Insurers paid out £3.4bn to protection policyholders in 2014, industry figures show.
Association of British Insurers members saw a total of 131,543 claims in 2014, up 28 per cent from the 2013 figure of 102,384.
The increase came from a surge in claims for whole-of-life insurance policies, which rose from 43,529 to 72,962 year-on-year. The ABI says this was primarily because a new entrant joined the UK market.
The increase in claims means insurers paid £3.4bn to protection policyholders last year, up from £3.1bn. However, the average claim paid fell from £31,140 to £26,813.
ABI director in charge of protection policy James Dalton says: “These figures show that 97.7 per cent of all types of protection policy claims are paid.”