The number of claims paid out during 2012 was 744 compared with 796 for 2011. Payments amounted to over £59.9million; the largest single claim paid out was for £1.1million.
Around 8% of claims were declined due to the definition of the condition not being met while 1.8% were declined because of non-disclosure.
Of the top four conditions covered, 62% of payments were made for cases of cancer, up from 58% in 2011 and 50% in 2010. The next three conditions for claims paid out were heart attack – 13% up from 9.1% in 2011; stroke – 7% up from 5.9% in 2011 and multiple sclerosis – 4% compared to 3.8% in 2011.
Rhys Dudding, European chief claims officer, Zurich, said: “Many of these payments are for significant sums and we believe make an enormous difference to our customers, helping to ease the financial pressures during what are often extremely difficult periods of their lives.
“The figures reinforce the fact that the vast majority of critical illness claims are paid swiftly providing much needed support when it’s needed most.
“In the small proportion of cases where claims can’t be paid, it’s largely because the condition suffered does not meet the terms of the policy.
“As a nation, we remain hugely under insured; cover such as this is an essential element of sound financial planning.”