What the Statistics don’t tell you: The Stories behind Claim Statistics



A claim can never make up for the loss of a loved one.  But what it can do is ensure the future you had envisioned for your family is looked after.


Receiving a lump sum as a result of a claim on the passing of a loved one; or on diagnosis of a serious illness can help alleviate financial pressure.  It means that your family left behind are looked after whilst they grieve, or whilst they care for their loved one, as the financial burden is removed.


There can be a misconception out there that our industry does not pay out claims! This is simply not true – over 90% of claims are paid.  Unfortunately you will hear of claims not being paid and often this is due to non-disclosure of health or medical issues by clients.


Claims statistics are widely available and are announced each year by the Life Companies telling us how much they paid out in claims, what type of claims they paid and how the claims have changed from previous years.


When you dig deeper behind the claims statistics they tell a story!  We often see a trend in the types of claims from year to year.


Last year, as a result of the Covid 19 Pandemic, Psychological issues were the number one reason for claims paid out under Income Protection.


Income Protection is an insurance which replaces part of your salary if you are unable to work.  It is quite clear the toll that the pandemic took on mental health and I’m sure we all know someone who suffered.


This is closely followed by orthopaedic issues, which held the number one spot for many years.   Few people will manage to pay their mortgage and other bills, as well as looking after their children if they cannot work and have to depend on the State Disability benefit of €203 per week.


The leading cause for Death Claims continues to be cancer, cardiac and respiratory issues.

We are seeing a rise in the amount of claims for Specified Serious Illness too, largely due to early diagnosis.  Cancer related claims now account for over 51% of all Specified Serious Illness claims.


The Facts You Need to Know




What the claim statistics don’t tell is the positive impact these payments have on the lives of families left behind, or when caring for a loved one.   Or how a lump sum payment paid to a family means that their financial stress is reduced at least, and so they can focus on treatment and getting better.


When discussing cover against unforeseen circumstances, we’ve all heard the rebuttal that ‘insurance companies never pay out’, however according to Aviva in 2020, 98% of all Life Protection Claims were paid and for specified illness claims 85% were paid out. Similarly, 92% of income protection claims were paid out.


Our own experience of Specified Serious Illness Claims ties in with the statistics.  Over the years the majority of Specified Serious Illness Claims we have dealt with have been cancer related and have been for females.  Its scary to think the average age of claimants (for females & males) was age 52 with Breast Cancer being the most common type of claim for females followed by Prostate Cancer for males.



Real Client example



One of our clients was diagnosed with breast cancer in recent years.  She was employed fulltime in an office whilst her husband was self-employed.  They have teenage children, one of which was living away in University.


Although she hoped to continue working throughout her treatment, she wasn’t well enough and ended up being out of work for over a year. Luckily she had Specified Serious Illness in place with us and submitted a claim, receiving a lump sum in excess of €100,000 within 3 weeks!


She rang to let us know how thankful and relieved she was as it took away the financial pressures from her family as they could still afford to pay their bills and maintain their standard of living.


She was able to employ a cleaner to help within the home and her eldest continued in university allowing her to concentrate on getting well.  She invested some of the lump sum and now that she has recovered she has returned to work on a part-time basis as she wishes to focus on her health going forward.


We know a claim can never make up for the loss of a loved one, or the stress of being diagnosed with a serious illness.  But what it can do is relieve financial stress and ensure the future you had envisioned for your family is possible.


You can’t predict the future, but you can plan for it.


We plan a cover arrangement that is personalised to your circumstances… there is no one size fits all!


Start the conversation today by contacting us at 061 412388 or email info@sunrisefinancialplanning.ie