HSBC Life supports mental health discussions through insurance benefits

HSBC Life’s latest research underscores the significant role of Value Added Benefits (VABs) in critical illness and life insurance covers, particularly in supporting mental health conversations. The study reveals that 31% of protection advisers value the inclusion of mental health support in VABs, second only to financial wellness support.

As financial stress persists due to ongoing cost-of-living challenges, 47% of advisers expect an increased demand for medical guidance and advice provided through VABs in the next two years. Separate consumer research indicates a strong comfort level among adults aged 18 to 64 in discussing mental health issues with healthcare counsellors, either face-to-face or online, facilitated by these benefits.

Coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week, the research also shows that 36% of adults appreciate access to mental health support through their protection policies.

Mitchell Barker, chief distribution officer at HSBC Life (UK) Ltd, reflected on the sector’s evolution: “The protection insurance sector is rapidly adapting to changes in attitudes towards mental health. Value Added Benefits are an important part of that transformation by offering access to counselling for customers as part of their cover.”

Barker further highlighted operational changes at HSBC Life (UK): “We have recently changed our digital rules for mental illness disclosures made during a life and critical illness cover application to remove the stigma of mental illness.

“In our view, seeking treatment for mental health should be seen as a positive and not a barrier to a customer’s protection needs.

“Since this change has been implemented, we have seen a significant increase in customers being accepted for standard terms at application stage.”