When buying income protection insurance, it is important to ask yourself what the policy covers and what it doesn’t. When it comes to mental health, insurance buyers should be aware that there are certain insurers who exclude mental health issues from their policies. This means that if you cannot work and hence lose your income as a result of mental health problems, you would not qualify for income protection benefits. You should therefore be aware of your options to ensure you receive adequate insurance cover.
While it may be a challenge to get income protection insurance if you have a history of mental health problems, there has been an increase in the number of successful claims made in Australia over the last few years. This is attributed to increased public awareness of mental illness as well as increased incidence of mental illness. Current economic trends are speculated to be one of the reasons for the increase in the general stress levels for many people.
Mental health history
Mental illness for insurance purposes usually includes anxiety, depression and general stress-related illness. In fact, most of the claims that show up in income protection claims forms usually have to do with one of these conditions. However, when applying for coverage your mental health history will be given careful consideration. As such, you may be required to provide information concerning the particular mental condition you suffered and how long ago it occurred, the medication you took and whether you had to take time off work as a result of the illness.
Mental health underwriting
In addition to the information you provide when applying for your policy visit us, the insurer may also contact your treating doctor for an opinion on future risk. The insurance company will carry out a thorough underwriting process based on all this information that will dictate whether your application will be accepted or rejected. The insurer may also choose to offer you a policy that excludes the condition, or charge you more to cover it. However, if the condition is not serious and you have little future risk, you may still receive standard rates on the policy offered to you.
What to expect
Once you have obtained your policy, the insurance provider cannot later choose to cancel your policy based on your income protection mental health. This is why it is important to be as honest as possible when providing information concerning your mental health history. Providing incomplete or false information could easily lead to a policy cancellation or a denial of insurance benefits in case you make a claim in the future. Note that since your mental health status is only evaluated during the underwriting process, any changes in your mental health in the future should not affect your policy terms or the cost of coverage.
When shopping for income protection insurance, it is important to look for insurers who provide coverage against mental health. Once you have identified a number of insurance providers who offer this type of coverage, you can carry out further research on what they offer and what it will cost you. Your financial planner could also offer vital information during this time so you can get coverage that fits your individual circumstances.