ALUCA / Turks Legal Mental Health In Life Insurance Panel Session

ALUCA was very proud to co-host with gold education sponsor partner Turks Legal a special mental health in life insurance panel session on October 31st at Turks Legal’s offices in Sydney.  A range of senior industry speakers spoke on the panel providing their insights and key perspectives.

The esteemed panel included the co-author of the Actuaries Institute paper on Mental Health & Insurance, Geoff Atkins, Principal, Finity Consulting, Margo Lydon, CEO of  Superfriends, Nick Kirwan, Senior Policy Manager, Life Insurance  from the FSC, Carly Van Den Akker, Head of Life & Health Solutions at SwissRe and Glenn Baird, Head of Mental Health at TAL and moderated by John Myatt from Turks Legal.

The session and topic came about from the Life Insurance Future Thinking group (LIFT) session held and hosted by Turks Legal. The Life Insurance Future Thinking group consists of the finalists and winners of the ALUCA and TurksLegal’s scholarship alumni program. They were joined by several key thought leaders with the topic being Mental Health in life Insurance. Geoff Atkins, co-author of the Actuaries Institute paper on “Mental Health & Insurance” joined the session. A key view about mental health and insurance in this paper was:

“…..this is a genuine issue in our society and our economy, and it behoves the insurance industry to pull its weight……Many have been working hard and improvements have been made, but some aspects would be more effectively developed on an industry-wide basis.”

The LIFT session discussed this and more, providing many relevant insights about the challenges that we face in life insurance with the growth in mental health looking at the key issues and solutions from a product design, new business and underwriting and a claims perspective. The panel speakers all further explored these.

The panel reflected on how mental illness is now the leading cause of work absence and long-term work incapacity in the developed world. The value of mental health claims is far higher than in most other claims type. For TPD the average amount paid for mental health claims is almost 65% higher than other claims types. This ties in with the recently released FSC/KPMG Australia data that reveals that life insurers pay out more TPD claims caused by mental health conditions than for any other cause – accounting for 24.1 per cent of all TPD claims.

While many insurance products respond to Mental Health, there is a growing burden of claims being made with the proportion of mental health claims reported to the insurer increasing steadily between 2011 and 2015.

It was a really stimulating and highly relevant session touching on the need for the industry to collaborate further to address mental health and life insurance.

A paper will shortly be distributed from this session to all members. Many thanks again to Turks Legal and all the panel speakers.