Heart-related illness was the second biggest cause of life insurance claims received by Aegon in 2017.
Ahead of World Heart Day on Saturday (29 September), the protection provider has released its heart-related claim figures for last year – which accounted for 23 per cent of its total life insurance claims, second only to cancer.
Under its critical illness policies in 2017, Aegon reported 18.5 per cent of claims were related to the heart – with the most common cause of these claims found to be a heart attack – with men accounting for the majority of these claims over the past five years.
Simon Jacobs, head of underwriting and claims at Aegon UK, said the providerÂ asks all applicants about their family history and where the customer has no medical issues but heart-related illness in one family member, it generally should not impact the protection application.
He said: “The application stage is key when it comes to financial protection – answering questions accurately when applying for cover means you can be confident in the completeness of your application and the outcome should you need to make a claim.”
In Aegonâ€™s 2017 data, the youngest heart-related claimant on a critical illness policy was aged 34 – the youngest life insurance policyholder on which a heart-related claim was placed was aged 39.
Mr Jacobs added: “Any increased personal awareness is a great step towards early treatment for heart-related illness, but it would be good to see more preventative action being taken.
“There are many different factors that can affect heart health such as smoking, obesity, alcohol intake, lack of exercise and diabetes, as well as a family history of heart-related illness – an increased awareness of these, some small lifestyle changes and support to make smarter choices could lead to healthier hearts and fewer families being impacted by heart disease.”