Zurich gives stamp of approval to £1 billion of claims in first half of 2016

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Zurich paid out more than £1 billion in claims during the first six months of 2016.

Approximately 30% of this figure was paid from the life business, with the remaining 70% from general insurance. It said that it had paid 99% of personal lines motor claims, and over 99% of all commercial claims. The insurer said that it was publishing a new level of detail of its claims settlements, in a move to increase transparency.

In general insurance, the overwhelming majority of all claims were paid out by the insurer, and 17 payments of over £1 million were made. The lowest proportion of claims paid came from personal lines home cover – where the amount paid was slightly over 91%.

Zurich said that the overwhelming reason for fewer retail home property claims being paid out was because of customers making claims for damage caused by wear and tear. This accounted for around 80% of declined property claims.

Zurich’s UK Life business paid out 95% of all claims. This includes almost all Life claims between January and June (98%) and over 89% of Critical Illness claims. Where a small number of claims were declined, this was either because the customer’s condition did not meet the definition set out in the policy or because of non-disclosure of medical information.

Zurich’s UK CEO Gary Shaughnessy said: “There is often a misconception that insurers shy away from paying claims – but by publishing these numbers we are trying to lift the lid on the fact that the vast majority are paid. £1 billion is a huge number and it is fantastic that we are able to help our customers when they need us most – after all, that’s why we’re here.

“There will always be some claims which aren’t paid for a number of reasons, but these figures suggest we can do more to help people understand what is and is not covered by their policies so we don’t have to turn people down. We are continuing to invest in our claims processes across Life and General Insurance to ensure we can help people as swiftly as possible, and also to ensure that our fight against insurance fraud remains robust.”

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Marek Handzel

Marek Handzel is the editor of Claims Magazine. Marek welcomes articles, letters, or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing marek.handzel@barkerbrooks.co.uk