This is the time when Life Insurers report on their claims experience for the previous year.

In 2020, there was a 15% reduction in death claims compared to 2019. Insurers say the reasons for the reduction are multi-factorial.

There is a normal time lag between a death and the payment of a death claim, usually due to Probate. The Probate process seems to have become longer perhaps due to solicitors being shut down during the initial two lock-downs.

There has been a fall in the diagnosis of serious illnesses.

People are fearful of presenting to doctors with symptoms; screening services are stopped or scaled back and routine blood tests are not being done at the same level as before Covid.

Deaths due to Road Traffic Accidents have remained the same, despite reduced traffic volumes but workplace deaths seem to have fallen.

Irish Life paid out €3.2 million on 68 deaths due to Covid in 2020.

By contrast, to 31st March 2021, they had been notified of 64 Covid death claims.

The biggest cause of death was Lung Cancer followed by Breast Cancer.

70 % of all heart related claims were male and 51% of stroke claims were female.

The majority of the claims paid out were for living benefits (e.g. specified illnesses lump sums, regular payments if you can’t work due to accident/illness).

Together they accounted for 2/3rds of all claims and these claims were 20% lower than in 2019, presumably for the same reasons as above.

Breast Cancer was the most common type of claim. Over 80% of heart related claims were male.

Mental Health [22%] continues to be the single biggest cause of claims for Income Protection [IP] and just over 60% of IP claims were from females.