The upcoming World Mental Health Day on 10 October reminds us of a growing consensus to do more to tackle mental health challenges - the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this. According to a new Swiss Re Institute research report, a segment of 45 million consumers across six markets(Australia, Canada, France, Germany, UK and US) view a future negative mental health event as being highly disruptive and see value in an insurance product covering mental wellbeing. Against this backdrop, Swiss Re has entered an exclusive partnership with leading mental health platform, Wysa, to create an insurance-specific app which helps consumers better track their mental wellbeing and improve links to insurers' existing support networks, such as therapy providers or Employee Assistance Programs, which will enable a "win-win" through earlier intervention in the claims journey.
Jolee Crosby, Swiss Re's Head of L&H Global Core Solutions, Underwriting & MedRe, says: "There's an estimated USD 15 billion of mental health claims each year in insurers' disability books around the world. The insurance industry is striving to better understand and prevent mental illness. We're delighted to be developing this app with Wysa, which will support insurers in their goal of improving both their products and the consumer experience for those looking to stay on top of their mental wellbeing."
With financial backing from Google and other investors, Wysa's successful existing app has more than three and a half million users worldwide and has a near-perfect rating of 4.8 out of 5 on public app stores. The app's AI-guided listening and self-management mental wellbeing support modules are effective for many - especially across depression, stress, and anxiety, where consumers are most concerned and where most disability claims arise. Wysa's app is used and recommended by health bodies such as the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and Singapore's Ministry of Health. It is featured by leading mental health charities like Mind (UK) and Mental Health America.
The new app will include improved monitoring / mental health tracking, curated pathways to signpost consumers to relevant offline support and better reporting for insurance clients. This is designed to enable "pre-notification of claims" by encouraging policyholders to seek support - through proven techniques in existing insurer ecosystems - before issues become too extreme. Providing improved support opens the opportunity for insurers to make claims savings and increase consumer engagement - especially for disability products. Potential pilot markets include Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.
Ramakant Vempati, co-founder & President of Wysa explains: "Wysa is very excited about this partnership with Swiss Re as we share a common objective to do more to support people with their mental wellbeing. We are convinced that, based on our existing capabilities and the app's new components, we are building a unique solution together that integrates scalable, AI-enabled responsive early-stage mental health support into the insurance industry."