Aegon paid 7 per cent more protection claims in 2021 when compared to figures from the year before according to its latest published data.
The insurer said this increase was driven by increased life claims – which had increased 21 per cent year-on-year. While cancer remained the most common reason for life claims in 2021, accounting for more than a third of claims, Aegon said it had seen a marked rise in respiratory-related claims since the start of the Covid pandemic. In total these accounted for 20 per cent of claims — a threefold increase compared figures from 2019. The third most common reason was for cardiovascular-related claims, accounting for 19 per cent of claims.
In total, Aegon paid out £139m in protection claims in 2021, a total of 94 per cent of all claims it assessed.
When it comes to critical illness, Aegon said overall CI claims were down 12 per cent in 2021, compared to pre-pandemic levels, and were down 3 per cent on 2020 figures.
The ‘big three’ critical illnesses – cancer, heart attack and stroke – accounted for 82 per cent of CI claims. Cancer alone accounted for 61 per cent in 2021, followed by heart attacks (13 per cent) and strokes (8 per cent).
Aegon pointed out that this decrease in CI claims is unlikely to be because fewer people are becoming ill with these diseases. A more likely explanation it says is delayed or no diagnosis, after many routine NHS services, such as breast, cervical and bowel cancer screenings, were suspended at the start of the pandemic. These restarted in late 2020 and 2021.
Aegon said out that the biggest increase in overall life claims in 2021 was between January and April with a further spike in life claims in June and July 2021. Pre-pandemic, Aegon would expect to see a fall in life claims during the summer months.
From August through to the end of 2021 a more typical pattern of steadily increasing life claims into winter was indicated, showing some early signs of a return to usual seasonal mortality trends.
These figures cover protection claims across both the retail and workplace market.
The post Covid causes sustained increase in life insurance claims appeared first on Corporate Adviser.