Chris and his team work with clients across the country to help them navigate the insurance and financial world. His mission is to help people and businesses have the protection they need at the lowest possible price. He works on behalf of his clients and not the insurance companies. When not researching the latest financial and insurance topics, Chris can be found spending time with his family...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 12, 2020

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It is possible to find low-cost life insurance with a diagnosis of depression. Major physical and mental health disorders do not necessarily stand in the way of purchasing an affordable life insurance plan.

Continue reading below to learn more about depression and life insurance.

Quick Tip: View rates from the leading life insurance companies by using the Instant Quote box on this page. Rates will immediately appear on the next screen.  

How an insurance company rates you depends on a few factors. When you speak with a life insurance agent, he or she will explain the rating factors and help you find the right company.

Types of Depression and Life Insurance

There are several types of depression. The type depends on the symptoms, severity, and cause. The National Institute of Mental Health defines depression as a “common but serious mood disorder.”

Depression is considered a disability when it is so severe it interferes with a person’s ability to function in daily life.

The severity of this disorder varies with each individual and mitigating circumstances. Not all symptoms need to be present.

However, the majority of symptoms must persist for a minimum of two weeks and interfere with the quality of life.

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An example of five types of depression:

1) Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) occurring during the winter months with the lack of sunshine yet is alleviated when the days grow longer and exposed to more sunlight.
2) Perinatal Depression is a major depressive state many women experience during pregnancy and continues after giving birth, postnatal depression. For years’ women who experienced depression after birth were told they had the “baby blues” and not to worry, it was not considered serious.
3) Persistent Depressive Disorder or dysthymia is diagnosed after two years of persistent major depression. The symptoms may range from mild to severe and may decrease for a short period of time, but never go away.
4) Psychotic depression is a combination of some form of psychosis and depression. Psychosis is a state of delusions, hearing, seeing things that are not there and create a state of agitation, fear, and contributing to depression.
5) Bipolar Disorder is defined as two ranges of mood. The depressed state is at one end of the spectrum, with an over exaggerated sense of wellbeing at the other end. A person afflicted with Bipolar disorder may have a few months or as little as a few days in each state.

These are not the only causes of depression. Health issues may also be a source of depression.

Here is a list of a few physical health issues that may contribute to depression:

1) Alcoholism and drug abuse are both contributing factors to depression and physical health issues. Drug abuse includes the use of over the counter medications, prescribed and illegal drugs.
2) Cigarette smoking contributes to physical health and may lead to depression.
3) Diabetes if not treated lists depression as one of many symptoms.
4) Thyroid disorders, when the thyroid is over or under active will bring on depression among other health issues.
5) Cancer will contribute to depression.
6) Chronic pain caused by arthritis, cancer, diabetes, migraines, or other ailments.

Depression is a companion to many physical illnesses, this is a short list used as an example. If you suspect you or someone you love may be experiencing depression, seek out medical assistance. Do not be afraid to interfere.

A diagnosis of depression is not the end of life. There are treatment options available, both medical and psychological. The strongest is creating a support system.

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Depression Symptoms

To receive a diagnosis of depression your symptoms must persist for a period of not less than two weeks. Except for Persistent Depressive Disorder, a diagnosis is not provided until two years of ongoing symptoms.

Blood tests are now utilized by many psychiatric facilities to help with the diagnosis of depression. As stated earlier, sometimes a physical illness is the cause.

Symptoms of depression may include, but are not limited to the following:

1) Inability to concentrate for prolonged periods of time.
2) Lack of interest in daily activities, no pleasure in good news or ability to have fun.
3) Isolation. Avoiding people, places, and events, not going to work.
4) A deep sense of despair, despondency, an overall lack of pleasure in anything.
5) May include anxiety, with irritability and agitation.
6) Sleeping too much, insomnia, a chronic disruption to sleep patterns.
7) Suicide ideation, planning and persistent thoughts of ways to kill oneself.
8) Other symptoms depend on other mitigating factors.

This is a short list of symptoms that may indicate depression. Other symptoms may include physical symptoms and vary with the psychiatric disorder. Depression is not a sense of sadness or a moment of disappointment.

Treatment for depression will depend on the cause. If there are no apparent physical illnesses, treatment may include anti-depressants and some form of therapy. When used together, medications and therapy, one may pursue a normal life.

Factors Life Insurance Companies Consider for Depression

Before a life insurance company approves any form of life insurance there are key factors to consider. Some of the questions are the same for everyone, while others may depend upon your health condition.

A pre-existing disease or disorder is defined as receiving the diagnosis prior to applying for life insurance. Some conditions, depression among them, are seen as higher risk due to the mortality rate, or life expectancy.

Key rating factors for a client with depression are as follows:

  • How old were you when you received your diagnosis?
  • How long ago since your diagnosis.
  • What is the history? Have you received treatment?
  • How severe is your condition?
  • Are you receiving treatment: taking medications as prescribed, attending therapy? Other treatments?
  • Have you been hospitalized in relation to your depression? Or residing in a psychiatric facility?
  • Have you attempted suicide? If so, how many times?
  • Have you been diagnosed with other mental health issues?
  • Do you have a history of alcohol and drug abuse (illegal or prescription)?
  • What are your current lifestyle habits? Do you exercise, pay attention to the foods you eat, etc.?
  • What is your current status with depression?
  • Have you received a diagnosis of any other medical conditions? If so what are they?

Ratings will depend on the individual person and whether or not she or he is following the treatment protocol. You may be refused life insurance based upon your present condition. Whether or not you are complying with treatment, for instance.

If you are refused fully underwritten life insurance, the alternative is to apply for a Guaranteed Issue – No Medical Exam Policy or a Graded Death Benefit.

No matter how severe your condition, we can help you get approved for life insurance.

Independent Life Insurance and Depression

If you have depression, an independent agent will be your best bet to find affordable life insurance.

As independent insurance agents, we can shop several companies to find the best one for your situation.  By best company, we mean the least expensive for your particular situation.

Every life insurance will offer a different price based on age, health, duration and amount of coverage. When you work with an independent agent, we will take the time to learn about your condition.

The more information we have, the better we can help you.

We will then shop the leading companies to find the one that will offer the best price for your insurance. Independent agents work for you and not the insurance companies.

Abrams Insurance Solutions remains the smart choice as an independent life insurance company. With access to over 70 insurance companies, we know which ones are most likely to approve someone with depression and/or other medical conditions.

Our agents will review your condition based upon the above-discussed rating factors, discuss the criteria with you, and determine which life insurance companies to contact on your behalf. We take the guesswork out of applying for life insurance.

The primary purpose for our agents is to ensure you receive the life insurance policy that suits your finances and life. We want to help secure your family’s future.