Irish Life recently announced their claims payment statistics for 2019, and as before the sums are quite mind-boggling. We thought they are worth sharing with you, as the purpose and value of life cover, specified illness insurance and income protection is in the payment of claims when people face financial adversity. That is of course apart from the security and comfort that people get from having cover in place.
Irish Life pay out over €100,000…. every hour
No, that is not a typo, they paid out €104,563 every working hour in 2019, which adds up to €212 million over the full year. This amount was paid to 4,175 claimants, with the average life assurance claim being €73,688 and the average specified illness claim being €62,202. Just over half the claims were paid for living benefits (illness & accident), with the balance being death claims.
Cancer is still the No.1 cause of death claims
Deaths due to malignant cancer accounted for 44% of all death claims, with heart related reasons being the second most common cause of death. Proving that life assurance is not only for older people, 30% of death claims were paid to people between the ages of 41 & 60. Over 60% of claims were for males and 23 death claims were paid to people outside of Ireland. One claimant had taken out the policy in 1962 – 57 years ago! With the high cost of living in Ireland, people who are on average incomes need cover in excess of €250,000 to replace lost income as a result of a sudden death. However only 5% of claims were for more than this amount. It is very important to have life insurance in place, but it is equally important to review it regularly and ensure you have enough cover. Seven of these claims were for in excess of €1 million each. Another very sobering set of numbers were the claims paid as a result of accidents. 4% of all death claims were as a result of an accident, however this jumps to 31% of all claims paid on the death of under 40’s. Accidents happen in greater numbers to younger people. It was also very sad to see that 9 of Irish Life’s death claims were as a result of road accidents and 1 from a workplace accident.
Specified Illness Cover (SIC) claims were significant too
Cancer accounted for 62% of SIC claims in 2019. What might surprise many people is that 60% of paid SIC claimants were aged between 41 and 60. How long people had their policies before claiming varied hugely – one claim was paid on a policy in force less than 6 months, another was paid on a policy taken out in 1989. The Irish Cancer Society research The Real Cost of Cancer*, states that the average loss of income for a cancer sufferer is €1,527 per month plus hundreds of euros in additional monthly expenses. An average benefit of over €62,000 has made life a lot easier for Irish Life’s SIC policyholders… We always remember when looking at these statistics that there are real people behind all of these numbers. People and families who often have gone through incredibly difficult times. We are happy if we can ease the burden at all, by helping people reduce or remove any financial burden heaped on top of grief at these difficult times.
Sources: Irish Life Assurance plc 2020. *Irish Cancer Society ‘The Real Cost of Cancer’ research conducted by Kantar 2019.
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