Situational mood disorders such as stress related anxiety or depression are something that probably all of us have gone through at one point or another. We all fall into one of three groups in this area, 1. Those who muddle their way through and are able to get back on track by themselves, 2. Those who seek medical intervention to get back on track and 3. Those who seek medical intervention to deal with an ongoing stress situation.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about how these issues are handled by life insurance underwriters. While it’s true that most companies will rubber stamp depression or anxiety disorders with a best case standard, worst case decline, there are a number of companies that understand that just like getting treatment for high cholesterol, having sought help you’re a better risk. If the situation was in the past many companies will approve at best rates, correctly perceiving that if there was risk it is gone now.

A great example of this issue is with attorneys that while law students, especially leading up to and taking their bar exam, and physicians, especially during residency when they are pushed hard to cram as much experience into a short period as possible. The stress is tremendous and you can’t take a break.

It is not uncommon, if my client base is anything near a reflection of normal, for people in these positions to treat the stress medically just to make it through without having a train wreck. The right agent putting a case like this in front of the right underwriter should be able to get preferred plus rates every time if there are no other risk factors.

Personally I think that in rough times like we’ve seen over the last few years underwriters ought to just forgive anyone who has gone on Prozac. Far better that a person deals with the depression and keeps on moving ahead with a positive outlook.

Bottom line. Truly situational mood disorders where there is a beginning and a foreseeable end should not be a rateable life insurance issue.