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Unum UK paid claims up 8% to £395m as provider exceeds 2.2 million insured

  • Unum UK paid £395 million in claims in 2022, up 8% on previous year — equating to £7.6 million paid per week
  • Cancer is the most common cause of claim across all Unum Group Risk Products
  • Group Income Protection claims up 20%, Group Critical Illness claims up 31% and Group Life claims up 12% compared to 2021

Leading employee benefits provider Unum UK paid a total of £395m in claims in 2022 (a £29m increase from 2021), with £216m being for Group Income Protection.

Cancer continues to be the most common cause for claims across all of Unum Group Risk products, accounting for 32% of Group Income Protection (GIP) claims, 36% of Life Insurance (GL) claims and 69% of Group Critical Illness (GCI) claims.

Encouragingly, Unum achieved an overall success rate for GIP customers of 95% for people returning to work or having their case resolved after referral to Unum’s rehabilitation team.

Group Critical Illness (GCI) claims have seen an £8m increase since 2021 to £34.7m, with the number of spouse/partner claims now accounting for more than 1 in 10 (11%) of total GCI claims. This is against a background of 5 years ago in 2018, when spouse/partner GCI claims were just over 1 in 100 (1.4%), showing the increase in demand for valued financial protection cover for the loved ones of employees.

GCI also saw claims for cardiac conditions such as heart attacks rise 29%, echoing the external trends around the impact of the pandemic on these types of conditions which could be linked to the NHS backlog of screening and delayed diagnosis post-pandemic. 

A large proportion of Income Protection claims (23.5%) were for employees under the age of 40 — showing that the product is important across a broad age range of claimants, and that illness and injury can strike at any time. This only highlights the relevance of this type of product for all employees.

Although Group Life claims were up 12% from last year, COVID-19 Life claims have fallen 55%, in line with the Government’s vaccination programme which has reduced the number of hospitalisation and deaths since the peak of the pandemic.

Commenting on the latest data, Paula Coffey, Director of Claims, Rehabilitation and Medical Services at Unum UK said: 

“Although cancer continues to be the most common reason for claim across the Group Risk product spectrum, we have experienced a sharp rise in Critical Illness claims for cardiac conditions as the hangover from the pandemic reduced screening and impacted waiting times. 

“It’s critical that employers look out for early signs where an employee may require support before the need for claim. Hybrid and remote working have significantly impacted the timely notification of GIP claims as they make spotting the early signs of illness or injury much more difficult. Unum can upskill line managers and HR to recognise early signs of where an employee may be struggling through our range of absence management workshops. For those who may have issues with their health or wellbeing we are also able to support with our vocational rehabilitation Wellbeing Checks and value-added services such as our award-winning app, Help@hand.”

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