Income Protection Mental Illness - Know Your Options

Mental illness as a result of stress, depression and anxiety has become more prevalent in society today. Claim payments on mental illness have also increased significantly over the last decade. Reports show that 1 in every 3 Australians will suffer from mental illness at one point in their lives.

There are several illnesses attributable to the rise in mental illnesses being experienced today. It has been noted that medical professionals such as surgeons, dentists and doctors are at a higher risk of succumbing to mental illnesses. This is because of the high stress related to their occupations. Another aspect is because of their emotional nature stemming from their personalities, which is what draws many of them to these professions. To deal with the rise in demand for income protection for mental illness, many insurance companies are now providing cover for such individuals.

Will A History Of Mental Illness Have A Bearing On Income Protection Insurance Application?

Terms differ from one insurer to another, depending on product features, premium rates and underwriting policy. There are several factors that will determine whether your application will be accepted or not. A history of mental illness will definitely influence the decision to cover you or not. Most insurers will consider the gravity of your mental illness, its impact on your life and employment, ongoing symptoms, success of treatments that have been administered and management strategies.

If mental illness is among the conditions covered under your income protection policy, then you are bound to disclose all information pertaining to your condition. When was the mental illness diagnosed? What medication was prescribed? Have you taken time off work due to the condition? The insurance company is also likely to write to your doctor to ask for their opinion and the likelihood of future risk. Ultimately, the insurer will consider your history and future risk in determining whether to include the condition in your income protection cover. Based on their assessment, they may also decide to charge more or offer standard rates.

Can My Policy Be Cancelled Due To Mental Illness?

Insurance laws prohibit insurers from cancelling a policy as long as you make your premium payments and you disclosed your medical history upon applying for the cover. The risk factor you bear based on your condition is calculated at the time you apply for the cover. Changes in your health and other risks do not affect the terms of the policy.

Application Process

You need to understand the application process and the dynamics involved. There are different options for applying such as on phone, online or in person. Online applications in some cases have slightly different underwriting guidelines. This is mostly in regards to past or present mental illnesses. If you have a mental illness, it is best to visit the insurance company in person. Speak to a representative and explain your situation so you can get the right assistance. In addition, ensure that you go through the product disclosure statement thoroughly as this will offer a description of the product, any limitations and its benefits.

Kerrie Peacock assesses the important factors necessary for successful claims and reveals how to avoid unsuccessful claims for your TPD insurance in super. For more information on life insurance premiums, visit www.mecovered.com.au/income-protection-mental-illness.

This article was published on 03 Aug 2014 and has been viewed 499 times
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