Why insurers need to act on mental illness now

Why insurers need to act on mental illness now | Insurance Business

Why insurers need to act on mental illness now

The insurance industry is about to see greater claims in the mental health space, and insurers need to act now, it has been suggested.

Former human resources professional Donna Thistlethwaite, in a report in Investment Magazine, said 33% of Australia’s income protection insurance claims are related to mental health.

Thistlethwaite was reportedly one of about 65,000 Australians who attempted suicide in 2012. Thistlethwaite survived a suicide attempt in 2012 and her miraculous recovery came in step with a new business, Career Vitality, which coaches others on navigating their own occupations.

“Most people come to see me because they’re lost or stuck, they’re in jobs they hate,” Thistlethwaite told the publication. “I do preventative work, helping people avoid going where I went.”

SuperFriend chief executive Margo Lydon, meanwhile, told the publication that the impact of mental illness on the workplace and insurance claims is growing.

“Most insurers are saying that mental illness claims are on the increase,” Lydon told the publication. “As an industry, this is a claim type that, if we get our act together, we can really have an impact on.

“There’s momentum in the industry. It’s slow and could be faster, but the most important thing that the industry must do is focus on better outcomes,” she added.

Lydon also mentioned a KPMG and Mental Health Australia report, which found that employers could save a combined $4.5 billion annually by better supporting individuals with mental health issues.

“What we’ve got to recognise is we might be seeing claims of mental illness going up, but I think we’re better able to respond and perhaps getting better at helping people get back to work faster,” she said.


Related stories:
ACCC calls for health insurance transparency
ANZ creates mental health portal for advisers