Cancer is still the leading cause of death in Offaly

Irish Life has released statistics around its life insurance claims

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Cancer is still the leading cause of death in Offaly

Cancer is still the leading cause of death in Offaly

Cancer continues to be the main cause of death and illness in Offaly, according to Irish Life, Ireland’s leading life insurer*. Irish Life has published its annual claims report, confirming that it paid out €2.4 million to customers and their families in County Offaly who were affected by illness and death during 2017.

The report provides a unique insight into the health of the nation, and includes a breakdown of the illnesses and conditions that led to payments by Irish Life of €187.8 million in total to 2,582 customers and their families affected by illness and death during 2017.

The claims report highlights that Irish Life paid €1.5 million for 23 Life Insurance claims in Offaly and €940,000 for 12 Specified Illness Cover claims.

Cancer was once again the main cause of both Life Insurance and Specified Illness claims for people living in Offaly. Accidental deaths were the second biggest cause of Life Insurance claims. ‘Multiple Sclerosis’ and ‘Stroke’ were equally the second biggest cause of Specified Illness claims.

In 2017, the average age of Life Insurance claims in Offaly was 61 years, while the average age of those with Specified Illness claims was 53 years.

Martin Duffy, Head of Underwriting & Protection Claims, Irish Life Retail, commented; “We paid an average of €3.6 million a week last year to people and families affected by illness and death in Ireland. In fact, we paid 95% of the life insurance and specified illness claims we received last year. And yet we’ve seen from a recent study by Coyne Research** that people in Ireland think that only half (51%) of life insurance claims overall are paid. So clearly, we need to make more people aware of the real benefits of life and specified illness cover, as it can be a lifeline for you and your family in times of difficulty.

“This is further proven by the fact that over a third of our Specified Illness claims were paid to people under 50 years of age. Those total payments would have helped to ease the financial burden for those people and their families at a difficult time. However, it’s a worry that the Coyne Research study also found that less than half of women in Ireland (just 45%) have some form of life insurance, serious illness cover or income protection, compared to almost 2 in every 3 men (63%). And unfortunately, this lack of financial protection among women in particular is also reflected in our 2017 claims data where women made up just 38% of our Life Insurance claims”, he said.

Looking at the national data, almost two thirds of Life Insurance claims were for men (60%) compared to just 35% for women. In relation to Specified Illness claims, over half (53%) of claims were paid to men and 45% to women. The report also revealed that women in Ireland are claiming at an earlier age than men; the average age for female life claims was 64 years, compared to 67 years for men, and for specified illness claims the average age for female claimants was just 51 years, compared to 55 years of age for male claims.

Life Insurance claims: The claims report highlighted that the number of people dying from cancer in Ireland remains high, as over half of women (54%) and 38% of men died from cancer in 2017. Heart-related conditions also feature as a main cause of death, with men five times more likely to die from a heart condition when compared to women.

Specified Illness claims: Overall, prostate cancer was the leading cancer claim for men in Ireland (19%), followed by lung cancer and colon cancer. Breast cancer was the main type of cancer claim for women (39%), followed by colon cancer and ovarian cancer.

Irish Life paid over 95% of all Life Insurance and Specified Illness claims received in 2017, paying out over €3.6 million a week on average. Most of the small number of claims it declined were due to non-disclosure of medical information or the illnesses not being covered. The company also confirmed that almost 2 in every 3, Specified Illness claims were paid within five weeks of Irish Life receiving the completed claim forms.