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Life insurance and mental health conditions


Many people believe that having a mental health condition now or in the past automatically precludes them from getting life insurance. In reality, it depends on various factors and more often than not, you can get a life insurance policy that meets your needs.

Can I make a claim for mental health?

This will depend on individual circumstances, so it’s important to speak with your financial adviser about what options may be available for you and ensure you understand your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and policy schedule. The PDS will contain exactly what you can and can’t claim for under your policy and the policy schedule whether any additional exclusions apply. Many people do make successful claims for mental health every year.

What underwriters consider

Underwriters are the people hired by life insurers to help assess the risk of an insurance application and determine how much life insurance an insurer can offer you and at what premium. When they assess your application, they look at several things including:
  • Any previous diagnoses you’ve had
  • How symptoms may have affected your work or study capabilities
  • The severity, duration and nature of your symptoms, and how you’re managing them
  • Your overall lifestyle and health, including your work and your family medical history
  • The types of treatment you’re currently receiving or have received in the past, such as therapy or medications

What about pre-existing conditions?

Mental health conditions can change and vary over time, and it is possible that they can lead to new or recurring signs and symptoms. One mental health condition doesn’t necessarily cause another, but there can be an increased risk of relapsing or developing another condition if you already have one. For example, people who have had depression might be more likely to experience anxiety disorders.

That’s why insurers evaluate each customer based on their individual circumstances. In some cases, they may add additional charges (called loadings) or exclusions to a policy. However, in other cases, the condition might present minimal risk, and they may agree to cover you without any extra costs or exclusions.

If you have a mental health condition and would like to get life insurance, I can help you navigate the process and tailor the right policy for your personal situation.
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