In 2016, protection specialist LV= paid out 94% of all new individual protection claims, totalling close to £77 million over the year – more than it has paid in any other year.
The mutual paid 100% of 50 Plus claims, 98% of life insurance claims, 92% of critical illness claims and 90% of income protection claims.
In total, LV= paid out almost 7,000 claims over the year, around 2,000 more than the year before, helping customers and their families cope with the impact of sickness, disability, unemployment, and death. The highest claim paid in the year was £600,000 for a critical illness claimant.
The most common conditions for critical illness claims were cancer (65%), heart related conditions (13%) and strokes (7%), while the most common claims for income protection were for musculoskeletal disorders (23%), mental health issues (14%) and cancer (14%).
Last year, LV= took steps to further improve its claims service and the support it provides to customers. For certain products, claimants can provide medical evidence and exchange scanned documents and images via smartphones, which helps make the claims process even quicker and easier. In support of work carried out by the Protection Distributors Group on its Funeral Pledge the insurer has also this month introduced an early payment of up to £10,000 for death claims on all life products which can be paid within 24 hours. This will be automatically offered to all claimants who qualify to help ease the initial financial burden on families during a difficult and emotional time.
In addition, LV= made several key appointments to its protection claims team in 2016, including Andy Parker who joined as Technical Claims Manager to ensure the team has the tools it needs to assess claims quickly and consistently. LV= also continued to grow its rehabilitation team, underlining the insurer’s commitment to helping customers return to work and building effective early intervention services, particularly for mental health issues.
Myles Rix, Managing Director of Protection at LV= said: “Last year we continued to invest in our claims service to make it as quick and easy as possible for our customers to claim and this is reflected in these numbers. £77 million is the most we have ever paid out for individual protection claims and we’re pleased we have been able to help even more families in their time of need.
“While we know some consumers worry that claiming for a protection policy will be a difficult process, these numbers demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of cases are paid out. We urge advisers to use information such as this to help their clients understand the value of protection policies, and demonstrate the financial peace of mind they can provide.”