Aegon paid 96% of life claims in 2019

Adam Saville
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Aegon paid 96% of life claims in 2019

Aegon paid a total of £71.5m (96%) in life claims to 711 families and businesses in 2019.

Aegon paid a total £148.1m in protection claims in 2019 - and 96% of life claims.

The average size of life claim paid by Aegon last year was £100,619 and the average age at claim was 63 years old. Cancer was again the most common cause of death (43%), followed by heart-related conditions (23%).

Of the life claims declined in 2019, 3.5% (75%) were due to misrepresentation and 0.5% were declined due to not meeting the definition.

Terminal illness

Aegon separately assessed its terminal illness (TI) claims - paid out on a diagnosis where life expectancy is 12 months or less - and 23% of its life claims were paid early under its TI definition.

The insurer paid 93% of all terminal illness claims it received - a total of £33.4m to 210 families and businesses - in 2019.

Critical illness

Aegon paid 94% of critical illness claims (£41.9m) and the average size of claim paid was £83,964. The average age at claim was 50 years old.

Cancer, heart attack and stroke accounted for 83% of critical illness claims. Cancer accounted for 60% of critical illness claims in 2019, followed by heart attacks (15%) and strokes (8%).

Of the CI claims declined in 2019, 4.3% were due to the definition not being met and the remaining 1.7% were due to misrepresentation.

Income protection (IP)

Aegon paid 100% of new IP claims it received last year - £232,000 in regular monthly benefits.

Accident was the most common reason for IP claims (38%) in 2019, followed by mental health (31%).

'Trust'

Simon Jacobs, head of underwriting and claims strategy at Aegon UK said: "Aegon continues to help people manage their finances in the face of the unexpected through the payment of protection claims. Having published claims stats on an annual basis since 2001 we recognise the value of this information.

"It's important to both advisers and their clients, and the stats go some way to build trust in not only Aegon but also in the protection industry, which has for so long battled the consumer belief that providers don't pay claims. Our statistics tell a different story and we continue to pay every valid claim we receive.

"Declining claims is the biggest decision our claims assessors ever make, and isn't something they do lightly. We're disappointed to have seen such an increase in misrepresentation for life claims compared to last year - particularly around alcohol usage and heart problems. We're committed to working with intermediaries to help them get the best terms for their clients, based on the most accurate information. Supplying false information will only lead to disappointment for their client's family - at a time when they could really benefit from financial support.

"It's never a pleasant experience to deliver the news of a declined claim - and in many cases it could have so easily been avoided. 

"But a claim is only as good as the application and underwriting of the policy. When information supplied is misleading or inaccurate, that's when claims can be challenging and the worst case scenario is that they are declined.

"Protection policies are most effective when applicants are open and honest on their applications.

"This is when clients really need the expertise of their adviser to guide them through the application process to ensure they get the best terms, based on the most accurate information and can be confident in the valuable cover they have purchased."

Aegon has also published a full 10 year history of claims here.

This article was first published by Cover Magazine