Last year, Irish Life Assurance, Ireland’s largest life insurer, commissioned a study of life insurance perceptions in Ireland. The study was conducted by Coyne Research in December 2017 and the results are based on a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults. The most surprising finding, from Irish Life’s perspective was that Irish adults believe that overall, only 51% of all life claims made are actually paid out.

In 2017, Irish Life itself paid out an average of 95% of all the claims made. Of these, 98% of all death claims were paid, as were 90% of Specified Illness claims and 96% of malignant cancer Specified Illness Cover claims.

Most people think Life Insurance gives financial security to their family should they die. But it also offers ‘Living Benefits’ that can help financially, if you have a serious illness or injury which prevents you from working.

The above claims figures were for those who died, as well as the claims paid for the Living Benefits of Life Insurance such as Specified Illness Cover and Income Protection. There were 2,103 death claims but in addition, more than double the claims (4,442) were for the Living Benefits of Life Insurance.

Irish Life gave the following information in relation to claims made in 2017.

  • €286.3 million was paid to over 6,545 customers and their families affected by death, illness and injury
  • Almost 1 in 3 of all death claims were for people aged 41 – 60
  • 1 in 3 Specified Illness claims were for people aged under age 50
  • 25% of claims for those aged under 40, were as a result of an accident
  • Cancer was the leading cause of death and illness in 2017
  • Women are claiming at a younger age than men

The study also shows that only 1 in every 2 people in Ireland have some form of life insurance and this leaves about 1.3 million people with no cover at all. Worryingly, 3 in 10 parents with children have no Life Insurance.

Talk to your financial broker to find out if you have sufficient cover in place.