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Two-fifths of UK adults hide mental health concerns from insurer

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01/12/2021
Some 44 per cent of adults in the UK have not disclosed that they have mental health worries to their insurer, with many citing fears it will impact their life insurance or critical illness cover.

 

According to research from Scottish Widows, of those who did not inform their insurance company about their mental health, a fifth said they were worried it would mean they would not qualify for a policy or be charged more. 

Scottish Widows disputed this, saying declaring a mental health condition did not necessarily mean higher premiums. The company also said it was unlikely to mean someone would be ineligible for protection cover. 

In contrast, the firm said being open with insurers could lead to support as many providers worked with charities and organisations and could refer policy holders for help. 

Of the 2,000 respondents, a quarter felt it was too personal to share their mental health worries with their insurer. A further 37 per cent were under the impression that providers were only interested in physical illness. 

Generally, mental health concerns have become prevalent during the past 18 months with 47 per cent of respondents saying they had experienced issues with their wellbeing. These tended to be related to financial struggles, relationship stress and sleeplessness. 

Rose St Louis, protection director at Scottish Widows, said: “People are confused about how mental health conditions affect their critical illness cover or life insurance, which prevents them from getting the right support. Insurers aren’t trying to catch people out – we are there to help our customers. It’s vital we have the right information in order to do this.  

“This isn’t just up to customers, though. The whole industry needs to ensure people know they won’t be penalised for their mental health disclosures. The challenges of the last 20 months have highlighted the value of protection policies for families and individuals in difficult times. We need to make sure everyone knows there’s a policy for them, no matter what they are going through.” 

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