The diverse underwriting reaction to situational depression life insurance and situational anxiety life insurance is huge, with the same case ranging from declines to preferred rates depending on the company. Those of us who were around in the 50’s remember the stigma that mood disorders carried back then and it is apparent that plenty of insurance companies haven’t rebooted their computers since.

Assuming the underwriters from the over reactive companies have left work in the last 50 years they have to have noticed that we live in a stress filled environment. Getting down or getting agitated or feeling stressed are, I think, more normal than not in today’s world. Just consider the last three years in our country and the strain the job losses and economy have added to an already stressed out America.

Estimates of the percentage of people in the US affected by a “diagnosable mood disorder” showed that 5-6 years ago more than 1/4 of the country was affected. I would be shocked if that the current statistics wouldn’t indicate a substantial increase. Just think of all of the people who were really leading comfortable, pretty stressless lives who are now unemployed for the first time as an adult. People who have never been late on a bill before are losing their houses to foreclosure. Professionals to be, like students studying to be doctors, dentists and lawyers are committing 8 years or more of their lives with no assurance that they will have a job or be able to repay student loans.

Life is tough out there but I think the majority of life insurance mood disorder underwriting hasn’t caught up with the fact that depression and anxiety are far more treatable than even 20 years ago. I’ve talked to a number of underwriters who say, in the absence of severity leading to hospitalization or suicidal thoughts, treated, controlled mood disorders should be treated no differently than treated blood pressure or treated cholesterol.

Bottom line. In an underwriting era when well controlled sleep apnea can garner a best rate class life insurance approval, there are plenty of underwriters who are taking a more sane approach to depression life insurance and anxiety life insurance. They have rebooted their computers and recognize the difference between well controlled situational and poorly controlled chronic.