Scottish Widows pays £4m per week in claims

The pensions and investment company paid out 99% of life and 90% of critical illness claims, with 2.5% of the latter being declined due to non-disclosure and 7.5% where the definition was not met.

Life claims totalled £129m, nearly £2.5m per week while there were £83m paid critical illness claims, nearly £1.6m a week on average.

Esther Dijkstra, head of protection, said: “Since 2000 we have helped over 50,000 individuals and families and the £4m we paid in life and critical illness claims every week last year shows the value of taking out cover.

“We are committed to protection as a business and developing the best products for the market so that more people have adequate protection. It is vital that people do evaluate their needs regularly as their circumstances change.”

The company has seen more than 34,311 paid claims for life cover and over 16,122 for critical illness cover since 2000, with the amount totalling over £1.7bn.

Taking life cover in isolation, nearly half (46%) of claims made in 2013 were as a result of cancer, while one in five (20%) were for heart related conditions.

Three in five men (40%) and nearly half of women (46%) making life claims were for cancer.

Heart related claims meanwhile accounted for 11% of cases for females and 25% for males.

For critical illness, the main three reasons for making a claim remain cancer (66%), heart related illness (15%) and stroke (7%).

Amongst males, 51% of critical illness claims made were for cancer compared to 81% for females.