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Comprehensive, third party, fire and theft or third party only car insurance. Premium based on risk profile.
This is according to Jaco Gouws, Old Mutual’s Protection Product Head, who was speaking in light of World Cancer Day on 4 February, an initiative that seeks to raise awareness and education about the disease. “Thanks to advancements in medical science, early detection and access to private healthcare, six out of ten cancer sufferers will survive the disease, however this does come at a cost.”
He says that while the first line of financial defence against the impact of cancer is belonging to a good medical scheme that will ensure sufficient health cover once diagnosed, there will always be additional, unexpected costs that even the best medical aid won’t cover. “Unexpected costs such as medical aid shortfalls, co-payments, alternative healing, travel costs and medical equipment can quickly escalate while you are receiving treatment.”
According to statistics from Old Mutual GREENLIGHT, in 2015, R 3.99 billion was paid out in claims, and the “big four” illnesses accounted for 85% of the severe illness claims. Cancer was the largest proportion of these at 57%, followed by heart attacks at 20%, coronary artery bypass graft at 14%, and strokes at 9%.
Gouws says that when most people consider the need for severe illness cover, many tend to adopt the attitude that ‘it won’t happen to me’. But he says that Old Mutual statistics revealed that the bulk of the serve illness claims are in the 35 to 64 age group, meaning everyone is vulnerable. “This attitude leads to underinsurance and unnecessary financial distress when illness happens.”
To prevent having to use your savings or incur debt in order to afford the best treatment, Gouws says that a financial plan should include severe illness protection which pays out a lump sum to help with any unexpected costs.
“The increasing rates of cancer and other lifestyle diseases highlights the importance of having adequate illness protection . The guidance of a professional financial adviser can make all the difference. Battling cancer is challenging enough, let alone the need to worry about your financial needs and those of your dependants,” says Gouws.
Gouws shares a few practical points to consider when preparing financially for a severe illness, such as cancer: