Life insurance is not underwritten based on your take on your health or your mental state. If it was the case, everyone would be approved at preferred plus.
We have built a very good reputation over the years for being able to turn declined life insurance applications into approvals. A lot of times the reason for the decline is an obvious error on the part of the client. For instance, say they had bipolar disorder and decided to get their life insurance from their Farm Bureau agent. After all, he didn’t seem to have any problem insuring your car or your home, right?
In those cases, many times, it really is just a matter of getting all of the facts according to the client, presenting it to a large number of companies, going with the best offer and presenting an approved policy.
But sometimes when you listening to the story about the decline, things just sound a little out of whack. It’s in those cases that I will often ask the client to supply a copy of the records that seem to have been the primary cause of the decline. That’s the best way to cut right to the meat of issue and determine what we need to be presenting to underwriters.
Let’s use bipolar disorder to make a point. If a person with bipolar applies for life insurance and they kind of skirt the issue by saying they’ve had, for instance, a few bouts of depression in the past, the application will get declined. If they admit bipolar disorder but paint a perfect, glowing account of a life free from bipolar symptoms, but their records paint a different picture riddled with manic trips to the ER or depression so crushing that they are on disability because they can’t deal with the world, it’s a decline.
If, on the other hand, a pre-review of the records gets all of the skeletons out of the closet and those are all divulged informally in a trial process with multiple underwriters, there is a very good chance that there will be an approval. There will still be plenty of underwriters that will say no thanks, but they won’t get the formal application.
I’ve used the following criteria in several posts about bipolar underwriting and the criteria is listed on our bipolar specific website. Based on this post and an interview I did with a prospective client today I am adding a few addenda (bold faced).
1. Someone who has not been hospitalized for bipolar disorder other than for diagnosis? This includes ER visits and outpatient programs.
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 verifiable stable family life or social life?
5. Someone who is exhibiting a verifiable 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.
Bottom line. Within given parameters there are good rates to be had for life insurance even if you have bipolar disorder. The first step is to give it all up for the sake of accuracy and full disclosure. It may not feel good, but the result will.