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Zurich – How many protection claims were paid out in 2020?

In 2020, Zurich paid £353.7m in protection claims across critical illness, income protection and life insurance – an increase of 23% from 2019.

Life claims

  • £279.6m was paid out in life claims in 2020 to 4986 beneficiaries
  • 98% of claims were paid, with only 2% declined owing to non-disclosure of medical information at the application stage
  • The pandemic caused a leap in life insurance pay-outs, where Covid related death claims resulted in £15m being paid in 2020

Critical illness claims

1021 critical illness claims were paid out in 2020 which amounted to £64.7m.
Zurich also reported that over £1m was paid out in fracture claims.
The most common reasons for claims:

  • Cancer 63%
  • Heart Attack 10%
  • Stroke 5%
  • Multiple Sclerosis 3%
  • Other 19%

87% of all claims were paid and 4% were declined due to policyholders not disclosing previous medical history, or lifestyle factors when making their applications. The remaining 9% were declined due to their condition not meeting the definition of that condition under the terms and conditions of their policy.

Children’s critical illness claims

In 2020, over £945,000 was paid in claims for children.
The main cause of children’s critical illness claims was Leukaemia, with Cancer accounting for more than half of the claims paid.

Income protection (IP) claims

£6.6m was paid out in IP claims in 2020.

The main conditions claimed upon for income protection purposes were:

  • Mental Health 27%
  • Cancer 22%
  • Musculoskeletal disorders 20%
  • Other 31%

Why were some claims not paid?


If a customer does not share important medical history or lifestyle information when they apply for cover, insurers may have to decline their claim. This might include not providing information on medical tests and investigations, or non-disclosure of a smoking habit or a history of excessive alcohol consumption.

Misrepresentation example

A customer had sought medical advice whilst abroad visiting family and had further investigations as a result before applying for a policy with Zurich.
This information was not disclosed on their application for cover.
If their underwriting team had been made aware of this, they would have asked for the results of the investigations before offering the cover. As a result, the claim was declined.

Policy definition wasn’t met

Insurance cover pays out when a policyholder suffers an illness or condition which is covered by their policy. However, sometimes claims are submitted but unfortunately, the policy definitions are not met.
A typical example of this would be where a critical illness claim is declined for a person who had suffered a stroke, because they did not suffer any permanent neurological damage.



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