Mental Health and Insurance – Submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health

Publication date:
23 January 2020
Resource type:
Submission

PIAC’s submission to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Mental Health responds to the recommendations proposed in the Commission’s draft report relating to awareness of mental illness in the insurance sector.

PIAC provides legal advice and representation to people who have experienced discrimination, or otherwise been treated unfairly, by general and life insurance providers on the basis of a mental health condition. PIAC’s submission highlights systemic discrimination by insurers identified from our casework, particularly by life insurers when underwriting life, income protection, TPD and trauma policies.

PIAC supports the Commission’s draft recommendation for the Financial Services Council (FSC) to update and expand coverage of its Life Insurance Industry Standard 21 regarding mental health training requirements. PIAC also recommends updates to the FSC’s Life Insurance Code of Conduct which is under review in 2020.

PIAC also welcomes the Commission’s call for an evaluation of the effectiveness of industry Codes of Practice and industry standards that relate to the provision of services to people with mental illness, but recommends that a more focused investigation into the underwriting practices of life insurers in respect of consumers with mental health conditions should take priority.

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