Aviva paid out £12.9 million to individual income protection customers in 2013.
Mental health conditions were the most common reason for claim, accounting for 31% of claims. This was followed by musculoskeletal and neurological conditions, each accounting for 19% of claims, while rheumatological conditions (9%) and cancer (8%) also led to a significant number of claims.
Aviva individual income protection data also shows that in 2013:
• Payments were made to 1,462 customers.
• 72% of claims came from men.
• The average age of claimant at the point of incapacity was 44 overall; 45 for males and 42 for females.
• The proportion of claims paid in 2013 was 92.8%.
• Of the 7.2% claims declined overall, the majority (6% of all claims) did not meet policy criteria, while 1.2% were declined for misrepresentation.
The insurer added that latest official figures show 960,000 workers have absences classed as ‘long-term' each year, yet Aviva data suggests fewer than one in 10 families have income protection.
Robert Morrison, chief underwriter for Aviva says: "Some of these people may have had some financial support from their employer, but often there are restrictions on how long employers will pay workers who are off sick.
"Given that our average income protection claimant receives payments for more than nine years, this shows just what a lifeline protection can be. We'd encourage everyone - particularly workers with dependent families - to look at what employee benefits they might receive if they were unable to work due to illness or injury."