LV= has reported it paid out “record” individual protection claims in 2020, totalling £118m for the year.
Claims relating to Covid-19 hit £6.5m last year, consisting of 619 death and 255 income-related claims, and accounted for more than 10% of death claims in the period.
The protection specialist supported more than 9,000 claimants and their families, paying 95% of all individual life, critical illness and income protection claims.
Debbie Kennedy, director of Protection at LV=, said the impact of the pandemic is likely to lead to a rise in mental health and cancer-related claims over the next two years.
Kennedy said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating. It is having a huge impact on people and we expect to see the effects on claims lasting for several years.
“Not only have people been affected directly by the virus, millions of people around the UK are struggling with mental health issues caused by isolation, coping with lockdown and financial worries.”
She added: “The impact on the NHS and delays to appointments, screenings and treatment mean that serious conditions such as cancer could be diagnosed later, when the illness becomes more advanced and difficult to treat.
“We are anticipating a rise in advanced stage cancer diagnoses and claims in 2021 and 2022 caused by a backlog of screenings and delays to early treatment and, as a consequence, we expect that there will be an increase in mental health and cancer-related claims over the next couple of years.”