Social care  

Insurance proposed as ‘solution’ to social care crisis

Insurance proposed as ‘solution’ to social care crisis
 Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Insurance could be a solution to the ‘social care crisis’ amid pressure on the welfare state, according to a provider.

Speaking at the Protection Review conference today (December 9) Deepak Jobanputra, managing director at VitalityLife, questioned what an ageing population, expected to live with chronic conditions, was doing to prepare.

Alluding to “pressure” on the welfare state, Mr Jobanputra said the option of individual saving for care should be considered.

But he added: “[How] do you plan for something not knowing how much you may need, whether you'll need it at all?

“There's a broad spectrum. One in 10 people will have care needs that will be financially catastrophic, but how do you know in a group of 10 if you’re that one? That talks to pooling of risk and that's where insurance can be a great solution.”

Mr Jobanputra said he believed the insurance industry had a “great opportunity” to make a difference to people’s lives by providing benefits, options and solutions that could help mitigate care risks.

Discussing the opportunity to “reduce the burden” of dementia for instance, he suggested reducing risk factors associated with the condition by undertaking physical activity with a rewards scheme.

Citing a study by Vitality, Mr Jobanputra said: “[Within] a year of joining Vitality, our members are more likely to engage in healthy living. So, 20 per cent more likely to engage in physical activity; almost twice as likely to quit smoking.

“And that’s through a structured programme where you give people access to healthy living habits and incentivising them to do so.”

He concluded: “As the financial services industry, the protection industry, we play a massive role in people's lives, giving them protection against issues that they might face, and this is one area where we’ve fallen short.

“And I think there’s a great opportunity going forward, so I hope we do embrace the opportunity and really make a difference to people's lives.”

Last month the government announced an extra £1bn of social care funding for local authorities as part of the spending review.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has promised repeatedly to 'fix' the social care system and in a speech in late June, said the government was ‘finalising’ plans to solve the issue.

chloe.cheung@ft.com

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