The Long Read
Everything you *need to know* is right above this. Scroll down, only if you'd still like to read more (honestly, why?)
Yes, you can!
Firstly, it’s great that you are taking care of your mental health.
Coming back to your question, yes, you can get term insurance as long as you meet the following criteria:
Your age should be between 18-65* years
You need to have an active income with income proof
You must be an Indian citizen - resident, PIO, or NRI
*varies from insurer to insurer
Provided that you meet the other eligibility criteria for buying term insurance in India.
But remember, you have to disclose your mental health status to your insurer.
You need to inform your life insurance company about your mental health condition and treatment to
Get the best term insurance plan for your needs
Ensure a hassle-free claim experience for your nominee
As a rule, always disclose all health-related information to your life insurance company when buying a term plan. That’s because your health conditions can increase your mortality risk i.e. it can make you more likely to pass away during the policy duration than someone who is not affected by these conditions. Your insurer needs to understand how much risk is involved in offering you with a term plan to decide how to proceed with your application.
Failing to do so may result in a claim rejection or hassles for your family later on.
Your claim won’t be rejected if you’ve declared about your mental health issues at the time of buying the term policy.
Understand this. There could be many factors that may cause your term plan claim to get rejected:
If you lie, hide or provide false information about your
Medical history (yours and your family’s and this includes mental health history too)
Any other insurance policy you may have
Other personal information while buying your term insurance policy
You do not pay your premiums on time
You fail to update relevant information about your policy (such as updating your nominee details like changes in their personal information or living status)
Your death has been caused by unlawful activities like drunk driving or drug overdose
So, while your mental health condition may not be the only reason for claim rejection, do not hide this information from your insurer when buying a term plan.
When you are undergoing treatment for mental health problems and are applying for a term plan, you have to disclose it during the application process.
Based on that information, there is some additional information the insurer may require from you/your doctor to do a proper assessment of your health such as
Nature, severity, time of diagnosis
History of hospitalization
History of substance abuse and/or suicide attempts
Treatment plan and medication - ongoing and past
Depending on your health assessment by your insurer, you can expect one of the following results of your term plan application:
Approved - If you’re medically stable and meet all the eligibility criteria
Rejected - In case of serious nervous disorders or repeated suicide attempts
Postponed - Till your condition stabilizes, especially if you are recently diagnosed
Increased premium - If you have combinations of nervous disorders (e.g: depression + anxiety)
P.S: It will, of course, vary on a case-by-case basis
Remember, it’s ok not to be ok. But do not be discouraged from buying term insurance to secure your family’s financial future.
See, when you are applying for a term insurance plan, what matters the most to your insurer is your personal health profile.
While family health history could be a factor that your insurer will consider while deciding if you should get term insurance or not, they will mostly be focusing on assessing your personal health and then decide whether to give you term insurance or not.
For example, if your immediate blood relations have a history of severe mental health issues but you are deemed to be medically stable in your health assessment, your insurer is very likely to give you a term insurance policy.
This is a good thing because it indicates that your insurer doesn’t downplay mental health problems, compared to physical health conditions. It is very likely that they treat mental health seriously and feel it can have an impact on your physical health as well.
In order to understand your overall health profile properly, they may ask for extra information about your mental health as well.
A clear understanding of your overall health can help your insurer understand whether they can offer you a term insurance policy or not and what your term insurance premium should be.
The more thorough your insurer is when assessing your health, the better it is for you and your nominee. You can get the best term plan for your needs and you can ensure a relatively more hassle-free claim experience for your nominee.
A rate-up happens when the insurer asks for a higher premium on the term insurance plan that you have opted to buy. It is, sort of, like a revised offer from your insurer, because they have assessed your application and determined that there is a comparatively higher risk in providing you with a term plan because of your health, occupation, hobbies or financial status.
Depending on the severity of your mental health conditions, your insurer may give you a term insurance plan with a rate-up. For e.g.: if you have a combination of nervous disorders, say depression and anxiety, you may get a rate-up.
Depending on the severity of your mental health issues, your term plan application may be rejected.
For e.g.: If you are diagnosed with serious nervous disorders or have a history of repeated suicide attempts, your insurer may reject your term plan application.
As a rule, remember, your insurer can reject your term insurance application on medical grounds. When you apply for term insurance, you will have to reveal:
Your health status
Any pre-existing medical conditions
Family health history
Mental health status
and so on.
You also have to undergo certain medical tests for buying a term plan, to help your life insurance company get a clear picture of your health condition.
After assessing this information, if you prove to be a high-risk customer to your insurer, they can reject your application on medical grounds or delay your application or charge you a higher premium.
But there could be other reasons for term insurance application rejection, other than your mental health conditions, such as your occupation, hobbies or even financial status. It’s best to check with your insurer about the particular reason for rejection to plan the way forward.
No. Besides your health (mental and physical), there are other factors that can impact your term insurance premium such as
Age - The younger you are, the cheaper are your premiums likely to be
Gender - Women have better chances of getting cheaper premiums than men
Policy duration - If you opt for a policy duration beyond your age of retirement, you will end up paying a higher premium. Find out until what age you should ideally be covered
Unhealthy lifestyle - Unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking, or a sedentary lifestyle can affect your health and increase your premium
Occupation and vocation - If you are in a high-risk occupation, say as a stuntman or a pilot, etc. or you pursue high-risk hobbies like rock climbing, racing, etc, it can increase your premium
If your insurer has rejected your term plan application because of your mental health disorders, chances are other insurers will do so too. In that case, here’s what you should do* -
Don’t lose hope. Find out the exact reason for rejection from your insurer
Consult your doctor/therapist and focus on getting better
Reapply after the suggested waiting period
*may vary from insurer to insurer
No, your premium will not increase if you get diagnosed with a mental health problem after buying a term insurance plan. Your premium will only increase if you change the features of your term plan (for example, you add a rider or change your life cover).
No, it will not be rejected. If you did not hide your health information at the time of applying for your term plan, you need not worry.