New stats from the LV= Press Office reveal that protection specialist LV= paid record individual protection claims totalling £100 million during 2019. LV= supported more than 8,100 claimants and their families paying 94% of all individual protection claims including life, critical illness and income protection.
LV= paid more than £14 million in income protection (IP) claims supporting nearly 1,000 individuals. Mental health (29%), musculoskeletal issues (25%), and cancer (15%) accounted for nearly three-quarters of all income protection claims. The youngest claimant was 19 and the longest ongoing payment following a claim is 33 years.
Claims for Personal Sick Pay protection, which is designed for self-employed and contract workers, totalled £2.8m with payments made to 1,162 individuals. The youngest claimant was 18 and the top reasons for claims were musculoskeletal (46%), accidents (17%) and viruses (11%).
LV= paid out over £23 million in critical illness claims in 2019. Cancer accounted for 57% of all claims, followed by heart attack (13%) and stroke (7%), with an average payout of £71,300. LV= paid a total of £275,000 for claims involving children aged between 2 and 17. Life insurance claims totalled £60m.
In total, LV= declined 474 claims for a variety of reasons including failing to disclose existing medical conditions, misrepresentation and fraud, and not meeting the policy definitions. LV= provides a breakdown of declined claims by product category and reasons in its latest claims report.
Debbie Kennedy, Director of Protection at LV=, said:
“Last year LV= paid out more than ever in income protection, critical and life assurance claims, highlighting the important roles that protection and advice can play for individuals, families and businesses when they face life’s greatest challenges.
“I hope these figures and the individual stories behind them will build consumer confidence in our industry, and through our new claims report we can help demonstrate the positive difference that the practical, emotional and financial support of contemporary protection can offer.
“Insurance should be more than just about providing cover and paying claims; it should also help people improve the quality of their lives from day one. That’s why we offer our members additional services such as expert counselling for emotional health issues and legal advice. Plus, through LV= Doctor Services, policyholders can quickly and conveniently access help for everyday life issues, through their mobile device.
“As we share our latest claims performance, the coronavirus pandemic is creating greater uncertainty, worries and has far-reaching impacts. I’m proud how we’re adapting to offer reassurance and support where we can; it’s in times like these that the strengths of mutuality can come to the fore. So far, we have extended access to LV= Doctor Services, and are offering additional financial hardship funding for those members in extreme financial distress. We’re reviewing every aspect of what we do.
“Sadly, we’re unable to pay every protection claim; these are hard decisions to make. While they represent a small proportion off overall claims, last year these stretched into hundreds of cases. Which is why in our claims report we share the claims we can’t pay and why, to help advisers support their clients and emphasise the importance of disclosure. We’re committed to working with advisers and partners to ensure our protection promise delivers every time, when it’s needed most.”
LV= shares its 2019 claims performance in its latest report for advisers, together with a series of supporting videos featuring claims handlers, underwriters and rehab specialists. All are available now on the LV= adviser site.