Protection specialist LV= has experienced a significant drop in cancer claims due to the impact of coronavirus lockdown.
In April 2020, LV= recorded a 45% fall in critical illness claims compared to 2019 figures. About 2,700* fewer people were diagnosed with cancer each week, and in May 2020 there was a 47%** fall in urgent cancer referrals compared to May 2019.
However, it is anticipating a rise in advanced stage cancer diagnoses and claims in 2021 caused by a backlog of screenings.
In spite of the fall in cancer claims through lockdown, figures from LV= latest Protection Pays report shows that from 1st Jan to 31st July 2020 LV= paid more than £22.7m in cancer claims to 412 individuals and their families across income protection, critical illness and life insurance.
Cancer accounts for 20% of LV= income protection claims, 56% or critical illness and 40% of life assurance claims. Breast, bowel and lung cancer are the most commonly claimed for, amounting to more than 40% of LV= claims.
“Since the start of lockdown we saw a worrying fall in Critical Illness insurance claims as the NHS was forced to shut down or significantly reduce many areas of non COVID care for cancer between April and June.
“This, combined with fewer patients seeking care during lockdown, means that there has been a significant drop in elective procedures, urgent cancer referrals, first cancer treatments and outpatient appointments.
“There is a real risk that having fewer cancer screenings during lockdown will develop into a long-term problem, as more people are prevented from receiving a timely cancer diagnosis. By the time that these cases reach the claims stage, customers may experience more acute symptoms than in previous years which will be difficult to treat.
“We extended our cancer coverage earlier in the year with enhanced cancer cover; including adding additional payment conditions, and a new £1,000 cost of diagnosis of cancer payment to help with the unexpected initial costs associated.“At LV=, we have adapted our claims processes making it easier for policyholders to claim and, through conversations with our claims assessors, access timely and helpful guidance, treatment and support for those diagnosed with cancer.”
LV= offers a range of support services to help policyholders when they need it most.
LV=’s cost of diagnosis of cancer payment helps customers with the immediate financial costs incurred while the claim is being processed. This is an additional payment which doesn’t affect the main cover benefit and is paid upon receiving medical evidence of the diagnosis. This could be used to pay for things like child care, cover the cost of travel to hospital appointments or time away.
Enhanced critical illness insurance to include additional coverage for a wider range of early stage cancers
At the start of the year, LV= started working with Maggie’s, a charity offering emotional and practical support for people living with cancer.
Second opinion gives access to specialists to review diagnosis, clarify unanswered questions and help understand treatment options.
Included as standard on all protection policies gives access to six expert medical services, all available through a convenient app including: — Remote GP 24/7 – appointments around the clock for every day health concerns through to serious conditions. The service is, for example, used for enquiries about skin conditions and moles.
16-23 member help line: The news of a cancer diagnosis can be hard to deliver to children. Through our 16-23 helpline, we're able to support children in full-time education as they come to terms with their parent's cancer diagnosis and any worries they might have for their future.
Those in exceptionally hard circumstances can apply for additional financial support through the LV= Member Support Fund.
Free and unlimited access to a 24/7 Health and Wellbeing Line, part of our Member Care Line, for health and counselling services. This is operated by qualified professionals who can provide expert support and guidance when it's needed most. This could include advice on their medical condition, coping with the loss of a loved one or coming to terms with their medical diagnosis.
*Source: Cancer research
**Source: NHS England
LV= is a leading financial mutual. When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.
LV= and Liverpool Victoria are registered trademarks of Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited (LVFS) and trading styles of the LV= Group of Companies.Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited, registered in England with registration number 12383237 is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, register number 110035. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth, BH1 2NF.