Royal London paid a record £731 million in protection claims in 2023

Published  21 May 2024
   2 min read
  • 99% of all protection claims were paid in 2023
  • A record £731m paid out by Royal London, £100m more than 2022
  • Over 77,000 claims
  • Over 4,300 customers signed up for Helping Hand, with over 1,000 being supported by a dedicated nurse 

Royal London, the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment company, paid 99% of all protection claims in 2023.

According to its individual claims data published today, it paid out over 77,000 protection claims, totalling a record total of £731m, £100m more than 2022. The highest individual payout was for £4m.

More than just money

In addition to the crucial financial support of a protection policy, health and wellbeing services are available at any stage throughout the life of the policy with Royal London’s Helping Hand support service. Over 4,300 customers have registered for Helping Hand in 2023, enabling them to benefit from extra help through things like virtual GP consultations, musculoskeletal, physio and mental health support.

A vital element of these value-added benefits is the dedicated nurse support provided through RedArc. The caring and practical support is something that many individuals and businesses consider just as important as the financial support. It was a lifeline for over one thousand customers and their families last year who received support with a cancer diagnosis (18%), mental health wellbeing (17%), musculoskeletal issues (16%) and bereavement support (14%).

Life Insurance

More than £228m was paid in Life Insurance and Terminal Illness claims in 2023. Royal London paid 2,396 claims, averaging £95,371 per claim.

Whole of Life

Nearly a third of a billion (£315m) was paid out in whole of life claims with 99.9% of claims paid. The mutual insurer paid over 70,000 claims, averaging £4,461 per claim.

Critical Illness

Royal London paid 90.5% of Critical Illness (CI) claims in 2023, averaging more than £68,000 per claim and a total of more than £173m. 6.8% of critical illness claims were declined due to not meeting the policy definition. The most common reasons for an adult CI claim were cancer (66%), heart attack (9%) and stroke (9%).

Income Protection

Around £6.5m was paid out in income protection (IP) claims last year. The most common reasons for an IP claim were musculoskeletal (54%), cancer (10%) and mental health conditions (4%).

Craig Paterson, Chief Underwriter at Royal London, said:

"Last year’s figures, a record total of £731m supporting over 77,000 families and businesses, is an endorsement of why we’re in the protection business - to pay claims and to be there for customers during life shocks.

"Our claims paid record not only provides reassurance to clients that valuable financial support is there when it’s needed most, it also demonstrates the importance of having a safety net in place as part of an individual’s overall financial planning.

"However, as well as providing a financial lifeline, emotional support can often be needed too and Helping Hand is there to support clients deal with a shock diagnosis, recover from illness or come to terms with bereavement."

For further information please contact:

Neil Cameron, PR Manager

Notes to editor

The concept of Royal London’s additional support service, Helping Hand, was based on the recognition that when people need help, it’s more than just a cheque that’s required to help them get back on their feet.

The service, available on intermediary products, gives emotional and practical help to maintain health and also support recovery for people with more serious illness. Helping Hand is all about holistic support, covering all the person’s illnesses and/or conditions providing support unique to them, their circumstances, and their family.

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