I was getting an annual physical not too long ago and the doctor was a woman in her 30’s. When she found out I was a life insurance agent she took the opportunity to vent about her husband having recently been declined for insurance due to having bipolar disorder. I asked her some of the usual bipolar questions and found out that he was not uninsurable at all, but rather the victim of an agent attached to a company that just happened to have ultra conservative underwriting. As I explained to her, the reason independent agents were invented.
In this case, even with the moniker of bipolar disorder, we were talking about a person who was compliant with his medication and completely socially functional because of it. He held a good job, was a great parent and is likely one of those people that you would never know had bipolar if someone didn’t tell you.
So what is bipolar disorder? Also sometimes called manic depression, the disorder is noted for it’s dramatic highs and lows. In an article by Helpguide.org, this quick summary starts a really informative article , “Happiness. Sadness. Excitement. Apathy. These are just a few of the many emotions we experience in everyday life. We all have our ups and downs, our off days and our on days. But if you’re suffering from bipolar disorder, these peaks and valleys are more severe. Bipolar disorder also known as manic depression or manic-depressive illness involves dramatic shifts in mood from the highs of mania to the lows of major depression.”
Like so many other health issues we have discussed, life insurance underwriters understand that the best control comes with a proper diagnosis and compliance with a treatment program. When someone with bipolar finds the right treatment and is compliant with that treatment, their life levels out. No different than someone who has diabetes finding the right treatment and sticking with it, stabilizes their glucose levels and their life.
Bottom line. Whether it is bipolar disorder or diabetes, if it is out of control, it is perceived as a life insurance risk to some degree. Proper diagnosis, compliance with treatment and good control can make life easier and make it easier to get life insurance.
This post is somewhat dated. Life insurance underwriting is changing and evolving continually. For more updated information check out some of the key word links. If you have a specific question or topic you need information for do a search. If you don’t find the answers you need contact me and we’ll make sure you get the information that is important to you.