29% of group income protection claims are for cancer

Income protection

Just under a third (29%) of group income protection claims are for cancer, according to data from provider Unum.

Its annual claims statement, which analysed data relating to the 1,722 group income protection claims paid by Unum between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017, also found 17% of overall group income protection claims are for mental health, 10% are for musculoskeletal conditions, 8% are for nervous system conditions, 8% are for heart and circulation conditions, 7% resulted from injuries and accidents, 5% relate to arthritis, and 4% are for gastroenterology conditions.

The research also found:

  • 56% of group income protection claims were from male employees, compared to 44% from female employees.
  • 37% of overall group income protection claimants were aged between 50-59, 25% were aged between 40 and 49, and 17% aged between 30 and 39. More than one in 10 (15%) of claims were made by those aged over 60, and 6% of overall claims were by those under 30-years-old.
  • 27% of overall group income protection claims were made by employees earning between £20,000 and £29,999 a year, and 21% by employees earning under £20,000. Less than a quarter (15%) of group income protection claims were made by individuals earning between £30,000 and £39,000 or £50,000 and £74,999, 9% of claims were made by employees earning between £40,000 and £49,999, 6% of group income protection claims were by staff earning between £75,000 and £99,999, and 7% were made by employees earning over £100,000.
  • 42% of women who made a group income protection claim for mental health reasons are under 40-years-old, compared to 21% of men.
  • 12% of group income protection claims made by men were for heart and circulation conditions, compared to 3% of women who claimed for this reason.
  • 30% of claims were by women who earn less than £20,000 a year, compared to 14% of claims made by men earning under this amount.

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Peter O’Donnell, chief executive officer at Unum, said: “There are record numbers of women in work and this statement proves how valuable group income protection is throughout their careers. Almost a third of women claiming earn under £20,000 and more than 40% of women who make a mental health claim were under 40-years-old. More of our claims still come from older [employees] though, especially men over 50.

“So we need to do more to protect our changing workforce. Less than one in 10 [employees] have [group income protection, according to 2016 data from The Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health], and women and older [employees] are even less likely to be protected. A temporary tax break for employers that invest in group income protection is the best way to close this unsustainable protection gap.”