If you have a history of depression, life insurance or income protection insurance may be hard to come by. Many Australians are unfairly denied access to insurance after being diagnosed with depression. Alternatively, if cover is obtained after a depression diagnosis, you may need to pay a higher premium or the claims you make may be rejected.
Special Risk Managers is here to help you get the cover you deserve. Let us offer life insurance advice and be the middle man to find the best life insurance after a depression diagnosis.
Depression – Life Insurance and Income Protection
Depression and life insurance can be hard to fit together. Due to the extremely varied and complex nature of mental illness, it is difficult to give a general description of how insurers will treat your depression. As with all pre-existing conditions, the recency and severity of your depression will have a significant bearing on the terms applied to your policy.
If you had a minor bout of depression 10 years ago, the insurer could well choose to overlook it completely. If you took 3 months off work last year for depression, the insurer will need to conduct further investigations.
Other influencing factors include: the type of insurance you were looking for (life cover easier to obtain), your occupation (stress/anxiety related), your family history of mental illness, your history of managing your illness as well as the underwriting criteria of the relevant insurer.
No matter how well you may feel you are functioning with depression, life insurance or income protection insurance may still be difficult to obtain because underwriters can fail to take full consideration of individual circumstance.
The bigger picture is not always seen and instead the focus is squarely on the depression diagnosis. This is why you need life insurance advice from a professional in the industry to lock in the best quality and most affordable insurance policy possible for you.
What Do We Do To Prevent Discrimination Against Sufferers Of Depression?
Unfortunately, many sufferers of depression still struggle to obtain insurance. Many insurers have outdated and ill-conceived views on depression, often resulting in them offering sub-optimal terms to clients. Even mild forms of depression are being categorised with other serious mental illnesses by underwriters as a reason to increase premiums or deny insurance. Our experience and expertise in this particular niche of the insurance market has allowed us to identify key insurers and underwriters who are able to offer us more favourable terms than others would be able to obtain.
Recent studies from the Mental Health Council of Australia Survey of Consumer Experiences Report have shown that roughly 45% of people suffering from depression who applied for income protection were declined and 35% of those applying for life insurance were also declined. We believe that every Australian deserves access to the peace of mind that insurance offers, that is why we have spent all these years developing a service and offering that allows you to have the peace of mind you deserve.
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Depression in Australia
Depression is a highly complex and varied mental illness that is largely misunderstood. With around one in five people suffering from depression at some stage of their life, it is something that everyone needs to be aware of. A person diagnosed with depression usually holds symptoms including a prolonged period of disinterest in things that they previously showed interested in, feelings of low self-worth and self-esteem as well as a noticeably lower mood.
Unfortunately when Australians with depression make steps to improve their health by receiving a diagnosis and treatment for their depression, this means they are likely to be penalised for insurance. This is why it is so important to speak with Special Risk Managers. We use our extensive knowledge in the industry and provide life insurance advice to help you obtain adequate cover.
Treatment for Depression
If you have been diagnosed with depression, there currently is no proven way to recover. However there is a number of treatment options available to suit individual needs that can help alleviate symptoms. You could either undertake in psychological or medical treatment for depression.
Psychological treatment is very effective in helping to change negative patterns of thinking and improve the coping skills of individuals diagnosed with depression. According to Beyond Blue, psychological treatment also known as ‘talking therapies’ can not only help a person recover from depression, but it can also help prevent depression from occurring.
There are many options available that come under the umbrella of psychological treatment. A common form of psychological therapy is cognitive behaviour therapy which helps to recognise how a person’s thoughts and actions will affect the way they feel. Another option is interpersonal therapy that focuses on developing skills to overcome problems in personal relationships. Behavioural therapy is also often used as a component of cognitive behaviour therapy that focuses on increasing an individual’s pleasure in life and level of activity. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is also worth considering. This treatment option involves mindful meditation teaching individuals to focus on the present moment.
There is a range of health professionals who can provide a range of psychological services to varying degrees to help your depression including psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists. Visiting your GP is going to be the best starting point to find the right psychological treatment. Your doctor will be able to go over the psychological treatment options available that are best suited to your diagnosis.
Antidepressant medication can moderate and greatly assist the treatment of severe depression. This form of medication can be prescribed after diagnosis and can often be considered if other psychological treatments are not possible or have not been effective. There is a range of antidepressants that can be used for a patient and the medication chosen should be carefully assessed in consultation with a doctor.
You will need to provide your doctor with as much detail as possible including your medical history so that your doctor can accurately prescribe the best medication.
The length of time you will need to take the medication for will depend on the severity of your illness. If you were to stop the antidepressant medication, this must only be done gradually as recommended by your doctor.
For any further information on how to treat depression visit beyond blue. Once you receive adequate treatment for your depression diagnosis, not only will you have the best chance of overcoming the condition, it will also put you in the best position to gain the insurance you need.
How to Help Prevent Depression from Returning
Although there are no proven methods to prevent depression from occurring or returning, there are many lifestyle factors that can greatly help your all-round mental state.
It is important to maintain a connection with family and friends who can offer emotional support and understanding when you need it. If you spend too much time alone, you can become lonely, isolated and you can begin to feel cut off from the world. You should prevent that from happening by having a social life and remain connected with other people. Having a social life also keeps your mind occupied.
Depression is often considered to be stress-induced in many instances. If you are able to avoid stressful situations in life, this will reduce the likelihood of a depressive relapse. You can also undertake in relaxation training to lessen the impact of a stressful situation, thus reducing your anxiety and potential to fall into depression.
It is well known that staying physically active can help boost your overall mood, thus reducing the risk of depression. When you are physically active, it can also distract you from daily worries and block negative thoughts. Any type of physical activity will do. It is recommended that you are active for at least 30 minutes three to five times a week to benefit your physical and mental health.
Eating a healthy diet is needed to boost your overall health and that even includes your mental health. In general, eating well can provide an overall sense of well-being. Some specific nutritional strategies can also help with maintaining a healthy brain function.
Contact Special Risk Managers for Information on Depression and Life Insurance
If you have been diagnosed with depression, life insurance and income insurance can be difficult to obtain. Don’t lose hope when rejected for a life insurance or income protection policy. Special Risk Managers is here to stand by your side and offer the income protection and life insurance advice you need.
If depression is affecting your health, our trusted advisers can help you get the income insurance or life insurance you deserve. We have the life insurance advice you need to find the most comprehensive and affordable coverage options after your depression diagnosis.
Reach out to our insurance experts today by calling 1300 66 53 56. You can also send us an enquiry by filling in the above form. If you are looking for the best life insurance or income protection insurance possible after a depression diagnosis, contact us today.