Cancer is Louth’s leading cause of death and illness

Cancer is Louth’s leading cause of death and illness

Cancer remains the main cause of death and illness in Louth, according to Irish Life.

The insurer, who last week announced plans for a new Customer Service Centre in Dundalk, has published its annual claims report for its retail business confirming that it paid out over €5 million to customers and their families in County Louth who were affected by illness and death during 2016.

These figures are part of a national report which provides a unique insight into the health of the people of Ireland and includes a breakdown of the illnesses and conditions that led to payments by Irish Life of €171 million to 2,600 customers and their families affected by illness and death during 2016.

The analysis of the claims book shows that Irish Life paid €3.3 million for 47 Life Insurance claims in County Louth and a further €2 million for 28 Specified Illness claims. Cancer was once again the main cause of both Life Insurance and Specified Illness claims in Louth, followed by heart related conditions as the second biggest cause of claims.

In 2016, the average age of Life Insurance claims in Louth was 64 years, while the average age of those with Specified Illness claims was 46 years.

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 the people of Louth 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.”

Duffy added; “When we look at how young many of our claimants are, it’s worrying that a third of parents still say they’ve no life insurance at all. However, this seems to be changing, as Irish Life’s recent research carried out with RED C** found that over 200,000 parents intend to buy life insurance this year, that’s over double the number when we last did this research in 2015.”

Overall, the number of people dying from cancer in Ireland is continuing to rise, as the claims data showed that over half of women (51%) and 41% of men died from cancer, up from 48% and 39% respectively in 2015.

In relation to Specified Illness claims, understandably men and women claimed for different cancer related illnesses; Breast cancer was the main cancer for women, followed by lung cancer and colorectal cancer, while for men; prostate cancer was the main cancer, followed by colorectal and kidney cancers. Men made up 85% of Specified Illness claims for heart related conditions, highlighting another very significant gender difference.

Mr Duffy also confirmed that Irish Life paid 95% of all life insurance and specified illness claims it received last year, paying out over €3.4 million a week on average, and that most of the small number of claims it declined were due to non-disclosure of medical information or the illnesses not being covered. He also highlighted the speed of the claims service with 3 out of every 4 Specified Illness claims paid within four weeks of Irish Life receiving the completed claim forms.

Examples of Irish Life Claims Paid in 2016:

  • The largest individual Life Insurance claim of €1,500,000 was paid out to the family of a claimant in their 50s who died of lung cancer
  • €151,000 was paid to the family of a claimant in their 30s who died of lymphatic cancer just 11 months after starting a life insurance policy
  • An example of an early Specified Illness claim paid was to a claimant in their 50s who had a heart attack within the first year of their cover starting and received a payment of €100,000.
  • €225,000 in a Terminal Illness claim was paid to a claimant in their 50s who was diagnosed with throat cancer two years after their cover began

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