£1.1bn of personal protection claims helped over 53,700 customers and families in 2021 – InsuranceNewsNet

£69m claims paid linked to ongoing impact of COVID-19

Aviva’s annual Personal Protection Claims Report reveals that more than 53,700 customers and their families were financially assisted last year when they claimed their Personal Protection policy.

A total of £1,094,919,735 was paid out in 2021 under individual critical illness, life and income protection policies, with 98.1% of all claims received settled.

The scale of the payout, which equates to around £3million in payments made to customers each day, highlights the crucial support that protection insurance provides to tens of thousands of people. UK households.

Over the past five years, Aviva has paid around £5bn on more than 187,000 personal protection claims, with 97.7% of all claims paid.

Jacqueline Kerwoodhead of claims philosophy at Aviva, said:

“2021 has been a year where society has had to manage the continued impacts of COVID-19 while trying to return to normal life, all against the backdrop of continued pressure on the NHSrising rates of mental health problems and emerging increases in the cost of living.

“We have seen some of these impacts in our experience with protection claims, with mental health claims continuing to feature prominently in income protection alongside an increase in long-term covid claims. Insurance claims Lives due to COVID-19 also continued, although fortunately they declined significantly over the year as the vaccine was rolled out.

“Fewer critical illness claims were made to us than before the pandemic due to delays in the diagnosis and treatment of critical illnesses, but we have seen the number of claims increase from the previous year.

“Helping more than 53,700 families with remittances last year highlights the real financial vulnerability that many households without coverage could face if they were unlucky enough to experience a serious illness or the loss of a loved one. This vulnerability will unfortunately only be exacerbated by the current cost of living through a crisis and it has never been more important to have and maintain protection insurance in place.”

Impact of COVID-19

Personal protection claims related to COVID-19 continued in 2021, with the majority of the £68.9m paid being death claims. Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 through the end of 2021, Aviva has paid over £107.8 million in personal protection claims related to COVID-19, primarily on life insurance and income protection claims.

Around 2,000 death claims from COVID-19 were paid last year, totaling £68.5million. The disease became the third most common reason for a life insurance claim last year, but after the vaccine was rolled out, claims due to COVID-19 dropped significantly across all age groups over the years. of the year.

Aviva also supported more Individual Income Protection customers affected by COVID-19 than in 2020, as long-lasting covid symptoms became more prevalent. Just over £376,000 in benefits was paid out last year to support clients unable to work due to the syndrome.

Following the introduction of a specialized long-term income protection application pathway, nine out of 10 (91%) individual income protection clients who received covid long-term support returned to work the last year. Rehab support specifically for long covid accounted for 12% of all rehab support provided in 2021.

Life Insurance Claims (including Terminal Illness Benefit)

Last year, Aviva accepted 99.4% of all life insurance claims, helping just over 43,900 customers and their families with life insurance and terminal illness benefit payments. More than £731.6million has been paid in claims.

Cancer remained the most common cause of claim with 36.6% of all claims, followed by Cardiovascular (19.5%), COVID-19 (11.8%) and Respiratory (7.9%). COVID-19 was the third most common reason for complaints for customers aged 40-69.

Aviva life insurance (inc. terminal illness benefit) claims paid by age, 2021

Most common reason for request by age group




Under 30


Accident and cancer




Accident and Cardiovascular













Over 70




Critical illness claims (including child benefits and total permanent disability)

Last year, £309.7m was paid out for critical illness claims, including £4.7m in child benefits, with 92.4% of all claims received being settled. The average adult claim was £73,969.

The number of critical illness claims paid increased from 2020 but remained lower than before the pandemic as the impact of delays in medical diagnosis and treatment continues to be felt in claims received. 4,367 claims were paid in 2021, compared to 4,294 in 2020 and 4,957 in 2019.

Of the 7.6% of claims denied, 5.5% were due to policy definitions not being met, while 1.8% were due to the customer misrepresenting information relevant to health and lifestyle when applying the policy.

The top three causes of critical illness claims continue to be cancer (59%), heart attack (11%) and stroke (7%).

Income protection

4,300 individual Income Protection customers had their claims accepted in 2021, with a total of £51.2million paid out to them in benefit payments.

85.4% of all new claims were paid1. 6.7% of new claims were denied because the customer misrepresented relevant health and lifestyle information, 4.7% were denied for other reasons, and 3.2% were refused because the policy conditions had not been met.

Nearly a third (32%) of customers paid last year were under 40 when Aviva paid their first claim, with the average claim age lower for women at 42 than for men at 44 years old.

Musculoskeletal conditions remain the leading cause of new claims at 37% of all claims, followed by mental health at 21%, other conditions at 12% and cancer at 11%.

Aviva’s Income Protection Claims team also worked with clients to identify where it was appropriate to help them return to work through our rehabilitation support services. Last year, about eight in 10 clients (78%) who received rehabilitation assistance returned to work.

Total Aviva personal protection claims paid in 2021

Number of claims paid

Value of claims paid

% of claims paid

Life insurance

(includes: Terminal Illness Benefit)




critical illness

(includes: child allowance + TPD)




Income protection




fracture coverage




Hospitalization and trauma coverage








Download the report on personal protection requests



1 Data on individual income protection claims submitted relates to new claims assessed in 2021. An alternative reporting method used by the industry includes all claims for which payment is made during the year, which for Aviva in 2021 is: 4,300 requests and 93.9% of all requests. paid.

Media inquiries

Melissa Loughran

Senior Media Relations Manager, Aviva Insurance UK

fiona murphy

Protection, health and regulation

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