“Making any insurance claim is often a time of heightened uncertainty and it is therefore necessary that we as insurers do the right thing for our customers who might already be at the end of their tether due to lockdown.”
Those were the words of UK claims head David Nichols when insurer Zurich UK announced its mental health initiative for all current policyholders who are in the process of making a claim. Through Zurich General Insurance Support Services, the company is offering five free short-term counselling sessions conducted by independent service provider Workplace Options.
The optional benefit, which was piloted last year and is provided by fully qualified and experienced counsellors, extends to claimants’ immediate family members aged at least 18. Those who take advantage of the counselling sessions will not be obliged to disclose the result of any clinical consultations.
“Dealing with further lockdown measures wasn’t the start to 2021 we were hoping for,” stated Nichols. “With work and home stresses becoming further entrenched, adding additional problems to navigate to someone who may already be experiencing heightened mental health issues must be addressed and mitigated.”
Zurich believes addressing this time of increased stress for claimants is the right way forward.
The claims head went on to note: “Our pilot demonstrated that the majority of those seeking counselling support were females over 30 years old – a demographic that could be struggling to balance the stresses of work and day-to-day family life during lockdown. We also recognise that there is a gender disparity here with far fewer men taking advantage of our free service.”
Meanwhile, other services offered at no cost include family caring, career coaching, debt and money management, and legal information.