Sun Awareness Week 2022

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Sun Awareness Week 2022Sun Awareness Week 2022

Just like so many others around the world, I love a good holiday in the sun. But how much do we really think about what this really does to our skin?

With the lead up to the summer, Sun Awareness Week raises awareness for the effects of sun damage and what steps we can take to try and prevent it. 

You might associate sunburn with being on holiday, but you can get sunburn in the UK, even if it’s cloudy!

What can I do?

It’s recommended that we are in the shade during the hottest time of the day from March – October, which is 11am to 3pm. We should also wear suitable clothing and sunglasses to protect our eyes too. 

Knowing what sun cream to use can be important. To protect your skin properly, you should use at least a factor (SPF) 30 to protect against UVB and at least 4-star UVA protection, and take even more care for children. It’s also worth noting that suncream usually has a shelf life of 2-3 years, so making sure it’s still ok to use is also important.

SPF is the sun protection factor, and the higher the number the more protection there will be. 

Skin cancer

From a young age we’re told to wear sun cream so that we don’t burn. Sunburn can lead to more than tenderness and blisters, it can actually increase your risk of skin cancer.

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the world, with around 163,00 people being diagnosed in the UK each year. The main causes are thought to be the sun’s UV rays and the use of tanning beds. 

There are different types of skin cancer. Some of the things to look out for might be a new or changed mole or the appearance of a lump or coloured patch on your skin. If you ever have any concerns, it’s best to speak with your GP. 

Managing director Kathryn, hosted an episode of the Practical Protection Podcast focusing on skin cancer. She was joined by co-host Matt Rann, who spoke about his brother who had passed from skin cancer. Check it out below:

Access to insurance

When applying for protection insurance having had skin cancer, there are a number of questions the insurers will have depending on what type of insurance you need.

Life insurance

On an application for life insurance, you’re likely to see basic questions about yourself as well as questions specifically relating to skin cancer. While they assess your application the insurer will want to know how long ago you had skin cancer, if you still have it, the grading and staging, any treatment you received, when you last had treatment and if you have now been given the all clear. The insurer will also want to know the type of skin cancer that you had.

Is quite common for an insurer to request a medical report from your GP (with your permission) so that they can get a clear picture of your health.

If some time has passed since your skin cancer and it was a low grade or stage, you may be offered life insurance with standard terms. If your skin cancer was recent or was a high grade or stage, you could be offered life insurance policy at non-standard terms, meaning there might be a price increase.

If you currently have skin cancer there are some other options that we can look into, using a specialist insurance provider. Going down this route would mean that your policy is likely to exclude any future claims relating to skin cancer. We are here to help and guide you through everything, making sure you know exactly what you’re getting from your policy.

Critical illness cover

The application process for critical illness cover is similar to that of life insurance. The insurer will want to know some details surrounding the skin cancer and are likely to request a medical report from your GP too.

Again, if your skin cancer was a while ago and had a low grade or stage then you might get critical illness cover at standard terms. This does also depend on the type of skin cancer that you had. If the skin cancer was a high grade or stage with recent treatment, it could be that critical illness cover is offered to you with exclusions on the policy (meaning you’d be unable to make a claim for certain conditions, whichever are excluded), or potentially postponed. 

Income protection

Income protection can sometimes be assessed a little bit more strictly. But after asking similar questions to those mentioned above, income protection can sometimes be available with standard terms if a number of years have passed since diagnosis and treatment. If the skin cancer was of a high grade or stage and was more recent, you may be offered a policy with exclusions or a price increase.

Case studies
  • A man in his mid 50s came to Cura needing life insurance to protect his new mortgage. He had been diagnosed with stage 1 melanoma a couple of years before coming to us and had two operations to remove the affected skin. He was given the all clear around a year later. We arranged a life insurance policy covering him for £40,000 for 12 years, with a monthly premium of less than £23.

  • A man in his mid 50s approached us needing protection for his mortgage. He had been diagnosed with stage 3C malignant melanoma just under 15 years ago. He had surgery and then treatment for around a year, followed by another small surgery a few years later. By the time he came to Cura, he had been fully discharged for almost 5 years. We arranged a life insurance policy for a period of 10 years, this covered him for £115,000. The premium had been increased for the first two years to almost £197 due to the staging and grading of the cancer, but after two years it fell to just under £41 per month.

  • A man in his late 30s needed protection for his family. He had been diagnosed with malignant melanoma just over 6 years ago, and had surgery to remove this. He has been in remission for nearly 6 years. He now has life insurance of £125,000 and critical illness cover for £62,500 with a monthly premium of less than £57 per month. His critical illness policy has an exclusion for anything related to melanoma.

Looking after your skin can be super important. If you’re wanting more information, there’s lots available online:

When it comes to protection insurance, our advisers are trained to help find you the best possible option to suit your needs. 

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