The latest insurer to defy calls from whinging insurer trade body ABI not to publish figures, shows that such publication helps insurers improve their processes and information to consumers.
Zurich has revealed its critical illness figures and total payout for 2007 totalling £49.6m. Overall Zurich paid out on 710 claims in 2007 - a 20 per cent increase on 2006 when 584 claims were paid.
The insurer declined 12% of critical illness claims citing non-disclosure for 3% and the definition not being met for the remaining 9%.
Phil Brown, for Zurich UK Life, says, "We have robust underwriting processes in place yet few things are ever perfect. We have done much to ensure consumers understand the products they buy and how they exactly work and we will continue to do this. Consumers may, understandably, be embarrassed about certain things such as mental health issues and we must be sensitive to this. Consequently clients can now contact our consultant doctors directly ensuring total confidence and discretion."
In declined, many of the cases concerned heart attacks. Phil Brown says, "When some people get chest pains there can be a disposition to assuming the worst and self-diagnosing a heart attack. It is understandable that clients should wish to check out any health complaints, however people must be careful not to confuse what they can and cannot claim against."
Cancer remains the most common condition accounting for 55 per cent of critical illness claims paid. Heart attacks were the cause of over a tenth of claims followed by strokes making up 6 per cent.
Zurich is committed to customer research and would aim to further improve on its figures.
Phil Brown added: "When a customer claims, this is the moment of truth for an insurance company. It is essential we do not forget to treat people fairly."
Critical illness insurance: News update: April 2008