Research has shown one in four residents of the United Kingdom suffer with mental health conditions at one point in their life or another.
Depression in particular affects thousands of individuals every year and even thousands more of those people who help the ones suffering with depression and a number of other debilitating mental health conditions.
While some people can manage their depression symptoms and still function on a regular basis, others are affected by this condition much more harshly. While depression is very often misunderstood, society generally recognizes depression as a very serious illness and because of this, there is a growing understanding of what individuals with this condition have to go through in their day-to-day lives.
While episodes of depression can typically be short lived, usually lasting a few weeks to a few months, some individuals suffer with depression for longer periods of time or have these shorter periods occur time and time again at various points in their lives.
The Restriction On Living
One of the main issues those suffering with depression deal with is that it inhibits their ability to function and go about their life as normal – most severely it prohibits them from continuing on with their careers and financial supporting themselves and/or their family.
Since there is a greater awareness of the condition of depression and the scenarios in which it can take place, there is an increase in society’s preparedness to help those who are suffering and acknowledging their daily struggle.
The insurance industry is one of the sectors of society that has become better prepared to deal with and help those who are suffering with depression. Insurance companies have worked hard to make sure they are able to accommodate these individuals and arrange insurance products designed to benefit them even if their professional, personal, physical, and mental issues continue.
Additionally, more and more insurance providers offering income protection policies are extending the conditions to qualify policy holders for a claim to cover more instances that include episodes of depression.
Scarcity Of Good Products
While the industry is moving in the right direction, it does not mean every insurance company is making these types of products available. Some insurance providers are remaining cautious when it comes to granting claims for those who are suffering with the many issues depression can bring and some companies offering these types of products are charging higher premiums to have a depression qualification included in the list of items making a policy holder eligible to make a claim.
For those who are looking for insurance coverage that will cover instances of depression, it is important for to know the premium prices will often be higher by an average of about five percent above the normal premium price.
With this being said, if the policy seeker had an isolated bout with depression that happened a number of years ago, it may not have any kind of impact on the price of their income protection insurance policy – they will of course have to provide the insurance company with medical records from their general practitioner to understand more about the depression that occurred.
For those looking to purchase some of the most far-reaching insurance products including critical illness cover, life insurance cover, and income protection insurance, they will need to disclose information on both their current health level as well as their medical history overall.
This information needs to be provided so the insurance company can determine whether or not the policy seekers health causes any concern or increases their likelihood of making an insurance claim.
If there are any pre-existing health conditions, it will not be surprising these conditions will be used as a means to determine the individual’s general health moving forward. While small, isolated instances of health hiccups like a broken leg or one time cold will not have a negative impact on their insurance premiums, longer term conditions like dealing with multiple episodes of depression could cause the insurance adjuster to raise the premium payment in order to cover the higher risk of making a claim.
For those insurance providers offering income protection insurance products, mental health issues like depression are among some of the most probably reasons why a policy holder may make a claim – this is only seconded by those who suffer with musculoskeletal conditions or having a “bad back.”
This may be the reason why the income protection insurance industry is in some ways falling behind when it comes to the acceptance and caring for those individuals who suffer with mental health issues.
The Issue Of Law
Under the Disability Discrimination Act, it is illegal for insurance providers to deny a policy to an individual who suffers with depression unless the provider can identify the statistically increased risk to them making a claim based on their specific mental condition.
This is now a common procedure for many income protection insurance providers, which is often called a risk assessment (this is performed on those policy seekers who have noted reoccurring issues with depression on their application).
Should this assessment show that the individual is at an increased risk of making a claim due to their mental condition, like depression, the insurance provider is then at the liberty to deny them a policy or raise the cost of the insurance product to help cover the increased risk to making a claim.
Even though this is the case, it is important to know that income protection insurance policies are not the only option when it comes to looking for products to help cover an individual should they be unable to work due to complications with a mental illness.
One of the problems policy seekers often have with securing an income protection policy is there is no set definition for what depression is and there is no sliding scale to help determine the level of seriousness or proposed risk to classify individuals.
Since there is no way to assert how serious someone’s depression is through the insurance company’s definition or if they zone in on a single period of time when the individual’s depression was a serious issue, it is possible for their application for income protection insurance to be dismissed without proper evaluation.
For those who are looking for information on income protection insurance policies and what the options are for those who are suffering from depression, the knowledgeable team at Claybrooke is available to answer their questions.
It is possible for our team to help policy seekers find an insurance product that can meet their needs as well as their budget regardless of any mental conditions or depression complications. Before deciding income protection is not for you, give our team a call to discuss the different options available to protect you and your family.