More than a quarter (29%) of new group income protection claims in 2017 were for mental health issues, according to research by Legal and General.
The research, which is based on the group protection claims Legal and General paid in 2017, also found that the insurer has paid 2,614 group protection claims in 2017, amounting to £284 million in total.
Legal and General paid a total of £206 million across all group life claimants in 2017, with the average group life claim payment being £123,000. For group critical illness policies, Legal and General paid more than £9 million for claims made in 2017. The average group critical illness claim payment is £62,000.
The insurer paid nearly £51 million of new group income protection claims in 2017, with a total of £68 million of claims being paid to all claimants last year. The average group income protection claim payment for 2017 is £23,380. Mental health issues have been the top cause of claims on Legal and General’s group income protection policies since 1999.
In 2017, claimants with mental health concerns had 3,500 treatment sessions once they were referred by Legal and General for treatment, compared to referred claimants with physical complaints who had 480 physiotherapy appointments.
Vanessa Sallows (pictured), benefits and governance director, group protection at Legal and General, said: “These new figures clearly show the vital role that Legal and General plays within the group protection industry. Paying a total of £284 million in 2017 highlights the valuable financial support these policies can provide to our customers and their employees when they need it most.
“Being unable to work due to illness or injury can be a frightening prospect for many employees. We strive to provide support for these individuals by giving them access to trained experts who are 100% focused on giving them the right treatment and, where possible, help them get back to work more quickly.
“We know that receiving treatment early increases the chances of a faster and successful return-to-work, so it’s fantastic to see so many people taking advantage of our flexible service, with almost 4,000 treatment sessions being fulfilled through our partners.”