"Those with mental health problems, whether that be depression, anxiety or any other disorders, already have a lot on their plate, without the additional worries of income loss"
On World Mental Health Day, Holloway Friendly has announced the launch of new cover for people suffering with mild depression, anxiety and other common illnesses.
The provider says it wants income protection to be more inclusive and accessible, and for providers to address how the industry can insure people with old, or existing, mental health conditions.
One in four people experience mental health issues each year and one in six experience them in any given week. Mental health is currently responsible for 72 million missed working days, costing workers £34.9 billion collectively.
With research from the Mental Health Foundation showing that 74% of individuals admit to feeling stressed to the point of being unable to cope, Holloway is offering help for those who have had time off work due to a significant lifestyle change or loss, including bereavement, redundancy or divorce. This means that if an applicant was off for a short period of time due to mental health issues triggered by a loss, but had been back at work for at least three months, Holloway would not look to apply any exclusion or loading to the policy.
Additionally, Holloway has been looking into how it could provide cover to people with existing mild depression or anxiety, even if they are already on medication when applying for income protection. As an industry first, the society will review how the applicant manages their symptoms with an effective management plan and then decide how to cover them. This would be considered on an individual basis as each person’s circumstances will be different and any plan offered would need to take different situations into account.
These changes are in final stages of delivery and will be in place by the end of December.
Stuart Tragheim, CEO at Holloway Friendly, commented: “Mental illness has always been an issue however the current, unpredictable state of the country paired with career pressure, benefit woes and social media popularity has exacerbated many sufferers to breaking point.
"Those with mental health problems, whether that be depression, anxiety or any other disorders, already have a lot on their plate, without the additional worries of income loss should they suddenly be unable to work.
"We want to change this for our members and make income protection accessible for all. We’re proud to be leading the way in covering mental health conditions and making these important first steps, and do hope that other providers will follow our lead.”