Life Insurance with Depression: You Deserve to Be Treated Fairly

I have some good news for you.

Despite what you may have heard (even if you’ve been denied previously), it is very possible to obtain affordable life insurance with depression.

I also have some bad news for you.

You can’t just apply with any life insurance company that offers cheap rates. You need to play this carefully and make sure you are with the right life insurance carrier.

warningNot all insurers view depression the same.
Your level of depression, treatment, medications, etc is also not the same as the next guy or gal.

We have experience working with clients that suffer from varying degrees of depression. We know WHERE to send you, and WHY we are sending you there, EVERY time.

In this article we’ll answer the following questions:

  • What do the insurance companies need to know about my history of depression?
  • What kind of health rating will I get?
  • How much will my premiums cost?
  • What companies should I apply with?

Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects 6.7% of Americans. You are certainly not alone in dealing with it. You are also NOT alone in the life insurance process.

Want to skip the reading and shopping around on your own? Fill out a quote form and let’s chat. We can hold your hand through this process and give you the most current information on getting affordable rates if you suffer from depression. Every conversation with us is ALWAYS without obligation or pressure. Our help doesn’t cost you a penny.

What Do They Need to Know About My Depression?

Depression and anxiety will affect your life insurance rates as it’s considered an impaired risk. Starting with the life insurance application and continuing all the way through the underwriting process that may include a medical exam, they’ll be looking at a few specific things to assess your risk profile.

The severity of your condition is the #1 factor used in determining your premiums. Individuals with mild forms of depression are still able to qualify for the Preferred rates with most companies. Possibly as high as Preferred Best (the top class) in some cases.

Here is what life insurance companies will consider when reviewing your insurance application:

  1. Is your type of depression considered mild, moderate, or severe?
  2. When were you diagnosed with depression?
  3. What type of medications are you taking to manage your condition?
  4. Have you switched medications during your time with depression?
  5. How often do you see certain health professionals for your condition?
  6. Are you under the care of a psychiatrist?
  7. Do you have any history of bipolar disorder?
  8. History of hospitalizations due to your condition?
  9. Any past substance abuse?
  10. Do you have anxiety disorder or experience anxiety regularly?
  11. Have you received electroshock therapy in the past?
  12. History of suicide attempts or the presence of active suicidal thoughts?
  13. For chronic depression (Dysthymia), how long has this been present?
  14. Have you been denied life insurance due to your physical health and depression history?

LightbulbLet your independent life insurance broker know all about your depressive disorder upfront. The more they know, the better they can shop you to the right company. Any other medical history needs to be discussed as well.

The independent agent works for you, not the insurance company so don’t hide anything from them.

 What Kind of Health Rating Can I Expect with Depression?

Mild depression – Preferred rate class

Usually, your condition is considered mild if:

  • Well-controlled, taking no more than 1 medication.
  • No history of hospitalizations due to your condition.
  • Can show you are following the prescribed treatment of your primary physician.
  • Not receiving treatment from a psychiatrist.

If you can check off all the above, you are looking at Preferred rates and possibly as high as Preferred Best in some cases. This assumes no other issues outside of depression that could knock you lower.

Moderate depression – Standard rate class

Typically you will be considered as having moderate depression if any of the below apply:

  • Taking more than 1 medication.
  • Have been hospitalized due to depression.
  • Receiving treatment from a psychiatrist.

Severe or major depression – Table ratings

Expect to be classified as having severe depression by insurance companies if:

  • Previous suicide attempts or noted thoughts of suicide in your record.
  • On disability due to depression.
  • Taking multiple heavy medications.

Table ratings are 10 separate classes below the Standard health class. The severity and exactly what is in your doctors’ notes will depend on which table rating you end up with.

In the case of serious or clinical depression, you are looking at table ratings, final expense insurance (also known as burial insurance), or possibly as low as a guaranteed issue life insurance products in the most severe of cases. Some life insurance coverage is always better than no coverage.

With severe depression, you must consult an independent insurance professional to discuss your situation. We are happy to help with this.

How Much Do Premiums Cost for Life Insurance with Depression?

moneyWhen you buying life insurance, you can’t do much about your medical records or current depression condition. The key will be to shop you to the company that is most lenient for your particular situation. We will also need to look at other factors in your overall health and family history. Depression is NOT the only thing considered.

Sample term life insurance quotes with depression for a 38-year-old male. 20-year level term life policy.

Health Class$250,000$500,000$750,000
Mild Depression
$16.97 per month$27.16 per month$37.97 per month
Moderate Depression
$23.10 per month$39.90 per month$57.23 per month
Severe Depression
Table 3
$30.51 per month$54.25 per month$78.75 per month
Severe Depression
Table 7
$44.79 per month$82.25 per month$120.75 per month

Above life insurance rates are subject to change. Listed rates are mainly from Banner and AIG. Use these sample rates to get an idea of what you might pay. Please consult an independent agent for the most current and best rates.

Best Companies to Apply at

Tough question to answer. I’ll just be honest about the underwriting process.

There is some subjectivity to how the underwriter will view the doctors’ notes in your file. As insurance agents, we also don’t know exactly what is in your file ahead of time.

So what is the plan then?

  1. Learn as much as possible about your depression based on the questions listed above in this article.
  2. Explore any other health conditions or lifestyle factors that could impact your premiums such as a history of alcohol or drug abuse.
  3. Contact underwriters on your behalf ahead of time to get pre-approval BEFORE putting in the application.
  4. Apply at the best insurance company possible based on our findings.
  5. If the doctors’ notes cause the underwriter to bump you down, reassess the situation and consider a different insurer.

Sound complicated? It won’t be if you choose to work with us. We’ll take care of everything.

If you have questions on the process to obtain term life insurance with depression, we’d be happy to help.

Life insurance is all we do so it’s our specialty. Nothing puts us in a better mood than happy clients saving $$ while protecting their loved ones.



  • Ty Stewart

    Ty Stewart is a founder and contributor of He started researching and studying about life insurance when he got his first policy for his own family. He has been featured as a life insurance expert speaker at agent conventions and in top publications. As an independent licensed life insurance agent he has helped clients nationwide to secure affordable coverage while making the process simple. Stewart Ty
  • Bennett Bier

    I’m Bennett Bier, owner, author and fact checker of Simple Life Insure. I believe working with a small independent broker offers consumers more personal attention and superior customer service. As an independent agent licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia I have access to many of the top A+ rated life insurance carriers. This lets me locate a plan that you will qualify for while saving you money at the same time. Over the years I have mastered the art of underwriting, getting approvals even for my highest risk clients. I’m also likely the person that will answer the phone when you call. Bier Bennett