TAL has paid out close to $1 billion in risk insurance claims in 2014, up 12.5 per cent on the previous year.
In a statement issued by the life insurer, TAL said it had paid out $948 million in risk insurance claims during 2014, an increase from the $843 million in the previous year.
Of the payouts made, TAL said 47.4 per cent were for life insurance; 29 per cent were for income protection and business expense insurance; and 19 per cent were for total and permanent disability claims.
Cancer was the chief reason for claims in 2014, accounting for almost one quarter of all payments.
This was followed by circulatory diseases, injuries, and respiratory diseases, TAL said.
Commenting on the increase in claim payouts, TAL general manager of claims Mary Maini said it was because more people are becoming aware of their life insurance benefits.
“The rising amounts of life insurance payouts being paid to customers is in fact very good news because it highlights the value and need of life insurance in protecting customers and their families when they most need it,” Ms Maini said.
“Life insurance protects the assets and future dreams of people and families, but there is a practical benefit with close to a billion dollars paid by TAL to its customers last year helping them to get back on their feet, to meet ongoing obligations and even achieve future aspirations,” she said.
Ms Maini added that many people did not realise how beneficial financial protection has been for many in society.
“While superannuation and direct insurance has helped expand the reach of life insurance and reduce the social security burden on taxpayers and even other relations and friends, the real question people need to ask themselves is do they have appropriate and adequate levels of life insurance?
“Seeing a financial adviser is a great way to assess a person or family’s insurance needs, because it is vitally important to ensure they have the right amount of life cover in case their income suddenly stops,” she said.