Life insurance pay-out at highest ever level at Bank of Ireland

Bank pays out more than €123m in 2018, with youngest claimant for life cover just 25

Bank of Ireland paid out more than €123 million in life insurance cover last year, with the youngest claimant of life assurance just 25 years of age.

In 2018, the bank paid out over €123 million in life insurance cover, up by 11 per cent on 2017, and the highest amount the bank has ever paid out. Life cover payments accounted for 61 per cent of the total pay-out, at more than €75 million, followed by specified illness claims of more than € 31 million and income protection claims of over € 12 million. While more than three quarters of claimants for life insurance were over the age of 60, a similar proportion making a specified or critical illness claim, were actually younger than this, with a quarter in the 40-49 per cent age group.

Bernard Walsh from Bank of Ireland said: "While we all hope never to need it, the objective of taking out insurance is to protect ourselves and our families against financial difficulties caused by an unexpected illness, accident or death. We always recommend giving proper consideration to protecting your future and to making sure your cover remains appropriate if your family situation changes over time. It is always a relief to customers that they have Plan B in place, when Plan A does not go according to expectations."

When it comes to life cover, the average claim was € 54,876 with 60 per cent of claims related to men. The three most common conditions leading to life assurance claims were: cancer (36%); heart (18%); and respiratory (9%), similar to 2017 figures. Almost one in two (46%) of all claims arose within less than 10 years of the policy being taken out, while 77 per cent of death claims were for those aged 60 and over.


With respect to specified illness, which pays out a lump-sum in the event of the claimant being diagnosed with a specific illness, the average claim was € 76,257, up by almost €3,000 on 2018, with 55 per cent of claims related to men. Cancer related illness claims increased by 2 per cent (to 58%); heart related claims dropped by 4% (to 17%); while neurological claims dropped by 5% (to 9%) from 2017 figures. More than three quarters (77%) of claimants were under 59, with 49 per cent of claims arising within less than 10 years of the policy being taken out. The average age for a claim was 53, while the youngest claimant was 28.

Income protection pays out in the event someone can’t work due to illness, and has long been used by the self-employed as a way of protecting themselves in the event of ill-health. Figures from Bank of Ireland show that more than a quarter (28%) of income protection claims are related to mental illness, with 31 per cent related to musculoskeletal issues and one in five (19 per cent) related to cancer. The youngest claimant last year was 27, with the typical age demographic 50 - 59 years.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times