British Friendly has announced that it paid 97.8% of Income Protection claims in 2015, becoming the first insurer to publish their claims statistics for the whole of last year.
The insurer also announced its five year claims data last year, paying over 96% of Income Protection claims on average from 2009-2014.
The top three reasons for claiming in 2015 were:
- Musculoskeletal conditions - 36% of paid claims
- Viral/respiratory illness - 18% of paid claims
- Psychiatric conditions - 11% of paid claims
Other reasons for claiming in 2015 included digestive (8%), cardiovascular (4%), neurological (6%), cancer (3%), rheumatological (1%) and optical (1%) conditions. The age bracket with the most claims was between 50-59 years.
Some 2.13% claims were declined - this was due to non-disclosure (1.01% and not meeting the definition (1.12%).
Iain Clark, marketing and distribution director at British Friendly, said: "We feel we're leading the industry in the application and claims process for Income Protection. Overall it's been a good year for the product.
"The Seven Families campaign has raised awareness among advisers and the general public and, according to Gen Re, sales for H1 2015 were up 16.3% on the same period in 2014.
"We have a lot of exciting plans for 2016 that will continue to help innovate, grow and raise awareness in the protection market.
"For British Friendly, the most important role of an insurer is paying claims, and that is why we pride ourselves on achieving excellent paid claims stats and releasing them quickly."
Mark Dennison, principal at adviser LightBlue UK, said: "British Friendly has become the market leader when it comes to releasing excellent paid claims data before anyone else.
"We know that Protection still suffers from distrust among the public and we shouldn't shy away from continually making a noise about the amount of claims that are paid and the number of people who are saved from financial difficulties as a result.
"British Friendly has great paid claims results and the insurer is transparent enough to make the figure available quickly year after year. Ultimately this is what the client cares about the most."