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Vitality publishes 2021 Protection claims figures 

7 September 2022
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  • £82.8m paid out across Life, Serious Illness Cover and Income Protection Cover during 2021

  • 99.8% of all Life claims, 91% of Serious Illness Cover claims, and 96.5% of all Income Protection claims, paid

  • £5.7m paid in claims where Covid-19 was a factor


Vitality has published its claims statistics for 2021, which shows it paid out a total of £82.8m in protection claims in 2021, with a total of 2,012 claims paid across its Life and Terminal Illness, Serious Illness and Income Protection products.

Life and Terminal Illness

Vitality paid 99.8% of Life and Terminal Illness claims in 2021, which equated to a total of £54.3m. 

Cancer was the most common cause for a Life (incl. terminal illness) claim, followed by cardiovascular illnesses. Notably, claims where Covid-19 was attributed as a factor accounted for the second highest cause of death for women and third highest cause of death for men.

Serious Illness Cover (SIC)

In 2021, 91%* of Serious Illness Cover claims were paid, equating to £27.9m. One in 13 claims from claimants who had previously claimed on their plan, totalling £2m in claims payments. Of those who had claimed previously, one in five were claiming for the third or more time.

Cancer was the most common cause of Serious Illness Cover claim in 2021 for both men and women, however it made up a larger proportion of claims in women, accounting for 70% of all claims compared to 41% for men.

Serious Illness Cover is designed to pay out on all conditions that have an impact on a member’s lifestyle, not just those that are critical. Vitality’s Serious Illness Cover covers every condition in the market**, and in 2021 one in eight claims wouldn’t have been covered by a typical critical illness plan. Additionally, when looking at claimants in their thirties, one in five claims wouldn’t have been covered by a typical critical illness plan***.

Income Protection

In 2021, 96.5% of Income Protection claims were paid. Musculoskeletal (MSK) claims were the leading cause of claim (25%) followed closely by cancer (24%) and mental health (21%). Together, these accounted for 70% of all claims.

Justin Taurog, managing director of VitalityLife said: “Our 2021 protection claims data clearly demonstrates the crucial role these products are playing in supporting our members - and their families - at the times when they need it most.

Our product offering is designed with our core purpose, of enhancing and protecting our members’ lives, at its heart. We see the difference this makes to peoples lives in our Serious Illness Cover claims data, where members receive payments they wouldn’t have received elsewhere, and then also go on to continue to have cover in place, should they need it again in the future.”


Notes to editors

Claims data:




Amount paid


Percentage paid








Serious Illness Cover






Income Protection






*91% of Serious Illness Cover claims were paid in 2021, however a small number were declined. The majority of these were down to not meeting the plan definition, while the remainder were due to non-disclosure or pre-existing conditions preventing a successful claim being made.

** “This comparison to other products in the market is based on VitalityLife and Defaqto’s interpretation of the difference between VitalityLife’s latest Serious Illness Cover and those other covers available in the market as at 30/08/2022 relating to adult lives only and not that of children’s cover. Whilst VitalityLife and Defaqto have made reasonable endeavours to ensure the accuracy and reliability of this statement, it is for personal use and guidance only, and does not constitute a contractual representation. As such, neither party accepts liability for direct or consequential loss in relation to this statement”.

*** Verified by Defaqto using a mid-market enhanced Critical Illness plan. Analysis based on categorisation of Serious Illness Cover claims notified to Vitality during 2021 and information held on Vitality’s Defaqto-verified Serious Illness Cover comparison tool.


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