During 2007 Norwich Union increased the total number of critical illness payments by 4.7%, from 80% in 2006 to 84.7%.
There is also a reduction in non-disclosure decline rates to just 4.17%. This follows a series of initiatives over recent months to help drive down non-disclosure.
Norwich Union paid out over £106 million to policyholders who claimed on their Critical Illness (CI) policies over the last 12 months - the largest sum the company has ever paid out. Some key highlights include:
Total payouts for CI policies increased to over £106 million, compared to just over £95 million in 2006.
The number of claims rejected for non-disclosure of medical facts at the policy's outset continued to fall to just 4.17% in 2007, from 8.5% in the previous year and 12% in 2005.
Cancer remains the most common cause for a claim at 63.6%.
In total, 1,387 claims were paid and the average payout was just over £77,000.
The top five causes for claims in 2007 were:
Six times as many men (18.6%) claimed for a heart attack than women (2.8%), and almost five times more males (7.1%) claimed for heart surgery. In contrast, a quarter more women (77.1%) claimed for cancer than men (50.8%).
In 2007 a typical critical illness policy had been in force for just over five years (average of five years and six months) at the time of claim.
Darren Dicks, head of protection products for Norwich Union, comments: "In the UK a quarter of the population will be diagnosed with a critical illness between the ages of 30 and 60. Critical illness policies help people to ease the financial burden at a time when they perhaps need it most, when faced with the prospect of not being able to work or to care for themselves."
Critical illness: News update: July 2008