Statistics from health and protection insurance specialist, The Exeter, reveal that the average age of a claimant on its Income Protection Plus products was just 34 years old in 2019, highlighting the importance of younger generations safeguarding their income if they are unable to work.
The figures also show that the average length of claim was 60 weeks across the 1,367 members that The Exeter supported last year while they were unable to work due to illness and injury. The mutual insurer paid out 91% of its Income Protection (IP) claims with an average claim amount of £3,920.
Accidents and injuries accounted for nearly half of claims (46%), followed by claims from those with musculoskeletal conditions (17%). Mental health conditions and common infections, such as coughs and colds, accounted for a further 18% of IP claims last year.
The introduction of digital claim forms reduced the time taken for members to complete and return claims information. In 2019, 50% of digital forms were fully completed and returned within 48 hours, ultimately delivering faster decisions on claims.
Chris Pollard, Chief Operating Officer at The Exeter, said: “Our experience shows an increasing number of younger people are claiming on their Income Protection policy. Many of us might be guilty of the ‘it will never happen to me’ thought, however recent events and our evidence shows we never know what is around the corner. A shock to income due to an unexpected change in circumstances can have a devastating impact. Advisers remain vital in promoting and discussing with clients the importance of considering income protection from the very start of their working lives.”
As well as providing a financial safety net through its IP policies, The Exeter offers members wellbeing and lifestyle support through its HealthWise app. During 2019, The Exeter’s IP members booked 160 HealthWise consultations for help and support with a range of health conditions, including infections, injuries, musculoskeletal conditions, and mental ill-health.
Chris Pollard, Chief Operating Officer at The Exeter, continues: “It has been really encouraging to witness our members make increased use of the added support available to them through HealthWise, our member benefits app, at a difficult time. At The Exeter, we have a core focus on providing our members and their families with financial security, and convenient wellbeing support. We continue to improve, and make useful, our service and offerings for the benefit of our members.”