Does income protection insurance cover mental health?

Yes, income protection could pay out to you as a result of a mental health condition. Including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress

As 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime[1], this can help to provide peace of mind that you could still receive an income if you were unable to work as a result of mental health in the future.

Income protection is an insurance policy that can pay out to you in monthly instalments should you become unable to work due to injury or illness (both physical and mental).

However, if you’re currently living with a mental health condition or have experienced one in the past, this will be classed as a pre-existing condition and some providers may exclude this from your cover.

Comparing multiple quotes can help you to find suitable cover for your personal circumstances.

Reassured can compare income protection quotes from the whole of market, helping you find the best policy to meet your needs.

Income protection and mental health [Key facts]

  • Mental health is often one of the top reasons income protection providers pay out for (in 2022, 30% of Aviva’s income protection claims were due to mental health)[2]
  • Between 2021 and 2022, it’s estimated that 17 million working days were lost due to work related stress, depression or anxiety[3]
  • Health workers (such as doctors) and teachers are some of the workers most likely to be affected by workplace stress[3]
  • Unlike other forms of cover, such as critical illness cover, there isn’t a set list of conditions listed in your policy - allowing you to claim for mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression
  • If you have a pre-existing mental health condition it’s likely you’ll pay more for cover and/or you may have your condition added as an exclusion to your policy

Can you claim income protection for mental health?

Yes, it’s possible to make a claim on income protection due to a mental health condition.

Mental health is often one of the most common reasons providers pay out income protection for.

The table below shows five major UK income protection providers and their most recent pay out statistics:

ProviderPercentage of claims paid out due to mental health conditions in 2022
Aviva 30%
LV= 12%
The Exeter Insurer Logo 7%
British Friendly logo 7%
Royal London review logo 4%

This information has been taken from each providers most recent pay out statistics and is correct as of 29/06/23

Just as employees are entitled to take days off due to physical health conditions, it’s also possible to take time off work due to mental health.

If you’re signed off work due to a mental health condition, you could claim on your income protection policy.

If your condition meets the definition of incapacity listed in your policy and you’re unable to work for longer than your deferred period, you can start to receive payments.

If you’re still able to receive the income that’s protected, your policy won’t pay out to you.


Income protection terminology:

Deferred Period clock

Deferred period - The time in between making a claim and receiving your payments. You’ll outline how long you’d like your deferred period to be during the application process (typical options include 4, 8, 12, 26 and 52 weeks). You’ll need to be unable to work once your deferred period has ended in order for your payments to commence.

Definition of Incapacity

Definition of incapacity - This outlines what makes you eligible to make a claim. Most income protection policies come with an ‘own occupation’ definition which means you can claim if you’re unable to do your specific job role.

How much income protection do you need?

Enter your financial commitments to find out how much income protection you’d need to help cover your financial commitments while off work due to mental health.

?

£723 a month is the average monthly mortgage payment in the UK, with the average monthly rental price coming in at £700.

The majority of our monthly income will go towards rental or mortgage payments.

For this reason, it’s essential to have precautions in place to ensure you could keep up to date with your payments if you weren’t receiving your usual income.

Monthly income protection payments can help to cover this large expense and ensure you can stay in your home.

£
?

According to the Money Advice Service, the average household spends £340 a month on household bills.

This includes electricity, gas, TV and broadband.

£
?

Childcare costs are on the rise with it now costing £137.69 per week for part-time nursery for a child under the age of two.

That’s over £550 per month - is this an amount you’d be able to keep up with if you were unable to work?

Becoming ill could also result in the need for additional childcare while you attend doctors’ appointments or medical treatment.

£
?

The average household in the UK spends around £97 a week on their food shop, totaling £388 a month.

While this may seem like a small amount in comparison to some of the other expenses mentioned, the food shop is often where we try to scrimp and save when we fall on hard times.

Income protection can take care of the cost of your weekly food shop, as well as many other essential costs.

£
?

At the beginning of 2020, credit card debt in the UK was at £2.1 billion, with almost 27 million UK residents in some kind of debt.

Becoming unable to work could make it hard to keep up with credit card or loan payments (including car finance or other financed goods).

Failure to keep up with payments could result in additional interest being incurred or late fees issues - resulting in a higher total needing to be paid.

£
?

The average spent on public transport each month comes to an average of £94.

This includes the cost of public transport, as well as petrol and diesel vehicles.

While this amount may reduce while you’re unable to work as you won’t need to commute there may be additional spending on public transportation if your illness or injury leaves you unable to drive.

£
£

Your total cover estimate

£ 0

Let us find your best quotes.

Does income protection cover depression?

Yes, income protection could cover you for depression.

If you experience depression and it leads to you being unable to work, you can make a claim on your policy.

If your condition matches your definition of incapacity and you’re off work for longer than your deferred period, your payments will commence.

If you have experienced depression prior to securing a policy, depending on your circumstances, it could be added as an exclusion to your policy. This means you won’t be able to claim for this reason.

Comparing quotes is essential in finding cover that’s right for your needs.

Reassured can take your personal circumstances into consideration and provide you with the most suitable providers. Simply get in touch.

Does income protection cover stress?

Yes, you could be covered for stress with an income protection policy.

It’s a sad statistic that the most common cause of stress is work related stress, with 79% of people saying they have frequently experienced it[4].

If you’re signed off with stress you may be able to benefit from your company’s sick pay scheme.

However, if you needed to take a longer break from work due to your mental health, or you aren’t eligible for sick pay (like the self-employed) income protection could provide you with vital funds to help cover essential daily living costs.

Why not speak to an expert at Reassured about protecting your income?

Can you get income protection for anxiety?

Yes, income protection could cover you for anxiety.

As with depression and stress, if anxiety prevents you from working you could make a claim on your policy.

If you’re unable to work for longer than your deferred period and your condition matches your definition of incapacity, you could start to receive payments.

If anxiety has been excluded from your policy (due to being pre-existing) you won’t be able to claim for this reason).

Can you get income protection with pre-existing mental health conditions?

Yes, it’s possible to secure income protection if you have a pre-existing mental health condition.

However, your condition may have an impact on the outcome of your application.

Rest assured, it’s unlikely you’ll be declined for cover, but you may experience inflated premiums or exclusions added to your policy.


The table below details the likely outcomes when applying for income protection with mental health:

History of mental healthLikely application outcome
No history of mental healthApplication accepted with standard terms, allowing you to claim for mental health reasons if they prevent you from working in the future.
Previous history of mental healthIf you have experienced a mental health condition in the past, your personal circumstances will determine the outcome of your application. This could range from little impact to your policy up to paying increased premiums and/or having exclusions added.
Recent history of mental healthIf you have recently experienced a mental health condition (for example, in the last few years), it’s likely that your premiums will be increased and you may have mental health conditions excluded from your policy.
Currently experiencing mental healthIf you are currently living with a mental health condition you may experience increased premiums (as with any pre-existing medical condition) and mental health will likely be excluded from your policy (meaning you can’t make a claim if you’re unable to work due to mental health reasons).


If you find that you can’t get the cover you want or the quotes you receive are too expensive, you could obtain quotes from a specialist insurer (such as The Exeter).

These are insurers who specialise in offering cover to those with pre-existing medical conditions.

Reassured can help you compare quotes from all UK providers, including mainstream and specialist insurers.

By considering all of your available options you can find the right policy to meet your needs at the best available price. Simply get in touch for your free quotes.

The importance of disclosing mental health

If you’re applying for income protection and you have a pre-existing mental health condition, you’ll be required to provide details during the application.

While it can be hard to be upfront about mental health, it’s essential that you do so in order for your cover to be valid.

Providing false information or withholding certain details could invalidate your policy, meaning a pay out won’t be issued.

Insurance professionals are here to help, with their main aim being to find you the right cover.

Will insurers speak to your doctor about your mental health?

Insurers have the right to ask for a doctors report from your GP if necessary. However, this can only be obtained with your permission.

If you’re applying for income protection with a pre-existing mental health condition, insurers will likely require additional information. You’ll likely be asked additional questions such as:

  • What was your diagnosis?
  • When did your symptoms began and when you last experienced them?
  • What are/were your symptoms?
  • Have you had to take time off work?
  • What treatment did you receive/are you receiving?
  • Have you ever had suicidal thoughts?

While it can be hard to discuss your mental health, providing as much information as possible could reduce the need for a doctors report.

If a doctors report is necessary, it can only be obtained with your permission and will only be required so insurers can get a better understanding of your health.

By obtaining this information they can ensure you’re securing the right cover for your personal circumstances.

Alternatively, if you’re making a claim for a mental health condition, you’ll need to provide medical evidence as part of the claims process. This will likely be in the form of a doctors note.

Does Income protection have a mental health exclusion?

If you’ve previously experienced or are currently living with a mental health condition at the point of application, this will be considered as a pre-existing condition.

The personal circumstances of your condition will determine the effect it will have on your cover.

Depending on the severity and frequency of symptoms, pre-existing conditions can be added as exclusions to a policy. This means you won’t be able to make a claim for this reason.

However, many insurers are becoming increasingly sensitive and open minded in regards to mental health, with some insurers using ‘reviewable exclusions’.

These are exclusions that can be removed after a certain time period and mental health is often the most common condition to have automatic reviewable exclusions[5].

Comparing quotes is essential in finding a policy with the right terms to meet your needs, why not use a broker (like Reassured) to compare fee free quotes from the whole of the market?

What can income protection help to cover?

As an income protection policy pays out monthly, you can use the payments to cover whatever you would spend your usual income on.

Commonly, income protection payments are used to help cover:

Mortgage

Monthly mortgage or rent payments

Bills utilities

Household bills

Family living

Family living costs

Childcare cost baby

Childcare

Icons transport

Transportation

Leisure

Leisure activities and hobbies

While the payments may not be able to cover the full cost of your financial commitments, they can help to ease the strain.

Financial stress can be overwhelming and has been known to lead to mental health struggles, with 40% of those living with a mental health condition saying their financial situation worsens their symptoms[6].

Planning for the future and securing the right financial protection could help to provide you with peace of mind should you ever need to make a claim.

Many policies also come with additional health and wellbeing support, which often includes mental health services.

To find the right policy for you, why not compare quotes with Reassured?

A friendly and professional member of the team could help you find the best cover for your needs (including policies that include additional support services).

Support when applying for income protection with mental health

Insurers will never judge you based on the information you provide to them, they simply require this information to ensure you secure the right cover.

The industry has been striving to make improvements to its approach to mental health.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) have launched mental health standards to help provide better support to those with a mental health condition when applying for cover.

With the launch of these standards, members of the ABI have committed to four standards:

  1. Improving accessibility
  2. Application process: asking appropriate questions
  3. Communicating decisions and cover; clarity and empathy
  4. Transparency[7]

Compare income protection quotes

The insurance world is taking steps to break the stigma surrounding mental health and financial protection, such as income protection.

It can be possible to claim on your income protection policy as a result of mental health (depending on your personal circumstances).

Reassured can help you compare quotes from the whole of the market and provide you with personalised recommendations on what’s best for you.

A friendly member of the team will also be on hand to guide you through the application and answer any questions you might have.

Simply get in touch for your free and no-obligation quotes.

Sources:

[1] https://www.rethink.org/

[2] https://connect.avivab2b.co.uk/adviser/articles/news/protection/Our-2022-individual-protection-claims-results/

[3] https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overall/hssh2122.pdf

[4] https://championhealth.co.uk/insights/stress-statistics/

[5] https://www.covermagazine.co.uk/opinion/4115735/protection-actively-promoting-benefits-help-people-maintain-mental-health

[6] https://championhealth.co.uk/insights/financial-wellbeing-statistics/

[7] https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/choosing-the-right-insurance/health-insurance/mental-health-standards/

Related articles:


Our customers love us
Trustpilot Star Rating

Very easy to understand and very quick

Yes very pleased with my choice very helpful easy to understand and very pleasant transaction all good!

Mrs M Rushworth

Very professional and reassuring

Very professional and reassuring. Life insurance sorted in about 10 minutes.

Stephen Davies

very courteous and friendly

very courteous and friendly. Polite professional and empathic.

Stedroy Fenton

Another happy customer

Another happy customer I am. They are very professional and kind. Fully communicative. I recommend.

Piotr Stepien

Really attentive during the call

Really attentive during the call, good clear guidance throughout. Well done.

Michael Reynolds

Amazing service

Amazing service quick fast and easy and Joey was a star on the phone really help me thanks.

Sera Woolley

I made the right choice and now I feel…

I made the right choice and now I feel relieved that I did.

glyn

Really genuine kind and compassionate…

Really genuine kind and compassionate team with great knowledge and friendly approach highly recommend them!

Katelia Merritt

I must say Jake took me through every…

I must say Jake took me through every step and was brilliant, recommend them anytime.

Allan Green

Very happy and everything explained…

Very happy and everything explained well, so glad a took the time to take the call, normally I would say I'm busy. But compared to other company's we save so much more money.

Jenny Berry
We’re rated as 'Excellent' with 77,957 customer reviews