Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland (Aviva), one of the country’s leading insurers, today reported that the company paid out €46 million to 2,000 new and existing income protection claimants during 2021. This represented a small increase over the €45 million paid out in 2020. The payments were made to customers who had income protection policies with Aviva and were unable to work as a result of injury or illness over the period. Some 47% of first-time claimants last year were men and 53% were women, and the average age for both was 48 years. The youngest claimant last year was only 22 years old.
Based on Aviva’s claim statistics, there are some slight variations on the medical reasons for the income protection claims between men and women. For men, the primary drivers of the claims were orthopaedic or psychological (both at 27%), followed by cancer at 17%, while for women orthopaedic came in tops at 25%, followed by psychological at 24% and cancer at the higher rate of 23%. Men showed higher rates of cardiac issues (9% v’s 3%) as the reason for the claim and neurological at 9% versus 6% for women.
Aviva’s statistics, based on claims over the last five years, also show a disparity between men and women on the average length of time that the policy is in force before a claim is made, with claims from men made on average 11 years after the policy was taken out versus six years for women. In addition, 40% of all claims by women were made within the first three years of the policy start date, with 40% of all claims by men within the first eight years of the policy.
The longest active claim currently receiving a monthly payment is 30 years, similar for both men and women. In addition to the €46 million paid to claimants last year, Aviva paid out a further €200,000 to support them through various rehabilitation and retraining programs.
The impact of not being able to work due to illness or injury can have devastating financial consequences for families, particularly those who have significant outgoings each month and little to fall back on in terms of savings. Our statistics above suggest that women are more likely to suffer an illness that prevents them working for an extended period of time. However, recent research findings also indicated that women are marginally less likely (35% v’s37%) to make provision to cover necessary expenditure should they fall ill and be unable to work.Siocha Costello, Aviva
“Research* conducted on behalf of Aviva indicates that 60% of adults who are working worry about becoming ill themselves, whilst 65% worry that a family member or loved one will become ill. Women are more likely to worry regularly about this than men (28% v’s 23%), or some of the time (47% v’s 34% of men). Some 15% of men rarely worry about this, with just 9% of women. Only 30% rarely or never consider that they may become ill, with even less at 21% rarely or never worrying that a family member or loved one could fall ill. More than half (56%) of those surveyed revealed that they know someone who has been out of work for an extended period due to illness or injury, higher amongst women at 58%.
“The research found that the average monthly spend by households was €2,601 to include mortgage/rent, food, bills etc. The average monthly spend was higher for those working at €2,690 than for those not working at €2,388. Other findings in terms of monthly spend on household expenses include:
- 7% of workers claimed they spend between €3,001-€3,500
- 5% of workers said they spend between €3,501 -€4,000
- 4% of workers spend between €4,001-€4,500 each month
- And only 1% of those working claimed they spend between €4,501 and €5,000 monthly.
“Those who have made no financial provision for themselves, or their families run the risk of having to manage on the State disability benefit of €208 per week if they could not work for a period. This is in stark contrast to our average pay-out of €3,000 per month (€100,000 over three years) to customers with income protection claims. Most claims last an average of five years. Income protection premiums also qualify for tax relief at the individuals marginal tax rate when they take out a policy”, concluded Siocha Costello.
* The research was carried out by iReach Insights Limited and was part of a nationwide study conducted as part of the iReach Consumer Decisions Omnibus Survey with 1,000 respondents.