Protection specialist LV= has published its 2009 protection claims record, which shows that 90% of claims were paid across both income protection and critical illness policies during the year.
LV= paid out nearly £40m to its protection policyholders last year, including £11.9m in income protection claims, and more than £7.9m in critical illness claims. Over the years, LV= has maintained a consistent track record of paying protection claims with a steady upward trend in the percentage of claims accepted.
Mark Jones, LV= Head of Protection, said: “Our consistently high and improving claims payment rate illustrates our firm commitment to support customers in their time of need, and to limit the risk of customer confusion at the point of applying for a policy. This success is in part down to investment in our tele-interviewing capability, exploring the reasons for non-disclosure rejections and putting measures in place to reduce them, and in intelligent underwriting.
“When people make a claim on a protection policy, it is often at an extremely difficult moment in their life. As such it is absolutely vital that we are a provider that can be trusted, not just to pay claims, but also to treat claimants in a human and professional manner.
“Our transparency in publishing protection claims statistics reflects our policy of openness. We want to make sure that advisers and consumers alike are fully aware of why claims can be rejected, so that we can all play a part in keeping rejections at a minimum.”
2009 protection claims data from LV= reveals that:
– The top four causes of income protection claims over the last 12 months were mental disorders (29%), musculoskeletal disorders (20%), circulatory system disorders (11%) and cancers (11%).
– The average age of a female income protection claimant was 44 years, with male claimants two years older on average at 46 years.
– The average income protection claim paid out for a period of eight years.
– Cancer claims accounted for six out of ten critical illness claims (61%), rising from 57% in 2008.
– The average critical illness claims payment in 2009 was £72,500, up from £63,820 in 2008.
LV= has produced separate guides detailing its income protection and critical illness claims performance for 2009. These guides are designed for financial advisers to use with their clients to help them understand why it is important to disclose full information when they apply for a policy. The guides also demonstrate the ‘more than just a cheque’ benefits from LV=, which include the Extra Care claim support service.