Protection 

British Friendly pays 94.7% of claims

British Friendly pays 94.7% of claims

British Friendly paid 94.7 per cent of claims in 2018, the majority of which related to musculoskeletal conditions.

In an update this morning (January 8) the mutual also stated since 2005, when it began recording its claims data, British Friendly has paid an annual average of 96.2 per cent of all income protection claims.

The majority of claims made related to orthopaedics (44 per cent), viral illness (17 per cent), psychiatric problems (11 per cent), and cardiovascular, digestive, and neurological issues, at 5 per cent each.

Of the declined claims 1.3 per cent were for non-disclosure and 4 per cent were for not meeting the definition of incapacity. 

Andy Parker, claims and underwriting director for British Friendly, said: "As a friendly society without shareholders we value paying claims to our members above all else.

"2018 has seen us continue to seek new ways to provide our members and their advisers with a more engaging proposition. This means income protection cover which not only protects them from the financial implications of an income shock caused by illness or accident, but also helps them on the road to recovery.

"To this end we have continued to innovate, launching several new initiatives not usually covered by a typical income protection policy, such as recovery support benefit and legal support, at no extra cost."

Recovery support benefit, launched in June, is designed to help with the transition back to work after a period of illness or injury.

Under the initiative British Friendly pays members a cash lump sum equal to four weeks of income protection payment when an insured member returns to work following a claim. 

Mark Dennison, principal adviser at LightBlue UK, said: "British Friendly has had another strong year in 2018. The core part of any policy is paying the claim and British Friendly has shown that they do that year on year, while the mutual benefits offering gives clients value from the start.

"They’re making income protection more comprehensive and more relevant to the modern consumer and their families."

In September it emerged Lifesearch's relationship director Emma Thomson was joining British Friendly in the role of product strategist.

Then in November the society announced its chief executive, Iain Clark, would step down in May, after two and a half years in the role.

A British Friendly spokesperson said at the time the society’s membership had increased by more than 50 per cent under Mr Clark’s leadership and had "significantly improved" its balance sheet strength.

carmen.reichman@ft.com

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