Breakdown of claims at Aviva reveal 25pc of income protection payouts are for psychological conditions


Aviva Life & Pensions, one of Ireland’s largest insurers, paid out €106.5m last year to customers with death benefit, specified illness and income protection policies, down from a payout of €109m in 2020.

he company paid 2,534 claimants in 2021, compared to 2,585 a year earlier. About 2,000 income protection customers received €46m in claims last year due to being unable to work as a result of injury or illness, Aviva said.

The average age of income protection claimants was 48, though one claimant was just 22.

“The quantum of payments that we make to our protection customers each year is a stark reminder of how important it is to protect our lives and our incomes, and provide some financial protection for our loved ones in the event that the unthinkable happens,” said Siocha Costello of Aviva.

For the second year in a row, the main medical reason for income protection claims was psychological conditions, accounting for 25pc of claims.

Indeed, psychological issues marginally surpassed orthopaedic issues as the primary reason for income protection claims in 2020, when the pandemic started.

Of customers who made claims on their income protection policies, 21pc were suffering from a cancer, while 9pc cited neurological conditions.

Cancer was the main reason for the specified illness claims paid by Aviva in 2021 to both male and female customers, at 45pc and 65pc respectively, although heart conditions also featured strongly in claims by men (35pc).

The average age of women claiming on their policies was 52, with breast cancer accounting for 34pc of all claims, while male claimants on specified illness policies were aged 56, on average.

A total of 126 customers who were diagnosed with a serious illness were paid a combined €10m on specified illness claims in 2021, down from 132 customers who received a total €12.8m a year earlier.

The average age of male customers claiming on their specified illness policy was 56, slightly older than female claimants.

Aviva also paid out €50.5m for 408 death benefit claims, including €2m to a single claim. The leading causes of death benefit claims last year continued to be cancer, cardiac issues, and respiratory issues.

“Having to deal with the sudden death of a loved one or coping with a serious illness are very difficult life events, without having the added burden of financial worries to deal with as well,” Costello said.

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