Let me just reiterate from previous posts that if you have bipolar disorder, you can expect for almost all life insurance companies to decline you. They don’t care to what degree the disorder impacts your life. They put the completely functional CEO of a company in the same boat as the person who is on disability due to bipolar.
Insurance companies, even though they are in the job of assessing and accepting risk, will often simply put an entire risk pool into the decline bucket rather than learning about the vast differences that can occur within that pool. Are they mean? Probably not. They make business decisions about the time and resources and the risk and simply decide that, for instance, bipolar is not an arena they want to become a player in.
The good news is that there are a handful of companies, a dozen or so, that have done their home work and have decided that within certain perameters bipolar disorder is an acceptable risk. That is to say that within those perameters, standard or better rates can be had, which puts the person that has been stigmatized by the disorder and puts them squarely back in to average and above average rate classes.
So, how to get there? Like any health issue, underwriters are looking for control. They don’t want to see out of control high blood pressure or cholesterol and they really aren’t interested in underwriting out of control bipolar. Control in the context of bipolar is measured by how stable and functional a person is in life. If they have a stable work and family life, well, let’s face it, they are probably above average.
Like other health issues, underwriters want to see compliance with treatment. They decline people with diabetes or heart disease because they don’t follow the doctor’s orders and recommendations. If you have bipolar and march to the beat of your own treatment drummer, ignoring prescribed treatment and missing appointments, don’t expect to get a gold star from an underwriter.
Being on disability due to bipolar, or obesity, or diabetes screams lack of control. If your situation is well controlled there is no reason to be on disability. So forget the argument that everything is under control as long as you can stay home and not have to deal with the real world.
If you have attempted suicide, whether you are bipolar or not, for obvious reasons there is some concern about you as a life insurance risk. Even the dozen or so progressive companies that are willing to work at leveling the playing field for those with bipolar, will call the game on account of suicide attempts.
The last hurdle is hospitalization. Most people with bipolar have visited a hospital at least once, generally when they were diagnosed. Sometimes it just takes that structured inpatient setting to get to the bottom of things. That particular stay in a hospital isn’t of great concern to an underwriter because that is the end of the confusion about whats going on and the beginning of the treatment.
Being hospitalized after diagnosis and treatment have begun is more problematic. To a significant degree, that breakdown represents lack on control or yet to be achieved control. Expect that some years will have to pass after these episodes before life insurance underwriters will want to jump on your wagon.
Bottom line. It takes an independent agent to know where to go and where not to go to help you find life insurance if you are anything but young, healthy and unscarred by all the possible afflictions of life. Seek out an agent who has knowledge and understanding of your situation. There is good news out there for a large percentage of those with bipolar, so don’t be discouraged.