Scottish Widows paid out 98% of life and 88% of critical illness claims last year.
The percentage of critical illness claims declined due to non-disclosure was 4% and claims where the definition was not met was 8%.
An average of nearly £4 million was paid out every week in 2012 in claims and since January 2000 the total combined amount paid to customers is over £1.5 billion.
Life claims paid have totalled over £932 million or almost £1.5 million on average every week since 2000. Critical illness claims paid over the same period total £574 million, or over £900,000 on average every week. Looking at the number of claims paid since 2000, there have been over 27,435 individual claims paid for life cover and over 14,109 for critical illness cover.
Taking life cover in isolation, 54% of claims made in 2012 were as a result of cancer, followed by heart related conditions (18%). Split by gender, cancer was the reason for claim in 63% of cases for females, and 51% for males. Heart related claims accounted for 12% of cases for females and 20% for males. The average age of a claimant for women was 57 years and for men was 58 years.
For critical illness, the main three reasons for making a claim remain cancer (62%), heart related illness (17%) and stroke (8%). Amongst males, 50% of claims made were for cancer, 30% for a heart related illness and 9% for stroke. 73% of claims among females were for cancer, 8% for stroke and 7% for multiple sclerosis. The average age of a male claimant was 48 years and for a female claimant 51 years.
Scottish Widows has also announced its Income Protection claims for the first time. In 2012, Scottish Widows paid 83% of the 191 Income Protection claims made. Of the number declined, 10% was due to non-disclosure and 7% where the definition was not met.
Katya Maclean, head of bancassurance enablement and protection at Scottish Widows, said: “We have supported over 40,000 individuals and families and the £4m we paid in life and critical illness claims every week last year shows the value of taking out cover.
“We will continue to work with the industry to change the traditional trigger points at which people purchase protection products away from simply taking out a mortgage. We would encourage everyone to think about their own need for protection when life circumstances change.”