Just 2% of claims were declined for non-disclosure. The average critical illness payout was £82,000.
Cancer remained the most common reason for a claim, 55%, followed by heart attack, 10%, stroke, 10%, and multiple sclerosis, 9%.
Nearly half, 47%, of claims were made by people who were 40 or under and the youngest claimant was just 23 years old having suffered a stroke.
Roger Edwards, proposition director at Bright Grey, says: “Over half of our claims were for cancer which might appear to be a frightening statistic. But the good news is that with better screening and earlier testing, more people than ever before are surviving the disease.
“For many, chemo and other treatment means taking months off work and this is where the money from a critical illness policy comes into its own -easing any financial worries so they can focus on getting better.
“One consequence of better screening is that we are seeing more people being treated for earlier forms of cancer. So, last year we introduced two definitions that provide additional cover for ductal carcinoma in situ, an early form of breast cancer and low grade prostate cancer.
“It is vital that we keep improving our critical illness cover to give clients even greater protection and to keep pace with medical advances.”