Mobile Phones Take Priority Over Cancer Cover

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA

People spend more money on technology and gadgets than protecting their finances with life insurance, according to new research.

The statistics are startling – 80% of people say they cannot survive without broadband and 70% need a mobile phone.

But only 28% have insurance that pays out if they are in serious ill health and just 33% have life assurance, says the research by financial firm Scottish Widows.

The conclusion is people are failing to protect their families, homes and finances should serious illness strike.

And the chances of this happening are highlighted by three campaigns running this month to raise awareness of prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and brain tumours.

Common cancers

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect men in the UK, with nearly 50,000 cases diagnosed every year at the rate of 130 a day.

One in eight men will suffer from this cancer, according Cancer Research UK.

The average age of patients diagnosed with the cancer in 2014 was 56 years old.

Ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cancer women suffer – with doctors picking up 20 cases a day.

The average age of sufferers is 50 years’ old

Brain tumours are diagnosed in 16,000 people a year and the tumours are responsible for the most cancer deaths in the under 40s.

Three out of four patients contracting tumours are men. The condition can strike at any age. The youngest patient was just 13 years old.

£5.5 million critical illness pay out

Scottish Widows paid £5.5 million in critical illness claims to patients suffering from these three conditions in 2014. They accounted for one in 10 of all critical illness claims.

Scott Cadger, the Head of Underwriting and Claims Strategy at Scottish Widows, said: “The bigger picture is more people are surviving serious illnesses that would probably have led to death in earlier times because medical advances offer much better treatment.

“But while we are healthier, the focus has shifted away from prioritising financial protection for most of us.

“People feel gadgets and technology are much more important than spending to look after their health, homes and families if they are critically ill or cannot work due to poor health.”

“That’s why it’s so important to have insurance to fall back on to as financial protection for our families.”

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