I live at the base of Mount Antero here in Colorado (Prospector show on the Weather Channel) and yesterday afternoon hiked up to Brown’s Lake, a twelve mile round trip hike up and down Brown’s Creek. I only went to about 12,000 feet, fairly short of the summit of Antero at 14,269 feet. But it was enough for an old guy and a young dog for a day. I could have died. I am fairly clumsy if I don’t watch every step and have come home bloody more times than I can count. Also, even though I am in reasonably good shape at age 62 and my life insurance is all paid and inforce, there were some steep areas where, when I stopped, I wondered if I would ever catch my breath or get my heart to slow down. Anyway it was a good day and I made it home unbloodied.

So, other than my own life insurance and brush with death, what does that paragraph have to do with anything? It could be loosely tied to the health mountain tops we all have in life. Whether it is cancer or heart disease or a mood disorder like anxiety or bipolar disorder, in order to get where we want to go we have to turn and face the issue and put one foot in front of the other. Even though we’re impaired, and believe me I have more issues than just being clumsy, to live longer and to be approved for life insurance we have to face our impairment head on every day and work at not letting it get the best of us.

I have a client who is the CEO of a large grocery store chain and when he came to me looking for life insurance, something he was told by the board of directors he had to get as key man coverage, he had been declined several times because he had bipolar disorder. But just the way he faced life and bipolar disorder he didn’t give up in the face of declined life insurance applications. He and I reviewed his history at length and reviewed the companies that he had tried and their reasons for the declines. All four of the declines had come at the hands of inexperienced agents working with life insurance companies who weren’t really up to challenge of underwriting bipolar. Each one cited “history of bipolar disorder” as their sole reason for decline.

As we talked about his history, complete with bipolar disorder, it just didn’t add up to a decline. He was diagnosed 10 years prior. He had never been hospitalized. While he was mildly hypo manic at times it never caused him to lose time from work and in fact, he channeled that energy into his job helping the company to grow. The depression side of bipolar manifested more as anxiety, but again he was leading a normal life, being compliant with his treatment, had a successful marriage with children and a growing company. Each day he turns and faces the issue, takes his medication and goes to work.

Bottom line. Long story short we got him approved after shopping the case to some first rate impaired risk life insurance companies. In spite of the decision of the first four companies, which was probably written on page 112 of their underwriting manuals, the client presented the best possible scenario for someone with bipolar.If you have questions about how to overcome declined life insurance, or how life insurance companies view various impairments, or if you want to join me on my next hike, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.

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