Questions to understand how customers manage mental health and how they can be best supported in their recovery
In a bid to increase access to insurance for those with a history or mental ill-health, income protection mutual Holloway Friendly has designed a set of underwriting questions to improve its understanding of the specific nature of an applicant's mental health situation, it was announced at the COVER Protection & Health Summit today.
Using the information gathered from questions, the insurer aims to find a way to cover those with existing mild depression or anxiety, even if they are on medication when applying for income protection. The mutual society said it will review how each applicant manages their symptoms with an effective management plan and then after that will decide how to cover them.
Each application will be considered on an individual basis as each person's circumstances will be different, therefore any plan offered would take specific situations into account, the firm said.
‘Inclusive and accessible'
"Mental illness has always been an issue however the current, unpredictable state of the country paired with career pressure, benefit woes and social media popularity has exacerbated many sufferers to breaking point," said Stuart Tragheim, CEO at Holloway Friendly. "Those with mental health problems, whether that be depression, anxiety or any other disorders, already have a lot on their plate, without the additional worries of income loss should they suddenly be unable to work. We want to change this for our members and make income protection accessible for all. We're proud to be leading the way in covering mental health conditions and making these important first steps, and do hope that other providers will follow our lead."
According to Holloway Friendly, the changes are in the final stages of delivery and are expected to be in place by the end of December.
The plans come after Alea Risk's Andrew Wibberley suggested, at the COVER Mental Health Forum in March, on behalf of Holloway Friendly, that value-added wellness services could one day be used to assist those who may have disclosured a history of poor mental health in order to help them get access to cover. Read more here.
Research suggesting that the industry wants more flexibility around mental health underwriting decisions was also unveiled at the Protecton Review Conference earlier this year.
The funding debate shows no sign of abating
'If we need to know the detail, why not ask the applicant?'
4.5m UK households rent
Evolution not revolution
IFoA responds to vaping story