Insurer Zurich has paid out over £154.2m in life insurance claims during the first half of 2020.
The firm said it has provided support to over 3,200 customers and their families with life, critical illness and income protection policies. This includes claims from those affected by Covid-19, where payments to date amount to over £4.5m.
The overall amount paid out to customers by the insurer has jumped by more than £14.2m compared with the same period last year, with claims already paid for Covid-19 accounting for around a third of the increase.
Many more claims are still being processed with over £10m more expected to be paid in the coming weeks.
For life insurance, more than 2,100 claims were received during H1, with settlements worth over £108m. This compares with 1,980 claims over the same period last year valued at £97.2m.
Over 99% were paid with just 1% declined where customers had not shared important medical information when they applied for cover, such as a history of excessive alcohol consumption.
Peter Hamilton, Zurich’s head of retail protection, said: “Our claims data shows that we have seen a marked increase in the numbers of customers and their families needing to claim on their life insurance policies, with this jump driven in part by the Covid pandemic.
“This is exactly why we’re in business – to help customers and their families at the most difficult times in their lives. At the same time, we’ve seen fewer critical illness claims towards the end of the first half of this year – so we urge customers to seek medical advice to ensure they are accessing any treatment they may need.”