In 2019, British Friendly paid 94% of all income protection claims.
However, this is a slight drop from its standard. The firm has paid an annual average of 96% of all income protection claims over the last 14 years.
In addition, the year saw several achievements for the friendly society. It made enhancements to mutual benefits programme by adding access to Lifeworks, which provides members support and tips on health, and including high street discounts.
According to British Friendly, the main reasons for claims in 2019 were as follows:
- Musculoskeletal conditions (44%);
- General illness and injuries (12%);
- Anxiety/depression (12%);
- Infectious diseases (8%), and
- Gastrointestinal (6%).
Gordon Hull, chief executive of British Friendly, said: “As a Friendly Society we exist solely for the benefit of our members. This means that our absolute number one priority is to pay as many claims as possible so I am extremely proud that we continue to pay a high proportion of claims year on year. Add to that the value provided by our discretionary Mutual Benefits and BF Care programmes and I believe we have an Income Protection proposition that is worthy of serious consideration by advisers and their customers.”
Damian O’Connor, managing director at Roxburgh Financial Management, said: “For me, the key statistic is the consistency evidenced by the 14 years history of British Friendly paid claims. That provides advisers and their customers with confidence that if the worst happens then their claim will be paid. I would like to see more insurers releasing claims statistics covering 10+ years as well as more detailed claims reports that break down paid and declined claims in more detail.”
In July 2019, British Friendly made a deal with EXL, the operations management and analytics company. They decided to work together to develop an end-to-end customer onboarding, underwriting, and policy administration platform.
The digital platform aimed to improve the efficiencies for advisers when placing clients at risk. In addition, a goal was to accelerate the ability of British Friendly to respond to changing consumer requirements and bring new products to market.