Cancer is the leading cause of death and illness in Ireland as Irish Life pays out €187.8 million in claims during 2017
2,582 claims paid across Life Insurance, Specified Illness and Terminal Illness Cover
Cancer continues to be the main cause of death and illness in Ireland according to Irish Life, Ireland’s leading life insurer*. Irish Life today published its annual claims report for its retail business, confirming that it paid out €187.8 million to customers and their families affected by illness and death during 2017. The report provides a unique insight into the health of the nation, and includes an overview of the illnesses and conditions that led to payments for 2,582 Life Insurance, Specified Illness Cover and Terminal Illness claims in 2017.
The claims report highlights that Irish Life paid €129.7 million for 1,689 Life Insurance claims, €53.7 million for 853 Specified Illness Cover claims, and a further €4.4 million for 40 Terminal Illness claims. These figures represent an increase of 10% overall in the value of claims paid out to Irish Life customers compared to 2016 figures. The average payment was €76,786 for Life Insurance claims, €62,992 for Specified Illness Cover claims, and €109,534 for Terminal Illness claims, although there was a wide variation in the size of claims settled.
Cancer was once again the main cause of both Life Insurance (42%) and Specified Illness claims (62%), followed by heart-related conditions which accounted for 10% of deaths and 20% of Specified Illness claims. Overall, breast cancer was the main type of cancer for Specified Illness claimants.
Martin Duffy, Head of Underwriting & Protection Claims, Irish Life Retail, commented on the claims report; “We paid an average of €3.6 million a week last year to people and families affected by illness and death. In fact, we paid 95% of the life insurance and specified illness claims we received last year. And yet we’ve seen from a recent study by Coyne Research** that people in Ireland think that only half (51%) of life insurance claims overall are paid. So clearly, we need to make more people aware of the real benefits of life and specified Illness cover, as it can be a lifeline for you and your family in times of difficulty.
“This is further proven by the fact that over a third of our Specified Illness claims were paid to people under 50 years of age. Those payments would have helped to ease the financial burden for those people and their families at a difficult time. However, it’s a worry that the Coyne Research study also found that less than half of women in Ireland (just 45%) have some form of life insurance, serious illness cover or income protection, compared to almost 2 in every 3 men (63%). And unfortunately, this lack of financial protection among women in particular is also reflected in our 2017 claims data where women made up just 38% of our Life Insurance claims”, he said.
Gender Variations: The Irish Life claims report showed notable gender variations in relation to life insurance, specified illness and terminal illness claims for 2017. Almost two thirds of Life Insurance claims were for men (60%) compared to just 35% for women. In relation to Specified Illness claims, over half (53%) of claims were paid to men and 45% to women. The report also revealed that women are claiming at an earlier age than men; the average age for female life claims was 64 years, compared to 67 years for men, and for specified illness claims the average age for female claimants was just 51 years, compared to 55 years of age for male claims.
Life Insurance claims: The claims report highlighted that the number of people dying from cancer in Ireland remains high, as over half of women (54%) and 38% of men died from cancer in 2017. Heart-related conditions also feature as a main cause of death, with men five times more likely to die from a heart condition when compared to women.
Within the Life Insurance category, accidental deaths accounted for 7% of all claims, representing a total payment of €17.1 million. The average age for accidental death claims was just 49 years, the lowest average age on record, with more men (63%) dying from accidental death causes than women (28%). A quarter of all Life Insurance claims for those under 40 years were as a result of an accident, making it the second biggest cause of claims for this age-group again this year. €1m in payments was made to families of those who died in road traffic accidents in 2017.
Specified Illness claims: The report also highlighted that cancer was the main cause for Specified Illness claims for both men (49%) and women (77%). Prostate cancer was the leading cancer claim for men (19%), followed by lung cancer and colon cancer. Breast cancer was the main type of cancer claim for women (39%), followed by colon cancer and ovarian cancer.
Irish Life paid over 95% of all Life Insurance and Specified Illness claims received in 2017, paying out over €3.6 million a week on average. Most of the small number of claims it declined were due to non-disclosure of medical information or the illnesses not being covered. The company also confirmed that almost 2 in every 3, Specified Illness claims were paid within five weeks of Irish Life receiving the completed claim forms.
Examples of claims payments made by Irish Life in 2017:
• The largest individual Life Insurance claim of €5,075,000 was paid out to the family of a claimant who died of cancer
• €146,000 was paid to the family of a claimant in their 40s who died of cancer shortly after starting a life insurance policy
• An early Specified Illness claim was paid to a claimant in their 30s who had a cancer diagnosis just a few weeks after starting their cover and received a payment of €24,000
*Based on market share (2017)
**Research carried out by Coyne Research. 1,000 adults aged 18+ were interviewed online between 6th and 12th December 2017.
Consumers tend to pay more attention to choosing car insurance than life insurance. If you don’t know the difference between the many different types of life insurance and assume that all policies are for life, then prepare to be seriously mistaken. There is also a good chance that you are paying too much for your policy. You could also be buying too little cover for too long a term.
Here we explain the seven most common mistakes people make when purchasing life insurance.
Many people feel if they have mortgage protection, they have family protection. This is not correct.
A bank or lender will require a life policy to be put in place to cover the mortgage on a family home. This exists to protect the lender in the event of death of one of the borrowers. Upon the death of a partner, it’s a comfort to have the family home debt-free. However, it leaves no lump sum for the family to survive financially.
A life policy is designed to replace future income on death. It allows a family to remain financially secure for many years if one or both of the incomes stops suddenly.
According to a survey conducted at Orca Financial and Oomph.ie, 46% of the life cover holders said their life assurance was a mortgage protection policy.
In a family where a main earner brings in a net annual income of €35,000 per annum, life insurance of €100,000 may sound a lot. There is no doubt that it will add financial security for a family in the short term. In the long term though, there will more than likely be severe financial strain.
If, for example, there are three children in the family, aged 11, nine and seven, a more appropriate amount of cover would be about €350,000. This would allow a surviving partner to invest the proceeds of the payout . They will also draw off the €35,000 per annum over a 13- to 14-year period, if invested properly.
Replacement income should be calculated to last until the youngest child in the family reaches independence, at about age 21. Some cover is always better than no cover, and budgeting will also be a factor. However, if possible, life cover should be calculated at a minimum of 10 times net salary.
There is a misunderstanding that a spouse or partner who chooses to remain at home and look after the children has no need for life cover. This is incorrect, as there is a sizeable financial contribution made to a family by an individual choosing to remain at home rather than work.
Without wanting to sound cold, the financial implications need to be considered. Depending on the age of dependent children, a homemaker should be insured to cover the subsequent costs that may be incurred until the youngest child reaches independence.
In most cases, life insurance is a lot cheaper than people think. The Oomph.ie survey found that the vast majority of respondents overestimated the cost of life assurance. For example, a non-smoking couple in their mid-thirties can attain €250,000 life insurance over 10 years for about €7.50 a week. A couple in their mid-forties can attain the same cover for about €15 a week.
Do not buy off anyone, or institution, that can only sell one company’s products
There are six main providers of life assurance in the Irish market. An independent broker should ensure that you get the best available price.
If you have recently bought life cover from your bank or a tied agent, it is worth getting a comparative quotation to establish if you received the best available price on the market. It’s unlikely you did.
The term of your insurance is an important factor when determining price. Personal life cover is required to make sure there is financial stability in a family until there is no longer a need, generally when the youngest child hits independence.
Life cover taken on for longer periods may only increase the cost of cover. You may be better off taking out higher cover for a shorter term. Similarly, taking out cover for too short a term may leave you in a position that the cover runs out when you need it most and it will cost a lot more to replace as you get older.
It is possible to take out cover for a higher amount over a shorter term, and include a conversion option. This allows the policyholder to convert their cover to another plan at any stage of their existing policy. They will not have to further medical information at the end of the term. The option can be added to most life policies for very little additional cost.
Life insurance companies have some of the strongest claims payouts in the trade, with an average of 99% of claims being paid from companies operating in Ireland. It’s hard to dispute death. Yet it is vitally important that all details are completed correctly on life insurance application forms, including smoking status, medical history and family history.
If someone has had a medical scare, it does not mean they won’t get cover. While they may or may not be charged a premium based on their medical or family history, it is still worth making the application to establish the position
John Molloy is managing director of Orca Financial Services. He is a founder of Oomph.ie, an online life insurance broker
There are two types of life cover, assurance and insurance. Though the terms are often interchanged, they refer to two very different products.
Assurance refers to an event that is assured to happen, where as insurance refers to something that merely might happen.
If you take out a whole of life assurance policy, and continue to pay the premium, there will be a payout of the insured amount to your estate in the future. As a result, premiums are a lot more expensive. Life insurance is much more common. An individual or couple typically insure themselves for an agreed amount over a fixed term. Should they pass away during this term, the cover is paid out, if they don’t, there is no payout.
Life insurance is taken out generally for the period in which there is a potential financial exposure for a dependent family.
Whole of life assurance would typically be arranged as part of an individual’s inheritance tax planning, and should be discussed with tax advisers and reviewed every few years.
Royal London offers whole of life cover with a “life changes” option. This offers the ability to pay for cover for 15 years and then cease payments. For an additional 10% of the premium, agreed at the outset, you get an option at the end of the cover period to get cashback of 70% of the premiums paid, or leave a percentage of the cover in place until you die.
The International TAB Award winners, Oomph, won for their website design and ease of use. Oomph received the award at the prestigious ceremony in Dublin. The Oomph team and John Molloy, Managing Director of Oomph, are delighted to have received the award for their work and to be International TAB Award Winners.
Oomph.ie website is very user friendly and easy to use. It also offers customers life insurance and mortgage protection at the best rates available in the market today. In other words, their website helps families easily purchase a life insurance plan online.
TAB is an International organisation of professional and service firms, manufacturing, distribution, contractors and construction companies. TAB is now operating boards in over 10 countries around the world and continues to expand. In addition, they have helped over 20,000 business owners improve their businesses and their lives.
Mortgage protection is considered as being one of the most basic forms of life assurance policies. This kind of insurance policy ensures that in the event of your or your partner’s death, any remaining mortgage left on your property will be paid off. Your property will then pass to your estate without any further mortgage payments needed.
This policy will cover you for the same period of time as that of your mortgage. For the majority of Irish mortgages, it is a legal requirement to have protection in place. Keep in mind this form of life insurance policy does not cover you in certain circumstances. For example, event of loss of income, inability to pay mortgage due to illness or job redundancy.
Mortgage protection, like life insurance, can be extremely beneficial when it comes to protecting the financial future of your family. In other words, your family will gain your mortgage death without mortgage protection. In cases where they are unable to complete payments, a bank has the legal right to repossess the property and sell it.
If you are considering taking out a mortgage protection policy and would like to know more information , our experts here at Oomph are available to chat and answer all of your queries. We also offer a three step application process which provides you with a personalised quote tailored to your requirements. Get your personal quote now!
A life insurance policy refers to a policy which pays out an agreed lump sum to a specified person in the event of your death (i.e. partner, dependents etc.) The amount in which you will be covered is agreed with the provider. In addition, the length of the policy is agreed with the insurance provider from the outset.
For example, you decide to take out life cover for €450,000 over a 20 year term. It can mean that in the unfortunate event of your untimely death, your dependents will receive the amount quoted above. The money is from your insurance provider.
This generally depends on your personal situation. If you are single and have no current dependents then you may not need a life insurance policy just yet. However, it is extremely important for protecting the financial future of your family especially if they depend on you for financial support.
If you have a young family, your life insurance policy may need to ensure many things. The policy should cover your family for income, mortgage protection or expense associated with education. It is important to make sure that you or your family are covered enough. This means they will be financially stable for a long term in the event of your premature death.
In order to get a life insurance cover, you will need to supply information regarding your medical history, lifestyle, occupation, marital status and the medical history of your family. There are certain factors such as whether you have a specified illness or if you are a smoker that may affect terms of your life cover. It is important to highlight these with your insurance provider from the outset.
At Oomph, we offer a three step life insurance application process and provide you with a personalised quote from each of the six main life assurance providers. If you are interested in getting your personal quote, apply here.