Individual income protection provider Cirencester Friendly paid 95.7% of claims in 2019, an increase on last year’s figure of 95.2%.
During the year a total of 1,275 claim applications were made, of which 98.4% were eligible for consideration. This left 1,255 claims to be considered and of these, 95.7% were paid, totalling almost £5.9 million in benefit.
Reasons for rejecting claims included the inability to either provide proof of earnings or medical evidence, no loss of earnings following the illness or injury and finally, claims for previously undisclosed pre-existing conditions.
The most common reason behind making a claim was accident or injury which accounted for 43.5% of applications. Some other claims listed included depression, cancer, heart or circulatory complications as well as back, neck and shoulder problems.
Cirencester Friendly has published its detailed claim statistics annually for 10 years with over 94% of claims paid; however, the provider believes that it is not the frequency, or in fact the overall figure that is important, but the transparency applied and demonstrated to advisers and consumers.
David Macgregor (pictured), commercial director at Cirencester Friendly, said: “Cirencester Friendly has been openly sharing their claims statistics for many years in order to demonstrate the value of income protection and help advisers to overcome objections from clients.
“It is interesting to look back at the figures published in 2011 in respect of the 2010 claims, which showed that 94% of claims were paid totaling £2.7 million in benefit, of which nearly 28% were submitted as a result of accidents or injuries.”
Paul Hudson, chief executive at Cirencester Friendly, added: “I am delighted to report such positive claim statistics and an increase in claims paid to 95.7%.
“There has always been a strong belief amongst consumers that illness or injury simply won’t happen to them and that if it does, the Government will provide sufficient financial support. This is sadly misguided, and we seek to dispel this myth.
“Likewise, consumers appear to broadly believe that insurance companies do not pay claims. Cirencester Friendly do pay claims and publishing our claims dtatistics in the level of detail that we do, enables us to help Advisers and their clients understand why we very occasionally need to decline a claim, in turn helping alleviate customer concerns whilst emphasising the need for good income protection cover.
“As a mutual organisation, we exist to support our members when they are genuinely unable to earn a living because of illness or injury. The publication of claims statistics demonstrates our commitment to our Members when they need us most.”