Head first: supporting consumers‘ mental wellbeing through insurance

Enabling everyone to maintain a high degree of mental wellbeing throughout their lives brings benefits for individuals, employers and society.

The experience of COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on mental wellbeing - a sensitive subject but one familiar to many. This Swiss Re Institute research explores how individuals view their mental wellbeing and what tools they can use to protect and actively manage their mental health.

We conducted consumer research into mental wellbeing in major advanced markets worldwide. The results highlight a gap between the mental health support and protection that people desire, and the solutions that the insurance industry currently offers them.

We find a segment of consumers who would welcome innovative protection from insurers for their mental health and wellbeing. Extrapolating this customer segment across six countries we surveyed, we estimate that the potential market size could be 45 million consumers.

We explore the challenges that these consumers highlight, to provide deep insight into their needs. We find them to be typically urban-dwellers, millennial and parents of younger children. Many support those children without a cohabiting partner. They rate their mental wellbeing highly, despite some having experienced poor mental health in the past.

Our surveys highlight that many of our focus consumers do not know what insurance cover they can access for mental ill health. Above all, though, they want to avoid needing to make a claim. Insurance providers can do more to support them in this goal.

From the findings we develop key action areas and posit potential solutions for forward-thinking insurers to use to help strengthen individual and societal resilience.


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Supporting consumers‘ mental wellbeing through insurance

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