UK insurers say they expect to pay £3 billion in COVID related claims

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said its members currently expect to pay up to £2.5 billion for COVID-19 insurance claims incurred in 2020 according to its latest estimates.

The figures do not include the £500 million that Lloyd’s syndicates expect to pay in UK claims arising for the pandemic, with UK claimants set for at least £3 billion in payments.

Huw Evans, (above) the ABI’s Director General, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in its impact and will be one of the biggest insured events of recent times. These latest estimates demonstrate the range of support ABI members expect to offer their customers as a result of Covid-19 related claims across a wide range of insurance policies. This data was collected from individual firms by the ABI in mid-late January, and millions of pounds continue to be paid out every week in claims settlements.

“The industry response also includes vital support to families who have lost a loved one to COVID who are receiving life insurance payments.

“However, we recognise the pandemic has also illustrated some uncomfortable gaps between what people expected to be covered for and what their policy was designed for. We need to learn lessons from this unprecedented event and redouble our efforts to improve consumers’ trust in insurance products.”

The Association estimates that its insurers will pay:

  • £2 billion for COVID-19 business interruption claims.
  • £204 million paid from Covid-19 related protection insurance claims, including life, critical illness, and income protection insurance claims.
  • £152 million expected to be paid on travel insurance claims.
  • £121 million expected to be paid across other general insurance products, including events, weddings, and liability insurance.

Of those claims 123,000 have been settled with payment across all of the above business lines; a further 9,000 have received partial payments as of mid-January 2021.

“Over two-thirds of a billion pounds (£697 million) had been paid out for these claims as of mid-January 2021,” added the ABI.