580% increase in specified illness payouts in last 10-years according to New Ireland Assurance

Savers should be encouraged to consider their back-up plan in case of serious illness

Figures released by New Ireland today (4 May 2010), relating to specified illness claims paid out over the last 10-years, reveal that more and more people are benefiting from having a financial back-up plan in the event they become seriously ill.

In fact, over the last 10-years, New Ireland’s specified illness policy payouts have risen from €4 million to €26 million – an increase of 580%. Further analysis reveals:

  • 356% increase in specified illness cover claims
  • 92% increase in average amount claimed

The key findings from the company’s specified illness claims for 2009 include:

  • 54% of all specified illness claims were for cancer, with more female claimants having made cancer claims (67%) than males (45%)
  • 19% of all specified illness claims were for heart related illnesses
  • 46% of all specified illness claims were made by customers in the first 10 years of their policy
  • The average amount paid out from specified illness policies was €76,000

Looking at its specified illness cover claims in 2009, New Ireland’s figures paint a very worrying picture with almost half (48%) of all claimants aged 49 years or under. These revealing statistics show that serious illnesses unfortunately also happen to younger people, many of whom have dependant children and mortgages.

Even in these difficult times, New Ireland urges people to consider the relatively low weekly cost of around €10 for the average 35-year old to put some financial protection in place. Many people are currently constrained to live within a monthly budget and affordability is top of mind, however they should consider whether they can afford to get sick without this financial protection.

Male Female Couple
Amount of Cover €100,000 €100,000 €75,000
Weekly Cost to you €8.50 €9.60 €12.70

The cost shown is based on a 20-year level policy term for a 35-year old non-smoker with standalone specified illness cover within the Total Care Plan, and is subject to underwriting and standard acceptance rates. Terms and conditions apply. The example does not include the 1% government levy.

Commenting on the statistics, Brian Grimes, Head of Protection for New Ireland said; “All the indicators say that as a nation we are now saving more than ever. Many people are saving for specific purposes while others are saving for a rainy day. There are some rainy days however for which it is impossible to save. Protection benefits such as specified illness cover and income protection allow people to divert a small portion of their savings to cater for such a rainy day. Our findings show that more and more people are availing of this option giving them real confidence in their financial health.”

As a nation we have always been good at saving, and surprisingly this good habit has continued for most during these financially challenging times. For those who are in a position to save, that figure is typically around 10% of their income each year. When you consider that the average specified illness lump sum payout last year was €76,000 and it would take over 23-years to save this amount for the average Irish worker, the benefit of a protection policy really hits home.

One simple way of integrating an affordable protection solution into your budget is to split the average person’s savings of around €3,200 a year into both a “rainy day fund” (short-term) and a “storm fund” (in the event of serious illness). One of these sensible savings plans could look like:

Rainy Day Fund
€2700 per year
Deposit Account
Storm Fund
€500* per year
Specified illness Policy
Day 1 €0 €100,000
Year 1 €2,700 €100,000
Year 5 €13,500 €100,000
Year 10 €27,000 €100,000
Year 20 €54,000 €100,000
Year 30 €81,000 €100,000

*The figure €500 per year relates to the previously referenced table of quotations for a male and female obtaining specified illness cover.

For further information contact:
Anne Mathews
Media Relations Manager
Bank of Ireland Group
Ph. 076 623 4771
Mob. 087 246 0358

Laura Erskine
Public Relations Manager
New Ireland Assurance
Ph. 01 617 2586
Mob. 086 856 2929

New Ireland Assurance Company plc is regulated by the Financial Regulator and is a member of the Bank of Ireland Group.