Back in 2019, mental health conditions affected one in ten people worldwide. This was pre-COVID; since the global spread of COVID-19, successive lockdowns have increased isolation, caused economic hardship and generated uncertainty and anxiety about the future, all of which have worsened the situation. Despite this, mental health is not considered as a top healthcare priority in many countries.
Mental health conditions are the main cause of disability and early retirement in many countries and a major burden to economies – costing trillions every year. Disability insurance claims experience shows that these conditions have been on the rise for more than a decade. The pandemic has been a catalyst and has made it even more apparent that we face an upward trend, both in terms of the number of people affected and the related costs. Although mental health awareness has grown, there is still much to be done to improve risk knowledge, assessment, and mitigation.
The paper published by the CRO Forum aims to shed light on the rampant, multi-faceted and often overlooked crisis that is impacting mental health globally – with a focus on the potential implications on the insurance industry. The goal is to provide a clear and up-to-date view of the challenges related to mental health, focused on the impacts on life and non-life insurance underwriting, claims, risk management, as well as on investments and operations.
More widely, mental health is increasingly recognized as a major societal issue. As such, the subject can be expected to receive increasing attention from the public and private sectors alike. Insurers will have to rise to the challenge and play their part in serving society’s evolving protection needs, while dealing with limited resources, shortages of trained professionals and a lack of structured programs. To deal with mental health-related risks - as is often the case for emerging risks - collaboration among stakeholders and prevention will be key and may even lead to new opportunities for the insurance industry.
About the CRO Forum
SCOR is an active member of the Chief Risk Officers Forum. The Forum focuses on developing and promoting industry best practices in risk management. Comprised of Chief Risk Officers from multinational (re)insurance companies, it aims to represent the members' views on key risk management topics, including emerging risks. It regularly publishes practice and position papers on timely risk management subjects.