New data released by protection provider Aegon shows that more than two-thirds (67%) of its child critical illness (CI) claims over the past 10 years were for cancer.
During the past decade, 30% of childhood cancer claims received by Aegon were for brain tumours, 25% were for Leukaemia and the remainder were for other forms of cancer.
In 2016 alone, cancer accounted for 83% of critical illness claims for children received by Aegon.
Released to coincide with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this month, the statistics are a stark reminder to parents of the risk posed to their children by cancer. Aegon is now urging parents to check that their critical illness policies also cover their children.
In the UK, 10 children are diagnosed with cancer every day, which amounts to almost 4,000 cases a year.
Simon Jacobs, head of underwriting and claims strategy at Aegon, said a critical illness policy that extends to children can provide a family with much needed financial assistance, allowing them to focus more on supporting their child. He also warned that many families often overlook many of the costs associated with a critical illness diagnosis.
‘A hefty and unexpected financial burden’
“Cancer diagnosis and treatment for a child can come with a hefty and unexpected financial burden. People often forget to consider the length of treatment, the need to take regular time off work, expensive parking at hospitals, travel costs and buying snacks and food in hospital”, he said.
The Aegon data comes as a study from the United States reveals that childhood cancer survivors may face decades of high medical costs.
According to the study of 580 adults who had been diagnosed with cancer while they were children, one in 10 had high out-of-pocket health costs, spending at least 10% of their total income on care.
In contrast, just 3% of the siblings of these childhood cancer survivors had medical costs that high.
It’s a reality that highlights how the financial burden of childhood cancer can extend well into adulthood
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month takes place every September and sees the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) and other children’s cancer charities come together to raise awareness of childhood cancer.
During September, supporters of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month will be wearing a gold ribbon – the internationally recognised symbol for childhood cancer. In addition, many schools and workplaces will hold gold-themed events, such as dress-down days where they encourage their employees and students to wear a piece of gold (or yellow) clothing.
Claire Ginnelly, Managing Director of Premier Choice Group said, “People need to take independent advice when purchasing protection products. At Premier Choice we talk to clients about all of their protection needs and take into account their family circumstances.”
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