ANZ Wealth unveils mental health program


By Sarah Kendell

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ANZ Wealth has launched a new support program for customers making mental illness-related income protection claims.

The program is currently in the pilot stage and will be offered to income protection customers of the bank’s OneCare insurance brand whose claims relate to depression or anxiety.

The phone-based program would be optional for customers to take up and would be run in conjunction with health coaching firm Remedy Healthcare, ANZ said.

Commenting on the new initiative, ANZ Wealth head of life insurance Gerard Kerr said increased support was needed for mental illness sufferers due to the higher incidence of mental health-related insurance claims in Australia.

“Overall, incidences of mental illness claims in life and disability insurance are on the rise, with approximately 11 per cent of our total claims paid over the past 12 months due to a mental illness,” Kerr said.

“It’s important that we not only provide financial support to customers who experience anxiety and depression, but also respond to the mental health challenges they may face, particularly at claim time.”

He added the program formed part of ANZ’s broader response to supporting customer well-being with personalised service.

“We are keen to hear from our advisers and clients throughout the pilot on how we can further improve our support at what can be a difficult time for the claimant,” he said.

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