Norwich Union critical illness (CI) claims declined because the condition claimed for was not covered by the policy remained at 8% in 2008, the insurer reveals, the same figure posted in the previous year.
Claims rejected for this reason also stood at 8% in 2007 but have fallen from 11% in 2005 and 9% in 2006.
It follows moves in recent years, led by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) through its Statement of Best Practice for CI Cover, to ensure customers understand what their product does and does not cover.
Elsewhere, the insurer, soon to be Aviva, says it paid out on 1,625 CI claims in 2008, representing 90% of all claims and a 14% increase on 2007.
The number of claims declined for non-disclosure of medical facts at the policy's outset fell to 2% for the full year, down from 4% in 2007 and broadly level with those announced for the half year 2008.
Michael Whyte, chief underwriter at Norwich Union, says it is up to the industry as a whole to ensure consumers understand the cover they buy.
"We are concerned we have to tell some people their claim was not going to be paid because their condition, or the severity of their condition, meant they were not covered by their policy," he says.
"It is in our interests to ensure we do not have customers who end up disappointed at difficult times in their lives."
Cancer remains the most common reason to claim, representing 63% in 2008, with heart attack and multiple sclerosis 7%, stroke 6% and total and permanent disability (TPD) 5%.
The ABI is working to produce a new Statement of Best Practice on CI Cover in 2009, which will include a revised definition of TPD, under which a large number of claims are now rejected.IFAonline
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