LV= paid 95pc of protection claims in 2012

This includes 99% of life cover claims, 91% of critical illness claims, 88% of income protection claims and 98% of unemployment claims.

Mark Jones, LV= head of protection, said: "Protection claims statistics continue to be strong across the industry and highlight that the overwhelming majority of claims are paid.

“We paid out almost £50 million in protection claims to our customers during 2012, offering an invaluable benefit to people at an extremely difficult time."

The most common claims paid under critical illness were for cancer (65%) and heart attack or heart related conditions (18%).

For income protection the greatest number of claims were for musculoskeletal conditions (20%) and mental illness (19%).

More than two thirds (70%) of all claimants were under the age of 55 at the time of claim.