Cancer Insurance is included within Critical Illness Cover. It’s designed to financially protect you upon diagnosis of cancer or an illness listed in the policy

We are here to talk you through all of the options available and help find you a cancer insurance policy that best meets your needs.

Cancer is not easily discussed however it has been reported that as many as 4 in 10 people will get cancer at some point in their lifetime. It is for this reason that you should consider the financial implications and protection against the worst happening.

Critical illness policies including cancer insurance can generally provide coverage up until the age of 70-75 however some will cover you until the age of 85. It is important to consider that around a tenth (10%) of all new cancer cases occur before the age of 50 and a further 53% of cases are diagnosed before 75.

As medical and diagnostic procedures are ever improving and catching cancer at earlier stages, if you already have a cancer insurance or critical illness policy it is important to review the types and stages of cancer that you are covered for as many older policies are now out of date and might not cover certain conditions or procedures.

Protection against the Most Commonly Suffered Conditions

The two most commonly suffered conditions are Cancer of the breast and Cancer of the prostate. Most policies now offer addition coverage at earlier stages of these particular cancers.

Breast Cancer; Accounts for 30% of cancer incidences in Women in the UK.

  • Previously policies would only pay out when a specific type of surgery i.e. a mastectomy, was carried out. A number of providers have now improved their policies to pay claims regardless of surgery type. This in essence will future-proof your policy in the event of medical and surgical advancements.

Prostate Cancer; Accounts for 25% of cancer incidences in Men in the UK.

  • Lower grade prostate cancer is now covered by a number of providers, reducing the severity (a lower Gleason score and a reduced TNM classification) of your condition prior to qualifying for a successful claim.

Not All Cancer Insurance Policies Are Created Equally.

Cancer comes under the category of an, Association of British Insurers (ABI), core critical illness and is therefore cancer insurance is included in all critical illness policies, however this doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. Although all policies cover cancer they do not have to cover less advanced cases, therefore it is important to find a policy that does meet your requirements.

The ABI definition of cancer is:*

Any malignant tumour positively diagnosed with histological confirmation and characterised by the uncontrolled growth of malignant cells and invasion of tissue. The term malignant tumour includes leukaemia, sarcoma and lymphoma except cutaneous lymphoma (lymphoma confined to the skin).

Some policies may not include coverage for the following:

  • All cancers which are histologically classified as any of the following:
  • – pre-malignant;
  • – non-invasive;
  • – cancer in situ;
  • – having borderline malignancy; or
  • – having low malignant potential;
  • All tumours of the prostate unless histologically classified as having a Gleason score greater than 6 or having progressed to at least clinical TNM classification T2N0M0.
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia unless histologically classified as having progressed to at least Binet Stage A.
  • Any skin cancer (including cutaneous lymphoma) other than malignant melanoma that has been histologically classified as having caused invasion beyond the epidermis (outer layer of skin).

The above being said, critical illness and cancer insurance policies often excess the minimum definitions set out by the ABI and do in fact include coverage for less advanced cases. The cancer definition in these particular polices is referred to as ABI+.

Examples of such conditions are Carcinoma in situ of the breast, Low grade prostate cancer and Testicular carcinoma in situ. Coverage for these cancers is often included as additional coverage to your sum of money assured

As with life insurance the sooner you purchase cancer insurance or critical illness cover the better. Premiums generally increase with age as your risk increases. By securing a policy now you are able to guarantee or fix your premiums at a lower rate for the term of your policy.

Useful links and references:

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Home.aspx

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/incidence/age/#Cancer

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/incidence/commoncancers/uk-cancer-incidence-statistics-for-common-cancers#Ten

*https://www.abi.org.uk/~/media/Files/Documents/Publications/Public/Migrated/Life/
Statement%20of%20Best%20Practise%20for%20Critical%20Illness%202011.ashx