Saturday, October 19, 2013

Working With Depression: Accident and Sickness Insurance

Accident and sickness insurance is a real concern for many people who suffer with depression in the workplace. It can be very difficult to insure against metal health problems as the illness is far more difficult to define and to treat than a more straightforward physical complaint.

So can you get accident and sickness insurance if you suffer from depression or other mental health problems? And will you be able to get the cover you need from your insurance to help you deal with the realities of working with depression? In this article we will discuss some key information you need to know to get a handle on accident and sickness insurance and mental illness.

The problem is that, no matter what your personal circumstances, if you suffer, or have suffered from a mental illness, insurance companies will see you as 'high risk' and may be unwilling to sell you accident and sickness insurance on this basis. This means that some insurance companies unfairly discriminate against those with mental health issues. Meanwhile, the insurance companies who believe that everyone should have access to insurance are forced to take on all 'high risk' clients which means that they are forced to charge higher premiums.

One shocking figure is that in 1996, 25% of people who had made use of mental health services were refused insurance. Thankfully, this is starting to change and the figure has been improving steadily in recent years as understanding and the call for equality develops. The Equality Act 2010 has done much to improve the situation. The act made it illegal to discriminate against people with 'protected characteristics' including mental health disabilities.

Part III of the Equality Act states that there must be fair and equal distribution of goods and services to all, which means that insurance providers legally must provide cover to a person suffering from a mental health issue, like depression, at a fair and reasonable rate.

If you suffer from a mental health issue, including depression, and want to buy cover, like accident and sickness insurance, it is important to be open and honest with your prospective insurance provider. Such insurance policies can be invalidated if your insurance provider discovers that you have failed to disclose information which they may consider relevant.

Another good tip is to always shop around. Different accident and sickness insurance providers have different policies, statistics and formulas with which they work out accident and sickness insurance premiums so it can really pay to get quotes from a number of different providers.

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