Breast cancer accounts for half of female critical illness claims

Article date: 15 September 2014

  • Aviva publishes statistics ahead of breast cancer awareness month

Ahead of Breast Cancer Awareness Month which runs throughout October, Aviva has released new statistics about critical illness claims relating to breast cancer.

Data from the insurer shows that breast cancer is by far the most common reason for claim amongst women, accounting for 48% of claims. It is also the most commonly claimed-for condition overall, across both men and women, amounting to almost a quarter of claims (24%) in total.

Over the year Aviva paid £33.4 million to critical illness customers with breast cancer, with an average payment of more than £79,000. This includes five cases of male breast cancer.

In 2013 Aviva also paid almost £135,000 to customers with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), an early form of breast cancer. Aviva introduced an additional benefit to new critical illness taken out from October 2011, to provide a lump sum of up to £20,000* for claimants with this condition.

For customers claiming for DCIS, the policy continues and their sum assured remains unchanged. Aviva covers mastectomy, partial mastectomy, segmentectomy and lumpectomy for ductal carcinoma in situ, as well as other treatments.

Aviva data also shows:

  • Aviva receives almost twice as many claims for breast cancer than the next most common condition (breast cancer 24% vs heart attack 11%).

Robert Morrison, chief underwriter for Aviva says: “Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK and sadly it affects more than 50,000 people and their families across the nation each year. It’s therefore no surprise that it’s the biggest reason for claim amongst our critical illness customers, accounting for almost half of claims from women.

“When someone is unwell and undergoing treatment, the last thing they want to worry about is how to pay the bills. A payment from a critical illness policy can take away financial concerns and provide that headspace, so people can concentrate on themselves and their health when it matters most.”

Research** also shows:

  • There are an estimated 570,000 people living in the UK today who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK.
  • Around 50,000 women and 350 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
  • One woman in eight will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • More people are surviving breast cancer than ever before.
  • Over 80% of women with breast cancer are still alive five years after diagnosis.
  • 40 years ago, the five year survival rate for breast cancer was around 50 per cent.

Case studies and interview opportunities are available on request.

* Claimants will receive 20% of their sum insured up to a maximum of £20,000.
** Source:

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Notes to editors:

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