Bank of Ireland Life today (29 April ‘13) released its claims statistics for 2012, which show a 6% increase in claims paid out over the last year. Including life, specified illness and protection cover, the Bank paid out a total of €94 million.
In addition to the increase in the amount paid out, there has also been an increase in the number of life cover and income protection claims throughout the country. Kilkenny saw the largest increase at 43%, while Kildare saw an increase of 32%. There was also an increase in Cork of 20% while Dublin increased by 10%. Decreases in the volume of claims received were primarily from Kerry (-36%) and Limerick (-24%).
Commenting, Damian Smith, Head of Protection at Bank of Ireland Life said: “The increase in claims is not simply down to deterioration in underlying health. It is more to do with the simple fact that more people have plans in place to protect their families financially should something serious happen. While many families might be looking for areas to cut back on, the 8% increase in our protection sales over the last 12 months would indicate that families want the security of knowing that they and their loved ones would be financially secure should the worst happen”.
Heart related illnesses and cancer continue to be the main threats to our health with approximately 85% of specified illness claims and 58% of life cover claims being for one of these.
The key findings from the 2012 claims include:
Life cover claims:
- The average life cover claim paid out was €68,000 and the largest claim paid out on a single life was in excess of €8million.
- 64% of claims for life cover were male while 36% were female.
- 47% of claims occurred in the first 10 years of the policy.
- The average amount of claims made by males increased by 22% to €77,000.
Specified illness cover claims:
- The average specified illness claim paid out was €66,000, 20% lower than the previous year
- 52% of claims for Specified Illness were male while 48% were female.
- 44% claimants were aged 49 or under, while 33% of them were aged between 40-49 years old.
- 36% of the claims occurred in the first 10 years of the policy.
Income protection claims:
- 44% of income protection claimants were aged 39 or under, with 13% of them aged between 20-29 years old.
Damian Smith continued: ”We normally associate serious illness and death with older people, but our claim statistics would indicate that illness and death can affect people at any age. The youngest claimants in 2012 was a 25 year old for life cover, a 25 year old for specified illness cover and a 22 year old for income protection. People have a need to protect their income as soon as they start earning.
“In the current environment, many people are changing employment or becoming self employed . We are meeting with a number of customers that are not covered for sickness or do not have a death benefit in their new employment. In these instances, it is vital that they put in place their own personal arrangements to ensure that they are covered in the unfortunate event that something serious happens. Thankfully, we are seeing increased evidence that customers are themselves very conscious of this need, concluded Damian Smith”.
Bank of Ireland Life have recently launched a number of online videos and a calculator to help people determine what type of cover they need. See www.bankofireland.com/protection.