You probably don’t spend too much time thinking about the valuable protection cover you have in place. You take out your plan and then you put it out of your mind – it’s one less thing to worry about! Well, that is until you need to make a claim. It’s then that you will be glad of the protection plan you have in place. 

At Zurich, we understand that if you are making a life insurance claim, it can be a difficult time for you. That’s why when it comes to making a claim, we want to make it as easy as possible for you.

Our track record when it comes to paying out on claims speaks for itself. In 2022, we paid out €77.5m life and serious illness claims. So, let’s take a closer look at the figures and see what people are claiming for and why it’s important to have life insurance and serious illness cover in place.

Serious illness claims

Some illnesses can have a significant impact on your life. They can stop you from working and your recovery may require assistance and time. That's where serious illness cover comes in providing you with financial support if you become ill and can’t work.

In 2022, Zurich paid out more than €23.4m in serious illness claims with cancer accounting for 69% of all serious illness claims. The average age of claimants was 52 with 57% of all male claims relating to cancer. When it comes to females, 83% of all claims related to cancer and 45% of those claims related to breast cancer.

Life cover claims

Life Cover pays a lump sum to your family or other beneficiaries if you pass away. It is the simplest form of protection available, and it is usually taken out to provide for your family or to pay off your mortgage in the event of death.

In 2022, we paid €54.1 million in death claims with an average payout of approximately €97,000. Cancer is the principal cause of death – it accounted for nearly half of Zurich death claims in 2022. Cancer and heart related deaths accounted for 64% of all death claims in 2022 and 33% of claims were for people aged 60 or less.

Personal accident cover claims

Personal accident insurance is cover that protects you in the event that you suffer a serious injury, as a result of an accident, which prevents you from working. The benefit of having personal accident insurance is that if you are unable to work due to an accident, then you and your family will receive some financial support.

Males accounted for 72% of all personal accident claims with Zurich Life, and we paid out an average of €1,119 to customers that had suffered an accident and had been unable to work in 2022.

Sample personal accident cover claims 2022

Sex Occupation Reason for personal accident claim  Amount paid 
 M  Sales Assistant   Head injury  €1,000.00
 F  Teacher: Primary school  Foot injury  €885.71 
 M  Assembly operator  Cut finger  €1,042.97
 Cleaner  Laceration to hand  €1,954.29
 M  Carpenter  Hand injury - thumb   €1,139.17
 M  Mechanic  Injury to finger  €8,476.25
 M  Product builder  Torn ligament in thumb  €979.64

Hospital claims

With Hospital Cash Cover, if you are admitted to hospital in Ireland as an in-patient for more than three days, we will pay you the amount of benefit you have, multiplied by the number of full days you are in hospital. With regard to hospital claims, 58% is due to general illnesses and other claims can vary from general or serious illness, injury or pregnancy. Below is a table that highlights some of the claims paid out for hospital cover:

Sample hospital cash cover claims 2022

Reason for hospital cash cover claims  Amount paid 
 Covid 19  €1,680 
 C-Section  €2,472 
 Heart Failure  €1,169 
 Seizure  €510 
 Breast Cancer  €858 
 Colon Cancer  €1,800 
 Acute Stroke  €900

Here to help

Life insurance might not be your top priority, but it is something you should think carefully about. People get life insurance so that they and their families are protected should they become seriously ill or die, so even though we might not like to think about it, it’s worth considering.

A financial advisor will answer any of your questions and talk you through your options. You can find a financial advisor near you with the Zurich Financial Advisor Finder or our Financial Planning Team can also provide you with more information.

Source: Zurich Life, March 2023.

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