Aviva records 53% increase in new mental health rehabilitation cases in 2023

Last year, Aviva paid 50,600 claims (97.8%) across its individual Life Insurance, Critical Illness (CI), Income Protection (IP), and other protection policies, equating to £1.18bn.

Related topics:  Aviva,  claims
Tabitha Lambie | Editor, Protection Reporter
21st March 2024
"We’ll be bringing some of these individual stories to life through the launch of the Aviva Individual Protection Claims Report next month."
- Jacqueline Kerwood, Head of Claims Strategy & Governance for Protection at Aviva

In addition to individual protection claims, Aviva paid more that £413mn across its group protection book, giving a total of £1.59bn paid out across all protection policies in 2023. These figures have been released ahead of Aviva’s Individual Protection Claims Report to intermediaries next month – which will be followed by the insurer’s Group Protection Claims Report.

More than £761mn was paid out on individual Life Insurance (including terminal illness benefit) claims – 11.4% higher (£78mn) than the year prior despite a slightly lower (40,436 vs 41,002) number of claims filed. Notably, more than £101mn of this total was paid out as terminal illness benefit, with an average payment of approximately £139k to help 729 customers get their affairs in order.

43% of claims were triggered by a cancer diagnosis, rising to 50% amongst women compared to men (38%). This was the most common reason to claim, followed by cardiovascular conditions (25%), and respiratory conditions (8%) – the latter was 6% lower compared to the previous year.  

Of the 0.7% of claims that were declined, Aviva said more than half were due to customers misrepresenting information at the point of application, i.e. health & lifestyle.

More than £362mn was paid out on 5,048 Critical Illness (CI) - including children’s benefit & total permanent disability - claims last year. Notably, £5.9mn was paid out as children’s benefit to 283 families. The most common cause for a children’s claim was cancer (31%), with haematological cancer making up 51% of all children’s cancer claims.

For adults, more than half (58%) of all claims were also caused by a cancer diagnosis, rising to 74% amongst women. The most common cancer-related claim from male customers were prostate (30%), followed by gastrointestinal (17%) and haematological (14%). For women, breast cancer (55%) was the most common cause for a claim, followed by gastrointestinal (10%) and gynaecological (9%). Heart attacks made up 21% of claims, while stroke remained the third most common cause at 15% - 11% of men compared to 4% of women.

Of the 8.2% of claims that were declined, Aviva said 5.8% were due to not meeting the definition, with a further 2.4% caused by misrepresentation of relevant information during the application.

More than £53mn in monthly benefits were paid out for over 3,900 long-term and new Income Protection (IP) claims in 2023. This accounts for 92.5% of all IP claims issued to the insurer. The average customer age at point of claim was 42 years old, with almost three in five (59%) claims filed by 40-59-year-olds.

Furthermore, Aviva paid over £6.2mn in back-to-work benefit – of which, £197k was hospital benefit and £58k for trauma benefit.

The most common cause for claim were musculoskeletal conditions (27%), closely followed by mental health (24%). Notably, Aviva experienced a 53% increase in new mental health rehabilitation cases in 2023. After receiving support, 81% of these customers successfully return to the workplace.

Fewer than 8 in every 100 claims were declined, often caused by relevant health & lifestyle information not being shared when the policy was purchased.

“With an average of £3.2mn paid out every day on individual protection claims, we’ve once again shown our consistency and scale in helping customers with crucial financial support when their lives are turned upside down by bereavement or ill health,” said Jacqueline Kerwood, Head of Claims Strategy & Governance for Protection at Aviva.

“However, the support we give to customers is so much broader than just making payments, with our claims specialists experienced in identifying where additional support would benefit and make a real difference to each customer,” she added.  

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