Zurich paid 90 per cent of critical illness claims in 2012, down from 92 per cent the year before.
The number of claims paid out during 2012 was 744 compared with 796 for 2011.
Some 8 per cent of claims were declined due to the definition not being met – 6.8 per cent in 2011 – while 1.8 per cent of claims were declined for non-disclosure – 1.2 per cent in 2011.
The largest single claim paid out was for £1.1m. Of the top four conditions covered, 62 per cent of payments were made for cases of cancer, up from 58 per cent in 2011. The next three conditions for claims paid out where heart attack, which was 13 per cent up from 9.1 per cent in 2011; stroke, which was 7 per cent up from 5.9 per cent in 2011; and multiple sclerosis, which 4 per cent compared to 3.8 per cent in 2011.
Zurich European chief claims officer Rhys Dudding says: “Many of these payments are for significant sums and we believe make an enormous difference to our customers, helping to ease the financial pressures during what are often extremely difficult periods of their lives.
“The figures reinforce the fact that the vast majority of critical illness claims are paid swiftly, providing much needed support when it is needed most. In the small proportion of cases where claims cannot be paid, it is largely because the condition suffered does not meet the terms of the policy.”