Reassured.

We can provide you with all the information you need to find a suitable policy, as well as compare quotes from our panel of leading insurers to see if we can help you save money.

Using our award-winning service is completely free of charge and without obligation.

Do you need life insurance with depression?

Life insurance is designed to secure the financial future of your family should the worst happen to you.

It provides a cash pay out in the event of your death to help cover various costs that your income would normally cover.

If you passed away unexpectedly, could you family afford to:

  • Pay the mortgage?
  • Clear outstanding debts? (Personal loans, credit cards, car finance)
  • Cover household bills? (Gas, electric, water, council tax etc)
  • Cover daily living expenses such as food, clothing and travel?
  • Pay childcare or education fees?
  • Pay for your funeral?

Essentially, life insurance could be important for anyone who has financial dependents such as a partner and/or children.

Taking out a life insurance policy can give you peace of mind knowing that they’ll be financially protected if you were no longer around.

How much life insurance do you need?

Use our handy calculator to find out how much life insurance you may need, based on which costs you would like it to cover.

Also consider any savings or existing life insurance you have, which may reduce the overall amount you need.

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£121,687 is the estimated average outstanding mortgage per household in the UK.

Our property is generally the largest financial commitment any of us will make.

Your life insurance should cover this significant debt should you no longer be around.

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According to Money Advice Service, full-time childcare in the UK now costs £242 a week.

The loss of a parent could result in the need for additional childcare whilst the surviving parent increases their hours to account for lost income.

Your life insurance cover should factor in this additional required outgoing.

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The average level of debt (minus a mortgage) in the UK is £15,385.

Factoring in any outstanding debts in your name when arranging life insurance ensures this burden is not passed to loved ones.

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You may wish to leave your loved ones an inheritance or lump sum gift upon your passing.

Factoring in the gift amount when arranging your cover will ensure the pay out amount will be sufficient to provide your loved ones with this selfless gesture.

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According to SunLife, the average cost of a UK funeral is now £4,417, whilst the total cost of dying is £9,493.

This is a 130% increase over the past 16 years and shows no signs of slowing down.

A significant cost which should be factored into the amount of life insurance you secure.

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If you are one of the 65% of the UK who are lucky enough to have savings, this could be used as protection if you were to pass away.

Any pay outs from existing life insurance policies and investments can also be used as financial protection for your loved ones if you were no longer around.

Factor this into your required cover amount.

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Your total cover estimate

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Let us find our best available quotes.

Do you have to disclose depression for life insurance?

Yes, you must disclose that you have depression (or have had depression in the past) when you apply for life insurance.

During the application process, insurers will ask some standard questions about your mental health and wellbeing.

You’ll need to answer these questions fully and truthfully to ensure that you’re offered the right cover to meet your circumstances.

If you take out a policy based on false information, this could prevent any future claims being made by your loved ones and your payments will be lost.

At Reassured, our experts can help you to fill in the application form, answer your questions and provide any guidance if you need it.

Is depression a pre-existing medical condition?

Yes, if you’ve been diagnosed with depression in the past, then this would be considered a pre-existing condition.

A pre-existing medical condition is any condition, mental or physical, that already exists when you apply for life insurance.

What questions will insurers ask about your depression?

When you disclose that you have depression, insurers may ask you some additional questions specific to this condition before proceeding with the standard questionnaire.

Questions may include the following:

  • When were you diagnosed with depression?
  • Have you had any time off work due to depression?
  • How frequent and severe are your symptoms?
  • Have you had suicidal thoughts?
  • What treatment are you receiving? (Prescribed medication, therapy, support group)
  • Has your condition led you to self-harm, attempt suicide or be admitted to hospital?
  • If yes, how long since the last occurrence and have you received any help?
  • Do you suffer from any other mental health conditions?

Talking about mental health can be difficult, but it’s important to be open and honest when providing this information.

This will ensure that the insurer can properly assess your application and offer you an accurate quote for your chosen policy.

How does depression affect life insurance?

Whether depression will affect your life insurance application will depend on your own personal circumstances and experience with depression.

This will vary for everyone as no two people are the same, however, below are some example scenarios based on our experience:

  • If you have mild or well-managed depression, then you might be offered cover at the standard rate (this means no increases to your monthly premium based on your mental health)
  • If you have a severe form of depression or have been hospitalised for the condition, then your premium might be increased. In some cases, insurers will request to see a medical report from your GP (with your permission) for more information before they can provide you with a quote
  • If your diagnosis was recent or your depression has recently worsened (for example, a recent case of hospitalisation), then you might find your application is postponed or declined until your condition stabilises

Bear in mind, this will be based on your own personal health and lifestyle, so the above scenarios might not apply to everyone.

Regardless of your circumstances, when looking for life insurance with depression it’s important to apply with several insurers before taking out cover.

This is because every insurer has their own underwriting criteria for those with mental health conditions and will offer different terms based on your circumstances.

This also means that quotes will vary significantly between them. Using an FCA-regulated broker, such as Reassured, will help you to compare quotes and find the most suitable option.

Can you be denied life insurance because of depression?

Yes, it’s possible to be declined life insurance for depression in certain cases.

However, by law, insurers can’t refuse your application simply due to the disclosure of a mental health condition.

There must be a certain level of risk, supported by reliable and relevant sources, which allows them to decide whether to offer you cover or not.

It’s possible that insurers will postpone an application instead of refusing cover altogether.

This is likely to happen if you’re waiting for treatment or an appointment regarding your depression, or if they need to obtain a medical report from your GP.

Insurers are more likely to decline an application for life insurance in the following scenarios:

  • If your diagnosis was recent
  • If there’s been more than one suicide attempt
  • If there’s been a recent increase in the severity of your condition (recent instances of suicide attempts, self-harm, time off work or hospitalisation)
  • If you have other medical conditions which are affected by, or affect, your condition

If you’ve been declined cover in the past due to depression, this doesn’t mean you can’t secure cover elsewhere.

Some insurers are better for those with mental health conditions than others due to using different underwriting criteria.

At Reassured, we compare quotes from major insurers as well as smaller specialists, allowing us to help you find those which may offer you the right cover.

We also have a specialist impaired life insurance team that have a good track record of finding some form of cover for those who’ve been declined in the past.

Do antidepressants affect life insurance?

As explained above, insurers will ask whether you’re receiving any treatment for your depression and this includes any medication you’re taking.

If you’re taking antidepressants, then you may be asked how long you’ve been taking them and whether there’s been any recent change to your dosage.

Understanding more about your depression and how well controlled it is will allow the insurer to better evaluate your application.

Nevertheless, being on antidepressants is unlikely to impact your application if the treatment is effective and your symptoms are well-managed.

What is the best life insurance for people with depression?

The best life insurance for you will depend on your personal circumstances, available budget and what you need your policy to protect.

At Reassured, we can offer a range of policy types to suit different requirements.

Term cover for applicants with depression

Term life insurance (level or decreasing)

This is the most common type of life insurance, and usually the cheapest. Typically taken out to help cover a mortgage and other debts.

  • Provides cover for a set term (1 - 40 years)
  • Pays out if you pass away during the set term
  • Fixed monthly premiums
  • Choose whether your cover amount remains the same or reduces over the term
  • Free terminal illness cover as standard
Family income benefit for applicants with depression

Family income benefit

Family income benefit is different to traditional life insurance as it pays out in the form of tax-free monthly payments instead of in one lump sum.

  • Provides cover for a set term (1 - 40 years)
  • Pays out in tax-free monthly payments if you pass away during the set term
  • Fixed monthly premiums
  • Helps to replace a lost income
  • Free terminal illness cover as standard
Whole of life insurance for applicants with depression

Whole of life insurance

Whole of life insurance guarantees to pay out when you pass away, which makes it one of the more expensive types of cover.

  • Provides cover for the rest of your life and pays out a cash lump sum pay out when you pass away
  • Fixed monthly premiums
  • Could be used to help cover inheritance tax (40% on your estate over £325,000) if it’s written in trust
Over 50s plans for applicants with depression

Over 50 life insurance

Over 50 life insurance doesn’t require any medical information, including details about your depression, as acceptance is guaranteed.

  • Guarantees acceptance if aged 50 - 85
  • Provides cover for the rest of your life and guarantees a cash pay out when you pass away
  • Up to £20,000 cover amount (depending on your personal circumstances)
  • Fixed premiums from £5 a month through Reassured +

If you’re unsure which policy would best suit your needs and budget, then get in touch with Reassured.

We can provide you with all the information you need regarding each of the policies we have available to help you decide.

How much is life insurance with depression?

The cost of life insurance is calculated based on the likelihood of a claim being made. The higher the risk of a claim, the higher the premiums will be.

Insurers will consider a range of factors when assessing your application. These include:

As mentioned, when you have depression, this can impact the cost of your life insurance depending on your personal circumstances.

Typically, if you have mild or well-managed depression and no other risk factors then you may not have a problem securing cover at the standard price.


The table below shows example premiums for the most popular types of life insurance. Quotes are based a non-smoking applicant who has been accepted on standard terms, taking out £150,000 of cover:

AgeLevel term cover
(20-year term)
Decreasing term cover
(20-year term)
20£3.53£3.50
25£4.27£3.91
30£5.30£4.54
35£7.61£5.34
40£10.54£6.74
45£15.74£10.03
50£24.84£15.26


Life insurance premiums will vary between insurers, which is why it’s important to compare quotes when looking for an affordable price.

At Reassured, we can help you source multiple quotes within minutes, saving you time and money.

Free mental health support with life insurance

Some policies arranged through Reassured come with free health and wellbeing support which could be valuable to those with depression or other mental health conditions.

Some examples are shown below:

InsurerFree benefit
Aviva Aviva Digicare+ app
Provides access to a range of free health and wellbeing benefits, including mental health consultations worth up to £330
AIG logo Smart Health app and website
Provides 24/7 access to free tools to help you manage your health and wellbeing, including mental health support from qualified mental health experts
The Exeter Insurer Logo Health Wise app
Provides access to a range of free services including remote GP appointments, dietitian consultations and lifestyle consultations, advising on stress management, improving sleep and exercise motivation


Not all insurers offer extra benefits free of charge, but that doesn’t mean their policies would be less suitable.

Ultimately, it’s important to find the right policy at the right price before considering the free benefits included.

Life insurance and mental health FAQs

Does anxiety affect life insurance?

Applying for life insurance with anxiety will be a similar process to that of applying with depression.

When disclosing that you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder it may lead to further questions such as:

  • When were you diagnosed?
  • What treatment are you receiving?
  • How frequent and severe are your symptoms?
  • Has your anxiety led to self-harm, suicidal thoughts, a suicide attempt or hospitalisation?
  • If yes, how long since the last occurrence and have you received any help?

Your responses to these questions will allow the insurer to get a better understanding of your condition and whether it will increase your likelihood of making a claim.

If your anxiety is mild or well-managed with treatment, then it may not affect your chances of securing life insurance or the cost of your premiums.

6 in 100 adults suffer with generalised anxiety disorder in any given week in England, making it one of the most common mental health conditions[1].

As a result, most insurers are able to offer standard cover to those with anxiety, but it’s important to compare quotes from multiple insurers as prices will vary.

Can you get life insurance with bipolar disorder?

Yes, it’s possible to obtain life insurance if you have bipolar disorder.

However, similar to life insurance with depression or anxiety, the cost of your premiums will be dependent on the severity of your condition.

It’s an unfortunate fact that having bipolar disorder can increase the likelihood of suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

As a result, insurers are likely to ask questions about these, and they may request to see a medical report from your GP for further evidence.

If you’re living with bipolar disorder and looking for affordable life insurance, then using a broker could help you save time and money.

At Reassured, we work with a panel of major insurers as well as smaller specialists, empowering us to help you find the perfect policy to suit your needs.

Can you get life insurance if you have self-harmed?

Unfortunately, self-harming is a common symptom of depression and other mental illnesses.

It can affect both the cost of your premium and your ability to obtain life insurance.

Upon application, an insurer is likely to take into account the individual circumstances of the event, such as:

  • When the self-harming occurred?
  • Whether you were hospitalised?
  • How your mental health is being managed now?

Depending on this assessment, your application may be referred to a specialist insurer, like The Exeter, or declined altogether.

As mentioned, the team at Reassured work with specialist insurers that can provide affordable life cover for applicants with mental health conditions.

And even if you’ve been declined cover in the past, we might still be able to help.


If you’re living with self-harming tendencies you’re not alone; there’s expert advice and helplines available:

Does life insurance cover suicide?

Yes, life insurance will typically pay out if someone takes their own life while their policy is active.

However, most policies include a ‘suicide clause’. This is a period of time (one or two years depending on the insurer) after the policy is taken out during which suicide is not covered.

The clause is designed is to protect vulnerable individuals from an act of suicide after buying a policy for the purpose of a pay out.

Can you get life insurance after a suicide attempt?

If you’ve previously attempted suicide and you want to secure life insurance protection for your family, then it’s still possible to get the cover you need.

When disclosing a suicide attempt as a result of depression, your application may require further investigation before the insurer can offer you cover. You may also be charged with increased premiums.

A suicide attempt that’s happened recently or multiple suicide attempts can affect your life insurance eligibility.

However, if you’ve been receiving treatment and a reasonable amount of time has elapsed since the incident, you should still be able to get life insurance protection.


If you're experiencing suicidal thoughts, please reach out to someone; helplines can be found below:

Compare quotes for life insurance with depression (for free!)

Whilst depression may have an impact on your day-to-day life, it’s unlikely to affect your ability to secure suitable cover.

Furthermore, living with a mild and/or well managed form of depression might not affect the cost of your premiums.

Regardless of your mental health condition, life insurance premiums vary significantly between insurers. Therefore, to ensure you get the right deal, it’s essential to compare quotes.

At Reassured we can source quotes for you, so you can compare cover from a range of the UK’s leading life insurance providers.

And the best part is our award-winning broker service is completely FEE-FREE.

Sources:

[1] https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/

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