Scottish Widows’ latest mental health research has revealed that more than 24 million UK adults have reported pandemic-related mental health strain.
However, the research found a reluctance among consumers to disclose their mental health conditions to insurers, with 44% of UK adults with a diagnosis not informing their insurer.
37% thought their provider would only be interested in physical illness, 26% felt it was personal and 18% were worried they would not qualify for a policy or would be charged more.
Scottish Widows said that in 2021 it offered cover to 96% of customers who disclosed a mental health condition, and of those, 87% were accepted at standard rates for life cover.
Rose St Louis, protection director at Scottish Widows, said: “Loneliness came to the forefront during the pandemic, and we know it can have a detrimental impact on mental health. More than 24 million adults in the UK told us they experienced mental health challenges during 2020, yet a stigma remains, and many don’t have the right protection in place.
“The recent challenges we’ve faced as a society have highlighted the value of protection policies for families and individuals during difficult times. We need to make sure everyone knows there’s a policy for them, no matter what they are going through.
“Being open with an insurer means those with mental health conditions are more likely to receive the right protection. Many policies provide additional benefits, such as access to mental health support from the day the policy is opened.”