New Ireland Assurance today released its 2017 claims statistics, which revealed a record of more than €111 million in protection claims were paid out last year. Of the claims, life cover payments made up €70.5 million of the total, while specified illness claims of over €28 million and income protection claims of over €11 million were also paid out.
Commenting on the statistics, David Hennessy, Head of Claims for New Ireland said: “In terms of changing trends in 2017, we witnessed an increased amount of terminal illness claims and expect to see many more as knowledge and awareness of this important policy feature becomes better known."
The average claim by individuals for life cover was €51,358 in 2017 with men making up 63 percent of the claims. Cancer was still the biggest cause of claims for life cover and heart related claims increased slightly to 17 percent from 14 percent last year.
The average claim by individuals for specified illness in 2017 was €73,299 compared with €69,898 in 2016. 58 percent of claims related to men and the average age of claimants was just 51 with the youngest being 25 years old. Cancer related illness claims accounted for over half of specified illness claims and heart related claims one-fifth.
Mental illness made up 29 percent of income protection claims, while 22 percent related to musculoskeletal issues and 20 percent related to cancer. Over two thirds of new claims for income protection were made by women last year.
David Hennessy said: “Supporting customers when it’s needed most is what we have been doing for 100 years. In 1918, we paid out £213 and 9d in claims and in 2017 we paid 4,434 claims to customers and their families, amounting to a record €111,326,961.
He concluded: “Insurance companies are here to pay valid claims and support people at the most vulnerable points in their lifetime. It is in everyone’s interests to protect their family against the financial difficulties that are caused by an unexpected illness, accident or death.”