- Psychological issues now the No 1 reason for new income protection claims
- Cancer represents over half of all Specified Illness claims
Death benefit claims
The company paid out €51 million in total (2019: €45 million) to 453 (2019: 430) death benefit claims, with the largest single claim pay-out of €1 million. The leading causes of claims continues to be cancer, cardiac and respiratory issues.
Specified Illness claims
Some 132 customers who were diagnosed with a serious illness (2019:138) were paid €12.8 million (2019: €12.4m.) during the year. The average age of female customers claiming on their policies was 51 years, with breast cancer accounting for 50% of those claims (+5%), other cancers represented 27% (-4%) and multiple sclerosis accounting for 10% (+8%) of claims. Some 60% of claims from men were cancer related, while 27% of them had suffered cardiac issues (+2%) and 4% of them suffered strokes (-4%). The average age of male customers claiming on their specified illness policy was slightly older than female claimants at 54 years of age.
Income protection claims
Aviva paid out €45 million to 2,000 income protection customers during 2020, which was in line with the previous year. These payments were made to customers who had income protection policies with Aviva but who have been unable to work as a result of injury or illness over the period. Of the new customers who claimed on their income protection policy last year, the majority were female at 59% while 41% were male, a trend that has been evident for some time now. The average age of customers claiming was 48 years and the youngest claimant last year was only 23 years old.
The toll that the outbreak of Covid-19 continues to have on peoples’ mental health has been widely acknowledged for some time now. We carried out some research over six-months ago that highlighted the significant increase in anxiety levels which had almost doubled since the start of the pandemic last March, with 4 in 10 people (42%) admitting suffering from anxiety and stress. These startling figures highlight the increasing importance of ensuring that our income is protected. Few people will manage to pay their mortgage, look after their children and other outgoings if they have to depend on the State Disability benefit of €203 per week. This amount is in stark contrast to our average weekly pay-out of €700 to our customers with income protection claims, with most claims lasting an average of five years. In addition, income protection premiums qualify for tax relief at the individuals marginal tax rate when they take out a policy.Richard Jones, Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland
The company reported that psychological issues are now the number one medical reason for claiming at 25% of all claims (up 1%), having surpassed orthopaedic issues at 24% (-7%), the latter of which held that number one slot for many years. Some 21% of those who claimed suffered some form of cancer (+5%), while 9% recorded neurological issues (+2%). The number of claimants with cardiac issues also increased by 3% last year to 6%. Of those first-time claimants in 2020, 56% were under 50 years of age at the time of the claim.
“Aviva provides a range of additional benefits* to customers paying into an income protection policy with us and we would encourage them to make full use of these, particularly as we have all been impacted to some degree by the outbreak of Covid-19 and the disruption it has had on our lives. The benefits are available free of charge to most Aviva customers who have an income protection, life insurance or specified illness policy with us”, concluded Richard Jones.