Recent statistics made available by Liberty Life reveal that cancer is the leading cause of claims paid by the assurer in 2015. One in four claims paid by Liberty were for cancer, and the proportion of claims for cancer is increasing, even at younger ages.
Motor vehicle accidents are typically cited as the reason that young people need disability or income protection cover, but cancer was a greater cause accounting for 12.3% of claims (motor vehicles accounted for 11.9%). Even more worrying is the fact that in young parents, cancer was the cause for claim for 22.5%.
These statistics are for claims on policies that provide cover for death, disability or dread disease (illnesses such as cancer, strokes and heart attacks). The fact that many people now survive cancer means that most of the claims were paid as a result of severe illness and not as a result of the life assured dying.
Liberty’s claims-payments for severe illness cover increased by 50% from 2014 to 2015. This was not only due to the fact that more people are taking out this cover, but also because of the growth of awareness and early detection of cancer.
Liberty was not alone in their findings. Sanlam’s claims-statistics for 2015 show that 60% of its dread-disease claims were for cancer. At Momentum, 34% of its dread-disease claims were for cancer. At Discovery they were 38%. And at Old Mutual, 57%
An interesting statistic put out by Old Mutual with its claims figures is that 60% of all claims were for people under 45.
You may ask yourself why, if you already have medical scheme cover and loss-of-income cover, do you also need severe illness cover for cancer?
A medical scheme offers crucial cover that you shouldn’t be without. The problem is that cancer treatments are expensive and schemes have rules about what they do and do not pay for. Sometimes a doctor will recommend the best treatment available but a scheme only pays for a more modest treatment or there is a diagnosis of a rare form of cancer that requires specialised treatment.
These statistics show that cancer is still a widespread affliction, even at younger ages. While cancer claims are obviously higher among older age groups, even 20- and 30- somethings should be prudent when it comes to taking out risk policies.
If you have any questions or want to review your policies then give me a call and let’s meet up.