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National claim rejection rate drops below 10%, study shows

Australia has a declined claims rate of 9.8%, which is a similar rate to China, according to research by Gen Re.

The figure comes from the reinsurer’s Dread Disease Survey between 2008 and 2012, based on data submitted by 84 life insurers relating to more than 100 million inforce policies.

Gen Re examined about 1.2 million claims in the study period.

In Australia there were 4311 claims accepted and 468 declined. In China the number of accepted claims was 968,305, with 78,677 declined, giving a rate of 9.4%.

The lowest declined claims rate was in Malaysia at 5.6%, followed by Singapore on 6.6%.

Australia’s decline rate has fallen from 14% in Gen Re’s 2004-08 survey.

Cancer featured in 62% of all Australian claims, slightly less than in Hong Kong. In Indonesia cancer accounted for only 28% of claims.

Heart disease featured in 16% of Australian claims, with brain tumours next at 5.6%. In women, cancer was the leading cause of claims (88%), followed by stroke (4.2%).

Gen Re says with most life books in Asia and Australia still showing an average inforce age below 40, some conditions associated with old age are not showing in the figures.

Diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s may prompt more claims in future.

In Australia, prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer claim for males, probably due to the high rate of screening. Breast cancer accounts for 60% of all cancer claims from Australian females.

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