Friends Life pays out more CI in claims than life

Friends Life pays out more CI in claims than life

Friends Life has revealed that for the first time it has paid out more in critical illness claims than for life insurance.

During 2014 the insurer paid £122m in critical illness claims – £1m more than for life claims. Elsewhere, the firm paid 94 per cent of adult critical illness claims paid - up from 91 per cent in 2013 - worth £122m, plus £1.7m paid to 88 families in child claims.

Overall last year it paid out over £265m in individual protection claims to more than 7,000 customers and their families.

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It paid 99 per cent of life claims and terminal illness claims worth £121m, along with 86 per cent of income protection claims paid - up from 85 per cent in 2013 - worth £20m.

Chris Pollard, head of underwriting, claims and customer services for individual protection at Friends Life, commented that increasing critical illness and income protection claims figures are a sign of how advisers are making a difference in helping customers appreciate the need to carefully and fully complete application forms.

Cancer remained the largest cause of a claim, but there was an increase in the number of heart attack, stroke and multiple sclerosis claims paid. Over £600,000 was also paid to customers under Friends Life’s diabetes cover.

Similar statistics have been gradually emanating from the various protection insurance providers over the last few months.

At the beginning of March, Aegon published data stating it paid 98 per cent of life claims, 93 per cent of critical illness claims and just over 92 per cent of new income protection claims received last year.

That followed Zurich’s publication in February of statistics showing it paid 93 per cent of income protection claims in 2014, while at the start of January British Friendly was the first to reveal its numbers, paying 96.7 per cent of income protection claims during 2014.