Life Insurance and ADHD: What’s the Connection?
- Learn about the connection between life insurance and ADHD. Discover whether having ADHD can affect your ability to purchase a life insurance policy.
ADHD, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a common mental disorder affecting numerous children in the United States. According to statistics, just under 10% of all children will be diagnosed before 17, and many will continue having symptoms related to their diagnosis into adulthood.
Symptoms of ADHD can include an inability to focus, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. In children, symptoms of untreated ADHD can lead to poor self-esteem and social functioning, with those who are undiagnosed significantly more likely to be labeled "troubled children." Adults with ADHD may be sensitive to criticism and be too hard on themselves.
If you're one of the millions diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, you may wonder if it affects your ability to purchase life insurance. Continue reading below to learn the connection between life insurance and ADHD.
Life Insurance and ADHD: What's the Connection?
Because of their diagnosis, many people with ADHD find it challenging to find an affordable life insurance policy. Since this mental disorder can affect a person's mood, thought processes, and ability to make rational decisions in the moment, many life insurance companies deem those with ADHD a higher-than-average risk.
However, that doesn't mean you'll be automatically excluded from affordable life insurance based on your condition. Life insurance underwriters look at each case individually and base your risk on a set of guidelines. If you meet specific requirements, preferable life insurance rates aren't out of the question, even if you've been diagnosed with ADHD.
What's the Life Insurance Underwriting Risk for People With ADHD?
The life insurance company underwriter determines your risk based on many factors. The severity of your ADHD will be a significant factor. If you've been diagnosed with mild ADHD, your likelihood of receiving favorable rates is about the same as someone who doesn't have the condition. Other factors that may be taken into consideration when determining your underwriting risk include:
- How old you were when diagnosed
- The depth of your diagnostic evaluations and what the results were
- Which predominant symptoms you have (with impulsivity and mood disturbances being among those underwriters will be wary of)
- The types of treatment you've received, including the medications and dosages
- Whether you have any co-occurring nervous or mental health disorders
- Your occupation
- Your performance at work or school
- Your motor vehicle record (specifically whether you've had any tickets)
- Your arrest history
General Qualifications for Preferred Life Insurance Rates
To qualify for preferred life insurance rates, the underwriter will likely want to see that your ADHD diagnosis has little to no impact on your life and ability to make decisions. To be sure of this, they'll generally want to see you meet the following qualifications:
- Your ADHD diagnosis is mild
- You're older than 30
- You have no severe symptoms of personality disorders or psychiatric conditions
- You have a clean motor vehicle record
- You don't have a history of drug or alcohol abuse
- You've never been hospitalized for ADHD symptoms
- You've never missed more than a week of school or work due to ADHD symptoms
- You haven't been receiving treatment (including medication) for ADHD or similar conditions in at least the last 5 years
If you don't meet these conditions, it doesn't mean you can't purchase a life insurance policy. However, failure to meet these requirements does mean you'll likely end up paying higher rates.
What's the Best Way for Someone With ADHD To Find Affordable Life Insurance?
Not every life insurance company assesses risk the same way, so your best option if you have ADHD is to work with an independent insurance broker. Independent brokers aren't affiliated with any specific insurance company, so they can help you find the most affordable rates from various insurance options. A broker should also help you understand the documents you need to get the lowest rates.