Personal insurance claims have topped $1 billion for the fourth year in a row, new statistics from the Financial Services Council show.
Wednesday, May 13th 2015, 3:38PM
In the year to March 31, New Zealanders were paid more than $21.8 million a week for their life, income protection and credit insurance claims.
FSC chief executive Peter Neilson said claims were up more than $151.8 million compared to four years ago, to $1.137 billion for the year.
He said paid-out claims had grown 15.4% over the past four years, three times faster than inflation.
That showed the industry was meeting its commitment to pay valid claims when policy-holders suffered long-term illness or premature death.
Neilson said the latest statistics showed there was a trend for more New Zealanders to hold income protection insurance.
“There is increasing awareness that ACC covers accidents but not sickness unless caused by long-term workplace exposures. The government’s sickness benefit is also family income-tested,” he said.
Neilson said thousands of families did not qualify when the main income earner fell ill and quickly found their savings ran out.
“It’s pleasing more are deciding to protect their wealth by taking up income protection cover, while huge numbers are benefiting from more than $1.13 billion being paid out annually for life, income and credit insurance claims,” he said.