LV= Protection claim payouts hit £100 million in 2019

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LV= Protection claim payouts hit £100 million in 2019

New figures reveal that protection specialist LV= paid record individual protection claims totalling £100 million during 2019[1]. LV= supported more than 8,100[1] claimants and their families paying 94% of all individual protection claims including life, critical illness and income protection.

LV= paid more than £14 million in income protection (IP) claims supporting nearly 1,000 individuals[2]. Mental health (29%), musculoskeletal issues (25%), and cancer (15%) accounted for nearly three-quarters of all income protection claims. The youngest claimant was 19 and the longest ongoing payment following a claim is 33 years.

Claims for Personal Sick Pay protection, which is designed for self-employed and contract workers, totalled £2.8m with payments made to 1,162 individuals[3]. The youngest claimant was 18 and the top reasons for claims were musculoskeletal (46%), accidents (17%) and viruses (11%).

LV= paid out over £23 million in critical illness claims in 2019. Cancer accounted for 57% of all claims, followed by heart attack (13%) and stroke (7%), with an average payout of £71,300. LV= paid a total of £275,000 for claims involving children aged between 2 and 17. Life insurance claims totalled £60m.

In total, LV= declined 474 claims for a variety of reasons including failing to disclose existing medical conditions, misrepresentation and fraud, and not meeting the policy definitions. LV= provides a breakdown of declined claims by product category and reasons in its latest claims report.

Last year LV= paid out more than ever in income protection, critical and life assurance claims, highlighting the important roles that protection and advice can play for individuals, families and businesses when they face life’s greatest challenges.

I hope these figures and the individual stories behind them will build consumer confidence in our industry, and through our new claims report we can help demonstrate the positive difference that the practical, emotional and financial support of contemporary protection can offer.

Insurance should be more than just about providing cover and paying claims; it should also help people improve the quality of their lives from day one. That’s why we offer our members additional services such as expert counselling for emotional health issues and legal advice. Plus, through LV= Doctor Services, policyholders can quickly and conveniently access help for everyday life issues, through their mobile device.

As we share our latest claims performance, the coronavirus pandemic is creating greater uncertainty, worries and has far-reaching impacts. I’m proud how we're adapting to offer reassurance and support where we can; it’s in times like these that the strengths of mutuality can come to the fore. So far, we have extended access to LV= Doctor Services, and are offering additional financial hardship funding for those members in extreme financial distress. We’re reviewing every aspect of what we do.

Sadly, we’re unable to pay every protection claim; these are hard decisions to make. While they represent a small proportion off overall claims, last year these stretched into hundreds of cases. Which is why in our claims report we share the claims we can't pay and why, to help advisers support their clients and emphasise the importance of disclosure. We’re committed to working with advisers and partners to ensure our protection promise delivers every time, when it’s needed most.

Debbie Kennedy,Director of Protection at LV=, said:


Claims for LV= major protection products in 2019

Type of productTotal value paidAverage claim paidAverage age of claimant
Non-underwritten (over 50s whole of life)£14,532,436£2,96774
Critical Illness£23,048,747£71,29649
Income Protection£14,118,728*£7,03345
Personal Sick Pay£2,825,177*£1,81638
Term Life Insurance£38,805,137£59,60863
Terminal Illness£7,032,566£103,42057
*Includes claims that were admitted before 1 January 2019 that LV= continued to pay in 2019
LV= also offers members emotional and practical support that policyholders can access every day. LV= Doctor Services provides members with convenient access to six expert medical services provided by Square Health. The Member Care Line gives access to qualified counsellors if members are experiencing emotional distress, and trained nurses can offer a sympathetic ear and practical information on a range of health-related issues. These services are non-contractual and can be changed or removed at any time. These services are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Members with Income Protection policies can benefits from rehab support services such as physiotherapy and psychological services to help them with their return to work. Members also have access to free and confidential legal advice and support ranging from how to resolve a property or landlord dispute to dealing with identity fraud.

LV= recently made a series of improvements to its Life and Critical Illness insurance to provide greater coverage for families. The policy now covers a total of 87 conditions (20 of these conditions are covered under 1 additional payment condition – ‘Less advanced cancers’) and the number of full payment conditions - including brain injury due to trauma, anoxia or hypoxia, Crohn’s disease, severe mental health and severe sepsis - increased from 44 to 49.

It has also recently upgraded its income protection policies to support those living in rented accommodation.

[1] These amounts include all claims we paid in 2019, and for our income protection products, claims that we had started to pay before 2019, that we continued paying in 2019. The figures also include claims we paid for whole of life products, some of which are non-underwritten, and which are no longer open to new business.

[2] Figure includes new claims paid for the first time in 2019, and claims that we started paying in previous years and continued to pay in 2019.

[3] Figure includes new claims paid for the first time in 2019, and claims that we started paying in previous years and continued to pay in 2019.