No Exam Life Insurance With Depression: Essential Guide

About one in six Americans will have depression at some point in their lives.

– Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

Clearly, depression is incredibly common.

And fortunately, life insurance carriers are fully aware of its prevalence. Coverage is offered – all the time – to applicants with a history of depression.

Think of this as your go-to article on how to find a no medical exam life insurance policy if you have depression.

Table Of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Companies
  4. Apply

Life Insurance With Depression

There are seven important factors life insurance underwriters will want to understand about your depression.

Before you apply for a policy, be sure to have a clear understanding of how companies view different aspects of depression.


Important – only traditional life insurance applications (think, term or whole life) will ask about the following. Guaranteed issue life insurance does not ask health or lifestyle questions.

1. Diagnosis

As you know, the term depression is used to describe multiple forms of mental illness.

It’s the job of the life insurance underwriter to understand how much risk you pose. And different types of depression are associated with different levels of risk.

It’s likely your physician has diagnosed you with one of the following:

  • Major Depressive Disorder – symptoms lasting more than two weeks
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – symptoms occurring during winter months
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder – symptoms (sometimes mild) lasting for at least two years
  • Bipolar Depression – periods of elevated mood (mania) and periods of depressed mood
  • Atypical Depression – symptoms differing from other depressive disorders
  • Postpartum Depression – depression as a result of hormonal changes during or after pregnancy
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) – a form of premenstrual syndrome with extreme symptoms

Generally speaking, since carriers are most concerned about risk, the forms of depression associated with the highest levels of negative outcomes are underwritten the least favorably.

For example, it’s often more difficult to secure traditional coverage with bipolar disorder than with seasonal affective disorder because, statistically speaking, a person who has been diagnosed as bipolar is at higher risk for serious health problems.

Bottom line – Be ready to communicate your specific depression diagnosis.

2. Date

Plan to share the date of your diagnosis.

Why? Again, we are talking risk.

Your underwriter wants to know just how long you have had depression because it’s an indicator of a possible hazard to your health.

A recent diagnosis might mean that your condition is not well-controlled yet.

On the other hand, if you have proactively treated your depression with success over the last five years, there is documentation of your condition having positive outcomes.

3. Symptoms

Jot down your symptoms.

Symptoms matter to life insurance carriers because they are often related to health risks.

Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many.

National Institute of Mental Health

Common symptoms of depression include (Source: Mayo Clinic) –

  • Mood change – general discontent, loss of interest, anxiety, apathy
  • Sleep disturbance – insomnia, early waking, excessive sleepiness
  • Behavior – irritability, agitation, excessive crying, substance abuse
  • Psychological – lack of concentration, slowed activity, suicidal thoughts

Bottom line – Likely, you do not experience every depressive symptom, but honestly communicate your symptoms during the application process.

4. Treatment Plan

Be ready to communicate the treatment plan your physician prescribed – and how well you follow it.

Prevalent forms of treatment include:

  • Medication
  • Psychotherapy
  • Education
  • Support group
  • Brain therapy
  • Exercise

Antidepressant Medications

Underwriters will want to know if you have been prescribed medication(s), and if so, the specific type(s).

  • SSRIs
  • SNRIs
  • Atypical
  • Tricyclic
  • MAOIs
  • Other

You can still qualify for excellent rates if you take certain antidepressant medications. In general, underwriters prefer no more than two (sometimes three) prescribed medications.

Other Medical Conditions

Often, depression coincides with other health risks.

Depression is not only hard to endure, it is also a risk factor for heart disease and dementia. 

Harvard Medical School

Be ready to share your overall health picture. For example, depression is linked to the following:

5. Therapy

Studies indicate that a combination of medication and therapy sessions elicit positive treatment outcomes.

Communicate the type of psychotherapy you receive, if any:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Client-Centered Therapy
  • Psychoanalytic Therapy
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Existential Therapy
  • Other

6. Suicide

As tough as this question is, you will need to answer whether or not you have attempted suicide.

In many cases, a suicide attempt within the last 5 – 10 years (depending on the carrier) will make it difficult to be approved for traditional coverage.

7. Hospitalization

Similar to the question about suicide, hospitalization as a result of your depression will raise a red flag for underwriters.

Typically, you will need to wait at least 2 years after a voluntary or involuntary hospitalization for depression before you will be able to buy a term or whole life policy.

Keep in mind – If your depression is not well-controlled, or if you have attempted suicide, you may want to look at a guaranteed issue policy, for now. You can always reapply for traditional coverage at a later date.

Best Life Insurance Companies For Depression

No two carriers are alike.

If you are interested in skipping the needles and nurses, there are a few no physical life insurance carriers we recommend.

No Medical Exam Term

Many life insurance carriers will initiate a medical exam during the application process if you have a history of depression. So, you will need to be careful about who you apply with.

We recommend the following companies for a true no medical exam life insurance application process:

Phoenix (Nassau Re)

Product name: Phoenix Safe Harbor Express

Available face amounts: $25,000 – $400,000

Term lengths: 10, 15, 20, and 30 year

Underwriting requirements for depression:

  • Standard approval if prescribed less than 3 medications and have no history of suicide attempt or hospitalization
  • If taking 3+ medications or have been hospitalized for condition within the past two years; Decline

Mutual of Omaha

Product Name: Mutual of Omaha Term Life Express

Available face amounts: $25,000 – $300,000

Term lengths: 10, 15, 20, 30 year

Underwriting requirements for depression:

  • Controlled with medication may result in Standard approval to Table 3
  • Multiple impairments resulting in a rating greater than Table 4 will result in a decline

Foresters Financial

Product Name: Foresters Your Term

Available face amounts: $50,000 – $400,000

Term lengths: 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 year

Underwriting requirements for depression:

  • Mild depression, age of onset must be 25 years or older, the diagnosis must be at least 12 months prior, no hospitalization or time off of work
  • Certain antidepressant medications disqualify you from a no exam policy:
    • Abilify
    • Geodon
    • Lithium
    • Risperidone
    • Seroquel
    • Serzone
    • Zyprexa
  • Depressive and/or anxiety problems in combination with alcohol abuse will result in a decline

Guaranteed Issue

If your depression is not well-controlled, or you do not meet the underwriting requirements for a no medical exam policy, coverage is still available.

Guaranteed issue life insurance (GI) is a godsend for those who would otherwise not qualify for coverage.

Just don’t have this type of policy be your first stop. Verify you cannot qualify for a traditional policy, first. Why? Face amounts are modest and the cost per dollar of coverage is expensive.

Note – Guaranteed issue life insurance is almost always a form of whole life insurance.

Remember – There are no health questions. You will qualify for GI with depression.

GI carriers to evaluate:


Product name: AIG Guaranteed Issue

Available face amounts: $5,000 – $25,000

Issue ages: 50 – 85 years old


Product name: Gerber Guaranteed Issue

Available face amounts: $5,000 – $25,000

Issue ages: 50 – 80 years old

Great Western

Product name: Great Western Guaranteed Assurance

Available face amounts: $1,000 – $40,000

Issue ages: 40 – 80 years old

Keep in mind – guaranteed issue policies are graded. In other words, your beneficiary will not receive the full amount of policy proceeds until (typically) two years after to policy was issued.

Life Insurance Quotes For Depression

Here, you’ll find sample quotes for no exam life insurance for depression.

Quotes are only examples. Term quotes represent depression that is well-controlled.


Let’s evaluate the sample costs for common no medical exam face amounts:

Quotes are for a 10 year term policy.

Life Insurance Quotes For Depression Male

25 Year Old$10.11$14.09$26.03
30 Year Old$10.46$14.79$27.78
35 Year Old$10.63$15.41$28.66
40 Year Old$13.21$20.30$41.56
45 Year Old$15.88$25.54$54.54
50 Year Old$21.09$36.05$80.94
55 Year Old$30.63$51.95$120.56
60 Year Old$42.07$77.93$185.50
No exam life insurance. 10 year term. Samples only.

Life Insurance Quotes For Depression Female

25 Year Old$8.79$11.46$19.47
30 Year Old$9.28$12.43$21.88
35 Year Old$9.67$13.21$23.84
40 Year Old$11.33$16.54$32.16
45 Year Old$13.69$21.26$43.97
50 Year Old$18.38$28.00$60.81
55 Year Old$23.84$40.82$92.73
60 Year Old$32.79$59.37$139.12
No exam life insurance. 10 year term. Samples only.

Guaranteed Issue

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Quotes For Male

40 Year Old$26.25$49.58$72.92$96.25$119.58
45 Year Old $29.17$55.42$81.67$107.92$134.17
50 Year Old$22.50$44.09$65.68$87.27$108.85
55 Year Old$29.25$56.50$83.74$110.99$138.24
60 Year Old$32.40$63.17$93.75$124.33$154.92
65 Year Old$37.55$73.09$108.64$144.18$179.73
70 Year Old$47.57$93.14$138.71$184.28$229.85
75 Year Old$63.25$124.49$185.74$246.98$308.23
80 Year Old$88.57$175.15$261.72$348.30$434.87
Monthly premiums. Rates are samples only. Subject to change.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Quotes For Female

40 Year Old$21.67$40.42$59.17$77.92$96.67
45 Year Old$24.58$46.25$67.92$89.58$111.25
50 Year Old$17.69$34.47$51.24$68.02$84.79
55 Year Old$20.93$39.86$58.78$77.71$96.64
60 Year Old$23.57$45.14$66.70$88.27$109.84
65 Year Old$28.26$54.51$80.76$107.02$133.27
70 Year Old$36.21$70.41$104.62$138.83$173.03
75 Year Old$48.91$95.82$142.73$189.63$236.54
80 Year Old$68.65$135.12$201.69$268.25$334.81
Monthly premiums. Rates are samples only. Subject to change.

How To Apply

No exam life insurance is purchased all the time by those who suffer from depression. However, extra diligence is required to find the best policy you qualify for.

You will want to do two things before submitting a life insurance application:

  1. Work with an independent agent who is knowledgeable on depression and underwriting.
  2. Collect your health and lifestyle information so that you are ready for the underwriting process.

Fill out our free instant quote to get started.