Zurich increases critical illness payments

The data shows that the number of critical illness claims paid out has risen for the fourth consecutive year with 814 settled in 2009, compared with 746 for 2008, 710 for 2007, 702 for 2006 and 584 paid in 2005.

The number of critical illness claims declined last year remains static compared to 2008 at 9% Of those declined, 8% of claims were declined due to the definition of the condition not being met while just 1% were as a result of non disclosure.

Phil Brown, Zurich UK Life, underwriting and claims director, commented, "At Zurich UK Life we pride ourselves on our longstanding philosophy of paying valid claims as swiftly and efficiently as possible. We are committed to supporting our customers in their hour of need by making their claims experience as smooth as possible."

The amount paid out by Zurich UK Life in critical illness claims also increased, with £62.3 million for claims in 2009 compared to £58.5 million in 2008. Cancer remains the most common condition accounting for 48% of total critical illness claims paid in 2009, followed by heart attack whilst stroke was the third most common condition.

Brown concluded, "The causes of critical illness claims remain similar though stroke has replaced multiple sclerosis as the third most common condition. Regardless of the reason for the claim, we are keen to stress the vast difference we make to customers and their families' lives by paying millions each year in claims to help them cope in extremely difficult circumstances.

"The fact that the number of claims paid continues to rise should help improve consumer confidence in the industry as well raising awareness of the benefits of having some form of mortgage or family protection in place."