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According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 300 million people are suffering from mental illness at any time. The mental health charity Mind reports that one in four people suffer from a mental health issue once a year.* It is a huge factor in long-term absenteeism from the workplace, with around 15 million working days lost each year due to mental health related issues. Mental health is also one of the three most common reasons for new income protection claims, but we know that mental health issues can also emerge as a secondary associated cause of claims*1. For example, if someone suffers from cancer, they may be more likely to develop depression or anxiety alongside their condition, or later on.
Recent research by Royal London suggests that receiving financial advice actually helps to improve the wellbeing of customers, especially in troubled and uncertain times. The current landscape we all find ourselves in could very much be described as ‘uncertain’, and therefore there has never been a better time to be in contact with your client bank regarding their protection needs.
According to the Royal London research, a huge 63% of customers who received advice said they felt ‘financially secure and stable’ compared to just half (48%) who had not received any advice at all. Just under half (41%) of those who had not received advice felt ‘anxious’ about household finances compared to those who were advised (32%).
Ask yourself; how many of your clients are potentially affected by mental health issues? And is this something that you broach in protection conversations with them? When you are liaising with them do you make sure that they are aware of the support and the protection that our providers can offer?
Across the industry, we have seen Protection Providers stepping up to the challenge that mental health presents, and adapting to support advisers and clients alike. LV= for example, have recently extended their Doctor Services offering to include psychological services. Clients can simply access their LV= app via their mobile device and have up to five consultations with per year with a trained mental health professional. This kind of flexible option means that your clients will be able to access the help they need, fast. An appointment can be arranged in a few hours and without the need to consult a GP first. Appointments of this nature can be held via video call with the camera turned off if preferred by the caller.
The types of additional benefits that TMA’s Protection Panel of providers can offer for mental health support for your clients is varied, with flexible options and is being developed and updated all the time. Find out more about our Protection Panel by visiting our website www.tmaclub.com or alternatively, you can contact your TMA Key Account Manager directly.