Royal SunAlliance’s Broker Division has launched a telephone counselling helpline to support its PMI psychiatric cover writes Jonathan Saul.
The free 24-hour helpline is part of the company’s cover option, Group.Health, which targets the small business market of up to 100 employees.
Brokers can offer the service to new policyholders as well as customers renewing business.
“Counselling at an early stage can stop worries from turning into far more serious psychiatric problems. By offering this service to clients, we hope to nip problems in the bud where possible,” said Ian Hancock, Royal Sun Alliance’s health account manager.
Hancock added: “Not only does this help individuals and businesses, but it will hopefully reduce the number of clients who have to eventually make a claim for psychiatric treatment under our PMI cover.”
Qualified psychiatrists and counsellors offer professional help to employees and their families on a range of problems. These include harassment at work, occupational stress, bereavement and substance abuse.
Clients are also entitled to eight face-to-face counselling sessions a year. PPP and BCWA both established similar counselling services last year.
Not all insurers, however, have pursued this strategy. Jerry Macey, head of private client business at WPA said: “We don’t intend to be a company which offers treatment. We’re a company that pays for our clients to see someone appropriate. Our approach is to leave it to the experts – we pick up the bills for the good work done.”