Submission to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) urges the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (Commission) to inquire into the practices of insurers in relation to people with past or current mental health conditions.
PIAC has identified systemic problems in the way insurers design, price and offer policies and assess claims for people with past or current mental health conditions. These problems arise in both general and life insurance for products such as travel, income protection, total and permanent disability and death insurance.
Insurers appear to be unreasonably denying cover and applying broad, blanket mental health exclusions that are not supported by evidence and do not reflect the risk posed by the applicant to the insurer. As a result, it is extremely difficult for individuals who:
had a mental health condition many years ago but no longer have a mental health condition;
have a mild mental health condition which has been well-managed for many years; or
have never been clinically diagnosed with a mental health condition but have shown symptoms of a mental health condition, to obtain insurance with mental health cover, or to obtain insurance at all.