Drop the word insurance out of there and reality is that with success in life comes challenges that even the most on the ball folks aren’t ready for. How a person deals with those challenges can affect how they are perceived when they apply for life insurance.

I’ve talked a lot about how the pulls and strains of achieving success often leave doctors, attorneys and other professionals with a history of mood disorder treatment that can come back to bite them on insurance even when they have long since outlived the issue. One of the cases that it seems most can relate to is a client of mine, now a successful doctor, who took anti anxiety medication during the grueling regimen of residency. It’s one of those things where you can take something to help deal with the exhaustive routine, or you risk failure or emotional scarring.

So long past residency, running a successful practice, she applied for life insurance and was approved at a standard rate due to a history of mood disorder treatment. On a $2mm policy the difference between the approved price and what she qualified for otherwise was over $1000 a year. We shopped it and got to pick from companies that had no problem seeing that her use of anxiety medication as a resident had about as much mortality risk as the diaper rash she no doubt had at an earlier age.

With success often comes abuse issues, whether alcohol or illegal or prescription drugs. I’ve worked with several doctors, attorneys and CEO’s on life insurance post substance abuse treatment. This can be a really embarrassing problem when, especially in firms or companies where they are required to carry life insurance for business purposes, what is routine for most becomes a nightmare of agents that don’t know how to handle it, underwriters who don’t want to deal with it and companies that routinely decline cases with past substance abuse.

For those professionals who have truly worked through it, have broken free from the habit and gone through rehab and have a support group helping to keep them on track, there is light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to life insurance. Depending on the issue and the extent of the issue, often it just comes down to time since breaking free. The further you get from that history the better the picture looks.

I think what I am able to do best is to clarify the picture. Often, say, an attorney with a history of alcohol abuse will just go apply for life insurance not knowing that there is an insulting decline waiting for them if they happen to pick the wrong agent or the wrong company or simply apply at the wrong time. Clarity can mean knowing where you stand now with the best company for your issue, where you will stand given different amounts of time and when you might be looking at not being beat up for your past at all. Clarity can mean approved life insurance.

Bottom line. Success is a wonderful gift, but it doesn’t mean the end to life’s challenges. If you have any questions, are in or have been in one of the situations described and would like to see where the light at the end of that tunnel is, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.

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