How Veterans with PTSD Can Get Good Life Insurance Rates
Many veterans with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) are denied life insurance. Why does this happen? And, how can these declinations be turned into approvals? My firm has helped many people with this condition purchase a policy. Let’s take a look at some of the underwriting challenges that are typically addressed.
First of all: how do people get PTSD?
Veterans with PTSD have served our country in both combat and support functions. They become over-stressed from the intensity of their experience. They develop symptoms such as flashbacks, emotional detachment, and jumpiness. WebMD has a good overview of PTSD .
(As a side note, it must be mentioned that other members of society can also unfortunately suffer these symptoms, and have problems purchasing life insurance as well. I have been contacted by a number of first responders to the 911 terror attacks who have been denied life insurance because of PTSD. Rape victims and sexual abuse survivors can also have trouble getting coverage. So can people who escape severe automobile accidents or natural disasters such as hurricanes.)
These symptoms are not sufficient in and of themselves to get veterans with PTSD denied life insurance; however, their influence on a potential applicant’s life can affect eligibility.
What does an underwriter need to know about PTSD?
An underwriter will ask questions like these:
- Have other psychological or neurological conditions developed, such as depression or anxiety?
- What medications in total have been prescribed, and has the potential applicant been compliant with medications?
[ref]I am aware of efforts currently in progress to develop new drugs to deal with PTSD, including the potential vaccine under study at MIT. Underwriters may consider the potential future effect, but certainly focus exclusively on the immediate remedial benefit any one of these potential solutions may have.[/ref]
Are any natural or alternative methods for coping and managing stress being utilized? Is the potential applicant unfortunately using destructive modes of “self-medication” such as alcohol or drug abuse? Have there been any suicidal thoughts or attempts? Is a strong support system in place, such as family, community, or a fraternal group such as AA? Has work been adversely affected? Are private or government disability benefits being collected?
Clearly, veterans with PTSD must manage multiple medical and lifestyle issues. A slip or a setback in any one of these areas can result in a declination. This can be true even though the specific cause for denial can be a problem only tangential to the diagnosis. Yet, in many cases there is reason to be optimistic about eligibility for coverage.
Room for hope for veterans with PTSD
Many, many veterans with PTSD have come a long way from their traumatic experience. They may have been unable to work in the past, but now they have a flourishing business. In the dark days they may have been drinking too much, but now they’re living a healthy lifestyle. Whereas last year they were taking medication for both depression and anxiety, they now have a scrip only for anxiety.
These are all pluses that must be given the influence they deserve in the prequalification process. When properly handled, they can turn veterans with PTSD who cannot get life insurance, into policy owners with sufficient coverage for their families, businesses, and estates.
Do you know any veterans with PTSD, or others who have survived traumatic experiences but are having trouble purchasing life insurance? Please ask them to give me call.