Home Mental Health & Well-Being Mental Health Is the Leading Cause of Income Protection Claims

Mental Health Is the Leading Cause of Income Protection Claims

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One in four UK adults experience mental illness during their lifetime, which can severely affect their ability to work. According to official statistics, mental health problems represent one of the leading causes of work absence in the UK and are the most common reason for sickness absence notes issued by GP surgeries in England.

Aviva’s 2019 Individual Protection Claims Report shows us that mental health conditions are also the leading cause of income protection insurance claims – accounting for more claims than cancer and musculoskeletal conditions combined. Income protection or income protection insurance provides financial support by paying out a percentage of one’s salary when off work and suffering a loss of income due to injury or illness, including mental health conditions.


  • In 2018, Aviva paid out more than £116 million benefits to more than 8,000 income
    protection customers through individual or company policies.
  • More than a quarter of these claims were due to customers being unable to work due to
    their mental health. This shows the impact mental illness can have on a person’s daily life
    and the importance of being financially protected in those difficult times.
  • Mental health difficulties are experienced across all age groups with more than 50% of
    claims made by customers under the age of 40.
  • The second most common reason for income protection claim were musculoskeletal
    conditions such as back pain, followed by cancer.

Jacqueline Kerwood, Claims Philosophy Manager at Aviva, said: ‘Mental health is one of the
leading causes of work absence in the UK. Aviva income protection pays out an income to
compensate for loss of earnings due to injury or illness. This enables customers who are unable to work due to their condition to maintain their standard of living and to focus on getting better.

‘Besides providing financial security, Aviva also offers its income protection customers access to a range of services to help get them back to work when they are ready. And Aviva doesn’t just support customers who are unable to work, whether they are claiming or not, our customers can get help through our partners if they experience bereavement, relationship breakdown, work-related stress or other issues which can seriously impact their mental wellbeing.’

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