We work with a lot of life insurance clients who have mood disorders and their assumption about mood disorder underwriting and why so many companies don’t give a fair look, is that the companies are worried about potential suicide. It’s our opinion that if you take a survey of the population of average folks and those with well controlled mood disorders, including bipolar disorder, the suicide rate would be about the same. It might even show that those who have recognized their mood disorder and are treating it are LESS likely to commit suicide.
Let’s face it. Life is just a touch on the stressful side out there and suicide rates are up. Nothing off the charts, but higher than they were 15 years ago. We’ve had several companies tell us that claims due to suicide have gone way up, but when pressed for figures they hem and haw and we never get the answers. But is suicide really the concern when an underwriter weighs the bipolar life insurance risk? When you understand the difference between those with bipolar who can be approved and those that can’t, you start to see that, for the most part, those who might be prone to suicide aren’t even in the running.
There is no denying that mood disorders that are out of control probably have a much higher mortality risk due to suicide or reckless behavior than the general population, but when you talk about well controlled disorders, well, we almost are talking about the general population. From a real life perspective, in 2013, who isn’t a little anxious about something (anxiety disorder risk), depressed about something (depression risk), or have bipolar disorder, ADHD or OCD and need life insurance. For most of us these are incapacitating disorders. Even with mood disorders we go on to own companies, have families, become physicians, dentists and attorneys because we took our doctor’s advice and stay on top of it, and do and should qualify for reasonable life insurance rates.
There should be no surprise that CEO’s of large companies, pillars of our community, our children’s teachers and police and firemen often have mood disorders and, for instance, with bipolar disorder have actually been able to control the parts that get in the way and use the other parts of the disorder to over achieve. There are some positive things that can come from a well controlled manic side.
If you have any questions or have been declined or offered absurdly high rates for bipolar life insurance, call or email us. We can help.
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