The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare states that almost 1 in every 2 people (46%) of the population between 16 and 85 have suffered from some type of mental illness within their lifetimes. That is a statistic that can be said to be true throughout the world. As mental illness because more common, due to better testing and psychiatric care, insurance companies need to find ways to carry life insurance for mental health issues to stay competitive in the market.
This is great news for people that have a mental condition. No longer will you be automatically denied due to your problem. Laws have been introduced and passed to help with this type of discrimination as well. Overall, your chances of getting life insurance are good. The process is the exact same for everyone, but if you have a mental health issue you may have to jump through a few extra hoops.
Step 1 – Go online, or start making some calls, and get quotes from numerous insurance carriers. Make sure to mention that you have a mental condition so you get the most accurate rates that you can without filling out a contract. In this stage of the process, you are simply trying to compare companies in various ways. If the agent is not helpful or seems to judge you for your condition, move on to the next contact. You want to find an insurance policy that works for you. Covers what you need it to cover. Doesn’t include any exclusions, and that doesn’t break the bank. If you want to check online companies, click here for help.
Step 2 – Submit an application to the top companies that you found in the previous step. Remember that there are two ways to apply. Direct is the fastest way. This is usually done online by yourself without any help. The second way is with an advisor. This way is usually more detailed and will take longer, but you have an expert with you the entire time, which helps when you have questions or concerns. Applying to more than one company may seem like a shady thing to do, but once a policy is offered you need to be able to pick and choose the best one. Rates and policy details can change at any time through the process. If the insurance agent can change what they say, then there is nothing wrong with you changing your mind and denying the coverage. The things that you will need when filling out an application are:
- Height and weight
- Date of birth
- Lifestyle habits-tobacco or alcohol use, drug use, etc.
- Medical history-they will ask for a detailed medical history of you
- Family medical history-they will want to know the medical issues of your family members
- Occupation-they will ask what your occupation is.
- Hobbies-they will want to know what hobbies you have. Mostly any that could be considered as dangerous.
Step 3 – This is the step that will affect you the most. Further medical information will be requested by the insurance company. They may want you to supply them with a Personal Medical Attention Report (PMAR). This is a report that your doctor fills out that details the diagnosis of your mental conditions, including when they were found and if they are under control. They may also request other medical records that you have that have been because of the mental issues that you have or have had in the past.
Step 4 – This is where you sit and wait while the agent assesses your risk. For most companies, this is a form that they type your information into, and formulas come up with a number. The days are gone where the agent must spend hours crunching numbers and scratching their heads. The number that comes up is your risk rating. The risk rating number is then placed into the contract and a policy is suggested with a set premium amount.
Step 5 – This is the final stage for the insurance agent. They will go through the policies that their company offers, (through the computer program most of the time) and make changes to the original policy that had been discussed, or that you had read about. Premiums may go up in this stage, riders may be added to the contract, and exclusions can be typed in. After everything has been changed, they will send you their findings in writing with the details of the policy that they are offering you, along with the premium amounts.
Step 6 – This is where you collect all the policy options that have been sent to you and you read through each one. You compare not only the details, but the premiums cost as well. The lowest premium may not always be the best option so compare all aspects of the policies.
- If the policy premiums have been dramatically increased put it aside in a pile for now.
- If the policy has exclusions added input it aside in a separate pile. This is the last option pile because you want a policy that does not exclude any conditions associated with your mental conditions.
- If any clauses have been added that you do not like, place these in a separate pile.
- Any policy that meets your expectations and works for you keep in front of you.
- Pick the policy that works the best for you. Sign in and send it back or hand it over to the agent. Inform the rest that you have changed your mind and will not be getting a policy through them.
Having a mental condition can make it hard to get life insurance, especially one with an income protection clause. The Insurance Reform Advisory Group (IRAG) is working closely with government agencies, insurance companies, and mental health professionals to make awareness and understanding more available. You, as someone with a mental condition, need to be able to get life insurance without being hassled or made to feel like you don’t matter. Check with several companies, get quotes, and go with the best one. If you feel like one of them has discriminated against you, be sure to report them.