Zurich pays out 97% of 2017 protection claims

 

Paid life claims reached 99% and mental health most common reason for IP pay-out

Zurich has announced it paid 97% of all retail protection claims last year – a payments total of £235.2m to 2,872 customers and their families – which compared to 95% paid claims in 2016 (£224.6m).

Critical illness

A total of 867 critical illness claims were paid in 2017 (95%), at a cost of £65.2m to the insurer.

Cancer – the most common cause of critical illness pay-outs – alone accounted for 59% of CIC payments and amounted to £40m worth of claims.

Heart attack was the second most common reason for claims (14%), followed by stroke (6%) and multiple sclerosis (3%).

The average CIC claim last year was £75k and 54% were from men with the average claimant being 52 years of age compared to 49 years for women.

Families with children covered by policies received £647k in total from pay-outs.

The small number of declined claims were because a customer had not disclosed key medical information on their application such as lifestyle (smoking or drinking habits) or existing medical issues (3%) or because a condition claimed for was not covered for by the policy (2%).

Life

The total percentage of life claims paid was 99% in 2017, to 1,929 customers (£144.6m).

The 1% of denied claims were due to non-disclosure of important medical information on application forms.

Income protection

For IP, more than £8.8m was paid in claims and there were 76 made and 87% of these were paid.

Ten were claims not paid over the period, including seven where the policy’s criteria were not met, and where three customers returned to work before the policy’s payment period started.

Accounting for 22% of IP claims, mental health was the most common reason for a pay-out, followed by musculoskeletal conditions (18%), cancer (15%) and neurological illnesses (14%) such as multiple sclerosis.

“Research periodically suggests that customers aren’t necessarily confident that these kind of plans will pay out – these figures evidence that the overwhelming proportion of claims are successful” said Peter Hamilton, Zurich’s head of market management. “We know that the likelihood of claims being paid is a key factor in helping customers decide whether or not to buy life insurance including income protection and critical illness.”

Claims publicity

According the Zurich’s internal research, a quarter of people do not have cover because they think it’s too expensive and nearly a third do not think it is relevant, he also pointed out.

“We hope that sharing this information helps to chip away at the commonly held view that insurers don’t pay out,” added Hamilton. “Having cover like this in place means people can maintain their standard of living without having to worry about covering large costs like mortgages while they’re trying to deal with serious illness.

“We’re also keen to highlight the extra support available to customers through their policies such as professional counselling, therapies and advice on everything from sourcing suitable elder care through to money management.”

Article : Covermagazine.co.uk – Adam Saville @AdSaville_COVER 13 April 2018

Defaqto introduces Star Rating for prepaid funeral plans

Defaqto has added pre-paid funeral plans to its Star Ratings

The Star Rating for prepaid funeral plans will help consumers identify where products sit in the market, in terms of the overall quality and comprehensiveness of the features and benefits of the product.

The prepaid funeral plan market currently comprises of almost 100 products and Defaqto has analysed these from 26 product providers.

Many of the products are purchased direct; the Star Rating will help consumers take into account the value of the cover rather than just the cheapest plan.

Defaqto has witnessed the continuing growth and emergence of a burgeoning funeral plan market as a result of the desire for consumers to have arrangements already in place whilst they are still alive and to lock in the cost of their funeral against inflation.

Reflecting this trend, Defaqto has used criteria that differentiate products in terms of their comprehensiveness, portability if a client moves location and the customer experience in areas of the quality of the funeral service and the treatment of third party disbursements.

Over 60 experts independently research, collect and assess nearly 41,000 financial products, of which just over 10,000 are star rated.

Defaqto has given each product an independent Star Rating from 1 to 5 based on an expert assessment of the overall proposition and quality it offers.

Ben Heffer, Insight Analyst for Wealth and Protection at Defaqto, said: “With consumers increasingly focused on price, our Star Ratings help segment the market in respect of the cover offered across a wide range of financial products.

“We have extended our Star Ratings to include prepaid funeral plans as more and more products have come onto the market, which is largely unregulated, yet taps into the consumer interest to plan ahead for their funerals and thereby relieve the burden on their loved ones.

“Funeral inflation is considerably above the ordinary rises in cost of living, so paying for your funeral at today’s prices is an attractive proposition for customers.”

Fiona Murphy – covermagazine.co.uk – 22/05/2017

Vitality first UK insurer to partner with Apple Watch

Vitality has introduced Vitality Active Rewards with Apple Watch Series 2

This latest evolution of Vitality Active Rewards enables Vitality members to get an Apple Watch Series 2 from £69 and then fund the remaining balance by getting active.

Vitality Active Rewards is designed to work seamlessly with Apple Watch Series 2. Members can track their activity via Apple Watch Series 2 to earn Vitality points.

They can also receive notifications to their Apple Watch Series 2 when they unlock Vitality Active Rewards, which include weekly Starbucks drinks and cinema tickets.

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Are we ready for a longer life?

Are we ready for a longer life?

It’s a fact people are living longer thanks to advances in medical care and an increasing awareness about how to live our lives in a healthier way.  This is great news for mankind but are we prepared for a longer life?

People are buying their first homes later, starting families later and often working into their retirement years (or past it with the abandonment of ‘Default Retirement Age’).

As these key financial milestones are now often occurring later in life, it’s important that people review their life insurance to ensure they’ve not only got enough cover in place, but that the length of time they have it for is also adequate.

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Funeral costs continue to rise

 

Recent cost of dying statistics have shown that the average funeral has risen to an all time high with no sign of a significant slow down.

  • The rising cost of dying: Average funeral now costs £7,600 and thousands are struggling to afford a fitting send off.
  • Study claims cost of funeral, burial and administration is up 7.1%
  • Estimated that 100,000 people will struggle to pay for funeral this year
  • Rose 80% between 2004 and 2013 and will continue to increase

Continue reading “Funeral costs continue to rise”

Survey concerns over Income Protection policies paying out seem unjustified

A survey from British Friendly has show that only 2% of self-employed people surveyed believed Income Protection policies paid out 90% of the time and 45% believed that the main reasons claims were declined was insurers deliberately trying not to pay. This is despite the industry average for accepted Income Protection claims exceeding 90%.

Continue reading “Survey concerns over Income Protection policies paying out seem unjustified”