It’s been a long time since I addressed the topic of the beating that professionals, from physicians to attorneys to CEO’s take on life insurance if they have ever even been suspected of having a mood disorder. The way life insurance underwriting jumps all over the map on this subject you would think that it is the underwriters suffering from ADD, anxiety or depression. There are some life insurance underwriters that I swear have all of the symptoms of poorly controlled bipolar disorder. Time for a reality check.
When a physician comes to me and tells me that they were approved at a standard rate for life insurance and their only life hiccup was when they took Xanax for anxiety during their resident training, a time period for all physicians that is known to test the durability and stability of being just a person and not a doctor saving lives and cutting people open and sewing them shut. And this physician hasn’t had any issues since then and hasn’t used any medication since then. What are you supposed to do to get preferred plus, deal with the stress without talk or medication and endanger all the patients at the teaching hospital.
And what about the CEO of a large company, or small one for that matter, who gets whacked by the bipolar life insurance underwriter to standard because he is treated for ADHD. Reality check again. Your attention can’t be very deficient if you’re the one running a successful business and other than Lee Iacocca I think most super successful CEO’s probably keep a little hyperactivity in their arsenal.
A few years ago I really felt some of my better underwriters had a handle on bipolar disorder, not their own, but my clients. There is no question that poorly controlled or severe bipolar disorder deserves a higher rating or a decline, but there are people working right next to you, maybe even your attorney representing your business who are bipolar and you will never know it. Bipolar 2, the sane cousin of Bipolar 1, also called manic depressive disorder, is recognized most for it’s manic side. There may or may not be any depressive symptoms but if there are they are generally mild and not debilitating. Certainly not suicidal depression or even disabling depression. And the manic symptoms, especially in mild, well-controlled Bipolar 2 presents as hard-working and driven to succeed.
So while I wouldn’t automatically rule, if elected the new King of life insurance underwriting, that everyone with bipolar disorder should get preferred plus life insurance rates, I believe that there are cases where clearly demonstrated stability and success and a complete lack of social problems warrants the best rate class. Not standard or standard plus. Preferred plus because whether it is a CEO, a physician or attorney, they work under stress that would make most preferred plus life insurance candidates cry and they do it while successfully managing their mood disorder.
Bottom line. Not all life insurance companies and not all life insurance underwriters are created equal and most of them don’t agree with me, but I’ve accepted that them being wrong is just a genetic defect they have no control over. If you have questions or if you’ve been whacked like a life insurance golf ball over some mood disorder that your wife wouldn’t know you have if you hadn’t told her, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.