Connected 72 - Summer 2019

24 – PROVIDER SUPPORT

1 in 4 of us will face mental health issues in our lives How is the protection industry supporting policyholders?

If you would like to know more about our Protection cover or LV= Doctor Services, contact your usual LV= Account Manager, call 0800 032 4219 or visit LV.com/adviser *LV= Doctor Services is a non-contractual benefit that can be changed or removed at any time. 27988-2019

At LV=, we’re doing all we can to support clients facing mental health challenges Understandably, some advisers are not comfortable probing into a client’s mental health issues. As an alternative we offer access to specially trained tele-underwriters, who are fully experienced in asking questions and can complete the application with the clients. As already mentioned, LV= is the only provider currently offering automatic reviewable exclusion periods. This means if your client has a history of mental health problems, but has no further issues after taking out their LV= policy, we can look to remove that exclusion after one, two or three years at the client’s request. LV= Doctor Services* now includes Remote Psychological Services and is included for all protection policyholders at no added cost from the day their policy starts with us. All they need to do is use the LV= Doctor Services app on their mobile or tablet to access up to five remote consultations with a mental health professional each year (even if the policy itself has an exclusion applied).

The stigma surrounding mental health has rapidly evolved, and for the better in recent times. This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week from 13-17 May has helped to raise awareness and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all. More and more people feel able to talk about their own experiences, including high profile celebrities from entertainment, politics, sports, as well as friends and family sharing their own struggles and experiences. The most recent figures show that one in four of us will deal with a mental health illness each year. This might not mean we take time off, but the strains and pressures remain. In the whirlwind world of work - and in our desire to impress and remain employable - mental health is a major issue behind presenteeism, as well as absenteeism. The challenge for the industry And when it comes to protection, disclosure, underwriting, product design or claims – mental health is the subject of many misconceptions, several shortcomings and some challenges. The Access to Insurance movement is doing great work in tackling these head on - seeking greater understanding and transparency plus, importantly, stronger collaboration with expert support services and charities. Many consumers, and their advisers, will have reservations and misconceptions about how their mental health history will impact their access to insurance. Industry events such as the COVER Mental Health Forum can help shed some light and understanding on this, and hopefully articles like this will too. Mental health is a leading reason for income protection claims, and where a client has experienced mental health problems that have led to time off work within the last two to three years, IP providers are more likely to apply an exclusion to reduce the underwriting risk. That’s why reviewable exclusion periods are really important, and LV= is leading the way in this area, helping widen access to insurance for people who would have otherwise been permanently excluded.

Graham Taylor National Account Manager

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