Anxiety & Life Insurance
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Living with anxiety can enhance the challenges of day-to-day life and we understand the additional pressure that this alone can add. I know; I have been there and I’m still there. I have had anxiety since my early 20s and quite frankly it sucks.
There are, however, varying levels of anxiety and regardless of where you are on your journey, we want to make sure that finding the right life insurance doesn’t become an additional worry for you.
So if you have anxiety, you can rely on us to take the stress out of arranging your life insurance, guiding you through every step to make sure you’re happy with the cover. This is because our experts specialise in this area and have access to the right insurers for those with anxiety and similar conditions.
We know this because we’ve already helped lots of people living with anxiety. I have also been the person applying for insurance with generalised anxiety disorder and know just how much of an incredible and scary step it is, to apply for insurance.
There’s just a few things we’d need to know from you to get started:
- When did your anxiety start?
- What are your symptoms – panic attacks, cold sweats?
- Do you take any medication?
- Have you tried any therapies?
- Have you spoken to a counsellor or psychiatrist?
- Have you spent any time as an in-patient at hospital?
- Have you ever self-harmed?
If you have a generalised anxiety disorder that is well controlled with medication and/or therapy, then life insurance at standard terms might be available. It may be that some insurers ask a few more questions about how your anxiety impacts on your daily life.
A key thing with mental health conditions and insurance, is whether your health has resulted in any self-harming or suicide attempts. Most insurers are going to ask about this and it can be difficult to talk about, but if you find the right adviser that supports you and makes you feel comfortable, this will help.
Even if you have had recent flare ups with your anxiety, or you are finding it is harder to control, life insurance is not impossible, it may just be offered at a higher premium.
Critical illness cover pays out a cash lump sum of money, if you are diagnosed with a medical condition that is listed in the insurer’s claims set e.g. cancer, heart attack, stroke.
Arranging critical illness cover for someone with generalised anxiety disorder is quite similar to life insurance and standard cover may be available, depending upon your individual circumstances.
An insurer will be interested in the impact that anxiety has on your life and more specifically, how you control it whether that be hypnotherapy, counselling or something similar. They may also ask if it affects your ability to work, as well as whether there have been any previous suicide attempts.
And it’s fair to say that there are no right or wrong answers here, it’s just important for an insurer to understand the level of anxiety that you are living with. If your symptoms and treatment are considered to be at a significant level, they may offer special terms for critical illness cover. This usually means a higher premium.
Income protection pays you a replacement of your monthly income, if you are unable to work due to ill health.
If you have generalised anxiety disorder and you use medications and treatment to maintain your health, an income protection policy can sometimes help ease stress about your income if you fall ill.
Mental health claims form a big part of income protection claims, which is why you may find that your policy is offered with a mental health exclusion. This is not always the case, but it is possible as you already have a mental health condition.
Your need to protect your income is no different to anybody else’s. Some insurers are making significant improvements in how they view mental health and are accepting that some stress, some anxiety is a normal part of everyone’s life.
As a result of these more modern views, if you have been free from anxiety symptoms and medications for a number of years, then securing a policy without any exclusions could be an option with some insurers.
In some cases, we’re aware that full income protection may not be available and we can look into some short-term income protection in the form of Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover instead.
This is a non-underwritten policy that offers protection for 12-24 months but will not cover you for pre-existing conditions.
For some of us, including me, having anxiety means that travelling isn’t always a relaxing experience. For others, escaping to a dream destination is a perfect way to destress. Whichever you are, having the right travel insurance is a good way of reducing anxiety levels.
We recommend that you speak with a specialist travel insurance broker, who can talk through the different options for you. You can visit our dedicated travel insurance page here.
What is Anxiety?
When an individual starts to feel that daily activities and ‘normal’ situations are causing them a prolonged amount of stress, tension or even worry, it is often referred to as a generalised anxiety disorder, especially if any of these feelings are heightened and ongoing.
And there isn’t always a specific reason for this; anxiety has a lot of catalysts including starting a family, moving home, bereavement or diagnosis of a critical illness and it affects different people in so many different ways.
In some cases, generalised anxiety disorder appears from nowhere but for others, it can develop over a period of time, often with the additional frustration that pinpointing the exact cause or event that triggered it can be difficult. We understand that living with anxiety can be very frustrating, you often know that you shouldn’t be feeling anxious but at the same time, you can’t help it.
Also: GAD, anxiety, anxiety disorder
My experience tells me that being diagnosed with a mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression, can be life-changing and is not always easy to deal with on your own. It can change the way you approach your day-to-day life with the following being just some of the symptoms people with generalised anxiety disorder can experience:
- Difficulty maintaining relationships
- Feeling helpless
- Having panic attacks
- Social withdrawal
- Struggle to make decisions
- Wanting to run away
- Citalopram hydrobromide (Cipramil)
- Citalopram hydrochloride (Cipramil drops)
- Cognitive behaviour therarpy (CBT)
- Escitalopram Oxalate (Cipralex)
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Sertraline Hydrochloride (Lustral)
- Venlafaxine Hydrochloride (Efexor)
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Your panic attacks shouldn’t prevent you from getting income protection, it just means that you will probably have a mental health exclusion placed on the policy. And even though this may not seem ideal, it’s in place because mental health claims make up a significant amount of income protection claims. But having the cover in place is still worthwhile as there are many other conditions that could also keep you off work.
Be safe, tell them everything! Insurance underwriters are human and they understand that people get anxiety from time to time and that it isn’t always a big deal. Life events can sometimes cause us to worry more than normal, as well as struggle unexpectedly with seemingly straightforward daily tasks.
Anxiety can be a short or long-term state of mind. So if you are experiencing it right now, it doesn’t mean you will have it forever and there are insurers who will still offer you cover. The important thing is to know which insurers to go to for expert knowledge of your circumstances and this is where we stand out.
Yes, there are a number of options that we can look at because it’s likely that we have access to a wider range of insurers than some mortgage brokers, especially if the insurer that your adviser is linked to is not willing to cover people with anxiety issues.
Lots of insurers on the standard insurance market do offer life insurance to people with anxiety, and in some cases, there are specialist insurers that we can speak to as well. It’s all about knowing where to look to find an insurer that suits you.
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Review by Sarah on 26th January 2018
“Cura really helped me out when I got declined life insurance online they really took their time and listened to my needs” - 5
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