Gloucester-based friendly society Holloway Friendly has reported claims paid figures of 96 per cent for the whole of 2017.
According to Mike Taylor, chief operating officer for the protection specialist, the society paid 97 per cent of claims made in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 96 per cent overall during the year.
The society also worked to reduce the length of time it has taken to approve a claim and to improve the levels of customer service at the point of making a claim.
This included ditching the traditional paper-based claims forms, introducing a telephone-based claims service with dedicated specialists and the implementation of e-signatures, to help process claims payments more speedily.
Mr Taylor said: "Our claims team have worked incredibly hard this year to improve the claims process and to enhance the experience for our members.
"This improved service has resulted in claim decisions being made within an average of 3.5 hours in October 2017, which is a considerable reduction from the average 12 days at the beginning of the year."
Stuart Tragheim, chief executive of Holloway Friendly, said: “In 2017, we achieved some great milestones for claims and helping our members. In 2018 we’re determined to better these and more to help drive change in the income protection market.”
Holloway's figures are based on the new Association of British Insurers (ABI) method of calculating income protection claims, which came into force last May, and reflect only new claims made, paid or rejected in that calendar year.
The previous ABI measure also took into account all claims in payment, and decisions made regarding these claims.
A spokesman for the ABI said: "The ABI believes the new claims measure is more meaningful for consumers in terms of helping them to gauge the claims performance of different products."
Joseph D'Cunha, general manager of broker Albany Park Finance, said: "It is reassuring for us to be able to recommend a Holloway Friendly income protection plan to our clients.
"Should they need to claim, they'll be dealt with speedily and looked after from a service perspective but more importantly they are buying a plan that will pay their benefit when they need it."