More than 91 per cent of critical illness claims made to Zurich in 2014 were paid out, Peter Hamilton has said.
The head of retail propositions for the insurer said this meant Zurich had paid out more than £63m in critical illness claims during the year.
He said: “We have been reporting our critical illness statistics for over five years, and are pleased to see payment rates consistently in excess of 90 per cent.
“It’s important that we continue to challenge the misplaced perception among many that claims don’t get paid.”
According to the insurer’s statistics, the payments in 2014 benefited 750 customers with payments amounting to a total of £63.1m, and means that more than £191m was paid out on retail protection-related claims, including those for income protection and life policies.
Zurich figures suggest the average payout for a critical illness claim over the period was £83,144, and the largest amounted to £1m.
Some 20 claims were also paid out in respect of children’s illnesses, with average payouts here of £19,785 – highlighting an important and often overlooked benefit of these types of policies.
Mr Hamilton added that more than 50 per cent of claims were settled within 21 days, with the quickest taking just two days to process. This followed the launch last January of a major project, which resulted in 22 new initiatives to speed up claims for customers.
These included increased use of text and email to communicate with customers, dedicated claims specialists and direct credits to customer bank accounts.
James Lindon-Travers, mortgage practice principal of Surrey-based Lindon-Travers Associates, said: “There is a great deal of scepticism out there around insurance claims in general, which is why it’s important providers publish these figures.”