Cancer cases expected to rise due to Covid delays, LV says =
INSURER LV = expects an increase in cancer claims after the Covid crisis reduced access to screenings and urgent referrals from general practitioners.
The County Gates-based protection specialist paid £ 15million in cancer claims between January and May, similar to the level of claims in 2020.
But he anticipates an increase after figures from Cancer Research UK, which showed that around 45,000 fewer cancer patients started treatment between April 2020 and March 2021 than the previous year.
The LV = Wealth and Wellbeing Monitor, a quarterly survey of 4,000 UK consumers, suggests that 3.7 million people – or seven percent – had a family member who had suffered delayed medical diagnosis, operation or treatment. For women, that number has risen to one in 10.
Debbie Kennedy, Director of Protection at LV =, said: “Cancer remains the leading cause of critical illness claims and the top three for income protection.
“While the NHS is working to overcome delays caused by the Covid epidemic, reducing cancer referrals will continue to impact protection claims and the industry as a whole. Limited early intervention treatment and delays in cancer diagnosis will make some cases more difficult to treat, leading to a potential increase in cancer claims.
“We have not yet reached a peak in advanced cancer cases, and we anticipate that it will take longer to manifest in the claims experience for all protection products.
“It is important that applicants continue to receive timely financial and emotional support. LV = continued to be flexible, going beyond just paying a claim to providing valuable support services to clients and their families.
Last year, LV = predicted an increase in late-stage cancer diagnoses in 2021 due to slower screening. This will likely affect claims for protection once the backlog the NHS is currently facing.
May 2020 saw a 47% drop in urgent referrals for cancer from the previous year, with 2,700 fewer cancer diagnoses each week.
LV = saw a 45% drop in critical illness claims this month compared to February 2020 figures.
The proportion of cancer patients starting treatment within two months at hospitals in Poole and Bournemouth fell to an all-time high in February, although services were declared in early June to be back on track.