Significance of life insurance highlighted by Scottish Widows critical illness data

21 May 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
The recently released critical illness claims data from Scottish Widows has boosted pay out statistics as it revealed a total amount paid out of £150million between 2000 and 2007 for over 4,540 critical illness claims.

The data from Scottish Widows showed that the number of successful critical illness claims has risen, a reassuring fact for anyone skeptical of life insurance loopholes, pay outs and small print.

The statistics showed that in the year up to October 2007, more than £29million was paid out on 847 critical illness claims. They also gave an idea of the most common critical illnesses affecting the UK, as ninety five percent of all critical illness claims fell into just five categories, the top being cancer, heart related and strokes.

According to Scottish Widows, the average age of a female claimant with critical illness insurance is 44 years whereas the average male claimant is 47. And, policies were held for an average of four years and 11 months before a claim was made.

Richard Jones, protection market director at Scottish Widows, said: "The need for financial protection for both the family and business has never been greater, especially with more families relying on two incomes and the increase in the number of people who are self employed. Yet lack of consumer confidence is contributing to people failing to take out the valuable protection that they and their dependants need."

In publishing its claims history, Scottish Widows critical illness cover division is attempting to reassure consumers that the majority of claims do pay out. Its statistics showed that in the 12 months from October 2006 to October 2007, only five per cent of claims have been declined as a result of insufficient information, and a further nine per cent were unsuccessful because the reason for making the claim was not covered by the policy definition.

Richard Jones added: "To ensure our literature is clear and to minimise the opportunity for misunderstandings, Scottish Widows regularly reviews and gets feedback on our application forms and customer literature. The differences that this and other initiatives can make are clear when you see that last year we paid out more claims than previous years and we're paying out a higher percentage of claims."

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