Critical Illness Claim Statistics 2011 – Do You Have Sufficient Cover?

One of the questions that I ask my clients is about Critical Illness & sickness cover – I have no pecuniary interest in this subject but would hate to see a client and family suffer.

So I when I saw this from the always interesting newsletter from Ray & Graeme at Rutherford Wilkinson I thought I’d share it.

Critical Illness Claim Statistics 2011 – Do You Have Sufficient Cover?

Today, we are more acutely aware of critical illnesses and their impact it has on loved ones. Many of us have suffered the heartache of a loved one suffering a critical illness and the tough times that it brings with it.

An issue that we also sometimes appear to be less aware of is ensuring we have sufficient cover for ourselves and loved ones in the event that we may fall victim to a critical illness.

Some find it a hard topic to think about. After all, it proves we are mortal and a critical illness could strike at any time. This being said, in the event that it did happen, would you find that you have the financial resources to support you through the illness and provide for your family too?

Many people of all ages suffer with critical illnesses, such as heart attacks and strokes, and manage to overcome them. With advances in medical technology we have found mortality rates have decreased.

Critical Illness Can Strike Any Time

Whilst many will feel that a critical illness is reserved for those in their older years, the truth is that it can strike at any time and at any age. The average age for critical illness payouts is in the 40 to 49 years age bracket, but insurers have shown they are paying out for claims to people under 25.

To put into perspective the issues surrounding a critical illness striking at any time, we only need to look at the facts:

  • In 2008, 130 women a day, on average, were diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK – 47,700 for the year
  • Cancer will affect over 33% of people during their lifetime and someone is diagnosed with cancer every 2 minutes in the UK alone
  • 53,000 deaths a year in the UK are attributed to strokes and it is one of the highest mortality causes

Cancer and Heart Disease are two of the main critical illnesses affecting hundreds of thousands in the UK every year. They are both debilitating illnesses that have high mortality rates and also require long periods of absence from work for recovery for those that do survive.

Data Source: Friends Life

Financial Facts
Over the last few years, the UK population has begun to struggle financially. In part, this has been due to the banking crisis that struck in 2008, a global financial crisis that also hit at the heart of the average person.

Jobs have become harder to come by and incomes have become stretched as people struggle to keep up with financial commitments.

This means that 15 million people in the UK (around 25% of the population) do not have adequate savings to last until the weekend should they find they did not have any money. Over one in three Britons would not have enough savings in the case of emergency either.

If the above sounds damaging then it may surprise you to find that around 24 million people (40% of the population) in the United Kingdom are not saving at this time and just under ten million (16% of the population) have never started saving.

Data Source: Friends Life

Do You Have Sufficient Critical Illness Cover?

This question can be broken down into two sections, the first being those that don’t have cover and those that do.

If you do not have any critical illness cover, what would happen in the event that you suffered a critical illness?

Do you have adequate financial savings to cover a longer time period off work while you recover and recuperate, or even to support your family in a time of loss?

Are you comfortable with using your savings to support you during a critical illness and potentially being left with no financial backing upon your recovery?

The majority of dentists and doctors that we meet do have income protection cover in place so at least they know that they will have a monthly income were they to be off work for a prolonged period.

If you do have critical illness cover, does the policy give you the financial peace of mind that you will gain an adequate financial payout resulting from a claim?

Would you have enough money from this claim that you will be able to cover your financial commitments during the time period of your recovery and rehabilitation before going back to work?

Let us review the claims reports of two companies that offer critical illness cover and see their experiences on claims:

Aviva – 2011

Claims at a glance:

  • Paid out 94.1% of Critical Illness claims for 2011
  • Paid out on 1,568 claims which came to a total of £113.8 million
  • £73,591 per claim was paid on average
  • The highest payouts for males was in the 40 to 49 years age bracket at 42.9%
  • The highest payouts for females was in the 40 to 49 years age bracket at 52.9%
  • A higher percentage of claims were received for females under 30 years (2.8%) than females aged sixty and above (1.1%)
  • Total percentage of claims declined – 4.9%
  • 92% of claims related to 5 critical illnesses – Cancer, Heart Attack, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis and Benign Brain Tumour
  • Discovery of material non-disclosure at the time plan was taken out that caused claim to be declined as a percentage – 1%

The majority of claims were for (both sexes) between 2005 and 2011:

  • Cancer, 65%
  • Heart attack, 10.5%
  • Stroke, 6.5%

Some specific claims were:

  • Female, MS – age 24 at claim, £106,654 paid
  • Male, Heart attack – age 41 at claim, £80,748 paid
  • Male, Benign brain tumour, age 37 at claim, £325,192 paid

Source: Aviva Critical Illness Claim Report

Legal & General – 2011
Claims at a glance:

  • Paid out 93.2% of Critical Illness claims for 2011
  • Paid out on 2,784 claims which came to a total of £177 million
  • £63,573 per claim was paid on average
  • 54% of claims paid were under £50,000
  • 26% of claims resulted in a payout less than £25,000
  • 28% resulted in a payout of between £25,001 and £50,000
  • Only 1% paid out above £100,000
  • The highest payouts for males was in the 51 to 60 years age bracket at 37.2%
  • The highest payouts for females was in the 41 to 50 years age bracket at 45.6%
  • Average age of claimant (both sexes), 43 years
  • Total percentage of claims declined – 4.2% (125 claims)
  • Discovery of material non-disclosure at the time plan was taken out that caused claim to be declined as a percentage – 2.6% (77 claims)

The majority of claims were for (both sexes) between 2005 and 2011:

  • Cancer, 47.2%
  • Terminal  Illness, 23.9%
  • Heart attack, 7.6%
  • Multiple Sclerosis, 4.2%

Legal & General also offers children’s critical illness cover as a way of giving parents peace f mind in funding care and medical cover for their child.

In 2011 Legal & General paid out 77 claims for child critical illness cover, with the top five claims were made for:

  • Cancer, 63.3%
  • Bacterial Meningitis, 6.3%
  • Major Organ Transplant, 5.1%

Source: L&G Critical Illness Claim Report

Critical Illness Action Plan

After reviewing the above I suggest that you take action now through the following steps in our critical illness action plan.

This will ensure you have adequate cover and also give you peace of mind.

Step 1: Review how much cover you need
Step 2: Review what you already have in place through cover, savings and what the NHS would supply
Step 3: Work out the shortfall in your current position to what is required
Step 4: Review whether your current policies are fit for purpose
Step 5: Find the right cover for your situation, remembering that price should not be the main consideration – critical illness cover selection is all about the small print and quality of the over being offered

If you are unsure, or find you do not wish to do this yourself, then why not seek the help of a financial professional to support your decisions?



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