Underwriting amendments have been designed to bolster ‘access to insurance’, says chief underwriter

Mutual insurer Royal London has introduced a series of changes in its approach to the underwriting of mental health risks.

The insurer said the changes, which have been announced this week (November 2022), had been implemented to improve outcomes for customers and are part of its “commitment to regularly enhance the most common areas of underwriting disclosure”.

Underwriting amendments include a greater number of customers with minor conditions now being accepted on standard terms for Royal London’s disability cover, such as income protection.

In other cases, cover will be available with a rating instead of an exclusion, so full protection can be offered to customers.

In addition, more customers with mild symptoms who have been treated with counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or similar psychological therapies can now be accepted on standard terms, while customers with past history of a suicide attempt, suicidal ideation or inpatient treatment may now be offered terms for life or critical illness cover where this was previously unavailable.

Improving ‘access to insurance’

Craig Paterson, chief underwriter at Royal London, explained: “The improvements to our underwriting of mental health conditions continues our theme of focusing on evidence-based underwriting [while] boosting access to insurance.

“Mental health conditions are the most commonly disclosed by customers applying for protection.

“This, combined with recent global events and the challenging economic environment, serves to demonstrate our commitment to regularly review and enhance our offering, allowing more people to protect themselves and their families.”