Life insurance is frequently declined for individuals with even minor mental health issues. Insurers often reject coverage for those who have experienced depression or anxiety, citing concerns about suicide risk. Applicants disclosing prior mental health problems on their life insurance forms often face immediate rejection without clear justification. This occurs because mild forms of depression are unfairly equated with severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia, leading to insurance denials or elevated premiums. Insurance companies may dispute death benefits claims if the deceased has declared a history of depression, alleging suicide as the cause of death, creating a challenging and humiliating situation for the claimant. The denial of a life insurance claim can leave individuals feeling powerless and distressed.
When purchasing insurance, providers assume the risk of unfortunate events occurring. In the context of life insurance, they bear the risk of the policyholder passing away. If you disclose a current or past mental health condition when applying for life insurance, insurers will thoroughly assess its potential implications during the underwriting process.
Have you been denied life insurance due to the state of your mental health? Not to worry, here are some of the things you can do to get the approval you need for it;
1. Hire A Life Insurance Lawyer
Life Insurance Lawyers possess an in-depth understanding of insurance laws and regulations. They can decipher the legalities surrounding life insurance denials, particularly those related to mental health. They can meticulously review your life insurance application and the reasons cited for denial. They have the expertise to identify any discrepancies or unfair interpretations of mental health conditions in your case.
They can engage with insurance companies on your behalf, presenting a compelling case for reconsideration. Their negotiation skills can substantially increase the likelihood of having your denial overturned.
2. Writing To The Chief Underwriters Of The Company
Another option you have is to compose a formal letter addressed to the Chief Underwriters of the insurance company. Begin by expressing your disappointment and detailing the circumstances around your application, emphasizing any perceived unfairness. Request clarification on the specific reasons for the denial and seek a comprehensive response addressing each raised concern. In the letter, express a desire to understand the company’s policies on mental health disclosures during underwriting. Finally, establish a timeline for their response and conclude professionally, emphasizing the importance of a fair and unbiased assessment.
3. Ask Your Workplace For Help
Consider checking if your workplace provides a group term life insurance plan that you can enroll in. While it may not offer the extensive 10–12 times your income coverage, it can provide a death benefit as an interim solution until you secure your individual term life insurance in the future.
Typically, enrolling in a group plan through your workplace comes at no cost to you. If you find the coverage insufficient and need to enhance it, you have the option to “supplement” it, although this will incur additional costs.
Opting for your workplace life insurance plan can be a quick solution as it often doesn’t require a medical exam. Keep in mind that if you decide to leave your job, you’ll lose the coverage provided by this plan.
4. Ask A Life Insurance Agent For Help
Seeking guidance from a knowledgeable life insurance agent is essential when facing a denial due to mental health considerations. These professionals offer expert insight, help explore alternative options, assist in the appeals process, compare policies, clarify terms, advocate during underwriting, and provide continuous support.
5. Connect with the Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA)
If you are in Australia, reach out to the Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA). MHCA specializes in mental health advocacy, offering resources, guidance, and potential representation to help you navigate the complexities of the situation. They can provide insights into legal aspects, raise awareness about mental health stigma in insurance, and offer both practical and emotional support during this challenging time.
6. Lodge A Complaint With The Financial Ombudsman Service
Consider submitting a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). As an independent body, FOS mediates between you and the insurer, providing impartial assessment and guidance. Engaging with FOS is a proactive approach to advocating for your rights, challenging the denial, and seeking a fair and just resolution that considers the nuances of mental health considerations.
Facing a life insurance denial due to mental health issues can be distressing, but with these actionable steps, you can overcome it. These proactive measures empower you and others who are going through the same issues that you are currently facing to advocate for their rights and navigate the complexities of mental health considerations in the insurance process.