Breast cancer remained Aegon’s biggest single cause of critical illness claims in 2017, accounting for 15 per cent of all claims received.
As Breast Cancer Awareness Month nears to a close the provider shared its figures on breast cancer claims last year, reporting it had paid almost £56m to more than 700 women diagnosed with the condition in the past ten years.
Cancer accounted for 60 per cent of critical illness claims received by Aegon in 2017, a quarter of which were breast cancer.
Simon Jacobs, head of underwriting and claims strategy at Aegon UK, said: "Breast cancer continues to be the biggest single cause of critical illness claims that we receive at Aegon.
"Early detection and better treatment means that survival rates after a diagnosis of breast cancer are improving."
Aegon said the average age of a breast cancer claimant was 48 years old in 2017, with the youngest 30 years old.
Mr Jacobs said the impact of breast cancer was not limited to physical treatment, with a third of calls received by the insurer's health support service having been in relation to mental health.
He said: "While financial payouts are essential to help families make ends meet, they’re often only part of the story. The need for practical and emotional support can be a more immediate priority.
"Financial support will help to some degree but the best protection policies provide both a financial and emotional crutch."
Kathryn Knowles, managing director at Cura Financial Services, said cancer was terrifying regardless of how mild or advanced it was.
She said: "One of the biggest dreads of anyone, male or female, is hearing the dreaded 'C' word. If someone is diagnosed with cancer, the last thing that they should be worried about is their finances.
"All focus should be on them, they need their energy to cope with the diagnosis and the upcoming treatments that they will go through.
"A lump sum critical illness payout can be used to pay off a mortgage, adaptations to the home, private medical treatment, loss of earnings. It can also be used to go on a well deserved world cruise."
Ms Knowles said some mild cancers will not result in a full critical illness claim payout, and it was essential that people were aware of the exact definitions of the policy they have taken out.
Ms Knowles said it was not just claim payouts that were important but value added benefits had a huge impact on a person's well being too.
She said: "There are a number of health services available with different policies, providing access to counselling, dedicated nurses, second medical opinions services. All things that in many ways, should be considered to be just as valuable as a financial payout."