Mental health issues and rising suicide risks are serious global threats to today’s society. Each year, over 750,000 people die by suicide around the world, and we have not yet found an effective solution for cure or prevention. Even after the pandemic public health emergency ended, rates of people with high mental health and suicide risks remain alarmingly high. The long-term impact of these concerning trends on the insurance industry is evident, as suicide risk is a significant driver in today’s insurance claims experience.
More than ever, understanding and managing suicide and mental health risks are important for the life and health insurance industry. How can insurers address and proactively manage this issue? Is there any part of the existing insurance application process, such as the life insurance underwriting process, that can be improved to assess insured populations’ mental health and suicide risks more effectively?
This article discusses current global trends in suicide and mental health issues and their significant effect on the life insurance industry. We will share our analysis of the suicide experience in life insurance policies and look at some examples of the medical underwriting in place for suicide risk, exploring where we could look to make meaningful changes and offer suggestions for improvement.