I know I’ve been beating this drum quite a bit, but the word needs to get out. Having bipolar disorder is not the frosting on a decline cake if you need life insurance. Can everyone qualify for good life insurance rates with bipolar? I won’t even tell you that everyone can be approved, but given certain criteria, a lot of people who have been declined in the past, can be approved and at very good, better than standard rates.

Obviously, like depression or anxiety disorders, there are extremes when it comes to bipolar. And let’s be blunt. It ranges from mentally ill and disabled to completely normal and stable. There are a huge number of people with bipolar who’s best friends wouldn’t know it if they weren’t told. Which brings us to the criteria for finding and locking in good rates for life insurance.

Stability is the key. For obvious reasons life insurance companies see a larger than acceptable mortality risk in someone with bipolar who hasn’t figured out how to control it and become functional and stable. So, guideline #1 for good rates is you can’t be on disability. If you are disabled by your bipolar, that kind of rules out functional and stable.

#2 is that, other than for the purposes of diagnosis, you shouldn’t have had any bipolar related hospitalization in at least the last 10 years, and #3 is, at least I think, very obvious. No suicide attempts.

With all of the no’s out the way, let’s get to what underwriters really want to see. Compliance and control. Compliance is documented in your medical and psychiatric records. How well have you compllied with your treatment? Do you just take medication when you feel like you’re losing a grip, or do you take it as prescribed? Do you see your attending doctor as scheduled, or do you just go in if you have to refill a prescription?

And very important. Is your family, work and community life stable? We are finding huge numbers of people with bipolar who have been declined simply because they “have it”, without anyone ever looking at their life and finding out they have things under control as well, if not better than, most of us. We have found great insurance rates for CEO’s with bipolar, community leaders with bipolar, and solid family people with bipolar.

Bottom line. 99% of life insurance companies will go screaming into the dark if you tell them you are bipolar. The other 1% seriously look at you and weigh the risk. The only way to that 1% is through an independent agent.