Breast cancer accounts for 44% of female critical illness claims

Article date: 30 September 2015

Aviva and Friends Life release 2014 claims data ahead of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Ahead of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Aviva and Friends Life have released new critical illness claims statistics which reveal that over £62.8 million was paid out last year to critical illness customers with breast cancer.

Data from the insurers shows that breast cancer is the single most common condition amongst critical illness claims, accounting for nearly a quarter (22%) of all claims paid in 2014. In terms of claims by females, this figure rises to 44% of all claims.

The data also shows that amongst claims for cancer, over three times as many claims are made for breast cancer (36%) than the second most common cancer claimed for, gastrointestinal cancer at 11%.

Amongst women, breast cancer accounted for 58% of all cancer claims, with gynaecological cancer the second most common at 10%.

During 2014, Aviva and Friends Life paid out over £62.8 million to critical illness customers with breast cancer, with an average payment of £72,500. This includes six cases of male breast cancer.

Payments were also made to critical illness customers with ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast (DCIS), an early form of breast cancer. For this condition, claimants receive a lump sum of up to £25,0001 while their policy continues and their sum assured remains unchanged. Aviva’s critical illness policies cover mastectomy, partial mastectomy, segmentectomy and lumpectomy for ductal carcinoma in situ, as well as other treatments.

The data also shows:

• Claims for breast cancer on Aviva’s critical illness policies have increased slightly over the last five years, rising from 21.9% of all claims paid in 2010 to 22.8% of all claims in 2014.
• The average age of Aviva’s breast cancer claimants has risen over the last five years. In 2010 the average age of claimants was 43.9 years and in 2014 this had risen to 46.6 years of age.

Robert Morrison, chief protection underwriter for Aviva says: “Unfortunately one in eight women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime2 and it’s by far the most common cause of critical illness claims amongst our customers, accounting for well over two-fifths of claims last year.

“Receiving a critical illness payment can mean that people have choices they might not otherwise have, whether this means being able to take time off work to concentrate on treatment and their family, getting help around the house, or helping to pay off the mortgage to provide some financial security in the future.  In addition to financial support, Aviva and Friends Life customers can also access vital support services to help them cope with their situation.” 

Research2 also shows that:

• Every year, more than 50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK.
• In addition, around 5,500 women are diagnosed with an earlier (non invasive) form of breast cancer, called in situ breast carcinoma.
• Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the UK.
• Around 350 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK.
• More women than ever are surviving breast cancer thanks to better awareness, better screening and better treatments.
• An estimated 80% of women diagnosed with breast cancer survive for at least five years.
• However, around 1,000 UK women still die of breast cancer every month.

- Ends -

If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:  Melissa Loughran, Aviva Press Office : 01904 452791: 07800 691947: 
Notes to editors:

1. Claimants will receive 25% of their sum insured up to a maximum of £25,000.
2. Source:    

• Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 34* million customers, across 16 markets worldwide
• In the UK we are the leading insurer serving one in every four households and have strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE100 index. 
• Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £245 billion in assets.
• Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; we paid out £24.6 billion in benefits and claims in 2014.
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* Before the deduction of overlapping customers.

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