Aviva has said it paid more than £1bn last year to its individual protection customers, the equivalent to £2.85m being paid out every day.
The insurer made its highest ever pay-out to customers claiming on life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection policies and of all claims that were received, fewer than two in every 100 were declined.
The figure includes £38.9m paid out for claims relating to the impact of Covid-19, with the majority of claims paid to bereaved families on life insurance policies. Other claims paid included income protection payments and rehabilitation support for the effects of long Covid.
Fewer critical illness claims were received in 2020 than previous years, with £314m paid out to around 4,300 customers, a 13% drop in volume compared to 2019.
Overall, more than £682m was paid out on life insurance, Over 50s and Whole of Life plans, with 42,000 claims where the customer had died or met the terminal illness benefit definition.
Around 2,150 claims were for deaths due to Covid-19, the fourth most common reason for claims at 4.7% of all claims. Cancer remained the most common reason (28%), followed by cardiovascular illness (12%) and respiratory illness (5%).
Around 4,400 claims were paid on income protection policies, with £44.7 million of benefits paid to customers unable to work due to illness or injury.
Jacqueline Kerwood, claims manager at Aviva, said: “In a year like no other, the most important outcome for Aviva is that we were there to help more than 50,000 individual protection customers and their families.
“We are proud of the scale of what we do, but behind every claim we know there is an individual most likely going through the worst time of their lives and our focus is always to support them with empathy, respect and care.”
She added: “We continue to challenge ourselves to introduce new initiatives that will help our customers during these times, to speed up claims, make the process simpler, and to add thoughtful gestures such as the gifts we send to families through ‘Project Teddy’ for children claiming on critical illness.”