It has occurred to us that while life insurance companies certainly try to squeeze all the minor mood disorders into one box that they either have it wrong or they are using the wrong box. Let’s consider the life insurance underwriting for depression, anxiety and ADD or ADHD. While there are a hand full of top notch underwriters who agree with us, the majority fit this scenario very well. We’ll come back to that hand full.
For the sake of this reality check let’s assume that the conditions are chronic, but well controlled with one medication. That would, with most companies, result in a best case standard plus life insurance approval to possibly a standard to table 2 offer. OK, so broken down from an underwriter’s point of view chronic depression could potentially be problematic, well, because depression, if it spins just a little out of control can present a risk of self harm. Anxiety could pose a risk if a person panicked at the wrong time or lost control in, say, a bad traffic situation. And then there is ADD and ADHD.
While we haven’t seen the actuarial statistics we just aren’t seeing the mortality risk associated the ADD and ADHD that would warrant any kind of rate increase. These are people who are essentially being punished because they have trouble paying attention without their medication or they have trouble paying attention and are hyper. Now you may not want to be their boss, their spouse, or their co worker if they’re not on medication, but mortality risk? Seriously?
This lumping together of mood disorder life insurance underwriting seems more of a convenience for underwriters than it is a true slice of actuarial science. Really, in the absence of sleep apnea it seems like snoring could be a more problematic risk than ADD. And consider this. If a preferred plus rate for a client is $927 and a standard plus rate is $1414, that means that the average life insurance underwriter is cushioning the risk to the life insurance company by 35%, more like 60% if the rate goes to standard.
We would just like to know why that hand full of truly astute life insurance underwriters see that the risk is not in the label but in the way it affects a person’s life and we would suggest very few mild, well controlled mood disorders deserve the treatment they get. That is why we shop each and every case to make sure that our clients end up with one of the hand full of underwriters who use reality to make decisions, instead of the perceived reality of risk that has been drug forward from the days when mood disorders weren’t understood as well and didn’t have the treatment options available today. If you have questions or you feel like a mood disorder that truly doesn’t impact your life has kept you from getting better life insurance rates, call or email. We can help.
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