Cancer claims cost insurer €171m last year

Cancer remains the leading cause of death in Ireland, with

Cancer claims cost insurer €171m last year

Image: YouTube/HSE Ireland

Ireland's leading life insurer paid out €171 million in claims, with cancer prevailing as the leading cause of death in the country.

According to research conducted by Irish Life and RED C, almost €114 million paid out in Life Insurance to families of 1,699 people who died. Almost €54 million was paid to 861 Specified Illness Cover claimants, with over a third of these claimants under the age of 50.

The number of claims paid out by the insurer is up 10% on 2015 figures, with the value of claims also icnreasing by 11%. The average payment was €66,880 for Life Insurance claims, €62,229 for Specified Illness Cover claims, and €94,860 for Terminal Illness claims, although the figures show wide variations in the size of claims settled.

Gender variations

The number of people dying from cancer is continuing to rise, as the data showed that over half of women (51%) and 41% of men died from cancer, up from 48% and 39% respectively in 2015. This reflects the fact that the incidence of cancer increases with age and Ireland’s population is ageing.

Breast cancer was the main cause of Specified Illness claims for women, Prostate cancer was the main claim for men. Heart related conditions also featured as a main cause of death, which was more common in males (13%) than females (9%).   

Almost two thirds of Life Insurance claims were for men (62%) compared to just 35% for women. The figures were closer for Specified Illness claims, as 53% of claims were paid to men and 44% to women.


Martin Duffy, Head of Underwriting & Protection Claims, Irish Life Retail, commented on the analysis of the data:

"None of us can predict the future, however our 2016 report highlights how important it is that people protect themselves against any financial difficulties caused by unexpected illness or death. This is shown by the fact that accidents were the second biggest cause of life insurance claims for people under 40 years, while nearly 40% of our Specified Illness claims were for people under 50 years, which are startling figures."