Mental health issues accounted for 19 per cent of all individual protection claims last year, according to Legal and General research, with cancer claims accounted for 12 per cent.
The firm said that the average age of a claimant affected by mental health issues is just 41 and there is a gender bias, with 59 per cent of the claims made by women compared to 41 per cent by men.
Legal and General added that it paid out 100 per cent of all mental health income protection claims received in 2014.
AIG Life - formerly Ageas - announced this week that it paid out 90.2 per cent of critical illness and children’s critical illness protection claims last year, amounting to over £13.7m.
Cancer remained the most common cause of critical illness claims at 53 per cent, followed by children’s CI causes at 15 per cent, along with stroke and heart attack or related conditions at 6 per cent each.
Mark Holweger, managing director of intermediated at Legal and General Insurance, said: “Mental health in the workplace is an issue that cannot remain in the shadows any longer.
“It is now the largest cause of the income protection claims we receive from people of working age who are unable to work for periods of time due to stress, anxiety, depression or other forms of mental illness.
“Our 2014 claims data clearly shows that nearly 20 per cent of all income protection claims were due to mental illness, all of which were paid.”