Mental Health and Insurance

The Actuaries Institute has released its Green Paper 'Mental Health and Insurance' which aims to stimulate discussion about the way the insurance sector and insurance products interact with people with mental health conditions.

Consumers have expressed dissatisfaction with several aspects of the insurance response to mental health conditions. This paper explores some of the difficult problems faced by insurers as they try to balance the competing objectives of maintaining an affordable and sustainable product while meeting the expectations of their customers and the community in relation to mental health conditions.

The Institute believes mental health is an important public policy issue where it can contribute independent advice in the area of insurance.

Download Green Paper

Media Release

Listen to Podcast

This Paper was commissioned by the Institute and prepared by Geoff Atkins and Sue Freeman of Finity Consulting.

Issues discussed in the paper include:

  • Relevant knowledge about mental health conditions
    The importance of the workplace, poorer recovery when mental health conditions are involved, the ability to make risk-based forecasts
  • The Difficult Problems - Why does the insurance sector find it difficult?
    Lack of appropriate data, diagnosis and subjectivity, reliance on self-reporting, severity and prospects of recovery. The prevalence of co-morbidities and substance abuse, financial incentive, secondary harm, ineffective regulatory framework
  • How can improvements be achieved?
    Product definitions, product design, underwriting guides, early treatment and recovery, review of laws relating to mental health and insurance. Data collection, analysis and access, specialist skills and processes in dealing with claims, expert neutral evaluation. Continuing education and collaboration

peace of mind podcast

The Institute has prepared a series of podcasts called 'Peace of Mind' in line with this paper. Follow the link below to listen.

Listen to Peace of Mind