British Friendly starts of the year by publishing its claims statistics for 2015, confirming an increase in payouts on income protection claims
Mutual insurer, British Friendly is the first UK insurer to publish its claim statistics for 2015. Its good news for members as the mutual paid 97.8 per cent of its income protection claims. In further good news for policyholders, these latest statistics are an increase on the 96.7 per cent of income protection claims paid in 2014.
The top three reasons British Friendly policyholders claimed for last year were musculoskeletal conditions – 36 per cent of paid claims – viral/respiratory illness – 18 per cent of paid claims – and psychiatric conditions – 11 per cent of paid claims.
Other reasons for claiming in 2015 included digestive (8 per cent), cardiovascular (4 per cent), neurological (6 per cent), cancer (3 per cent), rheumatological (1 per cent) and optical (1 per cent) conditions.
The age bracket with the most claims was between 50 to 59-years-old.
As for the 2.13 per cent of claims that were declined, 1.01 per cent were for non-disclosure and 1.12 per cent were due to the claim not meeting the definition agreed in the cover.
Iain Clark, marketing and distribution director at British Friendly, said overall it has been a good year for income protection.
He said: “The Seven Families campaign has raised awareness among advisers and the general public and, according to Gen Re, sales for the first half of 2015 were up 16.3 per cent on the same period in 2014.
“We have a lot of exciting plans for 2016 that will continue to help innovate, grow and raise awareness in the protection market.”
“Many more consumers could be prepared to purchase income protection if only our industry can improve the way we communicate the message that these policies really do pay out,”
Mark Dennison, principal at adviser LightBlue UK, said British Friendly has become the market leader when it comes to releasing excellent paid claims data before anyone else.
He said: “We know that protection still suffers from distrust among the public and we shouldn’t shy away from continually making a noise about the amount of claims that are paid and the number of people who are saved from financial difficulties as a result.”
On publishing their latest claims statistics, British Friendly said: “The industry needs to do more to make consumers aware of high payouts for claims, with Mr Clark referring to its survey of self-employed consumers last May, which revealed 31 per cent said knowing there is a good chance of a claim being paid was a crucial factor in taking out protection.