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    • Protect the environment. Think before you print.

Zurich announces protection claim pay-outs for H1

Swindon, December 4, 2017

  • £121.6m paid to nearly 2000 retail customers
  • 97% of all protection claims paid
  • Cancer the biggest cause of critical illness claims and mental illness and musculoskeletal conditions for income protection 

Leading insurer Zurich today announced that it paid over £121.6m in individual protection claims during the first half of 2017. Over 97% of claims have been paid out, benefitting nearly 2000 customers and their families with critical illness, income protection and life insurance policies.

The figures offer stark contrast to new research findings* by the insurer that show nearly a third of people think that fewer than half of CI and IP claims are successful (29% and 32% respectively). While one in ten admit to ignoring such insurance as they don’t believe claims are paid out.

Critical illness claims
Zurich’s figures however, show that 95% of critical illness claims were paid during the first half of 2017 to 434 customers amounting to £33.1m. The highest claim was for £462K with the average being £76k. Payments include £81k in claims for children – a free and often overlooked benefit of cover, as well as £46k paid to customers with partial claims. These are a feature of newer policies and are made on diagnosis of certain less advanced illnesses.

Cancer remains the most common reason accounting for over half of claims (53%), followed by heart attack for 13%, stroke 7% and multiple sclerosis 3%. Breast cancer alone triggered nearly 30% (75) claims, while for children, cancer and Leukaemia were the most common causes.

Just 3% of claims were declined as the conditions claimed for were not covered by the policy definition while 2% were not paid for non-disclosure of medical information – for example, one claimant had failed to disclose any indication of a history of serious alcohol abuse.

Life claims
Most (98%) life claims were paid between January and June benefitting 990 beneficiaries with pay outs amounting to £75.3m.

Just 2% were declined because of non-disclosure of medical information. For example not informing us at application of medical investigations or a long history of smoking.

Income protection
For income protection, 86% of new claims were successful (38) with a total of £4.4m paid out to over 500 customers unable to work because of illness or disability. The average monthly benefit paid was over £1400.

A quarter of income protection claims (25%) were for mental illness and musculoskeletal disorders. This was followed by cancer for 17% and back problems for 11%.

Fourteen per cent of claims were not paid because the policy’s criteria were not met. This includes not having an income to replace with benefits.

Peter Hamilton, Director, Zurich UK said:

“We are proud to report our claim figures which show annual pay-outs rising steadily year on year. The fact that some people are ignoring insurance and not protecting themselves because they do not believe claims are paid is a worry. We hope that we can reassure customers that the vast majority of claims are paid, and the very few that aren't is because there are necessarily a small number of medical conditions that aren't covered and very occasionally customers don't disclose key elements of their medical history.

“We’re committed to communicating to customers the additional benefits of insurance and how we support people and their families with services such as counselling, rehabilitation, expert advice, and things like advance payments on life policies to help those who are left to manage the estates or funerals of loved ones.

“We’re continuing on our journey to make things as simple and straight forward for our customers and advisers – to offer them peace of mind and valuable support when they need it.”

Ends

*Conducted by YouGov on behalf of Zurich 20th-21st July 2017 among over 2000 UK adults