Explains how mental health problems can affect insurance cover, what your rights are, and how to choose the right cover for you. Includes a list of specialist insurance providers.
If you feel you have been treated unfairly by an insurer because of your mental health problem, there are several steps you can take. This page covers information on how you can:
If you feel that you have been given inadequate information about why the insurance company has turned you down for an insurance policy or why it has quoted a high premium you could:
"I have found it easier to deal with problems if I am a current customer rather than as a new one as companies seem to be keen to keep you."
If you're not happy with the insurance company's explanation about its decision, you can try complaining directly to the insurance provider. Most providers have a complaints procedure and should be able to tell you about this if you ask. For example, they should be able to tell you:
It is generally a good idea to communicate with the insurance company in writing as much as possible, and keep a copy of any correspondence with them. Always include important details like your name, address and policy number, and set out the facts clearly and in a logical order.
For more information about how to make a complaint to an insurance company, including a downloadable template for a complaint letter, visit the Money Advice Service website.
If you are not happy with how the insurance company deals with your complaint, you can make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Their website has step-by-step information about how to make a complaint and provides downloadable complaints letter templates. They also have a support line if you need any help during the complaints process.
The process can take time, so bear this in mind. If the FOS decide your complaint is valid, the insurance company may have to give you an apology and/or compensation.
Depending on your claim, you may be able to take legal action against the insurance provider. As a first step, make sure you get legal advice from one of the following:
If you want to make a legal claim, you must do this within six months of the incident occurring. If you have been refused insurance cover then this is 6 months after the refusal. If your complaint is about the level of premium you are being charged then you can argue that each payment of the premium is a "continuing act of discrimination" but it is better to make a legal claim within 6 months of being quoted the premium.
If your claim succeeds, the insurance company may have to provide you with compensation or agree to sell you insurance at a fair rate.
This information was published in April 2018. We will revise it in 2021.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.