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 2023, we paid out over €87 million in life and serious illness claims and close to €9 million in income protection 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 2023, Zurich paid out more than €25m in serious illness claims with cancer accounting for 66% of all serious illness claims. The average age of claimants was 53. For women, cancer is the cause of 85% of serious illness claims of which over half 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 2023, we paid €61.5 million in death claims with an average payout of €87,300. Cancer is the principal cause of death – it accounted 41% of death claims in 2023. Cancer and heart related deaths accounted for 56% of all death claims in 2023.

Income protection claims

In 2023, we paid out close to €9m in income protection claims. Zurich supported over 363 individual claimants and their families, and we are currently paying close to €674,000 per month in income protection claims.

The leading causes of claim for income protection are mental health conditions, cancer, and musculo-skeletal conditions. The vast majority of claimants for mental health related conditions are in their 30s or 40s. Claimants in their 50s and 60s are more likely to claim for musculo-skeletal conditions or cancer.

Hospital claims

With Hospital Cash Cover, if you are admitted to hospital in Ireland as an in-patient for more than three consecutive days, Zurich will pay you the amount of benefit you have, multiplied by the number of full days you are in hospital. In 2023, Zurich paid out an average of €1,269 to help customers through their stay in hospital.

Here to help

Protecting your income or buying life cover is probably not the first thing you think about when planning your financial future. Although life insurance might not be your top priority, 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.

If you need to make a claim, filling out forms, making phone calls and dealing with paperwork will be the last thing on your mind. So, where we can, we have simplified the process. Information on how to make a claim is available here.  

Source: Zurich Life, March 2024.

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