More insurance provision needed for employees, finds Maggie Williams
Cancer is the most significant source of claims on group risk products, according to industry body Group Risk Development’s (GRiD) 2016 Claims Data report. Nearly half (47%) of group life, 24% of group income protection and 69% of group critical illness claims were as a result of the condition.
World Cancer Day on 4 February highlighted the growing risks posed by cancer, with statistics from Cancer Research predicting that between 2015 and 2035, an estimated 4.5 million women and 4.8 million men in the UK will be diagnosed. Rates are expected to climb six times as fast in women as in men over the period.
Michael Howard, Manager of cancer charity Macmillan’s Online Community highlighted the worries over work and money that can come with the illness: “Cancer can cause so many worries that are not just related to health, such as the impact on your work, your finances and your confidence. It can be an incredibly overwhelming time.”
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD said the organisation was calling on employers to offer group protection as a workforce-wide benefit, rather than just for senior management: “Losing a source of income impacts all families no matter whether the salary was fifteen or fifty thousand pounds.
“However, unlike maternity leave or a change of job, a cancer diagnosis is often entirely unexpected and so there is no opportunity to save up a nest egg or war chest in advance.”
Moxham said that removing the hierarchy around group risk benefits can help businesses to “develop a reputation as a decent employer and potentially improve recruitment and retention rates too.”