This year we have been forced to face how uncertainty can hit us all and can change lives in a matter of days.
As an insurer, we know how important it is to always be there for our customers, providing some clarity and empathy in times of uncertainty. We recognise that when our customers contact us, we know they are going through a difficult time and we are constantly challenging ourselves to provide better support and claim journey.
In 2019 we paid out 93.6% of all our individual protection claims, almost £982 million to more than 26,500 customers.
Our track record of providing financial support is well documented. The numbers are important, but behind every number is an individual who could be facing some of the most difficult times of their life which is why our commitment goes much further than a policy payment.
Over recent years we have introduced or developed new ways to help remove some of the hassle in making a claim for our customers like:
- Speeding up the payment of life insurance claims by processing some life insurance claims over the phone, reducing the average time it takes to settle a claim from around 27 days to just 2 or 3 days, compared to paper based claims.
- Speeding up the payment of critical illness claims by working with the cancer nurse specialists, reducing the cancer claim time from 60 days to just 25 hours for some customers.
- Focusing on early intervention and rehabilitation for income protection customers – this could be something as simple as a regular phone calls to see how treatment is going through, to our claims team arranging clinical input to identify what further treatment is needed and then meeting this customer’s need.
Last year, in 2019 we introduced a special claim support for children’s claims – Project Teddy.
Project Teddy is enabling us to assess child critical illness much more quickly. By going paperless, sometimes we can make the decision to settle a claim on the same day we’re contacted by mum or dad.
An important part of Project Teddy is also a gift of kindness. Our claims assessors take time to get to know each family and personally choose the best gift to send to each family member. It might be a restaurant voucher to help mum and dad take a well-deserved break, a specialist sensory gift for a poorly child, a cuddly toy for a sibling needing an extra hug, or arts and crafts to keep minds distracted during trips to the hospital for treatment.
In 2019, we paid out £5 million on children’s critical illness benefit. More than 48% of the claims were for cancer, in particular for blood cancer.
Having a poorly child is heart breaking for all the family, therefore we’re here to do everything we can to support families through this difficult time.
To find out more about Project Teddy and our real-life customer stories, please read our 2019 Individual protection claims report.