The life insurance sector has increased the total of claims dollars paid for the 10th consecutive year with record number of claimants benefitting, according to data compiled by online life insurance resource provider the risk store.
The risk store, managing director, Pete Wincott said both the daily amount paid out exceeded $25 million for the first time and the number of claimants during 2015 – at 89,291 – were at record levels.
Wincott said these statistics demonstrated the importance life insurance has in protecting the consumer and contributing to society and came about despite proposed reforms and media and regulatory scrutiny of advisers and insurers.
“…the fact is the industry on the whole employs very good people who do a very good job of paying claims and these statistics clearly prove it…”
“Despite what we have all heard, watched or read from the mainstream media of late about alleged poor claims practices, the fact is the industry on the whole employs very good people who do a very good job of paying claims and these statistics clearly prove it,” Wincott said.
“This doesn’t mean that the industry doesn’t have areas within claims management where the claimant’s experience can be significantly improved, of course. We know this from all the claims management consulting we’ve conducted over the last few years.”
Wincott said the role of financial advisers in driving payment outcomes is also acknowledged in the data but he was concerned about the difficulty of sourcing accurate information from life insurers.
“Given the negative press the industry has received of late, it was disappointing that this was the most difficult and time consuming exercise we have had in the whole 10 years, to extract these statistics from some of the insurers, despite us making it easier than ever to submit them to us electronically,” Wincott said.
“Lack of support from some senior managers has impeded the collection of the same range of information as previously sought. We expected it would have been a priority to get these numbers out to the community sooner…As an industry, we should and can act faster.”