Heart attack, stroke and cancer account for 60% of life insurance claims in the region – Zurich consumer report reveals

  • 4 weeks ago
Zurich

Over the last three years, Zurich has paid out more than US$210 million across individual and group life claims.

Key highlights:

Claims for living benefits surpassed life insurance claims for the first time, amounting to 56% of the total claims, a 6% increase compared to last year, suggesting a growing trend and increased emphasis on supporting customers during their lifetimes.

Heart attacks and strokes remain the primary cause of death, accounting for 36% of claims, followed by cancer at 25%.

Cancer constitutes 80% of cases in women, with ovarian cancer as the second leading cause; while 1 out of 4 men have claimed insurance for cancer, with prostate and stomach cancer among the leading causes.

Zurich International Life, part of Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich), has just revealed their claims payouts, reaching US$210 million across individual and group life claims. Their recent Customer Claims Paid Report 2024 highlights the major causes of life and critical illness claims. This year, individual claims amounted to US$170 million, compared to last year’s US$160 million, necessitating a closer examination of individual lifestyle choices. The rise in claims for life and critical illness cover is primarily attributed to heart disease and cancer, which have alone accounted for 60% of life claims.

The report is based on living and life cover benefits claims made against Zurich’s retail and group life policies between 2021 and 2023 and highlights a notable shift in the distribution of insurance claims. Surprisingly, the report revealed that claims for living benefits surpassed life insurance claims for the first time, amounting to 56% of the total claims, a 6% increase compared to last year.

“People must carefully assess their personal lifestyle choices, examine the potential associated risks and accordingly create a life plan to protect the future of their loved ones,” said Deepak Gaur, Head of Claims & Corporate Operations at Zurich. “Transparency in communication with your insurance adviser is paramount, to ensure informed decision-making when planning your finances. This will ensure individuals receive the best protection for themselves and their families,” he added.

A case for living benefits

Living benefits ensure that your loved ones have financial security even if you’re unable to work due to illness or injury, helping maintain their financial stability. According to the report, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer have continued to remain significant contributors to critical illness claims, collectively constituting a staggering 92%. They also accounted for 60% of overall life insurance claims, underscoring the profound impact of these health conditions on individuals’ lives and the importance of having comprehensive coverage.

The report highlights significant differences in claim patterns between men and women, shedding light on the need for tailored insurance solutions that address unique health conditions. While existing beliefs often suggest otherwise, cancer affects both men and women. Among critical illness claims, cancer constitutes 80% for women, yet it’s crucial to recognise that men also face substantial cancer risks. Notably, 1 out of 4 men have used their insurance cover for cancer, with prostate and stomach cancer ranking among the leading causes.

According to the report, women have accounted for 44% of death and 80% of critical illness claims, primarily attributed to cancer, over the past three years. Additionally, claims for heart attacks and strokes have doubled for women, rising from 7% to 14% in just a year. These findings emphasise the need to assess potential health risks, considering factors such as lifestyle choices, age, and habits. By acknowledging and addressing gender-specific differences, insurance providers can better serve customers and ensure impartial access to financial protection.

Life’s uncertain at any age

The report underscores the inadequacy of a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to life insurance and critical illness cover, stressing the importance of understanding diverse demographics. This year, the average age of life cover claimants decreased to 53, while the age range of claimants has widened from 27 to 80, marking a four-year increase from 2023.

Notably, the youngest critical illness claimant was two years old, while the oldest was 84, emphasising the universal necessity for insurance coverage across all life stages.

How much is enough?

Securing the financial well-being of non-earning family members who provide you with the support you need is extremely crucial. Zurich recognises this and offers a practical solution to assess your life insurance needs. The insurance coverage that you take should cover your current and future financial obligations.

Taking the first step is crucial, but seeking guidance from a financial adviser is essential to gain a comprehensive understanding of your situation and needs. They can offer invaluable insights into critical factors such as age, health status, and dependents, significantly influencing insurance costs. Armed with this personalised knowledge, customers can request coverage plans that precisely align with their financial and life goals and needs.

Take the first step towards your protected future

“At Zurich, we prioritise our customers’ health and comfort. Over the past three years, we’ve paid out 98% of all life claims across 73 countries. We ensure that we’re there for our customers in their time of need, without any hassle – settling claims within 72 hours of receiving all required documents,” said Deepak. “Life insurance is essential for financial security but having a reliable partner matters just as much. Our promise to you is to pay you, on time, wherever you are.”

The report underscores the importance of tailored solutions that address personal situations and health conditions, ensuring comprehensive coverage for individuals at every stage of life. As individuals take proactive steps towards securing their futures, Zurich stands ready to serve as a trusted partner, offering peace of mind and reliable support in times of need.

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