Mental Health Awareness Week

Offering better terms to customers

2020/05/22

Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity for the UK to focus on mental health. The theme this year is kindness, in acknowledgment of the ongoing struggles many are facing up and down the country at this difficult time. This years’ MHA week coincides with Munich Re putting the finishing touches to a full review of our mental health underwriting section in our underwriting manual MIRA. Within the coming weeks this comprehensive revision will see us update more than 60 conditions, keeping us at the forefront of providing risk assessment solutions to our clients.

The ABI Protection and Health team have set up a working group to engage with charities and the health and protection industry. Their core aims include promoting greater access to insurance, and offering fairer and improved decision outcomes to people suffering with mental health conditions. At Munich Re we share this commitment which is why throughout the delivery of this work it was important to be mindful of these new guidelines. By using current medical studies and claims data, we are making it easy to communicate decision outcomes effectively and by supporting the latest ABI Mental Health Standards we are helping to create greater industry transparency and trust.

Given the ongoing concern around coronavirus, the timing of this work has taken on an even greater significance. With current industry focus being on excess deaths as a way of measuring the impact of recent events, there is arguably a bigger concern developing given the expected economic impact of Covid-19. As the pandemic slowly subsides Munich Re is predicting that the lockdowns imposed to protect us will have a significant impact on the nations mental health. The new normal of working from home, rising unemployment, home-schooling, and lack of physical contact with friends and family, mean it is more important than ever that we look after our mental well-being. With there likely to be a spike in the number of mental health disclosures in the future, this will shine a spotlight on how insurers treat customers with mental health conditions. The recent events should help to refocus and sharpen minds so that we as an industry continue to adapt our underwriting philosophies to make propositions more inclusive for those with a history of mental illness.

With the changes we are making to MIRA we are proud to be creating a more inclusive protection market for the insurance industry, our clients but most importantly for customers.

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Thomas Chapman
Thomas Chapman-Hunt
Senior Underwriter