You know how it is when you’re learning to do something new. There’s a hard way to do it and there’s an easy way to do it. Almost without exception the hard way is the one that comes naturally. I’ve been learning for 3 years now how to get people with bipolar disorder approved for life insurance.

As many of you have experienced, whether for yourself or a member of your family, bipolar disorder on a life insurance application for 99% of life insurance companies is right up there has about the same approval rating as the proverbial SBD vapor cloud in church. It is simply stated in the underwriting guides of most companies that there are no exceptions to the rule….if you have bipolar disorder it is an automatic decline.

I sometimes wonder if the few companies that are open minded about bipolar are companies whose CEO or Chief medical director are themselves bipolar. There are certainly no lack of over achieving success stories as some of the greatest minds and talents of our time came to us via the bumpy road of just the right mix of mania and control.

So, we’ve learned. Not everyone with bipolar disorder will be approved for life insurance just like not everyone with heart disease will be approved for life insurance. But most who are declined could get approved if they had known the criteria for approval up front and used the right agent who used the right company.  So, the criteria we have that works is:

1. Someone who has not been hospitalized for bipolar disorder other than for diagnosis?
2. Someone who has not attempted suicide or had bouts with suicidal ideations?
3. Someone who is compliant with their treatment, both medications and regular followups?
4. Someone who is leading a stable family life or social life?
5. Someone who is exhibiting a stable work life?
6. Someone who is not on disability for bipolar and does not have issues with drinking or drugs? If there’s a problem here, then the answers to 3, 4 and 5 are no.
7. Better underwriting can be achieved if there are no anti psychotic drugs prescribed.
Bottom line. Knowledge is power in life insurance as it is in most areas. If you feel you have been treated unfairly or know of someone who has bipolar disorder who has been declined for life insurance, take hope or give it to the person you know.