Choosing life insurance is like gambling, but you never know if you win because you’re dead.

A few weeks ago I started the process of getting life insurance.  I work for myself and so I don’t have a company to take care of this crap for me so an insurance woman showed up with a lot of needles to draw blood, an EKG machine and a shitload of questions.  I did fine except for when she asked what caused my clinical depression and I explained that it was just chemical and she explained that that wasn’t an answer and that depression had to be caused by a situation. Then I blinked and pointed out that if that were true, this very situation would be one that would give me depression.

Then yesterday I heard back and found out that I’m too much of a risk for good life insurance, which is sort of ridiculous because I’m pretty much guaranteed to die.  It’s a fairly common side-effect of life.  Regardless, the insurance salesman told me I could get still get insurance, but that I just wasn’t a “preferred customer”.  Which sort of sounded okay actually because if you’re a “preferred life insurance customer” I think that means they’d prefer it if you died.  Victor says that’s not what it means at all, but I think he’s just saying that because he qualified as “preferred” and he’s rubbing my nose in it.  Regardless, I got a few policy offers even though they cost way more than any of Victor’s quotes and it sort of sucks because basically they’re charging me more to die, and it seems like that ought to be one of the few things I get to do for free.

Frankly, I can’t even tell if that’s insulting or if it’s just their way of encouraging me to outlive Victor just out of spite.

172 thoughts on “Choosing life insurance is like gambling, but you never know if you win because you’re dead.

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  1. Oh my.

    She’d have been kicked out of my house SO quickly for that. I wouldn’t want that company as my life insurance company.

    I kind of wish you could share who it was but that’s probably not a great idea.

    (To her credit, she understood it when I explained it, but the survey she had to fill out only offered situational causes as reasons for depression. There wasn’t even an “other” column. She said she’d give the company feedback so hopefully they’ll change it. ~ Jenny)

  2. ugh. my husband and I just started this process as well. And well, it has to be one of the more ridiculous processes that you go through as an adult. The odds are in your favor for outliving Victor, simply based on that fact that you are female… so at least there’s that.

  3. Actually, preferred life insurance customer means they think you will live forever, because then you keep having to pay your monthly premiums forever and they get rich. Whereas if you die, they have to shell out the big bucks to whoever your beneficiaries are. So it is really more insulting to Victor that they approved him so quickly, as basically means they think he is a vampire. Check to make sure you still get paid out even if he dies from “garlic” or “stake through heart” because if they DON’T have that included as reasonable means of death, you, my friend, are being royally ripped off.

  4. Ha! If only that was as bad as it gets! I work in the insurance industry and I have to write about dead babies all the time. Did you know that you can buy life insurance for your children too? So if your kid dies, at least you get money for it…like a twisted monetary reward for failing to rear your child into adulthood. They say it helps cover funeral expenses, but I’m pretty sure most people spend their dead baby money on therapy and booze. Life insurance…sponsoring alcoholism since the year your child died.

  5. Why would you want life insurance from a company that doesn’t even recognize depression is a medical illness and not one with avoidable triggers? They sound like they screw over their customers…

  6. And that, in a nutshell, is why I do not have life insurance. Clinical depression has to be caused by a situation — seriously?? Grrrr.

  7. Her questioning depression is what’s wrong with people. Phuck her and her questions. You rule and I hope you don’t die. Ever. Or if you do, that you come back as a zombie. Because zombies are cool. Just like bowties.

  8. “I’m too much of a risk for good life insurance, which is sort of ridiculous because I’m pretty much guaranteed to die.”

    Yeah. That’s the pisser about any insurance, health, car, life. You’re betting against the house on the inevitable, and we all know the MGM Grand is going to win and we’ll be stoopers looking for small change on the floor.

  9. Any person with medical training telling me that depression has to be caused by a situation is immediately getting the boot. Seriously, how completely insulting and ignorant.

  10. I’m with jfargo, I’d have kicked that woman out of my house. I think preferred has to do with your overall health and life expectancy, but I’m not sure. I know for auto insurance, it means you get the best rates because you’re a good driver.

    Either way, it pays to shop around!

  11. Don’t worry, I’ve been declined several times for life insurance as well. But hubby’s insured to the eyeballs. Do you belong to any associations that offer life insurance deals? An alumni association? Too bad you weren’t a pilot because my husband gets subsidized life insurance through the owners and pilots association he belongs to. They have to or pilots would never be able to get life insurance.

  12. Life Insurance is a confusing machine – definitely. I just got a pension set up at my work and we have a ‘death in employment’ policy that means if I die whilst in their employment THREE YEARS worth of my salary goes to my named next of kin and 100% of my pension payments too.

    I’ve not even worked there a year and if one of my family members tops me they’ll get a higher payout than I’ve gotten for actually being there and stuff.

  13. That is utterly ridiculous…especially when she said that depression had to be situational. What a ninny.

  14. “Yes, the situation is that my body has a chemical imbalance, asshole”

    (THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I SAID. Except I didn’t call her an asshole. ~ Jenny)

  15. First, love the title of this post… Still laughing about it.

    Second, did they account for a zombie apocalypse, because I think you have a good chance of surviving that? I mean really, how accurate were they? Seems shady.

  16. I’d call her company. Seriously. She needs to be better educated if they’re going to send her out in public where there are people and everything.

  17. That is utterly ridiculous. The fact that she said that depression had to be situational means that she wasn’t qualified to certify you for insurance. What a ninny.

  18. I’m a diabetic, so ordinary life insurance isn’t available to me either. If I applied for it, it would need to be through a specialist company. I haven’t bothered, because it wouldn’t be enough to bury me anyway.

  19. Sorry you had to be subjected to that. That makes me depressed, too. Insurance companies don’t care about people, they only care about making money.

  20. Wow. If depression were situational only, I’d be one hell of a basket case by now. Or dead. Stupid insurance company. I used to work in group health and life insurance and their exclusions and what passes for “usual and customary” were insane. Outlive them, please. And show them how it’s actually done…without them getting a penny from you.

  21. Yup that person would have been subjected to numerous unpleasant conversations made to drive her away. ‘Oh did I tell you that my oldest child sleeps like a corpse? OH! And my youngest regularly sees a shadow man who watches her sleep. I think it may have something to do with the black magic I’ve been practicing. What are your thoughts on using live vs store bought already dead chickens for my spells?’

  22. Servicing life insurance policies is what made me go to school for programming!! Way less frustrating!!

  23. It seems to me that there are SO many things that you could have pointed to in your house to explain why you suffer from depression. Any bizarre stuffed animal would have done the trick. It would have been a lie because as we all know, those animals bring the OPPOSITE of depression, being bodies of joy. It would have sent her away satisfied since she probably is lacking in imagination and the true knowledge of what brings happiness. This is a lie I could have lived with.

  24. I feel your pain Jenny. I have major depressive disorder, diabetes, and HBP. I am a bitch to insure anyway you look at it. Years ago, when we first decided we needed life insurance, I revealed that I was treated for depression in 97. The insurance lady said, “It seems like everyone was treated for depression in 97.” WTF?

  25. That examiner was uneducated for her position. I’d call whomever sent her (Insurance company contracts out that service) and have them chat with her and tell her to shut her pie-hole. She’s not the underwriter and should not be making comments like that. Her job is to ask you the question and write down your answers. THAT’S IT. If the underwriter doesn’t like your answers they’ll either ask you more questions in a phone interview or, do what they did and rate you. Your rating shouldn’t be a surprise, though. I’ve been in this biz for 15 years and have yet to see someone on any depression medication come back with a preferred status.

  26. So the “situation” is that my brain does not have enough neurotransmitters to function properly. That is a medical problem. Potentially helped by medication (though that is entirely another rant). It is not a self-inflicted risky situation unlike bungee jumping. ;-P

  27. That’s like drinking games for me. If the point of a game is to win, but you only get drunk when you are loosing you end up a drunken looser or a sober winner? But how can you win if the point of the game was to drink… I just don’t get it.

    Bottom line: the world is full of bullshit, in fact I am beginning to believe that it’s the main ingredient.

  28. When I did a screening for life insurance I mentioned I’d been tested for what I thought was an irregular heartbeat which turned out to be nothing. The insurance lady asked what the diagnosis was… which was… nothing because nothing was wrong. And then she followed up by asking how long I’d had the condition. Well, since nothing was wrong I guess I have had nothing wrong with my heart since I was born.

  29. Ugh, people are just so blind! There’s a situational and chronic depression, as I’m sure you know. I can sit watching a commercial with cute kittens and bawl for no reason- how is that situational?The lack of information about mental illness is staggering, when I say ‘I have depression’ it’s kind of like people look and see depression as the flu of mental illnesses. >.>

  30. I wonder if their form says the same thing for my bipolar or my friend’s schizophrenia. Who writes this shite?

  31. the problem with insurability is that the meds required to effectively treat depression, and anxiety, among other mental health issues tend to adversely effect internal organs. Just means that they won’t have as much time to get as much in premiums from you before you die. They’re more likely to make a little money on “preferred” customers like Victor. Either way, its dumb that they only cover for situational depression.

    Also, for your readers and for Hailey: if parents have a child rider on their life insurance policy, when the child hits that magical age (18 or 25 depending on the company) the child can turn the rider into a policy without a medical exam. Its tremendously helpful in the event of a medical issue, like diabetes, clinical depression, heart condition etc.

    Good luck!

  32. When I applied for life insurance years ago, I knew I would be rated because of my diabetes, but I was astonished to find that my depression & OCD rated me even higher than the diabetes. When I inquired about it, stating that mental illness doesn’t make you more prone to die (the policy doesn’t even cover death by suicide) the agent (the local guy) said “Well, you may be behaving fine now, but who knows, next week you could be barking and chasing cars up on the road”

    Needless to say, he never came in my house again.

  33. The sucky thing about life insurance is it’s about being practical and adult, realizing we all die, but some of us have “things” that increase our risk of dying much sooner – “pre-existing conditions” – and that means we have to pay more, because it’s much more likely we’ll die before the company gets enough premium out of us to cover the amount they’ll have to pay our family in the event of our death.

    The great thing is that the insurance is there if something actually happens and our family has to deal with a butt ton of expenses. My dad is still paying on my mother’s chemo treatments, almost 3 years after she passed away, because at the time she was diagnosed, they had no health or life insurance on her.

  34. Life insurance is a misnomer. It’s a death prize obvi. Other than for the cost of your eventual taxidermy (assuming you die of natural causes 50 or so years from now so that it’s ethical taxidermy) why would Victor and your daughter need cash to reward him when you die?

  35. When I was in college I worked for an insurance company, and they had similar guidelines for people with depression. They consider people with depression higher risk for committing suicide, so they make you pay higher premiums. Most insurances have a “two year suicide clause” that means if you commit suicide within two years of getting the policy it won’t pay, so I don’t know why they have to charge you higher premiums too. I remember the company wouldn’t insure people on anxiety medication even. Considering millions and millions of people take medicine for depression, anxiety, etc. I’m shocked that insurance companies still reject people for such things.

    It’s sad that if you have depression you have to deal with a situation like that, since that in itself is depressing.

  36. How nice that people with no medical knowledge whatsoever are making decisions like this. And why do they care if you’re depressed? If you kill yourself, they don’t have to pay out anyway.

  37. Someone asked me the other week what caused my depression. I think she said “why do you have depression?”. I gave her a sort of baffled look. Lady, if I knew that, I would not have it.

  38. I really want to comment on this but my last Blog post that is going to show up under my name isn’t really a good representative to what my Blog is really about, so I’m going to go write a new one full of profanity and sarcasm and then I’ll be back for my real comment.

    So – to recap – this isn’t a real comment – I’ll be back with my real comment.

  39. That’s like when you tell your friends you’re depressed, and they are all “what have you got to be depressed about?” which makes me want to punch them in the throat.

    Also I have an email blast set up to go out to everyone when I die that says “If you had my name in today’s Dead Pool, CONGRATULATIONS! U R A WINNER!”

  40. On the topic of life insurance, I should like to “share” a poignant article. In the mid-nineteenth century in New England there was a fatal industrial accident in a carpet factory. A factory worker fell into the broadloom weaving machine. The life assurance company was required to purchase a burial plot measuring one hectare as the widow could not bear to have her husband “rolled up.”

  41. fortunately, i got life insurance before i got my “situation” depression but i’ve pretty much told the kids that when i die to just toss me out in the west 40 acres and get a prescribed burn permit

  42. She has probably never been depressed a day in her life. Judgmental half-wit. That is almost as sweet as mu husband telling me that my morning sickness was all in my head and I just needed to visualize not being sick.

  43. That life insurance company should come with a warning.

    “If you’re going to die, it’s best you don’t use us.”

  44. My dad purchase a life insurance account from XXXXXX Assurance Company of XXXX (don’t want to get sued here). He bought it in 1954. He was 37 at the time. He paid premiums for FIFTY-FOUR years……..they paid out $10,000. He paid over $18,000 in premiums. So basically the insurance company made $8,000 off my dad. Of course, most people don’t live to be 95, and so I guess the insurance companies are gambling too…but if I told you what kind of hoops we had to jump through to get the lousy ten grand, you wouldn’t believe it. (I think it took over three months of back-and-forthing.) They SAY they want to insure your life…but they don’t want to PAY OUT when you’re dead. (Jenny: NONE of these people are your friend.)

  45. Yep. I had the same problem (also self-employed). They turned me down completely because I have asthma. My asthma only flares up when my allergies go nuts, and I’ve never been hospitalized for it. But apparently that makes me super high risk enough that no one will give me life insurance without paying $90/month. Which is INSANE. My husband pays $4/month and we’re the same age. And he has high blood pressure and cholesterol. sigh

  46. I was looking at expenses and decided maybe it would be a good idea to up Hubby’s life insurance policy, so if he kicks it his policy will cover all the bills and I could dedicate my life building monuments to his departed awesomeness… he said no… I know, I’m just as shocked as you.

  47. See if you can maybe get a life insurance policy for Haley that will “Grow up with her” now. I’m so thankful my parents did that for me. It will never make someone rich if I die, but when I bought my first place, I was also right around the age that I had the opportunity to increase coverage without having to submit to testing or “approval.” It will cover anything that I need it to, so I don’t have to worry about my sudden death being an additional financial burden in addition to the emotional one for my loved ones.

  48. What is the situation that caused your depression?
    YOU ASKING THIS MOTHERFUCKER is always an appropriate response. They will back away slowly and grant you preferred customer status just to avoid any stalkerish behavior.

    Jenny – IF this comes up again, hand them your book and call it done. Your history of depression and the causes for it, are well documented. Then they can’t say shit. Well maybe they can actually say the word as in “oh SHIT I just got schooled..”

    And seriously don’t buy from them. Victor is forbidden from buying from them as well on principal.

    And lastly…You will live forever and ever as you are too fucking awesome to die. You will live forever just to spite them all – all of them…every one of every one who ever doubted you in any way.

    If its the money for the future of Hailey or Victor, just create a trust fund. WAY easier…less uppity and ya – less in taxes.

  49. Instead of paying an insurance company, how about putting all that money the would go toward premiums into a retirement account and make Victor your beneficiary. That way, you have control over the money until you die.

  50. Mr. Sandwich has life insurance, but I do not, except for the Whole Life policy my parents bought me years ago. I need Term Life, but I really wish I’d bought it years ago when I was in a younger demographic and the costs would have been lower. My response, naturally, is to continue to delay purchasing it, because, yeah, that makes sense.

  51. I am a mid 50ish single mother. I am very well insured through my work. I hesitate to tell my only child (who is 26) that I am worth MUCH more dead than alive. As sole beneficiary – it might give her ideas.

    (she likes my sister more than me anyway 🙂 )

  52. My depressed husband new that you could by a million dollar policy and wait three years it would have to pay out if you killed yourself. He didn’t do either but it was part of his “plan”. People do insurance fraud all the time, even depressed people. Unfortunately, everyone pays a little more for their insurance as a result.

  53. If she asked me what caused my clinical depression, I would have said, “Your hair.”
    But, I’m kind of an asshole. So is she for asking that.

  54. Life insurance is exactly like gambling. You’re betting you’ll die and they’re betting you’ll live long enough that they don’t have to pay (72 is a usual cut off. My Dad “lost” (won?) by 7 months). Either way, you lose.

  55. A side effect of dealing with insurance people is feeling of giving up and depression. Funny they don’t screen for that though do they?

  56. i once had life insurance that would pay out ONLY if i got hit by a bus on a wednesday afternoon just after a slight rain storm on a street that was facing north with exactly 22 people on the bus.

  57. Which reminds me. My husband recently turned 40 and his insurance rate just jumped by $120/year. Uh… do they know something I don’t?

  58. My wife and I purchased LI fairly recently. She has a long-standing clinical depression diagnosis. We learned that different insurance companies have tolerance for different kinds of risk; and those tolerances change over time as they attempt to balance their portfolios. She was able to get insured through Genworth. I had to go with Prudential. If you don’t have an agent who is helping you select a carrier who does not have an issue with your medical issues, check out Genworth, it was recent enough that they’re probably still the one to use. BTW, I’m not an insurance agent.

  59. you’re much nicer than me. i would have tossed her out of the house on her tuchas, called her supervisor, and found a different company to work with that doesn’t treat depression like that. if it’s so ‘situational’, then it shouldn’t have any fucking bearing on my premium, asshats. asshats.

    ugh. i’m lucky my mom set up policies for me and my brother when we were little. it’s not a lot – not at all – but it should be enough to hold a wake and cremate me. which is fine by me.

  60. This is neither here nor there, but my boss thinks (and told me in an email) that I am possessed by the devil. Annnd, I just had an interview with another company and was told that I don’t have enough experience to edit psych reports. Hello, I’m crazy and possibly possessed, I think I know what’s what. Jenny, you should totally hire me to edit your book or find you an insurance person who’s not a douchebag.

  61. You gotta make lemonade out of this somehow – you could just come back to haunt the life insurance people. I wonder if there is a spot on their form for getting depression from being haunted by a former client? Karma

  62. My husband lost a shit load of weight and went to get life insurance. He was denied because they said he lost more than 100 lbs in a year. So I guess they want overweight people more?

  63. Yeah, I’m with you. I’m not a preferred customer either. I also smoke in addition to the PTSD, so that’s like double not preferred customer. We should create our own life insurance company called Misfit Insurance where people like us get the better quotes. We can make it like, “the longer you live, the more money people get, but if you live too long, people won’t get as much.” Kind of like the earned income credit.

  64. My 2cents I was an estate attorney for about 30 years. Most clients were badly oversold insurance. It’s incredibly lucrative for the agent . The salesperson you met is a douche.

    I assume you considered reasons for wanting to get life insurance. If not, you might ask an estate planning attorney who is a friend (if that is possible and you can find one who is not hooked up with an insurance agent.) and talk to her about whether you really need life insurance. Many “financial planners” are closely tied to the insurance industry,

    As the book royalties and ad revenue add up and get socked away, insurance should be less important.
    To cover your daughter’s education, designer clothes and debut or her rock band or cosplay, you might just up Victor’s coverage. I was the earner in our family and carried quite a bit of term insurance while my children were young. I started dropping it as they finished college and my retirement accounts grew to where they would take care of my wife. By the time the last one graduated, I had no life insurance except the coverage my employer provided if I died at work. When I retired, that went away too.

    Replacing the income that will cease on the death of the high earning spouse is really the only sensible reason to buy insurance and then only if the family does not have other resources, like investments or retirement accounts The rest of the stated reasons are a rip. Despite all the hype, it’s not rocket science.
    Having said that, medical insurance IS vitally important. I’d guess that you already have that covered.
    I’d offer to help you out myself except I am (1) retired and out of touch and (2) not at all familiar with Texas law. Don’t let them freak you out.

    (Excellent points. And yes, we have great medical insurance. ~ Jenny)

  65. I would have been pissed if she asked me that. I’ve had a lot of shit happen in my life but to be told a certain event had to cause depression? I would have said, “We’ll, I’d rather not be with a company with dumbasses anyways. Moving on!” as soon as they told me no.

  66. I don’t want to start an argument but feel compelled to correct an inaccurate & possibly frightening comment. No, antidepressants do not tend to cause damage to internal organs. I have been on them for 25 years & every time a psychiatrist has suggested changing my medication I have grilled him or her on any serious side effects. And when the internet became a reliable research tool I it to research every medication prescribed to me. I frequently use Google Scholar to find peer reviewed articles in reputable journals.

    If an antidepressant was known to put my physical health at risk & was the only one that worked for me I would likely take it anyway but would be sure to be monitored closely by my doctor.

  67. All insurance is just gambling. The company gambling that they will make enough off of you before they need to pay off, to not only cover the pay out, but make a profit on top of it, and you gambling the opposite. It is a legal wager. The underwriter is nothing more than a bookie, running the numbers and setting your odds.

  68. Life insurance with a GAD and depression diagnosis wasn’t hard for me – just significantly higher premiums than hubby. But long-term disability was nearly impossible. I work FT and hubby is stay at home dad, so we figured covering me was a necessity. Turns out that depression is the #1 cause of extended leaves of absence, and most companies wouldn’t touch me with a 10-ft. pole. Fortunately, I ended up w/ a reasonable policy through my employer, which clearly is no help for the self-employed.

  69. I don’t understand the point of life insurance. I put my money in the bank instead and now I have a hefty chunk to leave to my family that will more than cover burial, wake, prosac, years of alcoholism, Betty Ford clinic visits, etc. Life insurance is just betting that you will die SOON, because if you save those premiums instead of giving them to some insurance company, you will quickly have as much or more than the policy value in the bank. Then, if you don’t die, you still have your money. And if you do die, your family gets it. Everyone wins! The only way you win with life insurance is dying before you pay them the full value of the policy. And who wants to do that? It all seems counter-intuitive.

  70. That’s…bizarre and unenviable. And ignorant. But really, what about “put your brain in a robot body” insurance? Where’s THAT?

  71. I don’t know if anyone else has said it here so far because I didn’t read all the comments, but FIND A BROKER! Then it is their job to figure out which insurance actually has the best policies for the lowest price. You might not be a preferred customer for that company, but some other company might be looking for customers like you. A broker can compare hundreds of them and find the best one. Plus it costs you nothing because they get paid from the companies. It’s totally a win-win situation. Actually you should shop all your insurances like that.

  72. I work for a life insurance company. They dont want you to die until youve paid them a nice long string of premiums. They charge you more because they think you will die sooner and therefore they need to pay out policy sooner.

    Fun fact- part of my job is calculating when people will die 🙂 Im like that chain email or website you stumble upon at 3am.

    However, Ive never seen anyone pressed about depression. Id be concerned if the person medically underwriting you doesnt know how depression works.

    (They also asked if we’d ever claimed bankruptcy. We haven’t, but why the hell are they asking? Is that a normal question? ~ Jenny)

  73. I’d call that a challenge accepted situation and outlive Victor. That might just be the high amount of antihistamines and whatnot I’m on talking. 🙂

  74. Looking on the bright side, if you make it to retirement age, it suddenly flips around and you get much better annuity rates.

  75. Last year I got new medical insurance and the person “interviewing” me asked if I had gained or lost more than 20 lbs in the past year. Very proudly, I answered that I had actually lost 40 lbs last year through healthy changes in my eating habits and regular exercise. I got a higher premium because of that. It would have been cheaper for my medical insurance if I was still fat and lazy. Hmmm. What kind of sense does that make??

  76. I had a DOCTOR, like a medical doctor, tell me that I was too young to be depressed (I’m 23, but is there an age that is too young?). She asked me what I was “so sad about” and when I told her life was just too hard sometimes even when logically there is nothing hard about it, she told me I would get past it and to call back in a few months. I no longer go to that doctor.

  77. I would have been tempted to say: “Well. This conversation is depressing, and according to your paperwork, I’m probably supposed to avoid depressing situations, and death also totally qualifies, so you could be contributing to the problem,” and asked her to leave.

  78. We got our individual LI policies a few years back in case we weren’t at our jobs anymore and to insure the kid. They only asked basic questions but didn’t require medical testing because frankly we don’t need million dollar policies. Our policies are sizeable and they still only asked of we smoked or drank, stuff like that. Our daughter’s policy is great (heaven forbid) but once she turns 55 the policy basically claps it’s hands once and says I’M OUT, BITCHES.

  79. I had the exact same thing happened to me. My husbands insurance was a third of mine because of my clinical depression. Way to lower the stigma involved with depression!!! Asshats.

  80. That woman was wrong in so many different ways . . .

    I don’t do life insurance, because the only way that it pays off is if I die. On the other hand, if I live for a long time they make a chunk of change out of me.

  81. Think positive because negativity lies just like depression.

    If you do end up buying insurance, think of it this way. . . If you die soon, you beat the insurance company and your family and you (posthumously) win.
    If you live until the insurance goes away at some advanced age, -well obviously you win ’cause you’re still alive. The money you paid in is just money if you don’t need it right now, but you got to live with your family.
    Of course if you don’t buy insurance , you win because the insurance company didn’t get your money.
    Thus in ALL POSSIBLE CASES you win!!

  82. I really, really, REALLY wish you were joking about the “depression needs to be caused by a situation, not your brain chemicals” thing. It’s really pissing me off. Just another example of how our country’s view of mental health is fucked up.

  83. This happened here recently, too. Since I am a co-signer on big bux worth of school loans and one of my kids’ acquaintances recently got pulped while crossing the street, we decided that we are just one disaster away from bankruptcy and talked to our neighbor/agent and he said yes people take out insurance on their kids all the time and he recommended whole life and helped fill out the applications which got sent to the home oriface which demanded medical records and then turned everyone down because, well we don’t really know why because it’s like the insurance company would have been taking our money and maybe giving it to our kids if they lived and maybe giving it to the banks if they didn’t live but it’s not like we were going to get anything out of it and isn’t that why they tell us we need insurance anyway???? Then today I read in the newspaper about how an insurance company was suing some poor, penniless guy because he was doing something against the apartment complex rules when the building caught fire and now the insurance company wants the penniless guy to be declared responsible because then they won’t have to pay out a million bux or so and the people who own the apartment complex can try to collect that judgement from the penniless guy who used to live there but is moving back to Turkey or some other place where it will be hard to collect a judgement anyway but the insurance company won’t have to pay.

  84. Insurance… so responsible, so unappealing as a way to spend money. Still, having lost the diamond in my engagement ring, I guess I should get contents insurance just to make sure it never happens again (Murphy’s law, don’tcha know? Maybe the same thing will happen with life insurance?)

  85. What decade was her questionnaire written in? The 1950s? And just what sort of situations “cause” depression? I mean, I know of situations that make me sad…but depression is a horse of a whole ‘nother color. Did you write down these situations? Now I’m curious.

  86. Never buy whole life insurance. It’s a major rip off. Only buy term life.
    Whole life will allow a major at risk person (someone who oreviously had a heart attack for example) get life insurance, but that same person could put that same premium into an annuity and make more money.

  87. My hubs in insured for a year’s salary or something like that but I am only insured for a couple thousand bucks. Hubs says it wouldn’t be enough to pay for funeral expenses, but at least he could use it to get REALLY drunk.

  88. They took your blood, THEN, denied you, over a question? Sounds kinda backwards and fishy,
    like some vampire scam going on. Get your ‘life juice’ back before they clone you or pour your essence on a goat!!

  89. There is a very fine line between buying enough of it to cover your bills and shit, but not enough to make someone rich…meaning you are worth more dead than alive. I don’t need to give my husband another reason…I’m kidding. He loves me. Really.

  90. Insurance companies are the worst! I wonder how much mine has gone up after my breast cancer battle last summer. I’m afraid to ask.

  91. I am definitely in agreement with Team jenny in that you should out live Victor just to prove a point! Sooo insurance will cover Viagra but not depression, hum WTF !!! By the way tomorrow is National Little Blue Pill Day-Watch out bitches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  92. I couldn’t even get past the situational depression thing. I understand from your comment that it wasn’t her fault, but holy ew I’m pissed off at that form. Forms are dumb.

  93. Ha! My mom died of colon cancer when I was a teenager, so I don’t qualify for term life insurance, or really anything except the very expensive ones. But, my husband does. So his death is insured, mine is not, and at least he doesn’t have that kind of incentive to kill me?

  94. Life is a terminal disease with a 100% mortality rate.
    Perhaps your best option is to go Buddhist, and hope that karma will come around, and that you might get a better life next time around.

    Meanwhile – and I don’t usually look for sympathy when I comment or post – my 13 year old daughter goes in for surgery today, to remove her lymph nodes.
    Turns out she has clear cell sarcoma in her foot, which is likely to also result in amputation of her right leg.
    Bad enough that we’re somewhat estranged (her mother and I broke up when she was only 1), but a teenager facing the battle of her lifetime, and she doesn’t want me around to help and support, that hurts worse than anything.

    Apparently depression, anxiety, ASD, PTSD OCD, a wife with CP who uses a wheelchair, a violent psychopath neighbour who is about to be subect to an AVO isn’t enough; I also have to get drip fed information about my daughter’s health from my ex wife, and it’s gone from a melanoma, to metastases, to looking like amputation; and still with a less than even chance of survival.
    The news seems to go from bad to good to worse, and at best in reality we can expect to have a one legged daughter survive for maybe 5 years.

    Stuff like this convinces me there is no god.
    What sort of creator would allow children and their families to go through such horror with little chance of reprieve, and with such unrelenting trauma.

    So Jenny, you can’t get health insurance; I can’t afford health insurance either (though here in Australia we have a Medicare system; which the current government is trying to water down or dismantle).
    My thoughts go out to you as always Jenny, but if that’s the worst you have to deal with, lucky you!
    I think I’ll just pop a Valium, and hope the anxiety will melt away for a little while, just so I can get a reprieve from feeling so hopeless and helpless.

    (Sending you such love. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through all of that. You’re in my thoughts, sweetness. ~ Jenny)

  95. First – I’m sorry Jenny. What a crappy attitude to endure.

    Insurance blows. Well, not when it works. But it’s so much of a stressor (life, medical, whatever…) that it causes more problems than it’s seemingly worth…ulcers, headaches…

    Second, a comment to joannehuspek – I almost fell off my kitchen stool from laughing after I read “…we’ll be stoopers looking for small change on the floor.” I can’t articulate why that struck me as so funny but it did and does and I wrote it down for future reference. Sigh…

    Hang in there Jenny. I too have to pay extra for life insurance but mine’s from having had brain surgery – which makes no sense to me either – in the end, it’s not going to change where I end up. Which will be dead.

    I’m wishing you well.

  96. We went through that insuring my boyfriend, and the cost was exorbitant because he suffers with depression. I’m worried about him dying in a car accident or getting hit by a truck while bicycling. Who knows what they thought?

  97. It took us several companies before we found one that would insure me, I have a genetic disorder in my family. I don’t have it, at least not that I know of, but it raises lots of red flags for life insurance. Oh genetics, why must you screw with us so??

  98. Conversation I had with the lady who came out for my insurance interview.

    “I think your scale is off. That is about fifty five pounds less than I weigh.”
    “Well… Do you have anything on your pockets? ”
    “…. Not that would make me weigh LESS…”

  99. Wait wait wait. So you’re not a preferred customer due to (among other reasons I’m sure) an anxiety disorder but your husband qualifies for good life insurance. Let’s think about that for a second. The one with anxiety gets a crappy policy but if her husband dies she’s golden because he has a good one? …….It sounds like they want you to murder Victor.

  100. If my company didn’t offer it, there isn’t a insurance company on the planet that would “prefer” to give me life insurance, or health insurance. I am so high risk.

  101. Yeah, I was turned down because I have depression too. Which has been under control for more than 10 years. And it’s not like I was ever suicidal. The fact that a terminal illness runs in my family wasn’t even a factor in my rejection. Bastards.

  102. They’re not charging you to die. They’re charging you for the privilege of leaving Victor and Haley a big stack of cash WHEN you die (since we’re all guarantee to die precisely once per customer).
    Having agreed to the “big stack of cash” thing means they’d prefer that you NOT die, because they love to get premium payments but hate to pay benefits.
    Hope this sorts things out.

  103. I would have kicked her out immediately! Also, she is one of those reasons why I dislike people on a whole. Sorry you had to deal with her.

  104. Don’t they know you’re a writer who has a plethora of projects to complete and there’s no way you’ll kick the bucket until you write the screenplay based on your books and watch Jennifer Lawrence play you in the movie? Sounds like they’re the ones not preferred.

  105. I think you were unfair to the agent portraying her as a cad when the limitations of the form was to blame for her inquiry– you stated that in one of your responses. You must need sympathy today. So… sorry you have to pay more for a policy but I think most people don’t qualify for preferred policies. Perhaps you should try a quirky approach to insurance. Lloyd’s of London makes a living insuring things like policy holders’ body parts. Perhaps they will insure your brain since you use it to create your blog and write your books. Or your hands since you use them to type. After all you are a beloved blogger and writer. You have something to protect. But then I’m sure a policy is pretty expensive so… never mind.

    (No sympathy needed. I’m lucky to even get normal insurance offers considering that I have auto-immune diseases that count as serious pre-existing conditions. It just seems sort of backward to have to pay more in addition to suffering with diseases and such. It makes sense logically and financially, but it’s still a bit ridiculous. And I have heard that some insurance agents are using this post to have their automatic survey questions updated to give a more accurate reading, so maybe something good will come of it. Some of the questions the nurse asked made sense as they do pertain to life expectancy (such as past suicide attempts, drugs that might make you more susceptible to disease, anxiety that causes physical manifestations like high-blood pressure or – in my case- hives, shingles or such.) I know I’m lucky, but sometimes laughing at the ridiculousness of serious issues is the best way to cope. At least it is for me. 🙂 ~ Jenny)

  106. Life insurance is just a rort anyway jenny; just put your money into a pre-paid funeral, and have an ironclad will, leaving everything to Victor & your daughter, with a trusted executor. You get your money’s worth that way, rather than a company re-investing the cost of your policy and premium to make themselves rich, whilst your family gets the scraps.

    When I was working I was worth more dead than alive, but my life insurance stopped when I quit work. My wife is worth considerably more in her life insurance – part of her Superannuation fund, but I simply couldn’t live without her, so I try not to think about it.

    Thanks for the good wishes Jenny, so much better to hear it from you than to call up a bored and stressed lifeline or helpline operator, and it means so much more coming from someone I respect and admire.
    Keep on shining and being you, you’re worth your weight in gold (though knowing you, likely allergic to it!)

  107. I’m depressed and fat, so my rates are super high. (Way higher than hubby’s!) However, if either one of us dies, we can pay off the house, so there is that!

  108. Why are people upset that you were upset by an insurance company that created a questionnaire which seemed unsympathetic and not understanding of depression which is kind of ironic because they are making you more depressed by not acknowledging the medical side of your depression yet won’t cover you for the original let alone increased depression even though the increase is their fault?

  109. Life insurance is dumb. I am trying to get it now that my husband died and my kid is down to one parent and those assholes are trying to charge double because of some common heart thing I have that no one dies of and that I may or may not actually have in the first place. So maybe I will go to Vegas once a year, gamble my premium, and whatever is left over will go under the mattress or in a savings account for the kid. Seems like better odds.

  110. My husband is self-employed and uninsured. I didn’t think much of it, but then he had a little mid-life crisis, bought not one, but TWO motorcycles, and also started flying lessons. When he told me about the next motorcycle trip he plans to take — to ride the “Tail of the Dragon” (11 miles, 318 curves), I decided it was time he got insurance just in case he drives off the side of the mountain or gets hit by a bus. What I find most confusing about the process is the fact they come to YOUR HOUSE to do the physical and take blood. I just find that creepy – but maybe it’s just because I’m basically anti-social and my house is an extension of my personal bubble.

  111. I’m a vet. On my life insurance application I had to report workplace injuries and dangers of the job. The only bite I’ve had in the last 5 years was from a feral kitten. The report that was returned to me summarized the risks as- “Kittens- Increased risk of dismemberment or death”. Oh, but what a way to go…

  112. @Ben (up at #126)—I can’t even imagine what you must be going through. Despite being somewhat estranged, you are doing the right thing (in my opinion, anyway) in trying to be supportive for your daughter. I will be thinking of you and I hope that things get better for you.

    Add me to the list of ‘can’t get life insurance either’, at least privately. All I have is through my employer. I think I’m old enough, though, to get that insurance advertised on TV—no health questions! So I’ve got that going for me.

  113. Note: I habe not read the comments. What!!!! Depression can be situational or chemical. If this person is in the medical field and is not aware of this, well itbis time to call it a career and hang up your questions. Me thinks some folks need an education.

  114. This post is great! Never thought much of the preferred vs. other life insurance policies. It’s unfortunate you and Victor were set apart by the insurance company though. Death is pretty much an inevitability, unless you look at celebrities and pictures from centuries ago that look to resemble them such as Nicholas Cage. To set up some kind of categorization system that decides who is “preferred” and likely will pay into the policy longer, vs. who is not preferred and may die sooner or something is kind of silly. I guess it works in the insurance company’s favor somehow as they would make more before the death occurs that involves shelling out money to the beneficiaries, but still. This post raises great thoughts/points about life insurance. Great read!

  115. You need a button for giving a giant hug to that days post. I don’t really have a comment about todays post but I like it so much I just want to hug it a bunch.

  116. Wouldn’t the insurance company want you to live instead of dying quikly? Because if u die too soon they would have to pay for whatever they suppose to…but if you l ii ve long you would have to keep on paying them. That’s why they want mostly healthy people JENNY!!

  117. In happy happy fun world where we always give people the benefit of the doubt (or make up stories to give ourselves excuses for not standing up for ourselves) we would edit this conversation so she was saying was that you needed to tell her it was situational depression or they wouldn’t give you the cheaper policy. wink wink, nudge nudge

  118. That is so funny. Yes, I found myself in a similar situation. DH smokes and I do not and I guess it was me that should live longer because my quote was ridiculous and his was what I wanted to pay.

  119. I’m pretty sure if you were to go into the boardroom of a bank or insurance company you’d find Satan sitting in the head seat (that just may be an insult to the guy). I am usually a happy-go-lucky, the world is sunshine and roses, kind of gal but those companies make my blood boil with their asinine policies that have no basis in logic or understanding. Uggghhh!!!!

  120. Yup, pretty sure that comment on chemical depression not being an answer would have gotten her thrown out of my house. I spent a lot of time being depressed simply BECAUSE I had nothing to be depressed about and I, too, did not know that chemical depression existed. I simply thought I was an ungrateful asshole for most of my life. Nope, chemicals, people! They’re things! They cause people with beautiful lives to be sad sometimes for no reason! It makes me sad that that myth is perpetuated and that legal decisions depend upon it.

  121. When I got mine (thru my company) they then said and we will insure your daughter as well. I got really creeped out by that, She was 6 months at the time. They assured me it is total normal for parents to get life insurance for their babies. I am still creeped out by it!

  122. After the hideous way Insurance companies have been treating us and our fellow Cantabrians after the 2010 and 2011 Earthquakes here in Canterbury I have vowed I will never give them a penny more than I have to. I will continue the insure my house and contents (If they even will). I have realised that the people paying for insurance are not the customer (preferred or otherwise) the company shareholders are and the Insurance company aim is to minimise their exposure (declined my sister for Life insurance too saying she hadn’t disclosed every thing, when she thought she had, say goodbye to all she has already paid). I intend to try and save for 1. and emergency fund of 6 months wages, 2. Pay off the house, 3. save the equivalent amount to insurance payments and earn compound interest on it instead. It might not pay as much but I and mine wont have to try and fight for our entitlement in the middle of grief and trauma as people are having to do here now. (can you tell I’m grumpy with insurers?)

  123. One insurance agency, when I had contacted them regarding auto coverage, told me that they would happily offer me coverage, if and when I divorced my husband (apparently he had a few tickets). I still bring that up gleefully in heated moments, 8 years later.

  124. Well SHE sounds like a winner.

    Also “preferred life insurance customer” ? Like what? why do you want everyone to live to 120 years old? And also isn’t that statement somehow a contradiction because it seems wrong. Dying is supposed to happen you crazy person!

  125. You could leave the “like” out of the post’s headline, I think. You might want to invest your money elsewhere. Unless you know something the insurance company doesn’t, and you’re pretty sure you can keep them from finding it out. Personally, I’m a lot less interested in living forever than I was 50 years ago.

  126. We’re doing life insurance at the moment too. And then we’ve got to do wills. To say who gets the life insurance. The whole thing is kind of a pain in the ass, and sort of makes me wish I’d stayed single so that no one cared who gets my crap when I die.
    They’re definitely trying to encourage you to outlive Victor.

  127. I plan on outliving every single baby boomer that was ever born, purely out of spite. You are welcome to join me.

  128. Actually, Jenny, the insurance company (or as most people refer to them, “the blood-sucking, rabid weasels”), doesn’t want you to die. If you did, they’d have to pay off Victor or your daughter, and insurance companies HATE to pay people. They prefer to take funds in rather than pay them out.

    Thus endeth the lesson.

  129. Insurance companies suck. I’ve been a non-preferred customer since my early twenties because I have a hereditary lung disease. It doesn’t matter that I’m relatively healthy, working full-time and have only been hospitalized once in my life when I was seven. I’m considered a risk under their “how-many-premiums-can-we-get-out-of-this-person-before-they-die” model. I gave up on applying for life insurance because I knew my heirs would get gypped in the end on some sort of technicality.

  130. Fun fact: my mom used to be one of those insurance people who draw blood. She’d leave home, come back with vials of blood, spin them in her centrifuge, then show us the separated cells. She also taught us how to heat pins on the stove and then draw on scraps of EKG paper. When I was given a microscope, she pricked her finger and smeared blood on a slide so I could see the blood cells for myself.

    We were around blood a lot growing up, come to think of it…

  131. Check with Gerber Life. Yes, the same folks with the “Grow-Up Plan”. They also offer term life insurance for adults. Neither hubby nor I needed a medical exam.

  132. I switched GPs because my last one didn’t understand that I was clinically depressed and wanted me to have an outside cause for depression. I had to explain to her that you can end up with clinical depression as a side effect from food allergies

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