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Time to Talk

For over ten years, mental health campaign Time to Change has been working to improve attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health problems.

The movement was started by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and their work has resulted in 12.7% of the population (5.4m people) now having more positive attitudes to mental health.

Of course there is still some way to go. The prejudices people face can mean losing jobs, relationships and in the most extreme cases, lives. Time to Change is committed to continue their campaign until people no longer hold views which make life unnecessarily harder for those affected.

We really admire this campaign, and so this year we have decided to support their ‘Time to Talk Day’. As a specialist broker which deals with many people living with mental health conditions, we understand that some people find it difficult to talk about issues which affect them when they’re looking for life cover to protect their families and homes.

We help people living with mental health problems to find the Life Cover they’re looking for

Not only do we welcome the opportunity to talk to people, we also understand that some people may prefer email communication rather than talking over the phone. We’re happy to do either!

Without someone to offer expert guidance, applying for Life Cover can be stressful. We do everything we can to make the process as easy and simple as possible for you.

We’re well placed to help people in this situation

Since Moneysworth started in 2003, our team has helped many people with various mental health conditions to find suitable Life Insurance.

Andrew Wilkinson and Tim Boddy, Moneysworth’s founding partners, have personal experience of some of the key issues involved and comprehensive knowledge of the Life Insurance market.

We’re also aware of how, when people living with mental health conditions are refused the opportunity to protect their family’s future, those decisions often negatively impact their recovery.

Moneysworth is on a mission to help improve the Life Insurance market for people living with mental health problems

A significant factor in Moneysworth winning Best Specialist Intermediary 2019 at the Cover Excellence Awards was recognition of our work for customers living with mental health conditions.

We want to see cover options and availability broaden for people living with mental health problems, and so we’ll continue to lobby the insurance industry for better outcomes for all.

Moneysworth would encourage anyone who has been declined cover to contact, as we may be able to help

We research the whole market and also offer access to alternative solutions.

We don’t charge clients any fees to search the insurance market, so it won’t cost you a penny to ask us to fully explore your Life Insurance options.

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February 6th, 2020

Posted In: life insurance, mental health

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Access to insurance: people crossing a bridge over a maze

For several years, Moneysworth has been involved in a campaign to radically improve access to Life Insurance for people with health conditions. Now a growing number of large insurers, industry organisations and charities are committed to improving access to Life Insurance.

As of yesterday, a manifesto has been submitted to Parliament which sets out how people with health conditions should be offered greatly improved access to insurance. This is the culmination of a huge, focussed effort from many industry stakeholders, and we are proud to be a part of this project.

The result is a comprehensive agreement which will help make protection insurance more widely available. It achieves this by setting out principles for participating companies to follow when they are unable to offer cover to a client.

From the consumer’s point of view, it will mean they will be given help with finding specialist assistance to help them continue their search for cover.

The agreement, which is voluntary, has been signed by insurers such as Legal & General, Lloyds Banking Group, Bank of Scotland, Scottish Widows, plus several key adviser firms, industry groups and associations. In time, we anticipate many more insurers, advisers and industry organisations will also participate.

Moneysworth was asked to be involved in developing the agreement because of our expertise in helping clients with health conditions, assisting with their Life Insurance needs – and, in particular, our breadth of knowledge about the many obstacles people face.

Many people believe that they are uninsurable

It is true that some people are uninsurable, however many people are more insurable than they think.

Often people just assume that insurance is not possible. For example, sometimes customers who have had a heart attack tell us they have always assumed that, due to their heart attack, they are uninsurable. The same goes for many people with other health conditions.

Many wrongly assume that if one insurance company declines their application, so will all the others.

Typically, the application process can be lengthy, as insurers often need to obtain medical evidence from a doctor’s surgery. To get a decline decision at the end of this process can be demotivating.

However, the length of the whole process is normal and other insurers may decide to offer cover – so the key message is “Don’t give up”.

With the new agreement announced yesterday, hopefully many people who have had an application for protection insurance declined will now be able to find a suitable specialist broker like Moneysworth.

Moneysworth has helped many people with health problems to find suitable Life Insurance.

This is because we’re well placed to help people in this situation. We have detailed knowledge of the Life Insurance market, and we have in-house underwriting expertise, which helps as we gather appropriate medical information to enable us to approach different insurers across the market, in our search for solutions on behalf of our clients.

Moneysworth has over fifteen years of success in finding cover for people with mental and physical health conditions.

Examples of Life Insurance prices we found for clients with health conditions:

  • 48 year old, non-smoker, previously suffered a heart attack
    Required £80,000 of level life cover over 20 years
    Standard rate for someone with no health problems: £17.91 (for comparison)
    We researched the market and found three insurers who declined to offer cover – and nine insurers who were willing to offer cover, with prices ranging from £70.59 down to just £44.78 per month.
  • 22 year old, non-smoker, history of mental health issues (overdose and OCD)
    Required £125,000 of decreasing life cover over 23 years.
    Standard rate for someone with no health problems: £4.64 (for comparison)
    We researched the market and found three insurers who declined to offer cover – and seven insurers willing to offer cover, with prices ranging from £78.22 down to just £7.37 per month.
  • 29 year old, non-smoker, with a heart condition (born with hole in heart & leaking valve)
    Required £260,000 of decreasing life cover over 25 years.
    Standard rate for someone with no health problems: £7.77 (for comparison)
    We researched the market and found eight insurers who declined to offer cover – and three insurers willing to offer cover, with prices ranging from £86.17 down to just £22.65 per month.

We don’t charge clients any fees to search the insurance market, so it won’t cost you a penny to ask us to fully explore your Life Insurance options.

January 22nd, 2020

Posted In: access to insurance, life insurance

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Today is Purple Tuesday, an annual awareness day which promotes improving customer experiences for people living with disabilities. 

Moneysworth staff wearing Purple Tuesday teeshirts
Moneysworth’s Kirsty, Andrew, Gemma and Tim proudly sporting their very purple Purple Tuesday tee-shirts!

We took part in last year’s event, and we’re proud to be doing so again today!

Purple Tuesday was started by the aptly named Purple, an organisation which also offers accessibility consultancy, training and auditing services. We like what they do, and earlier this year we signed up to become a member so we can learn how to make our business more inclusive.

It’s vital to us that our business and services are accessible to everyone.

At Moneysworth, our mission is to improve access to Life Insurance for people who have struggled to find cover they can afford or have been refused cover, usually because they’ve been deemed a higher risk due to an existing health condition.

For most Moneysworth clients, their first engagement with us is when they use our website.

We knew our website already had features that were built with accessibility in mind, such as fairly large font sizes, touch screen compatibility and menus that could be used with just a keyboard – but is that good enough? What other improvements should we add?

Many people take using the internet for granted, but even the most basic website functions can be much more complicated to use for people with disabilities.

How would you find your way around a website if you have visual, motor or cognitive impairments? How would you click a link, open a menu or fill in a form if you can’t operate a mouse or you have difficulty seeing and reading?

When we asked ourselves these questions, we realised we didn’t have all the answers.  So we asked Purple to audit our website.

Their report identified a number of ways we could improve what is “already a good site”, and it also identified where we could make improvements to provide an easier experience for people with visual impairments or physical disabilities.

Our web designer found optimum ways to implement these changes without radically changing the design of the Moneysworth site.

A summary of the improvements we’ve made to help visitors with disabilities navigate the site, find the information they require and enter their details in forms:

  • Small text, such as explanatory notes on form fields, is now larger;
  • All links, buttons and form fields can be accessed with the Tab key;
  • Keyboard users can skip past the navigation menus by pressing the Tab when a page loads (this is a common international standard accessibility function, which keyboard-only users expect to find on accessible websites);
  • A “Start of page” link/button allows keyboard users to easily scroll up to the main navigation links when they reach the end of a page;
  • An “Accessibility Options” is visible on all pages at all times. This activates a third party toolbar which provides a range of useful functions such as a text-to-speech audio reader, plus facilities for enlarging text and changing colours.

Going through this process has been an interesting and revealing exercise. Now that we’ve put these improvements in place, we’ll continue to ensure we consider maximum accessibility for all users as we add new content and features to the Moneysworth website.

Accessibility improvements can be beneficial for all website users

Before and after: some of the visual usability improvements we made to our ‘Get a Quote’ form. Better spacing, larger ‘Required’ labels, buttons and checkboxes that can be navigated and switched on/off with the keyboard, and a more prominent presentation of the options the user has selected.

November 12th, 2019

Posted In: life insurance, moneysworth

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A Moneysworth client was one of the very first people in the UK to obtain a new type of Life Cover designed for people living with, or with a history of, mental illness.

Had I not found Moneysworth, I do not think I would have life insurance

Our client was looking for life insurance to cover the mortgage on their family’s home. Due to the client’s mental health history (which included a significant event within the last five years), they had been declined cover by two major insurance companies.

“When I first applied for life insurance, being told by my initial advisor [name supplied] that my condition and medical history which had been caused by a hardship in my life would make it both difficult for me to obtain life insurance, and could potentially mean I can’t obtain life insurance was a real scare for me, and made me feel guilty for going through what I had gone through and trying to seek help during a tough period in my life. A period where I should have been excited and overjoyed buying a house with my partner was overlooked by more anxiety and worry that I wouldn’t be able to obtain life insurance to make sure the mortgage for my partner was sorted if I were to pass (which frankly I find really unfair).”

Feedback received from the client (June 2019)

The client approached Moneysworth for assistance. We spoke with the client about the details of their mental health history. Then we contacted underwriters at insurance companies across the market to ask how they might react if the client were to make an application to them. Some insurers stated that they would decline an application but others said they might consider offering the requested cover but at a cost of around 10 to 15 times greater than the normal standard premium rate (the monthly fee to be paid by the client for their insurance).

We explained to the client that the reason for the high premiums was due to the risk of suicide, based on their mental health history.

“After doing extensive research online, upon finding Moneysworth, they were one of the very last options for me, so after giving them a ring and discussing my situation, it was somewhat reassuring that I felt like I was not alone, and unlike my previous advisor they had my back. Had I of not found Moneysworth, I do not think I would have life insurance. I was told by someone on the phone from one insurance company [name supplied] to ‘not bother for around 5 years’.”

Feedback received from the client (June 2019)

We mentioned to the client that the Moneysworth team has been very concerned about outcomes like this. We’re aware of many cases of people in similar situations, in which insurers have declined to offer any Life Cover, or have told clients to come back to them in several years if their mental health circumstances improve.

“The thought of having to pay 10-15 times the normal premium for life insurance as a first time buyer with all my other bills to worry about felt unfair, as I have mentioned above. I don’t drink (expect for very special occasions), I don’t smoke, I stay fit and physically healthy. It felt like insurance companies were manipulating a hardship in my life that really took its toll on me and that I did not want to be reminded of. I didn’t do what I did in the past for the sake of it, it was a genuine time in my life where I struggled, and I think that insurance companies are failing to recognise this.”

Feedback received from the client (June 2019)

We also explained that, at the time, Moneysworth had recently begun a trial scheme with a mainstream insurance company Royal London, which aimed to give such clients the possibility of obtaining the Life insurance they were seeking with a premium which clients would deem to be significantly more affordable. This new Life Cover option achieves this by excluding self-inflicted death for the term of the policy. The client was willing to accept this exclusion, and decided they would like to apply.

Moneysworth is one of three specialist life cover adviser firms partnering with Royal London to offer this new type of cover to clients. Please note this cover is not available for people approaching Royal London directly and anyone interested in applying should contact Moneysworth or one of the other approved adviser firms.

We made the application to Royal London with the client. The insurer contacted the client’s GP for a medical report.  They then made the decision to offer life insurance.

The client obtained nearly £170,000 of life cover for a term of 30 years for a guaranteed premium for the whole term of just under £9 per month. The policy covers them for death from all causes, with the exception of suicide. 

We asked the client what they would have done if this new alternative type of cover had not been available. Would they have wanted to apply for life insurance that cost an estimated 10 to 15 times more than someone with a clean bill of mental and physical health? The client told us that because they had death in service benefit from their employer, they wouldn’t have applied.

We then asked the client would they have applied if they did not have any death in service cover from their employer (the majority of people in the UK do not have death in service benefit from their employer). The client replied that, reluctantly, they would have felt that they had no other choice but to pay the very high premiums that some other insurers had indicated.

“Getting life insurance was so important to me, as I want my partner to be financially stable if I were to pass, even though I have a death in service benefit at work, the mortgage would take a large chunk of money from this, and there are other things that the money would need to go towards upon my death, and as such, a specific life insurance for my mortgage was really important. When Moneysworth told me I could get normal terms with the exclusion placed in, I was delighted, I know now how to deal with any struggles I have, and have been provided with the tools to combat my down moments by therapists. Ultimately it gave me the peace of mind I was searching for, and I’m not sure why this arrangement has not been adopted by insurance companies sooner, knowing how I felt and the situation I was in, I hate to think how they have made others with struggles feel, especially those who have been in a worse situation than me.”

Feedback received from the client (June 2019)

How can you increase your chances of finding Life Insurance if you have a severe mental health condition?

If you have had a significant mental health event within the past five years, your search for Life Cover is most likely going to be harder.

This is why asking an expert to shop around for you is a good idea. Moneysworth have over fifteen years of success in finding cover for people with mental and physical health conditions.

We don’t charge clients any fees to search the insurance market, so it won’t cost you a penny to ask us to fully explore your Life Insurance options.

October 17th, 2019

Posted In: life insurance

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This award recognises the efforts we make in helping clients with pre-existing health conditions to find suitable Life Cover, and our hard work campaigning for more inclusive consumer access to insurance.

The judges could see that we consistently achieve very high service ratings and positive customer review. Since we started offering clients the opportunity to review our service via the third party review service Feefo five years ago, we have consistently maintained a five star (98%) aggregate rating from over three hundred clients (earlier this year, Feefo also awarded us a Gold Trusted Service award).

The high rate of positive feedback we receive is due to our research-driven process and the hard work of our team who ensure clients get the best possible service and outcome. 

The award also acknowledged our work with other specialist brokers and insurers to find better solutions for clients with pre-existing health conditions, particularly those living with mental health problems.

For example, more than one insurance provider is now offering Income Protection without exclusions to some customers with type 2 diabetes – something we’ve been pushing for in the insurance industry since 2017.

Even more significant has been our collaborative work with other specialist advisers firms, in partnership with Royal London, to design and test a new Life Insurance option for people with a history of severe mental illness.

Specifically, the initiative is aimed at people who have had a significant mental health event in the last five years, such as a suicide attempt.  

The product trial achieved very positive results: 75% of clients who applied obtained Life Insurance at a more easily affordable monthly premium. These were people who otherwise would have been declined any cover at all, or offered cover at a much higher price.

Moneysworth wants to see cover options and availability broaden for people living with pre-existing physical and mental health problems, and so we’ll continue to lobby the insurance industry for better outcomes for all.

You can see the list of all this year’s winners at the Cover Excellence Awards website.

You could now be eligible for a new type of Life Cover to help protect your family’s financial future.  

Today is World Mental Health Day – a time to consider how mental health problems such as anxiety and depression could affect anyone at some point in their lives. It’s also a time to reflect on the social stigma that often surrounds severe mental health problems.

The statistics for mental health in the UK are alarming. Around 1 in 4 of people experience a mental health problem each year. At least 1 in 5 people have had suicidal thoughts in their lifetime. Around 1 in 15 people have self-harmed or attempted to take their own life. *

This year’s theme for World Mental Health Day is suicide prevention.

Suicide devastates families.

Just like anyone else, people suffering with a severe mental illness want to do what they can to protect their loved ones’ future, such as obtaining Life Insurance.

Until recently, the chances of being offered cover would have depended on the specific details of their circumstances, such as how many suicide attempts there have been, and how long ago they occurred. Even today, this is the situation with most (but not all) insurers.

A new Life Insurance option now offers hope to people with a history of severe mental health problems – and their families.

UK insurer Royal London has created a new Life Insurance option that’s been specifically designed for individuals with severe mental health conditions who would otherwise be declined cover.

This new option is available to many people who have had a significant mental health event in the last five years (such as suicide attempt, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, or in-patient treatment at a psychiatric ward). It’s also typically available at a more affordable price.

Moneysworth is one of three specialist life cover adviser firms partnering with Royal London to pilot this new type of cover.

Moneysworth has helped many people with different mental health problems to find suitable Life Insurance. This is because we’re well placed to help people in this situation. We have personal experience of some of the key issues involved and detailed knowledge of the Life Insurance market.

We help to ensure all relevant medical evidence for each applicant is presented as a comprehensive case to the insurer. This evidence is assessed by a specialist group of underwriters at Royal London, which helps to avoid mild conditions being classed as a higher risk.

As a result of this trial, Royal London has been able to offer cover to 75% of applicants who would otherwise have been deemed uninsurable.

“The response from customers and advisers has been overwhelmingly positive and we’ve seen high take up rates for cover despite the underwriting process being longer.”

Craig Paterson, underwriting and claims philosophy manager at Royal London

Please note this cover is not available for people approaching Royal London directly and anyone interested in applying should contact Moneysworth or one of the other approved adviser firms.

Here is a review of our service by one of the many clients we’ve helped to find cover this year:

review of our service

How can you increase your chances of finding Life Insurance if you have a severe mental health condition?

If you have other health conditions, or have had a significant mental health event within the past five years, your search for cover is mostly likely going to be harder.

This is why asking an expert to shop around for you is a good idea. Moneysworth have over fifteen years of success in finding cover for people with mental and physical health conditions

We don’t charge clients any fees to search the insurance market, so it won’t cost you a penny to ask us to fully explore your Life Insurance options.

* Statistics source: Mind
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/

October 10th, 2019

Posted In: life insurance

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