Some years ago I had a client who really hit on a hot button for professionals like her as a physician and others who wore hats from CEO’s to attorneys, dentists and even psychiatrists. In the original case it had to do with a physician who had taken an anti anxiety drug for a fairly short period during her residency. Some years later she applied for life insurance and even though the anti anxiety issue was long gone, she got approved at a standard rate due to the fact that there was a point where she was prudently treated.
Think about the logic for a second. If this physician “to be” had known that her life insurance would cost twice as much in the future she might have gutted it out without any medical help, but really, do you want to be the patient being treated by the resident who is gritting her teeth through anxiety as opposed to being relaxed and present in the moment? Just like it makes no sense not to treat high cholesterol or high blood pressure, it absolutely makes no sense to ask a professional in a high stress situation to avoid treatment for issues, mood disorders, that can have a negative impact on the people they are charged with helping.
Just like I wrote the other day about the very successful bipolar disorder clients I have who are CEO’s of companies, who given the wrong agent taking their life insurance application to the wrong company, can have even minor mood disorders can end up being costly messes. Anxiety, situational or minor depression and ADD are all common, not just in the rest of the world, but in the professionals that we put in charge of our companies, our health and our legal matters.
So I figured out a long time ago that getting the best possible rates for any client, including professionals who are buying several million dollars of life insurance, isn’t rocket science. With the right agent it begins with a lot of questions. With mood disorders these are often personal, probing and sometimes uncomfortable questions. It’s not easy for any of us to talk about that side of us that falls short of what we expect of ourselves. But it’s important to know the truth about episodes of anxiety and depression, how frequent they are and how debilitating they are. It’s critical to know if my client has suicidal thoughts and especially if they have ever been acted on. It’s important to know about how their particular mood disorder has affected the work and social life, and their marriage. With bipolar disorder it’s important to know about episodes, whether manic or depressive and how those played out and affected their lives.
Along with the side that is hard to talk about, there is almost always a successful side of the story and that is key when I shop the case to underwriters. That can be the fact that the client is a successful stay at home mother of four, or someone who has endured 100 years of college and residency and has their own medical practice. It can be, in spite of the ups and downs, that the client has been married for 10 or 20 or 30 years, that they are a trusted deacon in their church, or that they have built a successful small (or large) business. Sometimes it can just be the fact that the client takes their disorder seriously, takes their medications as prescribed, avoid situations that could provoke setbacks and treats their regular visits to the psychiatrist or psychologist as a priority. Life insurance underwriters who take the whole pictures into account, clinical underwriters, don’t want to just know the downside. They want to know what balances the downside and makes this person insurable, a good risk.
Bottom line. It just occurred to me that some might think from reading some of my posts that they only people who run into these problems and get fairly priced mood disorder life insurance are professionals. That is of course a long ways from the truth. I have far more mood disorder clients who are just regular hard working folks like me and all of the same facts are relevant. It’s about being treated fairly and not having your health issue blown out of proportion. If you have questions or believe that you have received unfair treatment by a life insurance company or agent in the handling of your mood disorder life insurance application, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.