Mental health and life insurance:

Our industry is all about getting families protected quickly. However, when it comes to mental health issues, we hope that slowing down and talking about it will help put some minds at ease.

Let's face it: We live in a world where approvals and rejections happen with the swipe of a finger or click of a button. In today's instant-notification and snap-approval society, it's easy to feel left behind or immediately rejected without really knowing what happened.

The insurance world has sped up too: Our mobile digital application, accelerated underwriting and other advancements  make it faster and easier for us to protect more families. But we want to remind our distribution partners that we are a people-first company. This is where our experience and our expert underwriting shine.
At Legal & General America, we welcome the fact that mental health and wellness are being discussed more than ever before. We know that a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. We want to ensure that no current or potential customers question how their mental health histories factor into their ability to get or keep affordable life insurance.

According to recent studies: 19% of American adults are dealing with some form of mental illness. That's over 47 million Americans. Additionally, in 2021, around  10.7 million adults reported having severe suicidal thoughts — an uptick of over 460,000 people from the year before. Statistics also show similar increases for adolescents and young adults.

pat-story-photoPat was diagnosed with moderate anxiety in July 2020

Life in 2020 was stressful for Pat and his wife, Ava. In the spring, they temporarily closed their European kitchenware store, located in Minneapolis, hoping to ride out the statewide pandemic shutdown until things improved.

Read Pat's story

Here are five common misconceptions related to mental illness and life insurance coverage: 

  1. A mild anxiety diagnosis will limit an applicant’s top classification.
  2. Temporary treatment for a condition like postpartum depression will have a negative impact on an application. 
  3. A life insurance application from an individual diagnosed with bipolar disorder will be rejected.
  4. It’s better to lie on a life insurance application — especially concerning recent or long-dormant prescription histories — than it is to be up-front during the application process.
  5. Suicide attempts disqualify an applicant from obtaining coverage.

We wanted to take the opportunity to break down how our underwriters take mental health topics into consideration when reviewing an application. Life insurance shouldn’t be a mystery when it comes to mental health topics. While we made getting coverage faster and easier with the help of our automated approval process, there are still times it’s beneficial to speak with the humans involved in your case. 


As a company, we remind ourselves daily that we are in a people business. Our underwriters pride themselves on their willingness to dig deep to learn more about the customers and get them the coverage they need. 

The following story tells of a customer who wrestled with the idea of applying for life insurance. He wasn’t sure how his mental health history might affect his chances of getting coverage. If your prospects identify with or can relate to the following story, we think we may be able to help. 

father-holding-newborn-baby-handLife in 2020 was stressful for Pat and his wife, Ava. In the spring, they temporarily closed their European kitchenware store, located in Minneapolis, hoping to ride out the statewide pandemic shutdown until things improved. They were hoping to ride out the statewide shutdown until things improved. Then George Floyd’s murder happened across the street. So Pat and Ava moved all the goods out of the shop and into their basement a few miles away.

The prospect of permanently closing their storefront and trying to maintain an online footprint large enough to pay the bills proved daunting. Pat sought out a therapist who diagnosed him with moderate anxiety and prescribed diazepam for his condition. A few months later, Ava revealed that she was expecting their first child, and Pat knew he needed to get life insurance. Fearful that his recent diagnosis would be held against him, Pat worked with his agent to find a provider who would get him the coverage he needed.


How our underwriter sees it:

We recognize that the stresses of 2020 and 2021 weigh heavy on millions of Americans. Pat has a lot on his plate — a struggling business and a child on the way. We thought it was great that he nonetheless took the necessary steps for getting the coverage he deserved to protect his loved ones. Seeing a therapist is sometimes an essential piece of mental health. Talking to professionals is to be welcomed and celebrated.

A mild to moderate case of anxiety, especially in the current situation, is nothing to worry about. The rest of Pat’s application raised no red flags. He is in excellent health and has no concerning family history. He consistently refills his prescription and shows no signs that his condition is worsening. All things being equal, this is the type of applicant we would quickly approve for an affordable term policy.

Mental health is just one of the many conditions and categories we at LGA take head-on in our effort to protect everyone in the US who wants and needs affordable life insurance coverage.


Learn more about our underwriting sweet spots