Zurich reveals IP claims data for first time

Zurich has published claims data for its income protection business for the first time which shows the insurer paid out on 90 per cent of IP claims.

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Of the 765 Zurich customers currently receiving an IP payment, 121 submitted new claims in 2012 with 90 per cent of claims accepted. It paid out a total of nearly £14m in IP claims last year.

Non-disclosure accounted for 1.7 per cent of rejected IP claims, while the remaining 8.3 per cent were declined as the definition of disability was not met.

In total, Zurich’s UK life business paid out £173m in protection claims, including £59.9m for critical illness claims and £99.5m for life insurance claims.

The most common conditions paid out on by Zurich last were cancer with 18 claims, mental health with 17 claims, musculoskeletal with 16 claims and severe psychiatric disorder with 13 claims.

Zurich head of retail propositions Peter Hamilton says: “The publication of IP data has been an industry issue for some time with trade bodies and insurers both keen to disclose the information in a consistent and coherent way.  While there is no formally agreed framework, which makes meaningful comparisons between insurers harder, we believe transparency is a good thing.  

“The figures reinforce the fact the vast majority of income protection claims are paid swiftly, providing support when it is needed most. In the relatively small proportion of cases where claims can’t be paid, it is largely because the level of incapacity experienced does not meet the terms of the policy.”

Earlier this week the FSA said it was considering requiring insurers to publish claims data as part of efforts to boost transparency. Many insurers publish claims data for life cover and CI products, but claims disclosure lags behind in the IP market.