Depression and life insurance 2021

Having depression doesn’t mean you can’t secure affordable life insurance to protect your loved ones in a worst case scenario.

1 in 4 adults suffer from a mental health problem every year in the UK, which means insurers understand the need to provide cover for these individuals and their families[1].

Getting in touch with an expert, such as Reassured, will help you save time and money finding the most suitable cover to meet your specific needs.

Our award-winning team are on hand to source the best quotes for you free of charge.

In this 2021 guide, we answer many common questions regarding depression life insurance, including:

We also cover life insurance and mental health conditions including anxiety and bipolar disorder.

What is depression life insurance?

Depression life insurance is simply a standard life insurance policy that covers someone with depression.

Most life insurance providers are able to offer standard terms to those who’ve been diagnosed with depression.

Life insurance protection provides your loved ones with a cash pay out should the worst happen to you.

It ensures that your family are able to remain financially stable after losing your income and can be used to cover essential costs such as:

  • Mortgage or rental payments
  • Household bills (gas, electric, water, council tax)
  • Credit card or loan repayments
  • Daily living expenses (food, leisure, travel, clothing)
  • Childcare

Life insurance can also be used to cover funeral expenses and/or to leave behind as an inheritance for your family.

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 your best available quotes.

Can you get life insurance with depression?

Yes, you can obtain life insurance if you have depression or have suffered depression previously.

The presence of a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, isn’t necessarily a red flag for insurers, but they may want to know more about your condition before proceeding with your application.

For the best part, people who suffer from depression can secure cover on standard terms with standard pricing.

However, other factors will also determine the outcome of your application such as your age, physical health and lifestyle choices.

If your mental health hasn’t been perfect in the past, and you’d like to arrange financial protection for your family, then get in touch with Reassured.

One of our life insurance experts can talk you through your policy options and present you with the insurers who’re most likely to offer you cover based on your circumstances.

Is depression a pre-existing medical condition?

Yes, when it comes to life insurance, depression is considered a pre-existing condition.

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

Insurers need to know about existing conditions, including mental health issues, as it allows them to understand the associated risks and provide you with cover accordingly.

Reassured has helped thousands of people with pre-existing conditions secure affordable financial protection - get in touch today for your free quote.

How does depression affect life insurance?

Depression and anxiety can affect life insurance depending on several factors which are taken into account during the underwriting process.

These factors include:

  • Date of diagnosis
  • Severity of the condition and frequency of symptoms
  • Instances of self-harm, attempted suicide or hospitalisation
  • Effect on behaviour
  • Time off work due to condition
  • Experience of other mental health conditions
  • Current treatment including medication

Using the above information, the insurer is able to assess the level of risk you may pose and determine the outcome of your application.

  1. If no risk-factors are identified, and your condition is well-managed, then it’s likely that your application will be accepted immediately and at standard pricing
  2. If there have been instances of suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts, self-harm, hospitalisation, or time off work then your application may be accepted but with loaded premiums. It’s possible that the insurer will delay your application whilst they acquire more information. With your permission, they may request an in-depth medical report from your doctor
  3. If there’s been a recent escalation in the severity of your condition, such as a suicide attempt, self-harm, hospitalisation and time off work, then the insurer may decline your application

The outcome of your application will vary between insurers, as they each have their own underwriting process and assessments of risks.

This also means they’ll charge varying premiums for the same type of cover, based on the specifics of your condition.

For this reason, it’s sensible to compare multiple quotes using an FCA-regulated broker, such as Reassured.

Do you have to disclose depression for life insurance?

Yes, when applying for life insurance, mental health conditions including depression or anxiety must be disclosed.

Whilst it may not be easy to share such information, it’s really important to be open and honest about your diagnoses.

Our life insurance experts aren’t here to judge, we simply want to ensure that we’re arranging the right policy for you.

Being untruthful on your application is known as ‘non-disclosure’. Any form of non-disclosure could invalidate your policy and it may not pay out.

What questions will I be asked about my condition?

When you apply for life insurance, you’ll need to answer some standard questions regarding your health and lifestyle.

If you have depression or have had depression in the past, then you may also be asked more questions specific to your condition.

It’s not easy discussing a mental health issue but it’s important that you provide as much detail as you can.

The questions you may be asked include:

  • When were you diagnosed with a mental illness?
  • Have you had any time off of work as a result of your condition?
  • How frequent and severe are your symptoms?
  • Are you taking any medication?
  • Have you received any psychological help from a medical professional?
  • Have you ever self-harmed or attempted to commit suicide?
  • If yes, how long since the last occurrence and have you received any help?
  • Do you suffer from any other mental health conditions?

At Reassured, we can present you with quotes from insurers who can offer you cover, so you can choose the one with the best terms for your unique circumstances.

Best life insurance for depression

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

The types of life insurance depression and anxiety sufferers can secure include:

Term life insurance (level or decreasing term)

The most common type of life insurance. Provides cover for a set period of time, usually up to 40 years, and will pay out a cash lump sum if you pass away during this time.


Family income benefit (FIB)

Different to traditional life insurance, family income benefit will pay out in the form of tax-free monthly payments if you pass away during the policy term.


Whole of life insurance

Guarantees a cash lump sum pay out when you pass away. Usually best suited to applicants who’re in the later stages of life and are still in good physical health, as it’s possible you could pay more in premiums than the policy will pay out.


Over 50 life insurance

Guarantees a cash lump sum pay out when you pass away, but the cover amount (or sum assured) is much lower than whole of life (typically up to £25,000).

No medical information is required and acceptance is guaranteed to applicants aged 50-85.


Terminal illness cover

All term-based life insurance policies arranged through Reassured come with free terminal illness cover as standard.

This means if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness and expected to die within 12 months, you can make an early claim on your policy.


Let Reassured help you find the best life insurance policy for you. We provide all the information you need to make a fully informed decision - and we don’t charge you a fee.

How much is life insurance for people with depression?

As with all life insurance, the cost of your monthly premium is calculated based on the likelihood of a claim being made.

As a result, when applying for life insurance all standard risk factors are considered.

These include:


As mentioned, if you disclose depression, then specifics of your condition may also be taken into account to calculate the cost of your life insurance premiums:

  • Date of diagnosis
  • Severity and frequency of symptoms
  • Time off work
  • Effect on behaviour
  • Episodes of self-harm, suicide attempt or hospitalisation
  • Experience of other mental health conditions
  • Treatment

Whilst there are many factors to consider, having a mild and/or well-managed form of depression is unlikely to increase the cost of your premiums.

However, the cost of life insurance for those with depression will also vary significantly between insurers.

Highlighting the importance of comparing multiple quotes from a variety of insurers. At Reassured, we can do exactly this, saving you time and money.

Can you be denied life insurance because of depression?

Yes, it’s possible to be declined life insurance for depression, but it’s very unlikely.

By law, insurers can’t refuse your application for life insurance simply due to the presence 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 or not to offer you cover.

In some cases, insurers will postpone an application instead of refusing cover altogether.

This allows them to gather more information regarding the individual’s condition before making a decision.

Insurers are more likely to decline or postpone 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 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 or anxiety, then all is not lost.

Reassured’s specialist impaired risk team has helped 45% of people who’ve been declined elsewhere secure affordable life insurance.

Anxiety life insurance

Can you get life insurance with anxiety? The simple answer is yes, you can.

When arranging life cover, disclosing anxiety or panic attacks is unlikely to impact your ability to secure a policy.

You’re also unlikely to experience inflated costs as a result of these conditions.

The exception occurs if you’ve had suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide, self-harmed, hospitalised or had time off work due to your anxiety.

The insurer may require more information in this instance.

For example, when you were hospitalised and the circumstances that led you to be hospitalised.

There may be other underlying issues that’ve not yet been diagnosed.

Bipolar disorder life insurance

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

Similar to depression, bipolar disorder can result in particularly low periods meaning the disease also correlates with poor physical health and the increased likelihood of self-harm.

As a result, inflated premiums and straight through approval will be dependent on the individual’s history and severity.

Even if you suffer from bipolar disorder, it’s still possible to secure affordable cover to protect your family should the worst happen.

At Reassured, our specialist team understand the different underwriting processes and criteria of each insurer. Therefore, we’re able to present you with the insurers who can offer cover to meet your individual needs.

Life insurance after suicide attempts

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 suffering from suicidal thoughts, please reach out to someone; helplines can be found below:

Does life insurance cover suicide?

Yes, life insurance will typically cover suicidal death, as long as the policy has been in place for at least one or two years (depending on the insurer) before the death occurs.

This is called the ‘suicide clause’ and is designed is to protect vulnerable individuals from committing suicide after buying a policy for the purpose of a pay out.

Life insurance after self-harm

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 suffering from self-harming you’re not alone; there’s expert advice and helplines available:

Does critical illness cover depression?

Critical illness cover (CIC) provides a lump sum pay out if you’re diagnosed with a life-changing, yet not terminal illness.

It can be added alongside a life insurance policy for an additional cost or could be taken out as a standalone policy.

Depression isn’t one of the serious illnesses covered by CIC.

But having depression won't affect your ability to add CIC to your life insurance, nor will you experience inflated CIC premiums.

It’s an unfortunate fact that depression, and other mental health conditions, can correlate with poor physical health.

For example, major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the burden of suicide and ischemic heart disease[2].

As a result, when arranging your life insurance, it may be beneficial to include critical illness cover.

The pay out could be used to cover a lost income, fund private medical treatment or even make necessary adaptations to your home.

Get in touch with our award-winning team at Reassured to discuss arranging critical illness cover with your life insurance.

We’ve secured cover for 45% of applicants declined elsewhere

Regardless of what mental illness you suffer from, at Reassured we have an impaired life insurance team who specialise in arranging life insurance for those who may otherwise struggle.

Our specialists can put you in touch with the insurers most likely to accept your application.

We can also help you through the entire application process, ensuring you feel comfortable about your cover every step of the way.

Compare depression life insurance quotes (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, suffering from a mild and/or well managed form of depression is unlikely to increase the cost of your premiums.

Regardless of your mental health condition, life insurance premiums vary significantly between insurers. Therefore, to ensure you get the best 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 insurers.

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/

[2] https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-uk-and-worldwide

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