Scottish Widows has published its delayed critical-illness claims statistics for 2011 showing it paid out 87 per cent of total claims, down from 90 per cent the year before.
All other major insurers published their claims stats between January and April but Scottish Widows delayed the release of its figures. At 87 per cent, Scottish Widows’ payout rate is the lowest of the major providers.
Of the 13 per cent of claims that were denied, 4 per cent were because of non-disclosure and 9 per cent because the definition had not been met. This compares with 2 per cent of claims rejected for non-disclosure in 2010 and 8 per cent because the definition had not been met.
Scottish Widows paid out 97 per cent of life claims in 2011, down from 98 per cent the year before.
The provider says policies are likely to be declined for non-disclosure in the first couple of years of a policy. It says it has seen a 40 per cent increase in new policy sales over the past two years which has led to more claims being rejected.
Head of protection Katya MacLean says: “Although the proportion of claims declined has risen slightly in 2011, this needs to be seen in the context of a 40 per cent increase in new protection premiums.”
Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “Widows’ decline rate puts it at the bottom of the table. These plans are primarily sold by Lloyds branch advisers, which says to me they are not explaining the cover to people.”