Zurich has revealed that it paid out over £212.5m in claims over 2,500 retail protection customers and their families during 2015, an increase from 11% from £191m in 2014.
Critical illness claims
During 2015, 92% of critical illness claims were paid worth £65.4m. Cancer accounted for over half of claims (55%) with breast cancer accounting for a third of these (19%).
Heart attacks were the second most common cause of claims (13%), followed by strokes (7%) and multiple sclerosis (5%).
Of the 788 critical illnesses claims paid, 23 were for children with payments totalling £421,653. Cancer remains the most common cause for children's claims.
Just 8% of critical illness claims were not accepted; 7% because the definition of an illness was not met and 1% because of non-disclosure of medical information.
Examples of this include where a customer has not told us about ongoing medical investigations or pending test results.
The majority of life claims (98.5%) were paid last year with 1,673 families benefitting from payments of over £136.8m.
Two per cent were unsuccessful because of non-disclosure of medical information.
Customers unable to work through illness, injury or disability received over £10.4m in income protection payments with 582 claims paid monthly.
With mental health currently high on the Government's agenda with the announcement of a £1bn support package for support services; Zurich's claim figures show that nearly a third of new claims (29%) were for mental illness including stress and anxiety. This is an increase of over 10% on the same period last year.
Muscoskeletal complaints (19%) were the second most common reasons for claims followed by cancers (15%) and neurological conditions excluding strokes (12%).
Some 87% of all new claims were successful with 68 customers benefitting from average monthly payments of £1,500.
Ten cases were not paid because the policy's criteria were not met, for example where a customer returned to work or where their illness was not covered by the policy.
Peter Hamilton, head of retail propositions at Zurich UK Life (pictured) said: "We hope that by publishing these claim statistics, we send a loud and clear message that the vast majority of claims are paid quickly and smoothly.
"Payments from protection policies help to provide valuable support for families who have lost a loved one and for customers faced with illness or injury, as well as rehabilitation and therapy available through income protection cover.
"We continue to invest in the claims process so customers can access the support they need as quickly as possible."
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