Does Mental Health Affect Life Insurance Policies?
It may. A mental health issue may affect the amount of premium you will have to pay to obtain and carry life insurance coverage. If your mental health issue puts you at a higher risk of dying sooner, the insurance company will charge you more for a policy than someone who has no mental health issues and is less of a risk.
How Mental Health Affect Life Insurance Policies
If you are considering starting a new policy, a life insurance attorney can help you find the best plan and price for your situation. However, many with disabilities and mental health issues such as anxiety or depression are nervous to disclose their conditions.
In today’s post, we’ll tackle the top reasons to disclose your mental health when obtaining life insurance policies.
Why to disclose ALL Medical History
When you purchase a life insurance policy, the insurance company will require you to fill out certain forms. One will be an application setting forth your personal information. The other will be a medical questionnaire setting forth your medical history.
Either or both documents will likely ask you about:
Your mental health history
- What condition or conditions you have or have had
- Were or are you on any medication for this condition or conditions
- Have or are in therapy
- If institutionalization is a part of your history
- If you’ve ever self-harmed, had suicidal thoughts, or attempted suicide
How omitting information Mental health affects life Insurance policies
These are some tough topics to discuss in any situation. However, obtaining a new policy may have you asking how mental health affect life Insurance policies. You may even consider omitting this information. However, you must answer these questions honestly. Why?
Mistakes or Omissions
First, it is the only way the insurance company can assess your risk. This means considering the likelihood you will die during the insured term. From there, they will calculate your premiums accordingly.
Second, if you do not disclose a previous or current mental health condition, you risk having your beneficiaries’ claims denied.
The Contestability Period
The contestability period is the two years running from the date you take out your life insurance policy. If an insured dies during the contestability period, the insurance company has heightened the power to inspect the initial application and medical history questionnaire.
If the insurance company finds an error or omission, beneficiaries’ claims are denied. This can occur even if the error or omission has nothing to do with the cause of death.
The contestability period is in place to combat life insurance fraud. For example, before the contestability period was in place, an insured could take out a life insurance policy knowing that he or she planned to commit suicide, do it, and the beneficiaries would receive the benefit. The omission was that the insured knew he or she had suicidal thoughts and failed to disclose it. Those claims will not be paid.
Misrepresentation on the Application or Questionnaire
If the insured’s error or omission is connected to the cause of death, beneficiaries’ claims will be denied. For example, if an insured failed to disclose that he or she had heart bypass surgery, and then dies of heart failure, beneficiaries’ claims will be denied due to misrepresentation.
An experienced beneficiary attorney can help beneficiaries in this case by arguing that the whole claim should not be denied. Instead, the insurance company should subtract the amount the insured should have paid in premiums had they known of his heart health history from the benefit, and pay the remainder to beneficiaries.
mental health affect life Insurance policies
Disclose Everything on the Application and Questionnaire
Disclosing whatever mental health condition or conditions you have or previously had will not rule out getting life insurance. However, it will be a little more expensive for you than someone with no history of mental health issues.
Why make problems for your beneficiaries by lying or omitting the truth? Your intent in obtaining life insurance is to get them paid the death benefit. So, make sure to disclose everything up front and let the chips fall where they may.
How Mental Health Affects Life Insurance Policies
While it may be difficult or embarrassing to disclose this information, it is extremely important not to omit any information. While your mental health does affect your life insurance policy, it won’t stop you from obtaining insurance. If you are considering starting a new policy, a life insurance attorney can help you find the best plan and price for your situation.