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Every time I hear of someone being rated anything more than preferred on a life insurance application for ADHD or ADD, it just leaves me shaking my head and wondering if the underwriter has any clue what attention deficit disorder is.

I got an email this morning, “I hope you will be able to help me and possibly my husband as well. I have applied for life insurance with ING and with USAA. I have excellent health history, non smoker, etc… and was quoted preferred rates due to those factors. However, when my medical history discloses that I have ADHD the rates come back at 4-5x the originally quoted amount. I am hoping you will be able to help. Some sites have recommended sending a lawyer drafted letter that the rates are in non-compliance with the ADA but I don’t know if that is what I need to do? I have heard that can take a year as well to work. Any help you can provide I would greatly appreciate.”

First let me address the lawyer and ADA thing. Even if you spend the time and money it won’t help. Insurance companies do not, by law, have to justify underwriting decisions. That’s why one company can decline you for the same information that garners a preferred plus from another company. So, best to do what this person did and simply seek an agent with experience in mood disorders who knows where to apply and more importantly where not to apply.

Now let’s put adult onset ADHD and ADD in context. The worst case scenario is that you have someone that may be a bit of a scatter brain at work or a little irritable at home. Excuse me? Doesn’t that sound like just about anyone on a given day? The truth is that for a life insurance underwriter to pin any kind of mortality issue on attention deficit disorder makes it seem like they went to the pin the tail on the donkey school of underwriting…..and missed the rear end a lot.

Bottom line. If all we are talking about is simple, well-controlled ADHD or ADD and it isn’t causing any family or work issues, the worst case life insurance approval should be preferred and there is certainly a case for it being preferred best.