According to research recently released by ACE Group, there is growing concern amongst the UK population over the potential financial impact of critical illness and, more specifically, whether reduced financial support from the state for those affected will be enough to get by.
Over 70% of the 2,500 people surveyed by ACE highlighted that they are worried about the financial impact that a heart attack, cancer or stroke may have on their finances. As a result, 45% said they would consider taking out cost-effective critical illness cover to safeguard their income, their standard of living and to pay for any necessary support and additional treatment they might need to regain their full health.
The report from ACE, entitled Changing consumer perceptions of personal financial protection, is the culmination of research conducted at the end of last year with more than 2,500 consumers from Germany, Spain, France, Italy and the UK.
Health is a Bigger Concern Today than it Used to Be
According to the report’s findings, over two thirds of consumers are more concerned about their health today than they used to be. Furthermore, it’s diseases such as stroke, heart attack and cancer that are causing the most concern. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia were also cited as concerns.
When quizzed about which financial protection products they would consider purchasing, respondents placed private medical insurance (PMI) at number one and critical illness insurance at number two.
However, despite high demand, people’s understanding of critical illness insurance across Europe is decidedly patchy. In fact, 53% of respondents said they were unaware of this type of cover, or claimed very little knowledge of it.
Cost of PMI Still a Big Factor
More than two thirds (67%) did, however, outline that full private medical insurance is often “too expensive” and that more cost-effective financial protection products would be of interest to them.
Matt Foster, Head of Product Marketing, Accident & Health for ACE in Europe, Eurasia & Africa, said: “A clear message emerges from this research. With state support under pressure, consumers across Europe want cost-effective protection that will plug the gaps in both public and private healthcare and provide extra financial support at a time when they may be unable to work, such as following the diagnosis of a serious illness.”
Changes to the benefits system have left many people fearing whether they will be supported financially in times of sickness and/or accident. We help people review and prioritise their protection needs and critical illness cover often ranks highly, together with health insurance and income protection.
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