Focus on mental health could increase post-pandemic

By Tara McCabe ·

According to a recently released survey by KPMG and the Financial Services Council, life insurance claims related to mental health increased by a whopping 53% between 2013 and 2018. This new research is very timely, given that a large number of people across the country have just spent months inside due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

In its Covid-19 Insights report, media company Pureprofile looked at how Australians’ behaviour changed during the pandemic. 

The report revealed that concern for mental and physical health came to the fore in April, as we all became more and more accustomed to social distancing. 

To maintain our mental health during these tough times the report stated that 55% of us have started listening to music more often, 47% are taking more time to read a good ol’ book and a further 36% have discovered the delights of gardening.

There was even a big push to pass these positive vibes on with over half of those surveyed saying that they felt more inclined to show kindness to others.

Concern for mental health growing

KPMG’s Actuarial Partner Briallen Cummings said that the study had revealed an increase in focus on mental health and wellbeing.

“More people are now focusing on their mental wellbeing, which we see in people taking longer to return to work after a mental health event. Mental health claims tend to take longer to be reported and assessed than other causes of claims, but the payout rate by insurers is high and reflects the importance to our community in supporting these individuals in a return to health and work,” said Cummings.

Career switching on the rise

In an ING report released in May, more than 3 million Aussies had reported thinking about switching careers post-Covid. There are a few reasons for this, one of which is simply that with so much time spent inside, more and more people have been thinking about what they really care about and what they actually want to achieve.

Futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson commented on the findings saying, “Pandemics have a history of spawning cultural and labour transformation.” With this, Sörman-Nilsson has predicted that workplaces will put a greater emphasis on mental health and wellbeing in the future, including access to meditation apps, online therapy and dedicated wellbeing spaces.

Mental health cover under life insurance

Mental illness can be covered under total permanent disability insurance. However, it is definitely a good idea to compare life insurance policies and carefully check the PDS before signing on the dotted line, to check what levels of cover are provided for mental health issues.

Tara McCabe
Tara McCabe
Money writer

Tara McCabe writes across all areas of personal finance here at Mozo from banking through to insurance. Tara is expert at practical money tips, showing readers ways to live richer and be socially conscious while doing it. She earned a BA (Hons) in English Literature from Canterbury Christ Church University.