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Zurich’s Claims Stats highlight Fracture cover is not just for active clients

Zurich’s Claims Stats highlight Fracture cover is not just for active clients

A broken bone or ligament tear can have severe implications on our ability to carry out day to day tasks. It is also something that is not unfamiliar as it is not uncommon to pass someone on the street in a cast (when we could pass people on the street) or see someone stretchered off a sporting pitch with a brace on TV. With many sporting injuries (and particularly football) being high profile it is perhaps understandable that many advisers would focus more on younger, more active clients when discussing fracture cover. Zurich’s record number of fracture claims in 2020 however, highlights that perhaps we should be widening these discussions to those that are not as active. In this article we explore in more detail what fracture cover claims Zurich paid and events that led to those claims.

With much of 2020 spent in lockdown and limited non-elite sport being played, it might surprise some to learn that throughout the year Zurich paid 263 fracture cover claims totalling £1,004,000. This equates to an average payment of £3,817.50.

Whilst Zurich’s fracture cover is currently the most expensive in the market at £6.90 per month standard rate cases only, it is also the broadest in terms of the amount that will be paid and coverage. This is borne out in their statistics as a total of 40 claims (15%) were paid for dislocations, tendon ruptures or ligament tears which no other insurer covers.

Throughout the year claims were paid for fractures of every bone covered within the plan with the exception of the Pelvis. Claims were also paid on both Achilles tendon ruptures and knee ligament tears. When looking at dislocations however, there were far fewer instances with claims only being paid on shoulder dislocations and none for the other eight types of dislocation covered by the plan.

Fracture/Dislocation/Tear/Rupture
Number of claims
Fracture – Hand
35
Fracture – Lower leg/ankle
35
Fracture – Wrist
27
Knee ligament tear
27
Fracture – Foot
23
Fracture – Collar bone
19
Fracture – Facial and jaw bones
19
Fracture – Spine
14
Fracture – Lower arm
12
Fracture – Ribs
12
Fracture – Upper leg/hip
11
Dislocation – Shoulder
8
Fracture – Upper arm
7
Achilles tendor rupture
5
Fracture – Shoulder blade
5
Fracture – Skull
3
Fracture – Breast bone
1

What is perhaps more interesting is the events leading to the fracture, rupture, tear or dislocation. Whilst a good proportion were attributable to sports (and in particular football) accidents, many of the claims were attributed to general accidents around the house that could happen to anyone.

Common causes of fracture cover claims

;

A slip or fall (commonly on ice)

;

Falling down the stairs

;

Falling off a ladder

These types of incidences are everyday tasks that anyone might carry out and there are plenty of other relatable examples. For dog owners, Zurich paid a claim for a client who tripped over their dog and tore their anterior cruciate ligament. Parents will certainly relate to the client that slipped on their child’s toy (I have slipped on a toy car countless times) leading to a lower arm fracture. In previous years, Zurich have even paid claims for a client that tripped over an XBOX cable and one where someone fell off their toilet when somewhat intoxicated.

Regardless of the event leading to the accident, each of these clients would have had to spend time in hospital, probably with surgery and rehabilitation, and been unable to work for a period of time. The money paid to them by Zurich would certainly have helped with the financial implications of this.

When we consider the age demographics of the fracture cover claims, the average age is 31. As the table below, breaking down the number of claims across different ages, shows the bias is definitely more towards younger people. This may be due to younger demographics taking more risks, however I suspect that another reason is that the majority of Zurich’s fracture cover book are also in the younger demographic.

Age range
Number of claims
Under 20
5
20 to 29
125
30 to 39
90
40 to 49
29
50 to 59
10
60 to 69
4

Let’s face it, there are many events that can lead to a broken bone, dislocated joint or ligament rupture/tear. Whilst admittedly sports will always make up a decent percentage of claims, Zurich’s claims experience over the past year highlights that such events can happen to anyone. Fracture cover is not just for the young and active and as such perhaps should be factored into more client conversations?

About The Author

Adam Higgs

Adam leads Protection Guru's detailed protection research and benchmarking of both product and operation features provided by insurers and has a vast knowledge of the protection market. He has been instrumental in building the protection comparison service Quality Analyser and maintaining the data to enable adviser to quickly and easily compare protection products based on qualitative measures. He also works with adviser firms to help in panel reviews and with insurers to help them understand the shape of the market, their strengths and the areas that could be improved in their products. In his spare time and when not spending time with his wife and two children, Adam is a keen Arsenal fan and enjoys hacking his way around a golf course.

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