Scottish Widows has published its protection claims statistics which show that it paid out 99.38% of life claims in 2016, an increase of 0.5% compared with 2015, and 93.2% of critical illness claims, an increase of 2.7%.
The insurer has published the claims based on the new methodology set out by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) last week. The claims stats for life and critical illness are above the industry averages announced by the ABI.
Of the declined life claims, 0.49% were due to mis-representation and 0.13% due to the definition of terminal illness not being met.
Out of the declined critical illness claims, 1.8% were due to the definition not being met and 5% were due to mis-representation.
A total of more than £211 million was paid out in life and critical illness claims in 2016, an average of more than £4 million per week.
The number of claims paid for life cover was 7,569 and for critical illness it was 2,030 claims.
Since January 2000 the combined amount Scottish Widows has paid out to its customers across both life and critical illness claims stands at more than £2.1 billion.
Scott Cadger, head of underwriting and claims strategy at Scottish Widows, said: "The most important thing we, as a provider, can do is pay claims. That's our ‘moment of truth', and we're pleased that we've been able to provide vital support to each of the 9,599 individuals, and their families, who claimed in 2016.
"As an industry, however, we're still failing to communicate our strong claims record to consumers.
"Many still believe that insurers will try to avoid paying a claim, and this misconception can have long lasting and devastating effects in cases where people choose not to invest in financial protection because they believe it will never pay out.
"This is why our 200 year heritage of paying claims and our extremely strong 2016 statistics are so important to us. Our commitment to helping people at the most difficult and challenging times of their lives continues to drive everything we do."
Alan Knowles, managing director of Cura Financial Services, said: "The most important part of any insurance is the claim, and customers need to have confidence that their policy will pay out when it's needed. Many protection insurers have exceptional payout rates and should proudly publish these statistics.
"All advisers will undoubtedly speak to a client at some point who says 'insurers will do anything not to pay'.
"Claims statistics like these from Scottish Widows, however, not only prove this to be the total opposite, but also highlight that the financial strength and track record of an insurer can be invaluable in improving customer confidence."
Will introduce a cap on cost of care
Plans to make greater use of 'deferred payments' to claw back social care costs from the value of the sale of a family home could fail unless the existing 'deferred payments' system is improve, Royal London has warned.
Defaqto has added pre-paid funeral plans to its Star Ratings
Q1 2017 saw a 12.9% increase in calls to the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for Canada Life's Group Income Protection (GIP) customers compared with Q1 2016.