Now there’s a bit of a cryptic article title! It comes from a report we read recently into Irish Life’s claims figures for 2022, a report that we seek out eagerly every year. After all, claims are the whole purpose of what we do. We advise clients in a range of areas to protect themselves financially, whether by saving for the future or paying a premium for cover against unforeseen future events. The purpose of these financial commitments is in a claim at your time of need.
We all want to protect our families in case things go wrong. There is a very real need for family protectors to protect themselves, along with their families, in case of death, illness or injury. Knowing they are covered with protection, in particular living benefits such as specified illness and income protection cover, goes a long way in helping families recover financially.
So what do the figures for 2022 tell us?
The headline number is that over the last five years, Irish Life Assurance – Retail Division have paid out €1 billion to support people and families affected by illness, injury and death across Ireland. Yes, €1 billion. That amount of money will have helped many families in their moment of real financial need, as they navigate enormous upheaval and often grief in their lives. Of this amount, more than one third of it was paid out in 2022, with over €6 million paid out on average every week.
Over 98% of death claims were paid out, enabling consumers to really trust in their insurance policy with Irish Life. More than one in three of these death claims were due to cancer, the most common cause of death.
In relation to living benefits – Specified Illness Cover and Income Protection, these accounted for 2 out of 3 of the total number of claims. 64% of Specified Illness claims in 2022 were due to malignant cancer. While the average Specified Illness claim amount was a shade over €71,000, the largest claim was for €1.8 million.
As we dug a little deeper, we came across some interesting facts. There were notable differences between men and women in terms of Specified Illness Cover and Life Insurance claims paid in 2022. Malignant Breast Cancer was the single biggest Specified Illness claim cause overall, while malignant prostate cancer was the single biggest claim cause among men. We also noted that men accounted for almost 4 out of 5 heart attack claims and also for 60% of stroke claims. The average age of Specified Illness claimants was 53.
When it came to life insurance claims, almost 2 in 3 were for men. What really caught our eye was the difference in cover amounts. The largest male claim was for €3 million, while the largest female life insurance claim was €558,000. While there could be many reasons for this difference, does it show a level of under-insurance among women? The loss of a wife and mother will have an enormous financial impact on a family, whether she was working outside or inside the home.
So what does this all tell us? Well first of all, as your adviser it reminds us of the importance of staying in touch with you in relation to your protection benefits. It is crucial that we work together on reviewing your current circumstances and your cover needs, and then getting the appropriate cover in place. We’re there for you to get the cover in place, but more importantly we are also there in your hour of need, when you need to make a claim. We look forwards to ensuring you protect the protectors of your family’s financial future.
(Sources from Irish Life Annual Claims Report 2022).
Article first produced on PPS Monthly June 2023 Newsletter.