May 1, 2020
Zurich – How many protection claims were paid out in 2019?

Zurich – How many protection claims were paid out in 2019?

Claims paid to Zurich customers across life, critical illness and income protection insurance amounted to more than £287.6m in 2019. Where only 3% of claims were declined.

Life claims

For life claims, 99% were paid, amounting to over £203.3m, including one child bereavement claim.

The denied claims were due to customers not sharing information about high alcohol consumption or a history of smoking. Or, where they had undergone treatment or investigations for a health problem.

Critical illness claims

90% of critical illness (CI) claims were paid by Zurich last year. Worth more than £76.4m. This included eight claims for children amounting to £189,000. Furthermore, 21 partial claims worth £422,000 were paid where customers were diagnosed with a less severe illness than the conditions covered by the policies.

Zurich also reported that 350 people received payments of £1.22m for fracture cover.

The average age of critical illness claimants was 50 in 2019. The most common reasons for claims were:

  • breast cancer (18%)
  • heart attack (12%)
  • prostate cancer (6%)
  • stroke (6%).

A benign brain tumour was the most common cause of children’s (21%) and partial claims (14%).

Why were CI claims declined?

10% of critical illness claims were declined. Of this 10%, Two-thirds were because the condition customers attempted to claim for conditions that were not covered by their policy. One claim was declined where a medical consultant confirmed the condition was benign and therefore did not meet the policy definition.

Of the 10 declined, over a third of CI claims were declined because of misrepresentation on application forms.

Income protection (IP) claims

For IP, 98% of claims were paid which totalled £7.2m.

The average monthly sum paid was £1,534 with around 395 claims in payment per month.

2% of claims were declined because of non-disclosure of medical information. One claim, for example, was refused because the customer did not disclose they were undergoing tests for bowel problems. If the client had shared this information, the cover would have been offered at the correct terms, taking into account the test results.

The main conditions for income protection claims were:

  • Cancer (18%)
  • neurological disorders (18%)
  • musculoskeletal disorders (16%)
  • mental illness including anxiety, stress and depression (13%)

Rehabilitation support

Zurich said many clients received advice and access to rehabilitation such as counselling or physiotherapy and returned to work before needing to make a claim.

It also said that as well as rehabilitation, more than 8% accessed Zurich Support Services last year. With more than 60% of users accessing counselling services. Others sought help on matters such as will planning and probate, taxation and eldercare.

It added that nearly half of insurance claims were settled within 20 working days. While nearly a third of critical illness claims were paid within 25 working days.

Financial support

Peter Hamilton, Head of retail protection at Zurich said: “We remain committed to sharing this information to show that all valid claims get paid. As well as reminding customers about the extra benefits they can access alongside the financial cover they have.”

“Likewise, we’re keen to talk more about why a minority of claims are not and should not be paid.  The most common reason remains that customers withhold information at application stage that can in some cases invalidate a claim.  It is vital that we continue to work together as an industry, to educate on the need for full disclosure so that people benefit from the right level of cover, and most importantly, continue to benefit from the policies that they pay for.”

Source: Cover Magazine April 2020

For more about Zurich and claim statistics please click here

Next steps

Whilst you are welcome to get a quote online but we would recommend you talk to one of our advisers.

Any quote that your adviser provides you with will take into account to your circumstances, your medical history, as well as your budget!

An online quote is just that – a quote – it isn’t a definite offer of cover. What really matters is the premium you are offered, after your application has been assessed.

Call Freephone 0800 644 4468 – Monday to Thursday from 09.00 to 19.00 and on Friday between 09.00 and 17.00.

Please feel free to read our Independent client reviews, or read about the team at Future Proof

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