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Scot Prov and Bright Grey publish IP claims data for first time

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Provident managing director Roger Edwards

Scottish Provident and Bright Grey have published their income protection claims data for the first time, showing 86 per cent and 83 per cent claims paid respectively in 2012.

Scottish Provident received 44 claims last year and paid out of 38 with a total claimant benefit of £452,352. Four claims were rejected because they did not meet the disability definition and two refused for not fully disclosing information.

Bright Grey received 16 claims and paid 13 claimants £80,273 in total. Two claims were rejected for not meeting the disability definition and one for not fully disclosing information.

The firms are both protection brands of Royal London. Bright Grey and Scottish Provident managing director Roger Edwards says: “We have a very small book of income protection customers.  This means we have a limited amount of claims and our figures can easily be distorted by just one or two declines. 

“However, while we remain concerned about the different ways in which IP data is collected across the industry and the fact that it is difficult to make like-for-like comparisons, as the largest life and pensions mutual in the UK, we are committed to transparency within the industry.  Therefore, we have decided to share our data at this time.”

Aegon and Zurich published their income protection claims data for the first time last month leaving Friends Life as the only major provider not to do so. In 2012 Aegon and Zurich paid out on 83 per cent and 90 per cent of IP claims respectively.

The FCA is considering forcing providers to publish claims data in a bid to boost transparency.

A Friends Life spokesman says the firm will not publish data until there is an industry consensus for reporting IP claims led by the Association of British Insurers. It says statistics will depend on the age of the book of business and structure of products with some having short deferral periods for a limited time. It says some claims may also be initially accepted but later terminated.

It states: “It is therefore difficult to draw clear conclusions unless the comparison is between two books of similar business. We will continue to review our position in light of the ABI’s progress.”

Master Adviser senior partner and Income Protection Task Force executive committee member Roy McLoughlin says: “The IPTF warmly welcomes this latest disclosure from Scot Prov and Bright Grey. It is vital consumers have absolute confidence in IP products, and open and transparent claims stats go hand in hand with that aim.

“These latest providers to disclose IP claims stats make the list almost complete.”

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