General Insurance Article - Aegon reports protection claims for skin cancer have fallen

Aegon reports that critical illness claims due to skin cancer have nearly halved since 2010.

 The percentage of critical illness claims for skin cancer has fallen from 7% of total claims in 2010 to 3.6% in 2016.

 Cancer as a whole accounted for 60% of all critical illness claims received by Aegon in 2016, with skin cancer accounting for just 6% of cancer-related claims. While skin cancer wasn’t the most common type of cancer-related critical illness claim, Aegon paid out £1.65 million in skin cancer critical illness claims.

 The average age of a claimant was 49, with the youngest claimant aged 36.

 Simon Jacobs, Head of Underwriting and Claims at Aegon UK, said:“Our claims experience shows an encouraging fall in the number of critical illness claims for skin cancer in the last six years. This could be due to many factors. In recent years we’ve seen the disappearance of low SPF sun creams from the shelves. Alongside this there’s a greater personal awareness and people are identifying problems and seeking medical advice earlier. This often leads to treatment at a pre-malignant stage, which reduces the impact on the individual and likelihood of the condition becoming more severe.”

 However, while these developments have probably made a difference and changed some people’s sun tanning habits, research earlier this year found that almost one in four* people in the UK aren’t using sun tan lotion at all.

 Jacobs continues: “While sun exposure isn’t the only cause of skin cancer, it’s by far the leading one. The momentum behind skin care campaigns needs to continue to raise personal health awareness so that people can both take precautions and identify the signs of skin cancer early. While our claims experience indicates some improvement in the number of people impacted by skin cancer, if people ignore advice on sun protection, we could see a rise in claims for skin cancer again.”

 How does a family history of skin cancer impact a protection policy?
 Generally, a family history of skin cancer will have no impact on a protection policy. But some providers do ask about changes to moles, lumps and growths when you apply for protection cover.
 When to see a doctor for a mole?
 If you have any moles that are larger than most, have smudgy or irregular edges, are uneven in colour or have some pinkness, you should see a doctor and get them checked. If you notice a change in colour or shape, or the mole becomes itchy, painful or starts to bleed, see a doctor immediately.
 Top tips when in the sun
 · Apply sun cream regularly throughout the day.
 · Make sure sun cream isn’t past its expiry date.
 · Wear high SPF sun cream.
 · Sit in the shade.
 · Avoid sitting in the sun during peak times.
 · Wear a hat.
 · Wear sunglasses.
 · Stay hydrated.

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