Cancer cover is a form of life insurance that is currently only offered in Ireland by Zurich.
When it comes to life insurance, there are many options and additional benefits available, and we know it can be confusing to wrap your head around them all.
One such benefit is cancer cover, which provides peace of mind and a financial safety net should you receive a cancer diagnosis.
At the moment, Zurich is the only insurer in the Irish market to offer this form of life cover. Here’s all you need to know about this type of life insurance cover.
What is cancer cover?
Cancer cover is a life insurance benefit offered by Zurich. It pays out a tax-free cash lump sum if you’re diagnosed with a specific type of severe cancer during the policy term.
What’s the difference between cancer cover and serious illness cover?
Many people have regular life insurance policies in place which will protect their family financially in the unfortunate event that results in their death.
However, it’s less common to have ‘survival insurance’ in place. This type of cover includes both serious illness cover and cancer cover. However, it’s important to note that they’re not the same.
Serious illness cover usually includes certain types of cancers, along with other illnesses, such as heart attacks, strokes, multiple sclerosis, etc.
Cancer cover, on the other hand, solely focuses on cancer and because of this, it costs less than serious illness cover.
If you have been previously refused serious illness cover due to a pre-existing illness, like diabetes, you may be accepted for cancer cover.
What are the benefits associated with cancer cover?
Aside from offering peace of mind, there are many benefits to cancer cover:
- A cash lump sum is paid out if you are diagnosed with cancer of specified severity during the term of your plan.
- It can help reduce the financial burden and stress associated with living with cancer.
- A wide range of cancer types are covered.
What cancer types are covered?
With cancer cover, the most severe forms of cancer are usually covered. These include:
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Bowel cancer
- Gynae cancer
- Stomach cancer
Aside from the above, partial payments may also be offered for more treatable forms of cancer. These include:
- Testicular cancer
- Early-stage bladder cancer
- Low-level prostate cancer
- Cancers in situ (abnormal cells which have not spread beyond where they first formed)
The cancers covered will be set out and defined in your policy documents.
What is a partial payment?
Partial payments cancer cover is automatically added by Zurich if cancer cover is chosen.
If one of the specified number of partial payment cancer illnesses is diagnosed during the policy term, Zurich will pay 50% of the cancer cover benefit, subject to a maximum of €15,000.
Who should take out cancer cover?
Cancer cover may be beneficial for you if:
- You can’t afford serious illness cover: If you have a limited budget and can’t afford the costs associated with serious illness cover, then cancer cover is a good option. It acts as a safety net for one of the biggest medical risks. Cancer cover may be just half of what you may pay for serious illness cover.
- You have existing medical issues: If you have any existing medical issues, you may struggle to obtain serious illness cover. For example, if you have a medical history that includes a stroke, heart attack, diabetes, MS, etc. While you may not be able to get specified illness cover, cancer cover is the next best option.
Is there an age limit for cancer cover?
Depending on the insurer, there may be age limits in place for certain types of cover.
With Zurich, cancer cover is available for applicants aged 18 to 65. It’s available on a single, dual, or joint life basis.
You can learn more about the different types of life insurance cover in this guide.
What are the financial implications of living with cancer?
Unfortunately, a cancer diagnosis comes with several financial burdens that many may not be equipped for.
- Increased medical costs: There are increased medical costs, such as consultant fees and medications to purchase.
- Increased travel expenses: Often cancer treatments are only available at certain hospitals or medical centres. If you don’t live near these, there will be an increase in spending on travel expenses to attend appointments.
- Increase in utility bills: Due to spending excessive time at home recovering from surgery, everyday utility bills may increase.
- A loss of earnings: There may be a reduction in earnings due to patients - and often their family members - having to take time off work. This is particularly relevant for those that are self-employed.
The overall increase in financial strain associated with a cancer diagnosis has been linked to a greater likelihood of experiencing depression, anxiety or emotional stress.
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