One question many people with OCD have is whether or not they are still eligible for life insurance with the condition, and if so, are they considered a high risk for life insurance?
The great news is that, yes, you are still eligible for traditional coverage. Yet, the process may be a bit more difficult compared to those without OCD.
Here’s the most important information you need to know if you’re considering applying for life insurance with OCD.
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OCD, short for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, is a chronic mental condition characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.
Roughly 3.3 million Americans have been diagnosed with OCD. This makes it more prevalent than other common mental disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, most people with OCD experience two sets of symptoms. These are obsessions and compulsions.
The most common obsession symptom is repeated, persistent, and unwanted thoughts or urges. The most common compulsive symptoms include performing repetitive behaviors.
Obsessions and compulsions are often closely linked, although a small number of those with OCD only suffer from one or the other.
In most cases, however, people try to rid themselves of obsessive thoughts by performing compulsive behaviors.
The most common obsessive thoughts are related to:
- Fear of germs
- The need for order and symmetry
- Unwanted sexual or aggressive thoughts
The most common compulsive behaviors include:
- Washing and cleaning
- Checking and counting
- Keeping things in order
- Following a strict routine
Common examples include repeatedly checking doors to make sure they’re locked, washing hands until the skin is raw, and silently repeating a prayer.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for OCD. It’s a chronic disorder that most people struggle with for life. However, there are numerous treatments that can help you manage the condition. The best of these ensure that you’ll have a mostly normal life.
It’s important to seek out the best treatments, including medications and therapies, to increase your chances of qualifying for life insurance. OCD patients who use a combination of medication and therapy generally tend to have a far healthier life and a much longer life expectancy.
The life insurance process begins by filling out an application. The application will ask several questions related to your medical history.
It’s very important to be honest about your OCD and any other health conditions you might have. All life insurance companies will request a medical exam to help back up the claims you made in your application. Lying on the application will get you nowhere.
Once your application and medical exam are complete, the information will be reviewed by a life insurance underwriter.
The purpose of the underwriter is to assess each client’s overall risk to the life insurance companies. Those clients that pose the least risk have the best chances of receiving the lowest premiums.
The most important information an underwriter looks at to assess your risk includes:
- Overall Health: the better your physical and mental health, the better your chances of receiving a low premium.
- Diet, Exercise, Lifestyle: maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat well, and exercise regularly to get the best rate. Those who don’t smoke will also receive far lower rates than those who do.
- Date of Diagnosis: when you were diagnosed with OCD and how your symptoms have changed since then will be of interest to an insurance underwriter.
- Condition History: what type of OCD symptoms you experience, whether they are compulsive, obsessive, or both, and the severity of your condition will all be assessed.
- Complications: many people with OCD also struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts. These will all but disqualify you for life insurance right away.
- Treatments: a combination of the best medications and therapies can help you achieve the lowest rates.
There’s no denying that looking for life insurance with any severity of OCD is difficult. A life insurance agent can help you direct your attention to life insurance companies that have a history of covering those with OCD.
Getting life insurance with OCD is a lot different than getting life insurance with a physically-based medical condition.
Insurance underwriters look at the history of your condition very closely. They want to ensure that you’re in a sound enough mental state that you won’t commit suicide.
Unfortunately, the rates of suicide for those with OCD are far higher than for an average person. This means that a life insurance company assumes your life expectancy is far lower with OCD, even if you’ve never had suicidal thoughts.
With that said, there’s still a chance you’ll qualify for traditional life insurance coverage with OCD. If your condition is mild, treated by medication, and hasn’t ever resulted in a hospitalization, you might receive a Standard or Mild Sub-Standard Rating.
Those with more serious cases of OCD will likely be denied outright. If this happens to you, it might be smart to consider a life insurance alternative.
One of the best alternatives for those with OCD is a burial life insurance policy or guaranteed issue whole life policy. These are available to anyone within the required age bracket and don’t require a medical exam.
Life insurance alternatives are more expensive and come with fewer benefits than traditional coverage, but are still a good option for those with OCD who have been denied traditional coverage.
Not all life insurance companies are the same. It’s essential you find the best one for life insurance with OCD.
The key is to target the right life insurance companies. Working with an independent life insurance agent is a surefire way to increase your chances of getting the best coverage possible, because they can point you to those companies.
An independent life insurance agent also helps you to move through the application process more quickly and easily. Not to mention that they greatly increase the chances that those with OCD will receive traditional coverage at an affordable premium.