PTSD & Life Insurance

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PTSD & Life Insurance

We understand that there are lots of people living with PTSD, so rest assured you’re not alone.

We will work with you to understand your situation as much as we can and help you to secure the best life insurance for you. It’s important to know, however, that the options available will depend on how the condition has impacted you and your life.

And to help us along the way, an insurance provider may ask your doctor to provide a report on your medical history. This report covers information such as:

  • Your current symptoms
  • Whether any treatments have been undertaken
  • The time since any symptoms last occurred

We are also aware that for some, the effects of PTSD could be very real right now. So if you are currently facing ongoing symptoms, it may be that we place your life insurance with a specialist provider until those symptoms become less regular, especially if you have previously self-harmed or attempted to end your life.

Millions of people across the UK are living with a critical illness and we understand that having PTSD makes you no different in needing this protection. Because of this, we want to help you to get critical illness cover that works for you and, depending on the regularity of your symptoms, there are different options that we can explore.

Similarly to life insurance, critical illness cover available for people with PTSD may be determined by factors such as whether you have suffered from the condition in the past, whether you are dealing with it currently or have had a recent flare-up and whether your PTSD is considered to be mild.

It’s worth noting, however, that if your PTSD symptoms are recent, an insurance provider could either decline your application or postpone it until a set amount of time has passed – but we’re here to help you navigate this and find the insurers that can support you now. 

  • Living with PTSD can make day-to-day life challenging, especially if you are trying to hold down a job as well. We empathise with this and will work with you to find the best insurance provider for you.

    As with life insurance and critical illness cover, the insurer that we approach will depend on your current symptoms and whether you have had recent flashbacks. It is likely that your policy will come with a mental health exclusion and/or a premium increase. This of course differs from one provider to the next, so it’s important for us to check the terms and conditions with you before applying.

    We would also recommend trying to secure a policy that has an ‘own occupation’ definition included when applying. This is additional protection for you and means that any claim you make will be directly assessed on your ability to perform your current job.

    And don’t worry if this sounds a little complicated. We want to make sure that your income protection policy aligns with both your condition and your ability to work and so our insurance advisors are on hand to help navigate this alongside your individual circumstances.

  • Are you planning a holiday? Or just some travel abroad? Either way, it’s important that you have the right travel insurance for you.

    Click here to start arranging this.

Hi. Today, I want to chat to you about mental health and how that can be viewed by insurers. The first thing that you need to consider when you have a mental health issue and, just like myself, I’ve had anxiety issues and a couple of bouts of agyrophobia, make sure that you’re comfortable with the person that you’re speaking to. If it’s an insurance broker, if it’s an insurer, you need to feel confident that you’re being listened to properly and that everything being said is being treated with the utmost confidence and empathy. When it comes to conditions such as stress, whether that’s work related stress or anxiety or depression, with a lot of insurers you can get on the standard market, it can often be normal terms, and that’s generally depending upon whether or not you’re on medication or not, the strength of the medication, any treatment that you’re having, when the diagnosis of the condition was and how your symptoms are currently. In a sense, how you’re managing your every day to day life at the moment with the condition. Then when you start to get to more, what the insurers class as more permanent or severer mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder, that’s when again you can look on the standard market, but you may want to start being more specific as to which insurers you put your application with, because some are better for different mental health conditions. It is probable, I think, you’re going to get some kind of loading on the policy, which means in general some kind of premium increase to offset what the insurers see as the additional risk for you having that mental health condition. Then when, again, you go onto the even more severe conditions such as schizophrenia or psychosis, then again the insurer is going to be looking at again probably loadings to the policy in the form of premium increases. Dependent upon the policies that you’re looking at, you may be looking if it’s life insurance, critical illness, income protection, on the critical illness or the income protection side of things, you may be looking at some exclusions to the claims based upon what your mental health condition is. As I said, the insurers most want to know the medications that you’re on, how often you take them, the dosages, whether or not you’ve had an inpatient treatment at a hospital, and the insurers are of course going to want to know if there has been any suicide attempts or any self harm. Now, if there have been suicide or self harm attempts, don’t worry. There are policies that are available. On the standard market, you can get policies, it just depends on how often the self harm occurred, or how many suicide attempts there have been, and how long the timeframe has been since they occurred, and again, how your health is right at this moment in time. If there’s been recent health issues, such as recent suicide attempts or recent self harm, or any recent severe changes to your mental health, then it may be that you look at a policy that comes with some exclusions such as a suicide exclusion, because suicide is generally included on a lot of life insurance policies after the first twelve months of it being in place. It may end up being that you maybe have that excluded from the policy, or that you want to have a look at a policy that’s known as – excuse the insurance jargon – but is known as non-medically underwritten life insurance. Which basically means that your mental health history will have no bearing on the application process or the acceptance terms, but there are restrictions to the policy. Whilst they are fantastic, and they really are fantastic, you need to know the exclusions, you need to know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for, so ideally do speak to somebody who is familiar with these policies and can explain the ins and outs to you. As I say, the main thing is that you feel confident in what you are buying. The last thing you need on top of any mental health issues is any kind of stress that these policies aren’t exactly what you’re expecting. I would suggest that you chat with somebody, and as I say, just feel confident that you are getting what you want.

What is PTSD?

PTSD can affect anyone, regardless of their age. So it’s important to know that you have the support and care that you need to navigate the world after a traumatic event. Here at Cura, we want to provide you with the best possible advice regarding life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection.

And to give you the best support we can, there’s a few things we’ll need to know:

  • When were you diagnosed?
  • Do you take medications/attend therapy?
  • Have you had to take time off work?
  • Have you ever been admitted to hospital?
  • Have you tried to harm yourself/attempt suicide?

Also: PTSD, shell shock, soldier’s heart, battle fatigue, combat stress, post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS)

Linked with: Mental health disorders, generalised anxiety disorderdepressiondrug misusealcoholism, dissasociative personality disorder

Some potential problems experienced by individuals who have PTSD include:

  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Chest pain
  • Dependance on family members and friends
  • Emotional numbing
  • Flashbacks
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and trembling
  • Self harm
  • Social withdrawal
  • Amitriptyline
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Mirtazapine
  • Paroxetine
  • Phenelzine
  • Seroxat
  • Sertraline
  • Sertraline Hydrochloride (Lustral)
  • Watchful waiting
  •  

Common Questions

This is a difficult one to answer. I want to be sensitive to how you are feeling right now and being told that you have been declined life insurance is an awful feeling. Insurers offer people insurance based upon the risks that they are willing to take and currently there is no legislation or specific rights that will force an insurer to offer you the insurance you’ve applied for.

I know that this will not make the current situation any easier for you but there are options available, it’s just about knowing which insurer is right for you.

Yes we can but being completely honest, it’s down to insurer discretion. Some won’t offer the cover, some will increase the premium and others might offer it with a permanent self-harm and suicide exclusion.

The important thing to know is that there are options for you and we just need to chat through your recent health to understand what the best option would be. Most life insurance policies payout claims for deaths caused by self-harm and suicide once a policy has been active for 12 months and this is why some insurers are cautious when they hear PTSD. But that is not true of all insurers and we can help you to protect your family.

We can certainly look at ways that we can do this although we would need to speak with her at some point to check that she is aware that life insurance is being arranged for her, and that she understands what that means.

When it comes to the application, we can go through this with you as long as you can provide us with all of the relevant information. It would be essential, however, for her to check a copy of the application to make sure that all of the information was accurate.

It is also likely that an insurer will want to see a report from her GP to clarify her current health and the details surrounding the trigger for her PTSD in the first place. This is a very standard practice and means that the insurer can get all of the information they need without your partner having to discuss and relive the past.

Client Reviews

Cura Financial Services has been rated 5 out of 5 based on 467 reviews.

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 

You can read more of our reviews here.

PTSD & Life Insurance

Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd

Author
This page was written by Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd, an award-winning insurance adviser. To read more about Kathryn please see her bio here

PTSD & Life Insurance

Client Reviews

PTSD & Life Insurance

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