World Mental Health Day 2021 | Income Protection and Mental Health

In the aftermath of a global pandemic, that not only physically isolated us all from our family, friends and life as we knew it, but also left a mentally lasting impact on so many. This day marks global support for mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.

Whilst we are in a society that more actively vocalises and provides support for those who suffer from mental health, the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) marks the theme of 2021 as ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’, highlighting the ‘unequal’ services available to those suffering from mental health across the globe and different social classes based on income.

In light of this theme, it is prudent to understand the support that is available to clients with or looking to obtain a protection insurance policy. Though mental health conditions are not as easy to define as physical conditions, insurers are increasingly recognising the need to provide cover and support to people suffering from mental health issues, with conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression.

What Benefits Does an Insurance Provider Offer with Income Protection?

The Insurance industry is demonstrating an increased commitment to aiding those suffering from mental health issues, with one in four of the UK being affected by the condition in any given year, four million of which will struggle with their financial well-being as a direct result. For an insurer determining if an individual is eligible for a policy, mental health and physical health are equally assessed.

As a recognised condition, many insurers provide specialist mental health support, which will be included within the cost of your policy and will allow a policyholder to receive access to a rapid assessment, typically within 48 hours. Different insurers offer different therapies and support, such as:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Phobia Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming for PTSD
  • Cognitive Analytical Therapy
  • Trauma-Focused Therapy

Many insurers will offer support virtually and in-person for:

  • Bereavement
  • Coping with a serious incident
  • Addiction
  • Phobia therapy
  • Stress
  • Debt
  • Psychiatry
  • Trauma therapy
  • Marital/Relationship difficulties
  • OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder)
  • Psychology
  • PTSD treatment
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Psychotherapy

What to Consider & The Importance of Disclosure

Here are some things you may want to consider if you are looking at an income protection policy and have a mental health condition:

Similar to a pre-existing physical condition, insurers also require disclosure of mental health conditions. Insurers need to be aware of existing conditions to allow them to understand potential risks associated with that particular condition, as in some cases, this has a direct impact on an individual’s risk of premature death or disability.

Similarly, for those suffering from medication, drug and alcohol abuse, this can increase the potential risk of a serious accident. Regardless of age or current health status, you will be required to disclose if you have been diagnosed or treated for a mental health condition. It is important to disclose complete and accurate information, regardless of when the episode occurred, as it affects risk assessment, premium charges and terms and conditions of a policy, with failure to do so potentially resulting in your policy being void.

Fee-Free Review & Income Protection Assessment

If you have suffered and received treatment for stress, anxiety or depression in the last 5 years, you will likely be excluded for mental health; however, as a result, some providers will offer a 10% discount on the policy for the exclusion.

If you have a current policy with a mental health exclusion, yet haven’t suffered symptoms or received treatment in the last 5 years, it would be worth reviewing your policy, as you may be eligible for an income protection policy without an exclusion.

Securing the right protection insurance policy does often require bespoke, specialist advice. If you have been denied cover for a pre-existing mental health condition or would be interested in reviewing or understanding what policies would be available to you, we would be happy to provide support and advice.

Please note: Income protection (with no investment link) has no cash in value at any time and will cease at the end of the term. If you stop paying premiums, your cover may end.