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Life insurance and mental health

Life insurance and mental health

Mental illness is something that many people experience. We take a look at your options for life insurance if you have a mental health condition, or have had one in the past.

Kamran Altaf
From the Life team
minute read
posted 12 FEBRUARY 2020

What is a mental health condition?

A mental health condition is an illness that affects your psychological wellbeing – often through a disorder that can change your mood and behaviour. Mental health conditions include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Can I get life insurance if I have a mental health condition?

Most people who’ve experienced mental health conditions can still get life insurance. The best thing to do is fully disclose any mental health conditions during the application process, and find out what your options are. It’s far better to be honest and get the right cover, rather than find your policy is invalid when your insurance provider discovers you haven’t been completely honest. If you’ve had a serious mental health condition for a long time, you could still find cover, but you might need to find a specialist provider. 

What information will I need to give to an insurance provider 

Key details you’ll be asked to give to an insurance provider may include: 

  • Your, and your family’s, medical history (including previous and existing conditions) 
  • Medication taken during the past five years 
  • Height and weight 
  • Your GP’s name and practice address 
  • Lifestyle and behaviors 
  • Financial information (for example, your salary) 

Applying for life insurance is increasingly accessible, with many providers accepting online applications. 

What does a life insurance provider need to know about mental health conditions? 

When it comes to mental health conditions, a provider typically needs to know: 

  • When you were diagnosed 
  • The severity of your symptoms 
  • How regularly you experience these symptoms 
  • How your illness affects your everyday life (for example, a provider might want to know of any absences from work due to your mental health) 
  • Whether or not you take medication for your illness and, if so, how long you’ve taken it. 

Could life insurance cost more if I have a mental health condition?

It could cost more to get life insurance if you have a mental health condition, depending on how severe your symptoms are or have been in the past. A provider assesses risk based on how likely you are to make a claim. For example, if you’ve recently been hospitalised because of your mental health you might be offered a more expensive premium than someone who’s suffered a less serious condition many years ago.

Is a mental health condition considered a pre-existing medical condition?

Any injury or illness, including a mental health condition, that exists before or at the time you take out a life insurance policy is considered a pre-existing medical condition. It’s really important that you inform an insurance provider of any injury or illness when you apply for life insurance. If you don’t, you could invalidate your policy and a provider could refuse to pay out when you make a claim.  

Where can I get more help on life insurance?

If you’d like to get more information on life cover and how it relates to mental health conditions, you can talk to an insurance expert. The friendly advisers at LifeSearch are available to chat on 0800 072 1147. (Mon-Thurs 8am - 8pm, Fri 8am – 7pm and Sat 9am - 2.30pm, Sun: 10 am - 3.30pm).

Alternatively, it’s easy to compare your life insurance options with Compare the Market.

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