How much is €299 million?

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Well first of all, it’s a very large amount of money! It caught our eye recently as it is a very important statistic in the financial protection industry. It has nothing to do with premiums or profits, instead this is the amount that Irish Life paid out in protection claims in 2018. Yes, €299 million.

It shouldn’t be that surprising, as this is the whole purpose of life assurance, specified illness cover and income protection. Lots of policyholders pay regular and relatively small amounts of money (premiums), in return for the unlucky few making relatively large claims in the event of illness, accident or death.

€299 million – this means that Irish Life paid out on average €5.75 million every week for a total of 7,900 claims during 2018*. When you dig a little deeper into the figures, there are some very interesting findings.

Cover for living benefits is very valuable.

While people traditionally may think only of life assurance when they hear about protection claims, this is only one part of a much bigger picture. Only 28% (2,258) of the total claims paid by Irish Life in 2018 were for life assurance. The balance (5,710) were for living benefits, such as lump sums for specified illnesses and regular payments for being unable to work due to illness or accident.

Some gender differences.

We all saw many interesting statistics relating to gender differences on International Women’s Day in early March. Irish Life noted that women in general are under-covered for life assurance, with only one in three life assurance claims being for women in 2018. This is an important finding for all of us, as the death of a wife or mother or other loved female can result in a devastating financial impact.

However, on the other hand almost three in every four income protection claims were for women, with specified illness claims being more evenly split – 44% of claims were by women. These suggest a much better awareness among women of the importance of protecting themselves financially against getting sick.

Cancer is the No. 1 cause of claims.

Cancer was the biggest cause of claims overall – it accounted for 64% of specified illness claims and 45% of life assurance claims. The claims for cancer are also increasing – they were up 8% for specified illness claims and 14% for life assurance claims in 2018.

These are real people.

One of the challenges when looking at claims statistics such as these, is that you can get lost in the numbers and forget that there are real people behind every one of them. We came across a lovely, short video of a recent Irish Life claimant who really highlights the benefits of getting the right financial protection in place. This can be viewed here.

While we hope that you never have cause to claim for a living benefit, and that any death claim by you is in the very distant future, we want to ensure you have the right cover in place to protect you and your family. Please give Con Friel & Company a call on 074 9121301 and we will happily discuss your financial protection needs. Otherwise you can contact us by email confriel@eircom.net or by Contact Form.

*Source : Irish Life claims statistics 2018

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