Royal London pays record £731m in protection claims in 2023

Royal London, the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions, and investment company, paid 99% of all protection claims in 2023, totaling a record £731m.

This is £100m more than in 2022, with over 77,000 claims processed. The highest individual payout was £4m.

In addition to financial support, Royal London’s Helping Hand service offers health and wellbeing services at any stage of the policy. In 2023, over 4,300 customers registered for Helping Hand, benefiting from services like virtual GP consultations, physiotherapy, and mental health support.

Over 1,000 customers received dedicated nurse support through RedArc, providing help with cancer diagnoses, mental health, musculoskeletal issues, and bereavement support.

Royal London paid more than £228m in life insurance and terminal illness claims, with 2,396 claims averaging £95,371 each.

Nearly £315m was paid out in whole of life claims, with over 70,000 claims averaging £4,461 each. The company paid 99.9% of these claims.

Royal London paid 90.5% of critical illness claims, totaling more than £173m, with an average claim of over £68,000. The most common reasons for claims were cancer (66%), heart attack (9%), and stroke (9%).

Around £6.5m was paid out in income protection claims. The most common reasons for claims were musculoskeletal issues (54%), cancer (10%), and mental health conditions (4%).

Craig Paterson, chief underwriter at Royal London, said: “Last year’s figures, a record total of £731m supporting over 77,000 families and businesses, is an endorsement of why we’re in the protection business – to pay claims and to be there for customers during life shocks.

“Our claims paid record not only provides reassurance to clients that valuable financial support is there when it’s needed most, it also demonstrates the importance of having a safety net in place as part of an individual’s overall financial planning.

“However, as well as providing a financial lifeline, emotional support can often be needed too and Helping Hand is there to support clients deal with a shock diagnosis, recover from illness or come to terms with bereavement.”