I think we can all understand why life insurance underwriters might get a little squeamish about approving someone who has attempted suicide, especially if it was in the recent past. But what about suicidal thoughts or ideations with no real action or attempt?

When I first started working with mood disorders and figuring out how to turn declines into approvals, one of the things that I had to really put into context for myself was separating suicidal thoughts and suicidal attempts. I can tell you honestly that I have had suicidal thoughts. There have been times in my life that I have been so stressed and depressed that, well, I believed at that moment or on that day that it might feel real good not to wake up the next day.

When I took on the issue of bipolar disorder and why it is declined so often and what it takes to get approved, it was personal to me. While I don’t have bipolar disorder, let’s just say I could relate and I had a real drive to find the answers we all needed.

So let’s talk about suicidal thoughts and life insurance. It’s that feeling of hopelessness, of falling into the abyss. It’s pain and you think you just want it to end, no matter what it takes. I’m convinced suicidal thoughts aren’t exclusive to the mentally unbalanced and guess what, there are a number of good life insurance underwriters out there that share that feeling. For most of us that passes, sometimes quickly as in just a fleeting thought and sometimes not so quickly. I’ve had days where I couldn’t get the thoughts to go away, but I really didn’t want to act on them. I knew what there was to live for and it outweighed anything that I could gain through death.

But I had those thoughts and I talked to my wife and my doctor about them and because I talked to my doctor, those thoughts are now memorialized in my medical records. So, if I were applying for life insurance the underwriter would be looking at those suicidal thoughts from a couple of angles. How frequent and how prolonged have the thoughts been? Are they chronic? Do they just kind of never leave the picture? Are they rare? Do they only come around when I am truly situationally depressed? And of course have I ever acted on them, or even started to act on them?

The good news is that if those suicidal thought are rare and not recent, standard or better underwriting approval can be found. In other words, if I went through a month long period 5 years ago when I lost a child and was truly wondering what the point of living on was, but then I sought help and remembered that the point is my wife and my other children, why would that be held against me?

Bottom line. Suicidal thoughts may not get you the best rate class out there, but unless they are chronic or severe in nature, they certainly shouldn’t lead to a decline either.

If this post has struck a chord for you and you need help obtaining life insurance, call toll free at 866-539-7914 or email to ed@hinermangroup.com.