Norwich Union Critical Illness Report 2006

Article date: 9 October 2006

Norwich Union reports that critical illness payments in 2005rose significantly compared to 2004.

Norwich Union payouts on critical illness (CI) policiesincreased to over £80m in 2005; almost a quarter higher (23%) thanin 2004. In total 1,123 claims were paid and the average payout wasabout £73,000.

The top five causes for claims in 2005 were:

  • Cancer 68.1%
  • Heart attack 8.3%
  • Multiple sclerosis 6.9%
  • Stroke 5.6%
  • Heart surgery 2.5%

Almost nine times more men claimed for a heart attack thanwomen, but twice as many women claimed for multiple sclerosis. In2005, a typical critical illness policy had been in force for lessthan four years (average of three years and seven months) at thetime of claim.

Norwich Union declined 12% claims due to non-disclosure ofmedical facts at policy outset and a further 11% of cases weredenied as policy conditions were not met.

Louise Colley, head of protection products at Norwich Union,said: "People use critical illness policies to protect against thepotentially financially devastating problem of contracting acritical illness.

"For most people critical illness policies are providinginvaluable cover for people when they most need it, paying out £80min 2005 alone.

"Last year, the value of critical illness claims met by NorwichUnion increased by 23%, highlighting the valuable role thatcritical illness cover is increasingly playing.

"Norwich Union is striving to find new ways to reduce the levelsof non-disclosure in policy document. Earlier this year weintroduced a ‘full disclosure’ factsheet in all ourinformation packs further underlining the importance of completingforms carefully, accurately and completely."

Philippa Gee, director at Torquil Clark, said: "Critical illnesscover can be an important contract for those concerned aboutprotecting their finances in case of serious ill health. It isessential that clients appreciate that not all policies aresimilar, in fact they vary considerably both in terms of the coverprovided and the reliability of the insurer. It is thereforecrucial that the decision to proceed is not based purely on price,but with the help of an independent adviser and the mostappropriate policy is selected.

"The issue of non-disclosure is a major one, however, with theright insurer and a full account of your medical history, you aretaking the best steps possible to secure this important type ofcover.

"With the level of debt that now exists in this country, coupledwith the lack of savings to provide a financial cushion, criticalillness cover can be one of a variety of useful policies. Someproducts in the market place are better than others, however anindependent financial adviser is best placed to help you with theessential selection process."

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Robert Pell 01904 452659 Out of hours 07800 699563
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Notes to editors:
Norwich Union is the UK’slargest insurer. It is a leading provider of life, pensions andinvestment products and one of the largest financial adviser (FA)providers. FAs provide over 70% of the company's long-term savingsbusiness in the UK.

Norwich Union is the UK’s largest general insurer with amarket share of around 14%, with a focus on insurance forindividuals and small businesses.

Norwich Union’s news releases and a selection of images areavailable from Aviva's internet press centre at

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