Action for Suicide Prevention in Insurance (ASPiiN) has produced guidance to help insurance professionals discuss the issue of suicide on company websites
The guidance (read it here) has been developed following a review of existing materials from a variety of insurance-related sources and with support from the Samaritans.
It includes information about why a customer may want to learn about suicide and insurance; signposting to sources of help and support; access to insurance for new customers and language to use.
World Health Organisation (WHO) figures show that one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds, resulting in nearly one million deaths every year, and more recently the fall out of the Covid-19 pandemic has become a major concern, with the British Medical Association warning of a ‘mental health crisis' unless more support is provided to the NHS.
Last week, a report by Mental Health UK revealed that two thirds of people with mental illness felt unfairly discriminated against by the insurance industry.
ASPiiN said: "Suicide is very difficult to talk about and is an area where a lot of people need guidance and support. Where appropriate the insurance industry can offer help and support to those customers who need to know how it is treated by insurance companies.
"There are many reasons an insurance-related business might want to talk about suicide on their website and in other materials. It might be an area where questions related to suicide are asked by customers or it might form part of a package of information on a variety of health issues."
To compliment the guide, ASPiiN has put together a Directory of Training Resources, which provides a list of where firms and individuals can go to get training.
Alan Knowles, managing director of Cura Financial Services and chair of the Protection Distributors Group (PDG) said: "The PDG are proud to support the incredible work that ASPiiN have done in putting this guide together. For an increasing number of advisers, the company website will be the first point of contact with the client and I would urge any distributor of protection products to review their websites using this guide.
"Furthermore, we should all be looking at our training within our own firms on suicide awareness and language used. We are on the front line, speaking to customers, and if we can help prevent even one person from taking their own life then it will be worth any time invested."