Tackling childhood cancer

Steve Bryan

Steve Bryan

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and while this is not a topic any of us really want to discuss, there are times we need to tackle these difficult conversations head on. 

For many of us, insurance products such as critical illness cover (CIC) are often associated with the older generation, as the thought of a young child falling ill does not usually cross our mind.

It’s a sad fact, however, that 10 children are diagnosed with cancer in the UK each day.

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These figures make for uncomfortable reading but they cannot be overlooked, and they highlight the need for people to discuss this topic when approaching financial planning for their family.

Awareness initiatives such as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month provide an excellent opportunity for advisers to start having these sensitive conversations.

Awareness initiatives not only bring these topics into the public’s consciousness, but are also an effective means of educating people on realities of these illnesses. 

>While none of us likes to think about our children becoming seriously ill, there are times when we do have to address this issue--- Steve Bryan

As such it is imperative that advisers are proactively scheduling in these conversations in order to ensure that their clients are protected against these very real risks.

Sadly, critical illness in children is not as rare as most of us would like to think. Last year, Legal & General paid out £1.9m for Children’s CI claims with cancer being the most common child illness paid out for, accounting for over two-thirds of claims.

The average age of the child was just seven, and 44 per cent of the children were four years or younger, making those children within that age group the most common claimants for a critical illness last year.

These are all hard hitting and emotionally moving statistics. While none of us likes to think about our children becoming seriously ill, there are times when we do have to address this issue.

By making sure that clients have the correct policies are in place, advisers will have the peace of mind of knowing that they have successfully taken all the necessary steps in order to protect them.

Cases of cancer in children are on the rise and parents who find themselves in this difficult situation should be reassured by the fact that there are numerous facilities and support mechanisms in place to help the family whenever it is required.

At Legal & General, for instance, adult critical illness policies automatically include cover for children from 30 days old up to 18 years old, or 21 years for those in full time education.

It is a harsh reality that cancer now affects one in two people in the UK. While these facts are beyond our control, we do have control over what policies we take out in order to protect ourselves and our families.

A large part of an adviser’s role is to raise this vital issue with their clients in order to ensure they have the sufficient policies in place to provide them with the security they will need should the worst happen.