NEW DATA FROM the country’s largest life assurance company shows that cancer accounted for 44 per cent of all Life Insurance claims last year, and 58 per cent of Special Illness Cover claims.
In total, €168 million was paid out by Irish Life in 2013. Heart-related conditions accounted for 16 per cent of Life Insurance pay-outs and 22 per cent of Special Illness Cover claims.
The company’s claims book also gives details of the largest claims. A €1 million Life Insurance claim was paid in respect of a man in his 50s. The corresponding figure for a female was €800,000, paid in respect of a woman in her fifties.
The largest Specified Illness Cover claim (paid in in the event that a person contracts one of 44 illnesses) was €1.1, paid to a man in his 40s suffering from cancer.
The average pay-out was €65,560 for Life Insurance and €69,638 for Specified Illness.
The figures also show that of the 138 claims paid out for accidental death, 25 were the result of a road traffic accident — equating to €2 million in payments. Alcohol was a factor in 6 per cent of all accident claims — down slightly from 7 per cent in 2012, and from 14 per cent in 2011.
Figures from the Department of Health show that heart-related illnesses accounted for 36 per cent of all deaths registered in 2012, compared to 19 per cent of deaths for those under 65.
19 per cent of all deaths in 2012 were due to external causes like accidents and suicide, compared to 2 per cent of deaths amongst those over 65.