If you’re beginning your search for life insurance with ADD (attention deficit disorder) or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) we wrote this life insurance article just for you. In this article we give you all the inside information you need to know to secure an affordable life insurance policy even if you have ADD or ADHD.
This guide covers the following topics:
I. Does ADHD Affect Life Insurance Rates?
II. Insurance Carriers for People with ADHD
III. Insurance Brokers for People with ADHD
IV. All About ADHD Life Insurance Underwriting
V. How ADHD Medication Affects Life Insurance
What is ADD and ADHD?
ADHD is a condition characterized by behaviors such as inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. ADD and ADHD are the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders of children—and it has been for many years now. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) says that about 5% of all children in the United States have ADHD—while the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about 11% of children in the United States have ADHD.
Big Lou® has ADHD too. In fact, he’s a serial multi-tasker and finds it challenging to focus on one thing at a time. But Big Lou® doesn’t think ADHD is a “mental disorder.” In fact, it’s a unique gift that not everyone has. ADHD makes Big Lou® more creative than your average life insurance broker—and that means he’s more capable of finding unique solutions for your life insurance problem. ADHD is only a problem if you think about it as a problem. We recommend you shift the way you think about your ADHD. You can start by reading the classic book by the world’s most well known ADHD psychiatrist here.
Big Lou® is Just Like You! He’s on Meds Too!
The primary drivers of your life insurance rate if you have ADD are mostly the same as everyone else seeking life insurance:
- Your age
- Your family’s medical history
- Your personal medical history
- Your personal lifestyle choices
- Whether you use tobacco or not
But since you have ADHD or ADD two other factors are equally important: the life insurance broker or agent you choose and the insurance carrier you choose to place your policy with.
Not all insurance carriers are the same. There’s over 700 life insurance carriers in the United States and each one has a unique segment of the market that they are focused on insuring. What does that mean? It means some companies specialize in writing life insurance for people with cancer, while others specialize in writing life insurance for people with ADHD.
It also means that if you apply to the wrong life insurance company you’ll end up paying a lot more for your policy. Remember—different life insurance companies view ADHD different ways. Some companies are actively seeking applicants with ADHD and others want to avoid them.
Insurance Brokers & Agents For People with ADHD
The second most important decision you have to make is what agent or broker you work with. The agent you choose will determine what carriers you can write your policy with so it’s extremely important to work with an agent that has access to the right carriers for your unique situation. Not all agents and brokers have access to the same insurance companies.
The big national “Home & Auto” insurance carriers that spend billions of dollars on television advertising can usually only work with a very small number of life insurance carriers—thus limiting your options when it comes to choosing the right life insurance company that is willing to write policyholders with ADHD. Working with a life insurance broker that can write policies with many carriers is the best way to find an affordable insurance policy that meets your need.
ADHD Life Insurance Underwriting
The underwriting process is the “vetting” process that life insurance carriers perform on anyone seeking to buy a life insurance policy. During this process you’ll work with your agent or broker to provide all of the requested information the insurance company needs to give you a “fully underwritten” life insurance quote.
In most cases you’ll be required to take a medical exam, submit blood and urine samples, and potentially submit all of your historical medical records and physician statements. Underwriters will also utilize the Medical Information Bureau to find additional information on your health.
The outcome of the underwriting process depends on your ability to best position yourself in a favorable light. Writing a detailed cover letter and ensuring you have a clean medical history are the first steps you should take (with a broker) to obtain a positive underwriting outcome.
When you go through the underwriting process most insurance brokers and agents will spend as little time with you as possible. In most cases they have you complete a brief questionnaire and spend 5-10 minutes with you to see if you’re a good fit for their “available markets” (EG. the insurance carriers they can place you with).
At Big Lou® we’re different. We’ll spend as much time with you as needed to best understand your situation. In many cases, we’ll even pay to obtain copies of your medical records, lab tests, blood samples, and more…At no cost to you. This allows us to best understand your medical condition, decide if you’ll be considered an impaired risk by the life insurance underwriters, and take appropriate action.
Our goal is to make sure we spend the appropriate time needed to get a holistic view of your actual medical and health condition. Once we do that we can formulate a plan to get your the best policy from the right insurance company.
ADHD and Medication: How Medications Impact Life Insurance
Long term use of medications tend to complicated the life insurance process. Many of the long-term health effects of ADD/ADHD medications are unknown. In some cases, our clients are prescribed medications that were recently approved by the FDA, and don’t have a long history of clinical studies (EG. an ADHD drug that was released last year hasn’t been used for the last 50 years and therefore no literature exists on the long-term impacts of the drug).
In this case every situation is unique and every insurance company will view your medications differently. Most underwriters will want to know that the medications you take are not negatively impacting your liver and kidney functions and will therefore require extensive lab tests.
Big Lou® is Just Like You
Big Lou® is on meds too. Big Lou® has a ton of experience finding the right life insurance companies and policy options for ADD and ADHD sufferers. Big Lou® knows what it’s like to shop around for life insurance with a condition like ADD and that’s why he’s just the guy to help you get the coverage you need at an affordable price.