Guide to mental health protection

  • To understand the impact of mental health on people and firms in the UK.
  • To ascertain how to work with insurers to help cover individuals.
  • To be able to help clients with mental health conditions get cover.
Guide to mental health protection


Mental health is one of the biggest issues facing British businesses in 2018.

According to charity Mind, one in four people in the UK will suffer from mental ill health at some point in their lives. 

Busy lives, coupled with seven years of austerity measures, have increased the number of pressure points on individuals.

Analysis by the Stevenson-Farmer review shows that around 15 per cent of people at work have symptoms of an existing mental health condition; this can lead to absenteeism, presenteeism or even an inability to work long-term. 

Whether it is the cost of lost days due to staff absence, or lower productivity as a result of staff forcing themselves to work when they are suffering from mental ill health, British firms face billion-pound bills relating to mental ill health.

Likewise, the cost to the National Health Service in helping to support people through mental ill health reaches into the billions every year, as the 2017 Stevenson-Farmer review, Thriving at work, made painfully clear.

But setting aside the expense to the economy, what about the cost to the individual, in terms of their lack of income, their personal wellbeing, and their family's needs? 

Insurance, whether individual or group protection, can assist but there is still some way to go in helping more people through their periods of mental ill health with the financial, practical and emotional support they need. 

This guide, which qualifies for an indicative 60 minutes' worth of CPD, addresses some of the challenges facing individuals and employers, explains how advisers can assist clients to get the cover they need and gauges how well-equipped the insurance industry is to meet the needs of people with mental ill-health.

Contributors to this guide are: Brett Hill, managing director for The Health Insurance Group; Ambika Fraser, head of proposition for Unum; Nicola Mohns, head of intermediary and corporate marketing for Axa PPP Healthcare; Alan Lakey, founder of CI Expert; Phil Jeynes, head of sales and marketing for UnderwriteMe; Christine Husbands, managing director for RedArc Nurses; Rob Harvey, independent protection expert, and Emma Wilson, employee benefits consultant for Drewberry; Deepak Jobanputra, deputy chief executive at Vitality Life; Alan Knowles, managing director of Cura Financial Services; Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for Group Risk development; Scott Cadger, head of underwriting and claims strategy for Scottish Widows; the Association of British Insurers; Group Risk Development; Canada Life Group Insurance; Royal London; and LV.

Simoney Kyriakou is content plus editor of FTAdviser

In this guide


Please answer the six multiple choice questions below in order to bank your CPD. Multiple attempts are available until all questions are correctly answered.

  1. What does Ms Borolanu-Omura describe as unacceptable?

  2. Why has mental ill health often been ignored, according to Ms Fraser?

  3. How does Mr Harvey describe how providers generally take on risk for people with previous mental ill health conditions?

  4. Who does Mr Knowles say is the best insurer when it comes to covering people with mental health issues?

  5. What does Ms Moxham say is the key factor in assessing a claim

  6. What does Mr Jeynes say the industry is poor at doing?

Nearly There…

You have successfully answered all the questions correctly, well done!

You should now know…

  • To understand the impact of mental health on people and firms in the UK.
  • To ascertain how to work with insurers to help cover individuals.
  • To be able to help clients with mental health conditions get cover.

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