People must consider taking out cover earlier in life as around one in four claims for critical illness (CI) occurs before the age of 40, research has found.
According to data from RGA, which looked at the percentage of life and CI claims in the UK by age group, 8% of people aged 25-40 had a life insurance claim.
This figure rose to a quarter (24%) for CI claims in the same age group.
Kevin Carr, chief executive at the Protection Review warned that putting off buying cover until later in life can be "counterproductive."
Meanwhile two-thirds (61%) of people aged 40-60 claimed on life insurance, while seven in ten (70%) claimed on CI.
Finally, while just 5% of those over 60 claimed on critical illness, a third claimed on life cover.
Carr added: "Based on this new data around one in every 12 claims for life cover in the UK occurs before the age of 40, which is probably higher than most people would expect. For critical illness the number rises to 1 in 4 which shows that putting off buying cover until we are older can be counterproductive."
Phil Jeynes, head of account development at PruProtect said: "This data shows us the importance of putting cover in place as early in life as possible. Policies such as Serious Illness Cover pay out on diagnosis of even early stage cancers or less severe heart attacks.
"Conditions such as these can affect people of any age and cover is usually cheaper for younger people, so it makes sense to look at protecting yourself at the earliest opportunity."
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