The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on mental health in the UK.
According to research by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), more than two-thirds of UK adults (69%) have reported feeling ‘somewhat’ or ‘very worried’ about the effect COVID-19 is having on their life.
The most common issues affecting our wellbeing are worry about the future (63%), feeling stressed or anxious (56%).
More severe mental health issues have been reported by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), who claim our mental health has worsened substantially as a result of the pandemic. What’s more, young adults and women have been hit hardest.
As well as the physiological challenges of COVID, there has also been a devastating economic impact with many people unfortunately losing their jobs. Others, have had their businesses decimated. In turn, this can further harm our mental wellbeing.
This has contributed to a significant rise in people taking out life insurance and income protection to protect their loved one’s financial future.
But does our mental health impact life insurance?
Will my mental health impact my life insurance?
The answer is, it depends on the severity of your condition.
For example, those suffering from mild depression who are on medication can usually obtain life cover on standard terms, paying a standard rate.
In fact, the presence of conditions such as depression, PTSD and anxiety alone will not result in your life insurance being declined or your monthly premiums necessarily being increased. An insurer is much more concerned with any possible side effects as a result of your condition, such as self-harm.
If your circumstances are particularly severe an insurer may need to carry out further investigation before your application is accepted. This may include requesting medical records from your GP.
Impaired risk applicants
If your mental health condition is particularly severe and it is proving hard to secure cover through a standard insurer, there are other options available.
Specialist impaired risk providers, such as The Exeter, can help where others cannot. Life insurance brokers, such as Reassured, also have dedicated teams who can help discuss your available options, whether that be a specialist insurer or a different form of policy cover.
The vast majority of insurers will ask you questions about your mental health and wellbeing during the application process, as well as more generic questions about your smoking status, age and weight.
This is all done to establish the level of risk you pose/the likelihood of a claim and therefore the cost of your premium can be calculated accordingly.
Whilst it can be tempting to without information regarding your mental health or medical history in order to secure a lower premium, it is vital you are always open and honest. To withhold information during the application is known in insurance as ‘non-disclosure’ and it can invalid your policy.
Non-disclosure is a common reason for a life insurance claim to be denied, rendering your selfless investment a total waste of time and money.
What questions will you be asked during the life insurance application?
Generally speaking, you will be asked to provide information such as:
- When was your condition diagnosed by a medical professional?
- Have you had to take any time off work as a result of your condition?
- Are you currently taking any prescribed medication?
- Have you ever self-harmed and/or been hospitalised as a result of your condition?
- Have you ever attempted to take your own life?
- If you have self-harmed or attempted to take your own life, how long ago did this occur?
- Have you received any psychological help from a professional?
Life insurance can provide a much needed and cost-effective financial safety blanket for your loved ones, if you are no longer around to provide.
The last 12 months has made life feel particularly fragile, heightening the need for financial provisions.
Having a mental health condition, in the majority of cases will not affect your ability to secure life insurance protection, although the cost of your cover may be higher.
Even if you have or have had a severe mental health problem there are still options available to you.
The key message in this article is the vast majority can still secure cover.
Please do not think you will be exempt from getting the protection you and your loved ones need if you have a mental health condition.
*This content is an advertorial from Reassured.