£24.9m was paid in protection claims related to COVID last year, almost doubling what was paid out in 2020 and supporting more than 2,000 customers and their families.
Around 1 in 10 of all COVID related claims paid were for life insurance policies, totalling more than £16 million and helping the families of 217 customers. Nearly £69,000 was paid in income protection claims to those unable to work due to COVID. Whole of Life COVID claims totalled more than £8m, supporting more than 1,900 customers.
More than £174m was paid in Life Insurance and Terminal Illness claims in 2021. Royal London paid more than 2,000 claims, averaging just over £84,000 per claim.
Whole of Life
Around a third of a billion (£313m) was paid in Whole of Life claims in 2021, with 99.9% of all claims paid. The mutual insurer paid over 80,000 claims averaging £3,906 per claim.
Royal London paid 91.7% of Critical Illness (CI) claims in 2021, averaging more than £70,000 per claim and a total of more than £136m. Just over 8% of critical illness claims were declined with the majority of those due to not meeting the policy definition. The most common reasons for a CI claim in 2021 were cancer (65%), heart attack (11%) and stroke (7%).
More than £4m was paid out in income protection (IP) claims last year. The most common reasons for an IP claim in 2021 were musculoskeletal (36%), cancer (16%) and mental health disorders (10%).
As well as receiving a financial pay out at claim, customers can also access the Helping Hand service which comes with all Royal London protection policies bought through an adviser. The service offers comprehensive, tailored support and access to a dedicated nurse for customers and their families. Royal London enhanced its Helping Hand service in January to include health and wellbeing support for new customers, including online access to hand-picked early care medical services.
More than 700 individuals benefited from Helping Hand in 2021, with the top reasons for referrals being bereavement (23%), cancer (16%), mental health (15%) and orthopaedic (15%). Sadly, 57 of the referrals to Helping Hand were for children, with the most common condition being mental health disorders (40%).
Craig Paterson, Chief Underwriter at Royal London, said:
“Last year we paid a record total of £632m in protection claims, supporting more than 84,000 customers and their families. Although the world is starting to move on from the COVID pandemic, many people have still suffered from its impact, such as those who lived with long COVID and those who have sadly lost loved ones. We’ve demonstrated our support as a provider over the past two years and have almost doubled the amount paid out in COVID related claims, paying out nearly £25m in 2021.
“In addition to paying claims for COVID, our customers are also able to get support through Royal London’s Helping Hand service, such as help with bereavement, mental health, and returning to work after illness or injury. Customers and their families can receive access to the support of a dedicated nurse with tailored and personal support whenever it's needed, for as long as it's needed.”
||Total value paid (£)
||Average value paid (£)
|Term Life Insurance
|Total Permanent Disability
|Whole of Life Assurance
|Individual IP (new claims + claims already in payment)
|Individual IP (new claims only)