Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland DAC (Aviva), one of Ireland’s leading insurers, today reported that the company paid out €106.5 million to customers with protection policies in 2021, a slight decrease on the amount paid over the previous year when customers received almost €109 million. The company paid €106.5 million to 2,534 customers (2020: 2,585) across its life, specified illness and income protection policies last year. Of the specified illness claims paid over the last year, cancer was the main reason for claims from both men (45%) and women at 65%, although heart conditions disease also featured strongly in claims by men at 35%. However, these statistics differ quite a bit from last year when 77% of specified illness claims by women were as a result of a cancer diagnosis while the primary reason for claims by men as a result of cancer featured in 60% of cases.
Death benefit claims:
The company paid out €50.5 million in total to 408 death benefit claims (2020: €51 million to 453 claims), with the largest single claim pay-out of €2 million. The leading causes of death benefit claims continue to be cancer, cardiac and respiratory issues.
Specified Illness claims:
Some 126 customers who were diagnosed with a serious illness were paid €10 million (2020: €12.8m to 132 customers) during the year. The average age of women claiming on their policies was 52 years, with breast cancer accounting for 34% of all claims (-16% 9 on 2020). Other cancers represented 31% (+4% on 2020) and cardiac issues accounting for 12% of claims. Some 45% of claims (-15% on 2020) from men were cancer related, while 35% of them had suffered heart conditions (-8% on 2020) and 7% of them suffered strokes (+3% on 2020). The average age of male customers claiming on their specified illness policy was slightly older than female claimants at 56 years of age. The youngest female claimant was only 33 years old, and the youngest male claimant was 36.
Income protection claims:
Aviva paid out €46 million to approximately 2,000 income protection customers during 2021, which was broadly in line with the previous year when €45 million was paid out to claimants. 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 women at 53% while 47% were men, 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 22 years old.
Psychological issues remain the number one medical reason for income protection claims for the second year in a row at 25% of all claims, having marginally surpassed orthopaedic issues at 24% in 2020, the latter of which held that number one slot for many years. Some 21% of those who claimed suffered from some form of cancer, while 9% recorded neurological conditions.
The quantum of payments that we make to our protection customers each year is a stark reminder of how important it is to protect our lives and our incomes to provide some financial protection for our loved ones in the event that the unthinkable happens. Unfortunately, death or serious illness can occur at any age as we can see from our claims’ statistics above. Having to deal with the sudden death of a loved one or coping with a serious illness are very difficult life events, without having the added burden of financial worries to deal with as well.Siocha Costello, Aviva
“We would always recommend that people consider taking out some form of protection – whether that’s life insurance, specified illness or an income protection policy so that they and their families have some financial support when things go wrong. Income protection premiums qualify for tax relief at the individuals marginal tax rate when they take out a policy. A financial adviser can help individuals plan the best protection option suitable to their own particular circumstances”, concluded Siocha Costello.