scot widows official 2018

How many claims did Scottish Widows payout in 2021?

Scottish Widows announced total claims payouts of £207.9 million for life and critical illness last year. Scottish Widows paid out more than 98% of all claims received.

Life claims

The insurer recorded a 1% year-on-year rise in annual claims paid out from 2020’s total of £206m, representing:

  • Scottish Widows paid 99.3% of life claims a total of 9,035 claims
  • Life insurance payouts totalled £132.9m, a year-on-year increase of 6%
  • £9.5m was paid out on terminal illness claims
  • The average life claim paid was £51,754, almost 12% more than the year before
  • The highest individual claim was £1m
  • Cancer was a large cause of life insurance claims (29.6%)
  • 38.8% of all claims from women were as a result of death from cancer, compared with 24.6% of men
  • Heart-related claims accounted for 20% of cases for men, compared to 9% of cases for women

Critical illness claims

  • 93% of critical illness claims last year
  • Representing1,391 claims
  • Critical illness payouts totalled £74.9m in 2021
  • The average critical illness claim paid was £53,912
  • The highest individual claim was just over £1m
  • Cancer was once again the most common reason for critical illness claims (63.8%)
  • Cancer is the top reason for a claim among women and men, followed by heart conditions and stroke
  • The most common cancer claims in men are for:
  1. Bowel cancer (14.7%)
  2. Prostate (14.4%)
  3. Malignant melanoma (7.3%)
  4. Hodgkin’s lymphoma (6.2%)
  • In women, the most common types of cancer include:
  1. Breast cancer (52.5%)
  2. Bowel (9.6%)
  3. Uterine or cervical (6.4%)
  4. Malignant melanoma (6.2%)

Scottish Widows announced an uplift in advance payments for critical illness from £2,000 to £3,000 from 1st May. While confirming an increase to advance payments made for critical illness claims.

The increased payment is aimed at helping those with cancer to meet costs associated with a diagnosis, as well as the rising cost of living and energy prices, Scottish Widows stated. The payment is offered as a lump sum at any stage of the claim


Scottish Widows also detailed that it paid out on 1,066 Covid-related claims in 2021 totalling £13m, representing a year-on-year increase in claims volumes of 64% compared to 2020.

Financial support

Scott Cadger, head of protection underwriting and claims strategy at Scottish Widows, commented: “When you bring together challenges posed by the rising cost of living together with the continued emotional and financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in its second year, we must recognise the difficulties that families in the UK have been faced with.

“And while we are very proud to have maintained a payout rate of over 98%, delivering on our promise to protect and support our customers during the toughest of moments, we note the drop in detection of critical illnesses for another year.

“Cancer remains the most common cause of both critical illness and life insurance claims and we must emphasise the importance of early diagnosis. The pandemic has undoubtedly impacted the backlog in the health service and some people may be feeling hesitant to see a doctor about their symptoms, but we would urge everyone to seek medical advice if they notice any changes in their health.”

Source: Cover Magazine May 2022


Full claims information