Bank of Ireland Life paid out more than €102.5 million in life, serious illness and protection claims last year, an increase of 10 per cent on 2012.
Payments for cancer and heart-related illnesses continued to be the two biggest categories, with more than half of all life cover claims and 71 per cent of all serious illness claims being made for these diseases. Dublin had the largest number of life claims paid out at 31 per cent, followed by Cork with 14 per cent.
Commenting on the payment of claims last year, Bernard Walsh, head of pensions and investments at Bank of Ireland, said: "Over €26 million was paid out to customers for serious illness claims last year, which shows that more and more people realise the importance of having financial protection cover. Due to changing employment terms, many companies no longer provide payment when illness occurs."
According to Mr Walsh, Bank of Ireland has paid out about €385 million in protection claims over the past four years.
Among the findings of Bank of Ireland’s claims experience last year was that the average life cover claims paid out was €60,000 with 59 per cent of them for males. Of the claims paid out, 39 per cent were for cancer-related deaths.
In terms of serious illness, the average claim paid out was more than €72,000. The bank said 56 per cent of serious illness claims were from males.
It said 14 per cent of claims were for people aged under 39, with 55 per cent of all claims related to cancer and 16 per cent for heart-related illness.
In terms of income protection, 73 per cent of all claims were from females. The highest percentage of claims were for psychiatric conditions at 33 per cent. Other conditions claimed for included cancer, back and musculoskeletal injuries.
Mr Walsh added: “We continue to see a steady increase in serious illness and income protection pay-outs with more people taking out policies to protect against loss of earnings should illness occur.”