Younger buyers are leading to more critical illness claims filed by those under 55 years old, new research suggests.
The number of critical illness claims filed by people younger than 55 years old showed a “significant” rise last year, according to the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance and General Re Life Corp.
Exactly 47% of new critical illness insurance claims in 2011 began before the person reached age 55.
A total of 13% of male policyholders and 12% of female policyholders receiving benefits were under 45 years old, their analysis of the 10 top critical illness insurers found.
“With higher health insurance deductibles and more restrictive plans, critical illness insurance is starting to gain traction among buyers in their 30s and 40s,” said Jesse Slome, executive director of the insurance trade group.
The study found a pronounced year-to-year increase in the number of claims paid to policyholders between ages 35 and 44. A total of 8% of new claims by men and 10% by women occurred at these ages in 2011, compared to 4% reported by the prior year’s study. The greatest decline in claims occurred after age 55.
The study revealed that cancer remains the leading cause for new individual claims, accounting for 61%. Heart attacks accounted for 11% and stroke for 18% of new claims.
Researchers analyzed data of more than 57,000 purchasers of individual critical illness insurance policies as well as claims reported by insurers during 2011.