Royal London paid over £631 million in protection claims in 2022

Published  31 May 2023
   3 min read
  • 99.4% of all protection claims were paid in 2022
  • More than £631m paid out on nearly 80,000 claims
  • 1,067 people benefitted from Helping Hand support services

Mutual insurer, Royal London, paid out on average over £52m a month on protection claims last year. In total it paid out over £631m, representing 99.4% of all claims to almost 80,000 customers and their families, helping them cope financially with life shocks when they needed it most.

Supporting customers is about more than just the money though. Royal London’s package of support services, called Helping Hand, provides invaluable support and reassurance in difficult times. It’s a service that 1,067 customers or their families turned to throughout 2022 for support with issues, including orthopaedic (21%), cancer (20%), mental health (15%) and bereavement (11%).

The cost of living crisis has hit families hard, with UK households having to find an extra £441 a month on average compared to this time last year. And as life gets more expensive, many people are having to make difficult spending choices about their monthly outgoings. At a time when families are much more wary of costs and the spending decisions they make, the data on claims paid is a reminder that should the worst happen, having a safety net in place to cushion the impact is of great comfort and reassurance.

Critical illness claims are dominated by cancer, heart attack and stroke. Cancer affects 1 in 2 people in the UK, and it accounts for two thirds of all claims, which is why Royal London has established a new charity partnership with Cancer Research UK. Royal London is donating £1.2m to help reduce the risks by tackling cancer inequalities, funding research into hard-to-treat cancers and initiatives to improve the pathway to early diagnosis, as well as supporting programmes that increase cancer awareness in communities.

Craig Paterson, Chief Underwriter at Royal London, said:

"Royal London is always looking at ways to pay more protection claims and our track record is a strong endorsement of that. It’s important to remember that those making a claim come to us at a time when their lives have been turned upside down, so it’s rewarding to play a part in supporting them financially but also emotionally.

"Publishing our claims statistics reinforces the importance of having a financial safety net, providing a financial lifeline when the unexpected happens. The pay out from a claim can help those impacted get back on their feet, but the value it provides goes beyond just the money. Support through Helping Hand, which is available to people at any time, not just the point of claim, provides invaluable emotional and practical support.

"It’s often overlooked that protection insurance is the foundation of all financial planning, helping to safeguard lifestyles and sustaining future plans which could be unachievable without it."

Life Insurance

More than £182m was paid in Life Insurance and Terminal Illness claims in 2022. Royal London paid more than 2,000 claims, averaging £86,500 per claim.

Whole of Life

Around a third of a billion (£312m) was paid in Whole of Life claims in 2022, with 99.9% of all claims paid. The mutual insurer paid 74,000 claims averaging £4,211 per claim.

Critical Illness

Royal London paid 93.6% of Critical Illness (CI) claims in 2022, averaging more than £65,000 per claim and a total of more than £132m. 6% 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 were cancer (65%), heart attack (8%) and stroke (8%).

Income Protection

Around £2.5m was paid out in income protection (IP) claims last year. The most common reasons for an IP claim were musculoskeletal (49%), cancer (10%) and mental health disorders (4%).

For further information please contact:

Neil Cameron, PR Manager

Notes to editor

Royal London research shows people are paying an average of £441 a month extra on household bills in the 12 months to February. Royal London commissioned surveys by Opinium between 1 and 6 March 2023, with a sample of 218 financial advisers and a sample of 4,000 nationally representative UK adults between 27 February and 6 March 2023.

About Royal London

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, and in the top 30 mutuals globally, with assets under management of £162 billion, 8.6 million policies in force and over 4,200 employees. Figures quoted are as at 31 December 2023. Learn more at