Life Insurance for Someone with Depression

Can Someone with depression get life insurance?

The short answer is probably. Most insurers will issue a policy unless the depression is very severe, there have been multiple hospitalizations, or there has been suicide attempts.

Most life insurers have concluded that the extra mortality risk is due to suicide, cardiovascular disease , and substance abuse.

According to Psychology Today 16 million Americans suffer with depression.

What do life insurers want to know about someone with depression or anxiety?

In general life insurers will make offers based on the severity of the depression or anxiety. They estimate the severity based on symptoms, favorable factors, and unfavorable factors.


  • depressed mood
  • low energy
  • poor appetite
  • reduced concentration
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • sleeping problems
  • feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • suicidal thoughts

Unfavorable  factors include:

  • Not actively participating in counseling, if recommended
  • alcohol or drug abuse
  • chronic or disabling health conditions
  • history of work loss
  • many psychiatric medications
  • non compliance with medications

What are some examples of how a life insurance company will rate a depression case?

One company’s underwriting guide indicates that:

  • A mild case (no time lost from work, controlled symptoms, low dose of medication) could get standard rates.
  • A moderate case (no inpatient therapy, no anti-psychotic medications, no more than two weeks loss of work from a single episode, good response to treatment) may be rated up by 50%
  • A severe case (recurring deep depression, inpatient therapy, more than two weeks lost from work in an episode) could have an extra rating of 100% or more and could even be declined.

Female 50 Non Smoker. $250,000. 20 Year Level term

SeverityRateAnnual Premium
moderatestandard plus 50%$1000.
severestandard plus 100%$1300.

Is it possible to get life insurance for someone with severe depression?

People that have attempted suicide can even get life insurance as long as there have not been more than two and it has been an extended period of time since the last attempt.

If someone cannot qualify for a regular life insurance plan they probably can get a graded benefit plan. These plans are usually restricted as to the amount of insurance that will be issued and as to the issue age. A graded benefit plan is one in which the death benefit is limited in the first few years to less that the ultimate death benefit. Example:

  • First two years death benefit is ‘return of premium plus 10%’
  • Third year and after death benefit is the ‘full face amount’
Rate a depression case now Learn how to rate impaired life cases