Money Wellness
An illustration of a man and two women sat facing the right with their heads lowered. There's a blue silhouette behind each of them with jigsaw puzzle pieces or scribbles where their brains should be, representing mental conditions.
category iconmanaging your money
calendar icon05 Jul 2024

How the new government can make financial services fairer

From dealing with your bank to buying travel insurance, financial services still have some way to go before it’s accessible and fair for everyone – including those of us with mental health problems.

Common symptoms of mental health problems, e.g. poor concentration and difficulty processing information, can often be a barrier when it comes to comparing prices and understanding the small print.

The result means we’re likely to be paying over the odds for vital services – or risk being locked out altogether.

Find out what the new Labour government can do to level the playing field and what else we want to see from them.

Review insurance pricing

Unfortunately, if you have mental health problems, you’ll usually face higher insurance premiums – if you can even get insurance at all.

Research by Money and Mental Health Policy Institute found people with conditions like bipolar disorder are frequently denied travel insurance or charged as much as 27 times more than someone who doesn’t have a mental health condition. One person gave up trying to get cover after being told to stop taking their medication, exclaiming: “Would you ask a diabetic to stop insulin?”

Firms can charge more but their prices must be based on accurate and up to date data.

Reviewing the models and data that firms use for their pricing would make sure we’re getting a fair deal.

A ‘tell us once’ system

It’s daunting to tell companies about additional needs or conditions, and that includes mental health.

While financial services firms are good at supporting additional needs, only 14% of us with mental health conditions have opened up about our requirements.

Telling a company once would get rid of any anxiety about having to repeat yourself as well as removing unnecessary red tape from the process.

With your permission, your needs would be shared with other organisations. This would mean we’re better supported not only with our money but also with things like energy, water and telecoms.

Stress less

Levelling the playing field and boosting financial inclusion will go a long way in reducing the stress and uncertainty associated with financial services.

This’ll make the biggest difference for us all, as well as helping businesses better understand our needs – a win all around.

If you’re stressed about your finances, including debt, help is at hand.

We provide free and impartial advice either online or by calling us on 0161 518 8285.

Michelle Kight

Michelle is a qualified journalist who spent over seven years writing for her local online newspaper. Having grown up in some of the North West’s most deprived areas, she has a first-hand and empathetic understanding of what it means to face serious money worries. With a strong interest in mental health issues, she is a keen advocate of boosting the accessibility of financial wellness services.

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