I suspect that two things will stay very much the same in 2012. Politics will attempt to suffocate us all and I will be able to reach growing numbers of those with bipolar disorder in the their quest to be treated fairly in acquiring life insurance.
Since starting my work with those diagnosed with bipolar disorder I am always grateful when someone well known speaks out about it. The notion that jumps out is that when you compile all the stories you get a picture of a disease with two faces, not manic and depressive, but controlled or uncontrolled.
Bipolar disorder is a story of the insanely gifted and intelligent and normal and the insanely, well, troubled. Our ability to find life insurance for a much maligned group hinges on the ability to connect with those seeking life insurance who have been declined or highly rated in the past due to bipolar, and to let them know that we know there are two sides to their disorder. When those who have been declined simply because their application was presented to a company that only has one slot for bipolar and see the criteria it takes to successfully acquire life insurance. and then read the testimonials from those who have been helped, well, it’s like lifting the shades or opening the door.
I would be the last to put myself in the position of someone who can do the impossible or who is more talented than other agents. But I know that my business is completely, 100%, made up of niches that are not easy to succeed in. The niches are places where most agents simply don’t want to go. They take education above and beyond an understanding of life insurance. They take a lot of interaction with life insurance underwriters to understand better how they tick and what turns them toward or away from an approval. It takes, and this was hard for me, the ability to ask the hard questions of clients. How can an agent pretend to know the outcome of a life insurance application for someone with bipolar disorder if you haven’t asked them about suicidal thoughts or attempts, hospitalizations or drug or alcohol problems?
When Newt Gingrich spoke out the other day about the fact that his mother was bipolar you could see in his face and hear in his voice the painful memories it brought back from his earlier years. If his mother was young right now it’s entirely likely that she would be among those who could get a grip on their disorder and lead a normal life. Treatment and understanding have come that far.
Bottom line. What we’ve found is that you can’t paint one face on bipolar disorder. For every one that has their life turned inside out and can never find their balance, there is one who is a doctor, a CEO, a policeman, a fireman, a successful homemaker. As always I want to offer the criteria we know help to secure life insurance at reasonable rates with bipolar disorder.
1. Someone who has not been hospitalized for bipolar disorder other than for diagnosis?
2. Someone who has not attempted suicide or had bouts with suicidal ideations? (Ideations become less relevant with time)
3. Someone who is compliant with their treatment, both medications and regular followups?
4. Someone who is leading a stable family life or social life?
5. Someone who is exhibiting a stable work life?
6. Someone who is not on disability for bipolar and does not have issues with drinking or drugs? If there’s a problem here, then the answers to 3, 4 and 5 are no.
7. Better approvals come if you are not on anti psychotic drugs.
8. There is some flexibility in all of these criteria with the passage of time well controlled.
If you have any questions or have had trouble getting life insurance, call or email me directly. Let’s talk.