The insurance industry paid out more than £5.7bn in protection claims in 2019, according to the latest figures released by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Group Risk Development (GRiD).
This marked a year-on-year increase of over £470m against 2018, with the percentage of claims paid rising to 98.3%. This is the highest percentage of claims paid on record.
Data from the ABI also showed that £60.5m was paid out in individual income protection claims for mental health, with an average claim of £15,728.
Over £3bn in life insurance claims were paid in the year, up by over £19m year-on-year , and payouts equal to £15.8 m were paid every single day, which is an increase of £1.3m a day against 2018.
ABI added that the need for “financial safety nets” and support provided by protection insurance has become even more important in recent weeks.
The ABI’s assistant director, head of protection and health, Roshani Hill, said: “The biggest ever pay out in protection insurance shows how vital this cover is for people who need support at a difficult time.
“The high number of claims paid should give people confidence they can trust that their insurance provider will be there when they need them, helping families get back on their feet and providing valuable safety nets when the worst happens.”
She added: “During uncertain times, when insurers are doing what they can to support individuals, families and the NHS, being able to have this confidence is more important than ever.”