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Life insurance claims rise 17% at Aegon

Life insurance claims rose by 17% in 2020 at protection provider Aegon.

The provider paid a total of £139.74m on over 1,584 individual protection claims, paying 94% of claims received in 2020.

Some £81.3m of this was for life claims paid in 2020 to 807 families and businesses. The average claim paid was £100,751 and the average age at claim was 63.

Coronavirus was listed as a factor in 12% of life claims.

While the proportion of claims for cancer and heart-related deaths remained in line with 2019, the proportion of respiratory-related deaths doubled from 7% in 2019.

Critical illness claims were down by 14% over the course of the year.

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Aegon paid 93% of critical illness claims, which represented payments of £34.4 million. The provider said that drop on previous years was unlikely to be because there were fewer people becoming critically ill, but more likely because of the increased pressure on the NHS and difficulty getting appointments. It said that there may be a spike in claims later this year as appointments begin to get back to normal.

Income protection claim volumes were low with £1.4m paid in regular monthly benefits. The provider said it expected to see an increase in income protection claims but only received two income protection claims in relation to Coronavirus. However, it cautioned that the Government’s extension of the furlough scheme may potentially be delaying claims and the provider expects to see an increase in income protection claims this year.

Simon Jacobs, underwriting and claims director at Aegon, said: “While coronavirus might have contributed to some of the increase in life claims, it doesn’t account for it all. Of the life protection claims we received, Coronavirus was shown on 12% of death certificates as the cause of death. However, it’s possible that it could have been a contributing factor in a larger number of claims, even though it wasn’t mentioned on the death certificate.

“A number of the coronavirus claims Aegon received were for individuals with underlying health conditions such as cancer, diabetes and respiratory conditions – some of these, regardless of the pandemic, may have resulted in a claim.”


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