Financial planners see rise in mental health disclosure

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More than 70% of financial planners polled have seen a spike in the number of clients who disclose a personal history of mental illness when taking out insurance policies. This is according to the AMP Planner Protection Poll which reflects both the increased incidence and awareness of this health issue in Australia.

Referring to the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, AMP’s Director for Wealth Protection Products Michael Paff commented, “With one in five Australian adults experiencing a mental disorder in any year, and general awareness of mental illness increasing, planners and customers are acknowledging the significant impact it can have on people’s lives.”

Paff added financial planners were taking the impact of mental illness into account when it comes to applying for Income Protection cover, including in their approach to client disclosure of these illnesses.

“Financial planners need to be flexible in engaging with their clients during the process of completing a personal health statement. This includes being able to recognise how comfortable the client is with personally disclosing potentially sensitive health history and looking at other options for the client where available. For example, AMP’s ‘easywrite tele’ service allows planners to offer clients the option of discussing their health history directly with AMP if they do not feel comfortable disclosing this with their planner.”

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