Norwich Union says the number of critical illness (CI) claims declined due to non-disclosure fell for the second consecutive year in 2007.
The insurer says claims rejected for failing to disclose medical facts fell to 4.17% from 8.5% in 2006, while those turned away for failing to meet the criteria fell to 6.15% from 9% in 2006.
Norwich Union says the total number of CI payments made increased by 4.7% from 80% in 2006, while it says it paid out £106m to CI policyholders in 2007, the largest sum it has ever paid out.
Darren Dicks, head of protection products for Norwich Union, says: “Critical illness claims can only be paid if the customer has a valid policy and their claim meets the policy criteria.
“Many insurers face harsh criticism for not paying claims, but the system is a two-way street where customers and their advisers need to play their part.”
In total, Norwich Union says 1,387 claims were paid with the average payout just over £77,000.
Cancer remains the most common cause for a claim at 63.6%, followed by heart attack at 11%.
Six times as many men (18.6%) claimed for a heart attack than women (2.8%), and almost five times more males (7.1%) claimed for heart surgery. In contrast, a quarter more women (77.1%) claimed for cancer than men (50.8%).
In 2007 a typical critical illness policy had been in force for just over five years (average of five years and six months) at the time of claim.
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