Make mental health support a feature of more insurance policies to reduce claims, says support service RedArc

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Insurers should be looking at ways in which they can build mental health support services into more of their income protection and health insurance policies in order to reduce claims, according to RedArc, a personal nurse adviser company.

RedArc says that the business case for insurers placing mental health support services into their policies is a strong one. Mental health support is often provided within insurance products such as income protection, but policyholders do not always need to actually claim to access support. It argues that the opposite is often true. If policyholders are able to seek support services quickly and efficiently, then mental health issues can be resolved, meaning that they may not need to claim in order to take time off work.

Providing early intervention therapies is a lot more cost effective, says RedArc, as when a claim is made it is usual for more involved treatment being needed in cases of damaged mental health.

Christine Husbands, managing director for RedArc said:Early intervention is one of the best ways to combat mental health conditions but if stress and anxiety are allowed to fester they can become much harder to treat.

“All insurers should be looking at ways in which they can build mental health support services into their policies. In practice, preventative measures can mean actual claims are reduced – and so there is a definite business case for insurers.

“The business case for employers is just as strong: employers need to understand exactly what additional benefits are provided within their group insurances and consider switching away from policies that do not provide mental health support. Not only will staff feel more positive about their employer for supporting them through a difficult time, but employers may avoid a potentially longer spell of staff sickness absence.”

RedArc’s message has come following results from the Samaritan’s Suicide Statistics Report 2017, which has shown that suicide rates have been on the increase since 2007. It said that this highlighted the fact that insurers and employers must not shy away from tackling mental health conditions including chronic depression, stress, anxiety, PTSD and trauma, psychosis & schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

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Marek Handzel

Marek Handzel is the editor of Claims Magazine. Marek welcomes articles, letters, or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing marek.handzel@barkerbrooks.co.uk