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Brain Tumour

Critical Illness Cover – Brain Tumour Awareness Month

The charity Brain Tumour Research has made March ‘Brain Tumour Awareness’ month, and there can be no more stark reality of the devastating effects of this condition, than that of one of my childhood icon’s Paul Daniels.

Today we heard the news that after a short battle with the condition, the legendary magician has passed away at the age of 77. His condition has been well publicised in the press over the last few weeks, where just 10 days ago he left hospital to spend his final days at home with his family. His publicist announced this morning that he died in his sleep overnight.

Daniels’ battle has heightened people’s awareness of this condition. Even prior to the media attention surrounding the entertainer’s illness, Brain Tumour Research have long been encouraging people to ‘Wear A Hat’ on Thursday 24th March to help support long term, life saving research and move closer towards a cure. Their website www.braintumourresearch.org states:

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer”

It may come as no surprise then, that for Critical Illness Cover, Brain Tumours are one of the top 5 claimed for conditions with most insurers.

Alan Lakey is Director of CIExpert, an independent organization that creates in depth analysis of Critical Illness insurers and conditions, and commented:

“Benign brain tumour is the fifth most likely cause of a critical illness claim, with insurers advising that around 3% of claims stem from this.

It is believed that over 8,000 people suffer from a benign brain tumour but only around 4,500 are actually diagnosed. Only around 60% can be removed by surgery and in some cases the tumour can only be partially removed.

This throws an emphasis on claims wordings where some insurers insist on full removal whilst other allow partial removal (debulking) and others also allow chemotherapy or radiotherapy. One company pays on diagnosis alone.”

As with any serious condition, the financial impact on the effected individual and their family can be catastrophic. Although an employer may allow time off work for the recovery process, the bills don’t stop.

Most people don’t have a vault of savings to fall back on. Recent research by Legal & General suggests that 35% of households in the UK have no savings, and for those that do, the average savings amounts to just £1,205.

The good news is that the financial impact of diagnosis of a critical condition can be provisioned for. Critical Illness Cover protects you against illnesses that are serious and can have a severe impact on your life. The Association of British Insurers specifies that cancer, heart attack and stroke are conditions that must be included. These three conditions account for over 80% of all claims.

However, the top insurers will also cover you for between 40-80 additional conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, certain heart conditions, Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions, total permanent disability, partial loss of hearing/sight, Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, coma, loss of speech, hands or feet, major organ transplant, kidney or liver failure, plus many more.

The monthly premium will vary depending on your age, your health, your job, the amount of cover you want and maybe even your hobbies. This is why price comparison site quotes are often irrelevant as they won’t take account for your specific individual circumstances.

At Vita, we analyse each insurer’s Critical Illness Cover and recommend the best policy for your specific circumstances. There is a vast gulf between the lesser and better policies – taking advice is essential.

Paul Reed – Protection Specialist and Co-founder of Vita – an independent, national award winning, insurance brokerage in Cardiff.

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