The PPP - Blood Cancer
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With September being Blood Cancer Awareness Month, Kathryn and Matt Rann are talking about blood cancer and its effects on the body during the most recent episode of the Practical Protection Podcast.
Blood cancer is a type of cancer which affects the blood cells in your body, causing them to become abnormal and not work properly, meaning your blood is less able to keep your body healthy. There are more than 100 types of blood cancer, some being leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), and roughly 250,000 people living with blood cancer in the UK.
With blood cancer being the fifth most common cancer in the UK, and the third biggest killer when it comes to cancers in the UK, Kathryn and Matt discuss some of the key signs and symptoms to look out for during this episode of the podcast. Matt explains a few different types of blood cancer in more detail, which has really helped me to visualise what happens when they develop.
The episode goes through some of the different treatment options that you may be faced with, if you were to be diagnosed with blood cancer. Leading to a conversation about how likely it would be to have a recurrence, and how this could potentially affect insurance terms.
The rate in which people are diagnosed in the UK took me by surprise, with one person being diagnosed with blood cancer every 13 minutes, which equates to 110 people per day, and 40,000 people per year. 500 of these each year are children under the age of 15.
A case study of Kathryn’s is brought into conversation, about a woman who is now close to 30, who had blood cancer when she was three and five. Although there was little struggle finding life insurance, that wasn’t quite the case when it came to critical illness cover. This wasn’t available and there seemed to be no scope for this to change. In France and Belgium it is a person’s legal right to forget that they have previously had cancer, this might sound alarming to some insurers, but it’s certainly an interesting concept, it would enable so many more people to have options to access the insurance products they want.
When it comes to taking out life insurance if you have a history of blood cancer, there are a number of things an insurer would like to know, in order to make an educated decision. They will want to know things such as when were you first diagnosed? What was the staging of the cancer? What treatment have you had? When was your last treatment?
It is likely that if you had a more recent diagnosis or treatment, then you may have life insurance offered to you with a higher premium, but if a certain number of years has passed then you may be offered standard terms.
When it comes to critical illness cover, this can also sometimes be available depending on the number of years that have passed since your treatment, though you may need to go to a specialist insurer for this. A specialist insurer doesn’t necessarily mean there is going to be a higher cost, but depending on your circumstances, there could be a higher monthly premium or an exclusion added to the policy.
This is similar to income protection, each insurer has different acceptance criteria but depending on your circumstances, you may be offered income protection with a higher premium or with an exclusion on the policy.
We have helped a number of clients who have had a past diagnosis or treatment for blood cancer. Another case study is of a 28 year old man, diagnosed with lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma in 2016, and received chemotherapy. This client is now in the clear but has reviews every 6 months. We were able to arrange this client to have a joint life insurance policy with his partner, for close to £10 per month with a benefit amount of £139,000.
As mentioned, there are often options when it comes to insurance but it’s just knowing how to find them and what would actually be suitable for your needs, which is where it’s often handy to use a financial adviser to give guidance, or to ensure you have done your research before taking out a new policy.
If you want to know more about how to arrange protection insurance, take a look at Kathryn’s new Protection Insurance in Practice course here.
If you have listened to this episode of the podcast for your work, don’t forget to claim your CPD certificate: https://practical-protection.co.uk/claim-your-cpd/
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