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Anxiety Life Insurance Guide 2024

Life insurance is usually available for people with anxiety, and it can be much cheaper than you might expect. Many insurance companies will offer cover for mental health conditions, and this includes several of the UK’s top life insurance companies like AIG, Vitality, and Aviva.

In this independent guide, our team of insurance experts explain the full process of applying for life insurance with anxiety and other mental health conditions. We aim to make applying for life insurance with anxiety feel less overwhelming, by providing you with all the information needed to make an informed decision.

It is easy for people to underestimate the impact that anxiety can have on your life, but for someone with anxiety, simple everyday tasks will often feel difficult or even impossible.

This includes things like applying for life insurance, which is why it is important to speak to a mental health life insurance expert. An experienced broker can make this process easier and simpler for you, as they will have the right background and a proper understanding of how anxiety life insurance works.

According to Mind, anxiety is an extremely common condition in the UK, with around 1 in 6 people experiencing symptoms of conditions like anxiety or depression each week.

A picture of a stopwatch

60-Second Summary – Anxiety Life Insurance Guide 2024

Life insurance is often available if you have anxiety, and a mental health life insurance specialist will be able to explain which insurance companies can offer the best and cheapest prices.

We appreciate that it can be difficult to speak about your mental health with a stranger, so we hope that providing as much information as possible upfront will make this feel less stressful for you.

  • Many of the UK’s biggest life insurance companies can provide anxiety life insurance, and there are also specialist companies that can help if you have more severe symptoms or multiple conditions.
  • It is possible to find budget-friendly life insurance with anxiety, especially if your symptoms are mild or they happened several years ago.
  • Life insurance is the easiest and best way to provide financial security for your family. A life insurance pay out can make a huge difference to whether your family can afford important bills such as mortgage payments or funeral costs.
  • An experienced mental health insurance expert can talk you through any application questions that you might find upsetting or uncomfortable, and will support you in any way that they can.

Buying life insurance with anxiety is usually fairly simple, aside from the fact that you might not want to talk about your anxiety, which is understandable. Life insurance companies have become more open to talking about mental health in recent years, meaning that there are far more options now than there were 20 or 30 years ago.

Anxiety can also affect people very differently, with some people experiencing mild symptoms and others experiencing much more severe symptoms. Every anxiety life insurance application will be unique, which means that there isn’t one set price or a certain policy that works best.

This is why it is useful to talk to an anxiety life insurance specialist, as they can help you to work out which insurance company is the right fit for the protection that your family needs.

This short video from Mental Health UK explains more about the real life experiences of living with an anxiety disorder (e.g. generalised anxiety disorder).

What is an anxiety disorder?

Does having anxiety affect life insurance?

It is understandable to worry about whether having anxiety will affect your life insurance policy. Rest assured, there should be no difference in how your policy works compared to a policy for someone with no mental health conditions.

The only thing that you wouldn’t be able to claim for is death due to suicide within the first 12 or 24 months (depending on the insurer). This isn’t specific to people with anxiety though, and is standard for all life insurance policies regardless of any mental health problems.

It can seem much more difficult to apply for a policy like life insurance if you have anxiety, especially if you’d prefer not to discuss your mental health with a stranger. It is completely fair to feel this way, especially if you have had a bad experience applying for insurance in the past.

This is why it is important to talk to a mental health life insurance expert, as they will be able to answer any questions that you might have to help put you at ease. The application process will be similar to any other life insurance application, but you are likely to be asked some extra questions about your anxiety and mental health.

Key factors for life insurance with anxiety:

  • When were you first diagnosed with anxiety?
  • When did you start experiencing symptoms of anxiety?
  • Apart from regular appointments, are you waiting to see a specialist?
  • In the last 5 years, have you seen a therapist, specialist, psychologist, or any other counselling service?
  • Have you ever self-harmed or thought about self-harming?
  • Have you experienced suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide in the past?

Most of us will experience anxiety from time to time due to things like stressful days at work or family health issues. Occasional feelings of anxiety won’t need to be mentioned, as insurance companies will only really want to know about an official diagnosis or treatments.

Note: Some of these questions can be distressing, so take as much time as you need and do your best to answer honestly. If you are worried about these questions, you should let your insurance advisor know. They can then take some extra time to help you with these, to make this process easier for you.

Will I need specialist life insurance for mental health?

It is often possible to get life insurance from a mainstream life insurance company if you have anxiety. It won’t usually be necessary to buy your policy through a specialist company, unless there are other things that an insurance company might view as ‘high risk’ (e.g. a dangerous hobby or high-risk occupation).

A specialist insurance company may also be a better fit for people who have multiple medical conditions, so ultimately it will come down to your own situation and health. Many standard life insurance companies can offer cover to people with anxiety, so there can be a lot of different options available to you.

Life Insurance provider reviews

It’s fair to ask whether conditions like anxiety will be covered by life insurance, and it’s a question that our experts are asked a lot. Essentially, the answer is yes, you would be covered for anxiety under your life insurance policy.

Standard life insurance will always cover pre-existing conditions such as anxiety, as long as the insurer was aware of it when you applied. You will also be covered for any other physical or mental health conditions that might be diagnosed in the future.

If you were to die for reasons related to your anxiety (or anything unrelated), your life insurance would pay out a cash lump sum to your family.

Many people that we speak to are wary of life insurance, as they worry that it won’t pay out when they need it to. This can be an even bigger worry if you have medical conditions, but any pre-existing condition will always be covered within your policy (except with guaranteed life insurance).

The truth is that life insurance is one of the policies with the highest rate of successful claims. The Association of British Insurers recently published figures that showed that around 96.6% of all life insurance claims were paid in 2023.

It is natural to be concerned about the price of a policy like life insurance, as most of us will also have to think about other expenses each month like mortgage payments or rent. You might also be worried that life insurance will be unaffordable if you have a mental health condition like anxiety.

Generally, this won’t be the case, and life insurance with anxiety can be much cheaper than you would expect. In fact, you will often get cover for little or no increase in price if your symptoms are mild and well treated.

The price can vary a lot between insurance companies though, so it’s always best to shop around and compare quotes from multiple insurers. You can also make simple changes such as reducing the length of your cover (policy term) to lower the price.

Below our experts have put together a table to highlight a real life situation where we found an affordable policy for a customer who had been diagnosed with anxiety. This is a real live policy that has been active since September 2023.

Example anxiety life insurance policy

Details of applicantMr T. was born in 1987 and is a smoker
This was for a joint life insurance policy with Mr T’s partner (Mr Y) who was born in 1991
Anxiety details and informationMr T was diagnosed with anxiety in 2005, which is treated with medication
Other health informationHeight: 6’1” / Weight: 115kg
Cover requirements£359,000 to protect their mortgage over 33 years with a maximum budget of £200 per month
Monthly premiums (£s)£42.82 per month
Guaranteed (fixed) premium
Standard insurance company (AIG)

Mr T needed a joint life insurance policy with his partner (Mr Y) to protect their mortgage and they were able to get a policy for £42.82 per month with AIG. With this being a joint policy, this means that realistically the cover only costs £21.41 per person which is very affordable.

As Mr T spoke to a specialist insurance broker, he was able to get a joint life insurance policy for a fair price even as a smoker and who has a mental health condition. It is possible that he would have paid a much higher premium if he applied to the wrong insurance company.

Will I need a medical to apply for life insurance with anxiety?

It’s normal for insurance companies to ask for extra medical information such as your GP medical record when you apply for life insurance. There are various reasons why an insurance company might want extra details about your medical history including:

  • Financial limits (the amount of cover is high)
  • Your age
  • Health or medical disclosures
  • Previous applications (with the same insurer)

It’s often possible to get life insurance without needing a medical report, so you might not need to do this for your application. Even if you do need to provide a GP report, this isn’t anything to be worried about. In fact, it can be helpful, as it ensures that your cover is valid.

Some insurance companies will work better and be cheaper for people with conditions like anxiety. It’s possible that you might have applied in the past and been declined, but don’t worry because there are still plenty of options that might be available for you.

There are several reasons why you might have been denied life insurance because of anxiety:

  • Wrong insurer: Some insurance companies are less suitable than others for certain pre-existing medical conditions. Another insurer might consider offering you cover, even where you’ve been declined elsewhere in the past.
  • Bad timing: It is actually important to consider the right time to apply for life insurance, especially with pre-existing conditions. For example, if you’ve just been diagnosed this might not be the best time to apply.

Critical illness cover is usually available for people with anxiety, and it is a great way to provide some extra financial protection for your family. Being diagnosed with a serious medical condition is often a frightening experience and it can have a massive impact on your life.

Critical illness insurance will pay out a cash lump sum if this happens, so that you and your loved ones don’t also need to worry about money during such a difficult time. Policies can pay out literally £10,000’s  to support you with important bills like mortgage or rent payments, so you can focus on your health and your family.

Generally, critical illness cover won’t pay out for mental health conditions like anxiety, as it designed to protect against serious illness like cancer, or stroke. Certain physical conditions like heart disease and heart attack are known to be linked with anxiety, and related conditions may trigger a pay out.

Critical illness cover doesn’t provide specific cover for anxiety, but it can be extremely useful for many other reasons. If you can afford to buy critical illness cover, then it’s definitely worth considering to give you a higher level of protection.

What is the definition of anxiety?

The NHS defines anxiety as ‘a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe’. Anxiety often goes beyond worrying thoughts and can trigger physical symptoms such as restlessness, dizziness, and heart palpitations.


Does anxiety count as a pre-existing condition?

YES – most insurance applications will include several questions about mental health and anxiety. You’ll be asked some questions as mentioned above (questions about anxiety life insurance) and you should make sure that you answer all questions as honestly as possible.


Will anxiety stop me from getting life insurance?

It’s usually fairly straightforward to be able to get a new life insurance policy if you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety. The most difficult part of getting life cover with anxiety is choosing the right insurer and paying a fair price.


What are 5 common symptoms of anxiety?

Although anxiety is a normal emotion, short-term effects of anxiety can include an increased heart rate, rapid breathing, or more intense blood flow. This can have longer-term impacts on your body such as cardiovascular problems.

The most common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Nervousness and restlessness
  • Tension
  • Panic
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fatigue or tiredness

What is the 3-3-3 rule for anxiety?

If you are struggling with anxiety, many people find the 3-3-3 rule helpful in grounding their thoughts and helpful them to relax. With this rule, you should focus on 3 things you can see and 3 things you can hear, before moving 3 parts of your body. The aim of this is to distract you from anxious thoughts and feelings.

There won’t be one ‘best’ type of life insurance for someone with anxiety, but there will usually be certain companies who can offer better prices. An experienced anxiety life insurance expert can help you to find the best prices and the right insurance companies for the protection that you need.

For free and friendly anxiety life insurance advice, call 0800 009 6559 or CLICK HERE to fill in our online quote form.

Useful resources

Mental Health UK

Mental Health UK has been supporting the mental health of people across the UK for more than 50 years. They deliver services both locally and nationally to empower people with the information they need to take care of their mental wellbeing.

They work to combat and raise awareness of the root causes of mental health issues and give people the necessary resources to enhance their well-being in their home, academic, and professional environments.

There are 4 organisations that merged to form Mental Health UK which are Rethink Mental Illness (England), Adferiad (Wales), Change Mental Health (Scotland) and Mind Wise (Northern Ireland).

Contact details

Telephone (England) - 0121 522 7007
Telephone (Wales) - 01792 816 600/832 400
Telephone (Scotland) - 0131 662 4359
Telephone (Northern Ireland) - 0289 040 2323
Email - info@mentalhealth-uk.org

Mind

Mind is one of the UK's biggest and best known mental health charities and they work hard to empower and support anyone with mental health issues or questions. Mind help to provide various support services and many informative online guides and resources.

Mind has been established for over 60 years and has provided services to millions of people through over 1000+ local support services in England and Wales.

Contact details

Telephone0300 123 3393
Email
- info@mind.org.uk

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Can I get life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

Yes, you will be able to get life insurance with almost any pre-existing medical condition, as long as it is not terminal. If traditional life insurance is not available due to the severity of your symptoms, then there are other guaranteed and specialist life insurance options, such as:

  • Accidental death
  • Over 50s life insurance
  • Guaranteed life insurance

Some of the most common examples of life insurance with pre-existing conditions are:

  • Overweight or High BMI life insurance
  • Diabetes life insurance (e.g. Type 2 or Type 1 diabetes)
  • Cancer life insurance
  • Heart attack or heart disease life insurance
  • Mental health life insurance
  • Multiple Sclerosis life insurance
  • Autoimmune disorders life insurance
  • HIV life insurance

There are literally thousands of types and variations of pre-exisiting medical conditions and so your situation is likely to be different to someone else. Life insurance with pre-existing conditions will take a number of elements in to account:

  • Severity and type of symptoms
  • Dates of diagnosis, episodes or attacks, and treatments
  • Any ongoing treatment and medications

Your life insurance premiums will be based on your own individual circumstances and how much cover you need. You should be able to adjust the levels of cover to suit your budget and it’s just as important to make sure that you at least have some cover in place.

What does Martin Lewis say about life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

MoneySavingExpert.com suggests that life insurance will ‘cost a lot more’ with a pre-existing medical condition. This is not true and it really does depend on your own individual circumstances so don’t be put off by this as they are not experts in this area.

It is true that some circumstances where the pre-existing medical condition is serious or severe, premiums can be higher to reflect the additional mortality risks. Ultimately, your life insurance premiums are unfortunately based on how likely you are to claim or if you have a higher chance of death within the policy term.

Martin Lewis doesn’t provide any real substance to his comment about pre-existing conditions life insurance and that’s not good enough. You should speak to a medical life insurance specialist to get a fully underwritten quote before you make any final decisions about whether or not you can afford to protect your family.

How much is life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

Most traditional life insurance providers will accept applications for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Often, you will have a number of potential options from several different insurance providers so you can usually save money as well by shopping around.

Historically you might have had less offers when you apply for life insurance with pre-existing conditions, but fortunately that is changing. Most of the more well-known high street life insurance brands are now offering more competitive rates and more flexible underwriting.

Top tips to save money on life insurance with pre-existing conditions:

  • Speak to pre-existing medical conditions specialist (these companies will understand the market better and should know which insurers will be cheapest for you)
  • Shop around and get different quotes (same as everything else, by shopping around you’ll get a better idea of what a good price is and what different companies offer)
  • Apply at the best time (timing can be important when applying for life insurance with pre-existing conditions, usually when symptoms are stable and not before or after treatment)

There are also other things to take into consideration, such as if you’re a smoker or if your weight is higher than normal. Can you do anything to improve your situation that might help to reduce your life insurance premiums.

Best life insurance for pre-existing conditions?

The best life insurance for pre-existing conditions will be different for each individual, based on their circumstances and the details of their health or medical history. There are certainly some insurance providers who are better for people with pre-existing medical conditions than others, such as:

  • The Exeter (better for people with more severe symptoms and serious health problems)
  • Legal & General (can sometimes be good for certain pre-existing medical conditions, especially mild to moderate symptoms)
  • Royal London (offers a number of specialist products and policies for certain pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes and mental health)
  • Scottish Widows (sometimes good for moderate medical conditions and offers flexible underwriting for certain conditions)
  • The Guardian (also offers flexible underwriting towards some pre-existing medical conditions)
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