Zurich pays 99% of UK claims across all products in 2017

On April 13 2018 Zurich announced that it paid out 99% of all claims in the UK during 2017 with payments worth over £1.7 billion.

Over 99% of all general insurance claims were paid, with 120 claims of more than £1m being made.

The vast majority (99%) of motor claims were paid, while typically, the proportion of consumer home claims paid out is slightly lower at 95%*. The main reasons for home claims not being paid is where customers have claimed for wear and tear which is not covered by their policy. And where customers don’t have the appropriate cover in place, for example making a claim for an accident but not having taken out a provision for accidental damage.

Zurich paid out 97% of all retail protection claims including life, critical illness and income protection insurance during 2017. Where a minority of claims were not paid, reasons include non-disclosure of medical information on applications and where an income protection customer may have returned to work before the policy’s payment period started.

Highlights of Zurich’s £1.7 billion paid in claims in 2017

General Insurance Products

  • Over 194,417 new claims
  • 99% of consumer motor claims paid
  • 95% consumer home claims paid
  • 99% of claims paid for commercial customers
  • 120 payments of over £1m

Life Products

  • Nearly 3,000 new protection claims
  • 95% of critical illness, 87% income protection and 99% life claims paid
  • Average critical illness payment made during 2017 was £75k and monthly benefit for income protection was over £1.4k
  • Over £647k paid in claims for children and £58.6k was paid to customers with partial claims (payments on newer policies for less advanced diagnosis of certain conditions such as cancer)
  • Cancer remains the biggest cause of critical illness claims accounting for 59% and mental illness (22%) for income protection

Commenting on these figures, Zurich’s UK Chief Claims Officer, David Nichols said,

“While the numbers of claims and amounts paid to our customers fluctuate year on year, we’re proud to report again that we’ve paid out over 99% of claims across all product areas. We hope this helps to dispel the myth that insurance claims don’t get paid.

“We’re fully committed to sharing this information with our customers and to delivering on our promise to them. This includes making sure that applying for cover is simple and straightforward and making sure that we’re on hand immediately with full support when they need to claim.

“We’re here to support customers throughout the life of their policies with features like Zurich’s support service where customers can access professional counselling, career coaching and advice on everything from sourcing care for elders’ right through to money management.”

Why are some claims rejected?

While the majority of claims are paid across the board, there are some cases where they are not and should not be paid. For home property claims for example, wear and tear, and not having the right cover account for around 80% of declined property claims.

Similarly, for critical illness and life insurance, the main reason why a minority of customer claims are declined is where they have not disclosed key medical information on application forms – such as a history of smoking or a previous illness. For income protection, a greater proportion of customers do not reach payment stage because they often return to work before the policy’s payment period starts. However many will benefit from rehabilitation available through their policy.

*Industry average claims statistics from the ABI for 2014 and 2015 showed that just 84% of home insurance claims were paid on average.