VitalityLife – one of the panel of insurers we use at FPL –paid out a record amount in claims in 2016, including 99% of those made for life cover.
The firm paid out a total of £33 million on 807 claims which also included 93% of serious illness claims and 94% of those made for income protection.
Peace of mind
Company deputy chief executive, Deepak Jobanputra, said: “Our aim is to give our members peace of mind about their financial future while helping them to lead healthier lives.
“These claims statistics demonstrate the real value protection products can provide and show that members and their families will be supported when they need it most.”
The average age for serious illness claims was 42 and the average claimant for income protection was 43. The average age of life claimants was 56.
The youngest claimant was a two year old child who received a payout on a serious illness policy having been diagnosed with leukaemia.
Commenting on the figures, Emma Thomson, head of customer care at LifeSearch, said: “These are very positive claims results from VitalityLife.
“Protection policies provide much needed financial support to clients and their families when tragedy strikes, and these latest figures once again dispel the myth that these plans don’t pay out, because nearly all always do.”
Top financial journalist Sally Hamilton added: “Despite such reassuring figures, just one in ten people are likely to buy cover that would pay an income if they could not work, according to new analysis by insurer Cirencester Friendly.”
That research found that nearly half of those surveyed would be relying solely on the State for financial help in the form of statutory sick pay if they couldn’t work for whatever reason. In such cases their average income would plummet by 75% or £300 a week.
Rebecca Young of Cirencester said: “The State’s average support is just over £70 a week – a fraction of the average take home pay of about £430 a week.”
VitalityLife has also made three major changes to its serious cover product which it expects will lead to more claims.
Unique to the market is a cancer relapse benefit in which Vitality offer to pay out and extra 50% of the sum assured if cancer recurs. It can be a recurrence of the same cancer or a new cancer being diagnosed after a year of remission,
Customers will not be able to claim for multiple heart attacks or strokes at the same or lower severity, as long as they occur at least 30 days after the first event.
Two new conditions are included: borderline ovarian cancer and permanent defibrillator insertion following a cardiac arrest.
Emma Thomson of LifeSearch commented: “The improvements to VitalityLife’s serious illness cover are good news for customers who suffer any relapse or recurrence of three of the main reasons for a claim, namely heart attack, cancer or stroke.
“They are welcome enhancements that should mean more customers can claim and receive a pay out to help them during a tough time in their life.”