An evil necessity?
Insurance is often referred to as an evil necessity and we all curse, moan and berate the Insurance Companies when our Motor Insurance renewal or House Contents renewal comes in and the premiums have increased yet again, though we haven’t made any claims.
Often people will also reluctantly take out some form of Life Assurance when taking on a mortgage, commercial loan or when starting up a business and then tend to pay the premiums and forget about it, until a claim is made or the policy expires.
In our experience the one thing people don’t moan about is when a Life Assurance or Critical Illness claim pays out, and there is an old saying in Insurance that “a Widow never complains that her husband had too much Life Assurance”
With all the troubles in the world and more closer to home in the UK, it is often difficult to see and hear the good and positive news that exists in our lives and especially in our line of business.

Good News
It is therefore very ‘heartening’ to see major Insurance Companies like LV= and Aviva publish their claims history and give real life examples of the difference that insurance has made to peoples lives.
LV= recently announced that in the last 12 months they have paid out 93% of Income Protection claims and 93% of Critical Illness claims, with less than 1% of IP claims and 3% of CI claims rejected as a result of non-disclosure.
Astonishingly their data revealed that nearly 60% of all claimants are under the age of 50.

Mark Jones, LV= Head of Protection, commented”Our consistently high percentage of paid claims illustrates our firm commitment to supporting people in difficult times, and through processes such as our tele-interviewing service and intelligent underwriting, we continue to see a very low number of claims declined for non-disclosure.”

One of the biggest Insurers Aviva, have announced that 94.7% of claims were paid between January and December 2010*(Not including Total Permanent Disablement claims)
In 2010 they:
Paid out 1534 critical illness claims worth over £136million*
Paid on 99.6% of death claims.
Paid out £271 million in death claims.
Aviva were also given a “Gold” award in each category and were classed as Market Leader. This accolade was awarded to Aviva’s claims team in 6 out of the 7 categories and it demonstrates the quality of the service they are trying to provide across the board.

Most people take out Life Assurance to provide for their families and alleviate any financial worries at a difficult time. The plans can provide lump sums or income on death, to replace a deceased person’s income and can be set up to pay off debts, such as mortgages or other loans.
Health Insurance & Critical illness is becoming more popular as people seek help with financial issues when ill health occurs. These types of plans generally allow for a lump sum benefit to be paid in the event of diagnosis of certain critical illnesses, such as Heart Attack, Stroke, Transplant, Blindness, Total & Permanent Disability and so on. The plans can also be used to  pay off debts and help with the undoubted changes to circumstances and lifestyles when such an illness occurs.

Although thankfully not a daily occurrence, we have experienced and seen the benefits of Life Assurance and Critical Illness being paid out to our clients, and the good it does in a very difficult period in someone’s life and how it helps to deal with the financial issues that are often left behind after a loved one’s death or serious illness.
We have seen clients paid out as a result of having a heart attack and then after recuperation, have gone on to live healthy and albeit changed lives, but without the financial worries, because they have been able to pay off the mortgage, and to be able to afford the change in lifestyle.

Coping with a critical illness will be one of the most difficult times in your life. So making it easy to make a claim, and pay out successful ones quickly, is something that Insurers like LV= and Aviva concentrate on.
Watch out for Aviva launching a Critical Illness media campaign in September to give people more information and insight to the benefits of this valuable type of cover.

Like anything that costs, you have to prioritise your expenditure and goals and having the right type of protection, whether its Life assurance, Income Protection or Critical Illness is an important decision, and as with any type of Insurance we believe you should always take advice, especially if it involves a long term commitment to protecting the future welfare of your family and/ or business.