News Roundup: Critical Illness Claims Decline, Talk On Later Life, Care Funding & Money Management

Critical Illness Claims

Royal London data for 2019-2020 has revealed that critical illness claims declined by one fifth, with cancer claims in particular down as people delayed healthcare appointments at the height of the pandemic.

The most common cancer claim (for prostate cancer) dropped by nearly half (47%) between 2019 and 2020. Claims for testicular cancer were also down markedly within the same period.

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[Related reading: Leading Insurer Expects Jump In CI Cancer Claims In 2021]

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These figures are just some of many that highlight the impact of the pandemic on the NHS and healthcare services, with interruptions to screenings and limited access to GPs making conditions go undiagnosed for longer.

As Craig Paterson, chief underwriter at Royal London suggests, "as the NHS recovers and screening programmes resume, we'd urge people to take any health niggles seriously and raise any concerns with their GP."

UK Adults Are Underconfident In Managing Money

In other news, a study by the Money and Pensions Service has found that around 24 million adults in the UK don’t feel confident in their ability to manage their money.

The organisation leads Talk Money Week, an annual awareness campaign whose goal is to reduce stigma surrounding conversations about money among families, friends, and wider communities. 

Caroline Siarkiewicz, chief executive of the Money and Pensions Service, said: "As we continue to respond to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, financial wellbeing remains key to the UK's recovery: a financially healthy nation is good for individuals, communities, business, and the economy."

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[Related reading: How Employers Can Better Support Their Employees’ Financial Health & Wellbeing]

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Talking Openly About Money

With growing concerns over later life resilience, financial, social and mental wellbeing because of the pandemic, consumers are being encouraged to engage with their families more than ever on these topics.

According to the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), talking openly about money can have a huge impact on tackling worries and is important for overall health and relationships. It is important for members to be proactive when it comes to initiating conversations about later life and care funding with family and friends, said the CII.

In a 2020 survey of 2,000 consumers, the trade body found that those people who discussed care plans with their wider family and set out a plan felt reassured. "Starting conversations about later life and care funding sooner rather than later enables you to focus on enjoying your life in the knowledge that you have the appropriate plans in place to deal with later-life needs," said Matthew Connell, director of policy and public affairs at the CII.

Connell also added that "it is never too early to start planning for later life but sadly all too many people every year find it is now too late to widen their options for care as they sleepwalked into a funding crisis."

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[Related reading: Pandemic Prompts UK Adults To Consider Their Mortality, Think About Life Insurance

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