Insurance cover and mental health

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.

Your stories

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Do I have to tell my provider?

Understandably, facing challenges like these can mean that you may not want to tell an insurance provider about your mental health problem. However, if you don't answer questions about your mental health completely truthfully, and your insurance provider finds out, this could have some serious consequences.

For example:

  • Your policy could be cancelled.
  • Your policy may become void – this would mean that any claim you make would be dismissed, even if it's not related to your mental health problem.
  • You could be charged a lump sum fee to make up the difference between the rate you were paying, and the rate you would have paid if the insurance provider had known about your mental health problem.
  • If a claim has already been settled and the insurer finds out afterwards, they may bring legal proceedings against you to recover the amount they paid out.
  • You may find it harder to get insurance in future.

It doesn't make any difference whether you actively lie to the insurance provider (for example, if the form asks you 'have you ever had a mental health problem?', and you tick a box to say 'no'), or whether you simply fail to tell the whole truth (for example, if you do disclose your mental health problem, but don't tell the insurer important details, meaning they don't have all the information they require to assess your claim).

There's also a chance that any kind of dishonesty could be considered fraudulent under the Fraud Act 2006, and may have criminal law consequences if your insurer chooses to pursue charges.

So it's generally not a good idea to lie – or conceal the truth – about your mental health history when applying for insurance.

This information was published in August 2015. We will revise it in 2018.

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