Legal & General paid out a total of £636m of individual protection claims in 2017, equivalent to £1.74m every day and a £30m increase on 2016.
This cover life, critical illness, terminal illness and income protection insurance products and raises the total amount Legal & General has paid in individual protection claims over the last five years to £2.7bn.
Steve Griffiths, managing director, UK Protection at Legal & General said: “Managing a critical or terminal illness, or overcoming the death of a loved one, is an extremely stressful and challenging time for anyone involved.
“At Legal & General, we’re committed to supporting policyholders and their families when they are at their most vulnerable, helping to provide financial security and peace of mind in their time of need, and we are proud to have supported our customers by paying out £636 million in individual protection claims last year.
“Over the past five years, we have paid out £2.7bn in individual protection claims, and these figures clearly show the crucial role that protection continues to play in supporting thousands of people day to day.
“However, the UK continues to suffer from a protection gap that leaves many families at financial risk should they or their loved ones be diagnosed with a critical illness, be unable to work or pass away unexpectedly.
“As an industry, we must continue to highlight the risks of a critical event and we hope that advisers can use these figures to showcase the benefits of protection to consumers across the UK.”
Legal & General paid out £313m in 2017 across 9004 claims, the equivalent of 25 claims a day. The figures mean the insurer paid 98% of all life insurance claims last year.
The top three conditions were cancer (39%), cardiovascular (17%) and respiratory illnesses (16%). The largest claim paid was £1.5m and the average age of claimants was 66 years old.
Legal & General paid 92% of critical illness claims in 2017, with the insurer paying a total of £209m across 3041 claims, the equivalent of eight claims a day.
The most common conditions behind the claims were cancer (64%), heart attacks (10%) and strokes (6%). The largest claim was £804,342, whilst the average claimant age was just 47.
Legal & General paid out 93% of children’s critical illness claims, with the largest claim paid being £25,000.
A cancer diagnosis was the reason behind two-thirds (66%) of claims, whilst strokes (7%) and benign brain tumours (6%) were the next biggest causes. The average age of claimants was just sevenyears old and 45% of claims were from policyholders with children aged 0-5 years old.
Legal & General paid out £112m across 1077 Terminal Illness (TIC) claims in 2017, representing 95% of all TIC claims. Nearly all claims were caused by a cancer diagnosis (99%). The average age of claimants was just 55 and the largest claim was worth £1.5m.
Legal & General paid out £1.2m across 441 income protection claims in 2017, representing 95% of all claims. The average age of a claimant was 42 and the average pay out was £732.
For claims admitted in 2017 only, musculoskeletal conditions (36%) were the most common reason for a claim, followed by mental health (22%) and cancer (14 %).