Statistics show that 37% fewer policyholders claimed on their critical illness (CI) insurance during May
While Aegon claims for CI were significantly lower for April and May compared to the previous year (17% and 37% less respectively), the insurer has also reported an increase in life insurance claims during the course of the pandemic.
April 2020 saw an 83% increase in life insurance claims compared to the same month in 2019, while there was an increase of 58% in May.
Aegon said that around a third (31%) of life insurance claims received in April and May were related to coronavirus. The average age of claimant during this period was 64 and 80% were male.
For CI, Aegon has only received two claims related to Covid-19, with cancer continuing as the main cause - the condition accounted for 60% of critical illness claims in 2019, the insurer said.
Simon Jacobs, head of underwriting and claims at Aegon UK said: "The claims team has worked really hard to support families of those who have lost loved ones during this time. The impact of lockdown can be clearly seen in the volume of CI claims and it's worrying.
"People being mindful of burdening the NHS, might have delayed a GP visit or might have missed early detection due to limited screenings for things like breast and bowel cancer.
"As NHS services resume and lockdown loosens, we might expect to see a steady increase in claims over the coming months. Early detection is important when it comes to cancer and treatment options so we would urge those who have a health concern to seek medical advice as soon as they can."
Aegon has also encountered fewer accident related life insurance claims over the past few months.
Jacobs added: "An increase in life claims is expected during a global health crisis of this scale. However, the rise was slightly countered by the impact of lockdown life. With more people staying in and staying safe, there was a reduced risk of deaths caused by road traffic accidents for example.
"We hope that our customers remember the support that comes with their Aegon protection policy in the form of access to the health and wellbeing service, provided by Health Assured. It provides confidential, compassionate counselling and on-demand web and mobile support tools for a range of issues including bereavement, medical diagnosis, emotional health, relationships, family concerns, finances, debt, legal issues, and consumer rights and it's times like this that people should take full advantage of these additional services."
Percentage stats for each provider
On individual families
‘Seeing the wood for the trees’
The importance of getting it right
UK under lockdown