LV= paid out £6.5m in Covid related claims in 2020. This figure contributed to the insurer paying out a record £118m in individual protection claims over the past year.
LV= said it had paid a total of 619 death claims which were the result of Covid-19 and a further 255 income-related claims. More than 10 per cent of its death claims in 2020 were a result of Covid-19.
Overall LV= said it had support more than 9,000 claimants and their families over the past year, and had paid 95 per cent of all life insurance, critical illness and income protection claims.
LV= said that as well as Covid-related claims, the pandemic has also led to a big rise in demand for daily benefits through LV= Doctor Services, which provides access to six expert medical services via app or phone.
In 2020, remote GP appointments rose 88 per cent, remote psychological services 496 per cent, and remote physiotherapy 235 per cent.
LV= director of protection Debbie Kennedy said the impact of Covid-19 was also likely to lead to a rise in mental health and cancer-related claims over the next two years.
In total LV= paid out over £28million in critical illness claims in 2020. Cancer accounted for 60 per cent of these claims, followed by heart attack (10 per cent) and stroke (8 per cent), with the highest payment of £500,000.
Some 222 claims were made following a cancer diagnosis with breast (26 per cent), prostate (11 per cent) and colon (9 per cent) accounting for most claims.
LV= paid out £72m of life insurance claims. The most frequent causes were cancer (43 per cent), heart-related (17 per cent) and Covid-19 (11 per cent).
LV= paid nearly £14.6 million in income protection claims to 1,000 individuals and families. Musculoskeletal issues (22 per cent), cancer (18 per cent) and mental health (15 per cent), accounted for over half of all these claims. Mental health accounted for £4.9 million of new and existing income related claims.
Claims for personal sick pay protection, designed for self-employed and contract workers, totalled over £2.6m with payments made to 1,200 individuals. The youngest claimant was 21 and the top reasons for claims were musculoskeletal (35 per cent), Covid-19 (23 per cent) and fractures (13 per cent).
Kennedy adds: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating. It is having a huge impact on people and we expect to see the effects on claims lasting for several years.
“Not only have people been affected directly by the virus, millions of people around the UK are struggling with mental health issues caused by isolation, coping with lockdown and financial worries. The impact on the NHS and delays to appointments, screenings and treatment mean that serious conditions such as cancer could be diagnosed later, when the illness becomes more advanced and difficult to treat.
“We are anticipating a rise in advanced stage cancer diagnoses and claims in 2021 and 2022, caused by a backlog of screenings and delays to early treatment and, as a consequence, we expect that there will be an increase in mental health and cancer-related claims over the next couple of years.”