Mental illness accounts for more than 20% of disclosures of medical conditions on life insurance applications, according to data from LV=. And one in three adults aged 16 to 74 accessed NHS mental health treatment in 2014.
Despite the number of people affected by mental health issues, many are still confused or concerned about whether they can get insurance that covers anxiety and how it will affect the price of their life insurance.
Medical conditions do affect the price of insurance but they shouldn’t prevent people from getting cover. In recent years insurers have improved quote processes (especially online) and there are specialist providers and brokers who can help.
Can you get life insurance if you have anxiety?
You can get life insurance if you have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression.
However, like any previous diagnosis, the severity of your condition and symptoms can influence the price of cover.
During the application process some insurers will ask questions about when you’ve received treatment, medication or experienced symptoms, which should help them calculate a price based on your current condition.
Mainstream insurers will offer life cover to people with anxiety and less severe mental health issues. Be aware anxiety and related conditions may be excluded from the policy so you won't be able to claim for those issues
How anxiety and mental health issues can affect insurance
As with any previously diagnosed condition, a consumer with an anxiety condition may find it takes longer to get a quote than someone with no medical issues. That is not to say that providers will refuse you cover, but you will have to set aside more time to shop around for the right cover and the right price than someone without a condition. When we got a test quote it took about 5 minutes longer.
Some insurers may ask you to call them to complete a quote or you may want to contact them to clarify information but many have improved their online questions to allow people with anxiety to buy online.
Consumers should be aware that insurers may not use medical descriptions or definitions of conditions. For example, the NHS might use the term 'generalised anxiety disorder' but an insurer might say 'anxiety - stress-related'. It's important to select the conditions that most accurately fit your diagnosis and symptoms, even if it means selecting more than one condition.
As with other previously diagnosed conditions, it’s likely that an anxiety diagnosis could mean you have to pay more for life insurance. Insurers see any medical issues as a greater risk because they believe they’ll have to pay out more money on a claim.
Your price will depend on the severity of your condition, which an insurer will assess using information such as whether you take medication and when you last experienced symptoms.
As LV= says, basic insurance pricing is based on a healthy individual. An insurer will assess any pre-existing medical conditions. If the risk is deemed to be above average for that customer’s specific circumstances, then a higher price is charged to cover that risk.
However, because life insurance is relatively inexpensive, some people may not have a problem with these increases. Even a premium that rises 50% because of a condition may only cost a few pounds more a month.
Insurers that cover mental health conditions
Getting life insurance can seem intimidating for people with certain conditions. However, many well-known companies will allow you to buy online after answering a few questions about the condition.
We’ve listed the best life insurance companies here.
If a company cannot give you a quote or offers prices that are too high you can look at specialist providers that cover medical conditions or speak to a broker who may be able to help with your search.
A broker can find a selection of specialist providers or mainstream companies that can offer cover. They’ll also be able to explain the cover levels and exclusions and even help with the application process. You may be able to find a broker that can help on the British Insurance Brokers’ Association website.
The charity Mind has listed a number of specialist companies that cover mental health conditions.
Here’s the companies on Mind’s list:
- Free Spirit
- Explorer Travel Insurance
- Freedom Insurance Services
- Active Minds Insurance
- The Insurance Surgery Ltd
- MIA Travel Insurance
- Avanti Travel Insurance
- OK to travel insurance
- Platinum Financial Consulting
- Special Risks Bureau
- Good to go insurance
- Towergate Insurance
Not all offer life insurance. Many are focused on travel insurance, where companies are likely to exclude any pre-existing conditions.
We have listed the best travel insurers for people with mental health conditions.