The income protection industry must ensure that it is not creating “a grave with the ends kicked out” for clients, Disability Matters chief executive Dr Stephen Duckworth has warned.
Speaking at the IBC Healthcare Insurance Industry Conference, Duckworth said most people who are long term unemployed and on incapacity benefit or income protection have stopped making goals for themselves.
Duckworth proposes that insurers should “brainwash” people to realign their new experience of being a disabled person to that of someone actively engaged in employment rather than someone who believes they are passive and dependent on income protection.
Duckworth believes the insurance industry should focus on getting people back to work and points out that these types of initiative benefit insurers by ultimately saving them money on paying claims.
He said: “The medical profession, the individual’s previous attitude towards disability, employers, charity adverts and the general portrayal of disability in society all have contributed towards brainwashing the recently disabled person to think negatively about their potential and their future.
“The brainwashing that I am suggesting is simply a reversal of this negative thinking to enable disabled people to think in a more positive way.
“Unless the insurance industry wakes up to rehabilitation in a more positive way, people will stay in their graves. I firmly believe there is no job that a disabled person can’t do.”