More than £5 billion ($7.2 billion) was paid last year in group and individual protection insurance claims, according to figures published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Group Risk Development (GRiD).
The figures show the equivalent of £14 million per day was paid to support individual and employees protecting their staff.
The products included life insurance, critical illness cover, income protection, total permanent disability and whole of life assurance.
According to ABI and GRiD, protection insures paid more than 153,700 claims in 2015.
The firms said that 97 percent of the group and individual protection claims were paid, overall. They suggested when claims are declined, this is usually due to either the claim being for a condition not covered by the policy, or the customer not disclosing important information when taking out the policy.
Raluca Boroianu-Omura, assistant director of protection and health for ABI, said: “Insurance provides vital support to families by relieving the financial strain following a death, serious illness or injury. Products such as income protection, life insurance and critical illness can improve people’s financial resilience.
“It’s important that we encourage people to consider the financial risks if they need to leave work because of illness or injury. As well as financial support, protection insurance can help prevent people needing to leave work, and if they do need to leave due to illness or injury, rehabilitation services can help them return to work sooner. As a result, protection insurance benefits individuals and employers, and relieves the burden on the State, helping the economy to grow.”
Lee Lovett, chairman of GRiD, added: “These consolidated claims statistics show the hugely significant support that protection insurance provides for individuals and their families, whether via individual policies or cover provided by employers.
“Despite this, the major challenge for our industry is that a material proportion of the working population have no (or insufficient) cover and GRiD’s focus is on improving awareness and ultimately increasing the number of lives that have access to cover via their employer.”
Association of British Insurers, ABI, Group Risk Development, Insurance, UK