Those with a cancer diagnosis not only have to come to terms with the fact they may need surgery and ongoing treatment but must also deal with the emotional impact their illness has on them and their loved ones. As if all this isn’t enough, cancer patients also often find themselves under huge financial pressure if their illness means they’re no longer able to work.
World Cancer Day on February 4 is designed to raise worldwide awareness of cancer and all the various impacts it can have, with the ultimate goal of reducing the millions of preventable cancer deaths.
This year, the theme is ‘Close the care gap’, highlighting the gap that affects almost everyone and is costing lives, in high, low and middle-income countries. The aim is that everyone should have access to life-saving cancer treatment and care - no matter who you are or where you live.
Even in the UK, given the huge demands placed on the NHS by the pandemic, people could face lengthy delays for cancer diagnosis or treatment, which can make a worrying time even more distressing.
Although nothing can help ease the emotional or physical fallout from cancer, having some form of financial protection in place can at least help alleviate money worries, providing more choices and options to those affected.
With the lifetime risk of cancer currently standing at one in two, cancer really could affect us all and having a plan in place is a sensible idea - and one that L&C can help you with, as it is by far the biggest claims area we deal with.
Protection options exploredThere are two main types of cover which can provide financial protection if you’re diagnosed with cancer.
• Critical illness coverAs the name suggests, critical illness cover is designed to pay out a lump sum upon diagnosis of a serious illness, such as cancer, heart disease or multiple sclerosis. You don’t necessarily have to be diagnosed with an especially malignant or invasive cancer to make a claim. Many policies now offer smaller payouts upon cancer diagnosis, whilst retaining the ability to settle a claim in full if the disease progresses. This can provide customers with valuable support in the early stages, when treatment can still have an impact in earnings. For example, insurers LV= & Scottish Widows both offer policyholders an ‘on diagnosis’ payment whilst the claim is being assessed to help address any immediate financial concerns.
Others have links with charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support or Maggie’s who can provide practical and medical support. Aviva, for example, uses Macmillan nurses to confirm diagnosis without waiting for consultant’s reports, so that it can speed up the claims process.
• Income ProtectionIncome protection is designed to pay you a regular income, usually equivalent to between 50% and 70% of your salary, if you’re unable to work due to illness or injury.
Whilst it may not be able to provide all the options of a cash lump sum, it can provide enough to cover all those regular expenses, allowing you to focus on getting better.
As well as some of the additional benefits already mentioned, many insurers offering critical illness and income protection also offer support services such as “Red Arc”. This service can provide you with a specialist nurse to help you emotionally and practically through your diagnosis and treatment, answering any medical queries or concerns you might have. Second medical opinions are also offered by many insurers allowing you to have complete peace of mind in your diagnosis and treatment plan.
Want to learn more about how to protect yourself and your family should the worst happen? Call one of our expert protection advisers today on 0800 073 1932.