Critical Illness – The Statistics

Can you afford not to be covered?

A recent study has revealed that 1 in 2 people born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime.

In this week’s article we will be talking about the single biggest disease likely to affect at least 50% of us, the statistics, the impact of being diagnosed and how to make sure you are adequately protected in the event of diagnosis.

Cancer is never a pleasant conversation piece, almost certainly we know someone who has been diagnosed with some form of cancer. However, as it’s going to affect at least 1 in 2 of us during our lifetime, it’s vital this subject is discussed more openly.

Cancer the Stats

Though there are more than 200 types of cancer, just these four types – breast, prostate, lung and bowel – together account for more than half (53%) of all new cases in the UK (2014). The two most common cancer types occur mainly or exclusively in only one sex.

  • 1 in 2 people in the UK born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime.
  • 4 in 10 (42%) of cancer cases in the UK each year are linked to lifestyle factors.
  • Cancer represents 65% of all critical illness claims.*

The Impact of being diagnosed

If diagnosed with cancer or another critical illness, more likely than not you’ll be unable to work for a period of time, with the severity of the diagnosis normally dictating how long this will be.

Survival rates for critical illnesses are improving – which is great news – but life often changes dramatically after diagnosis. Not just emotionally, but financially too.

Mortgage payments, council tax, childcare costs, food, and utility bills are just some of the regular payments that still have to be made. There might even be extra things to pay for such as medication, or changes to the home. Sick pay from your employer might help, but only for a short period, and state benefits only offer a very limited amount, £88.45 per week, if you are eligible for SSP or ESA. Many people who are well enough to return to work can’t always work the same hours as before, so they could well experience a long-term drop in income.


It would be nice to know there was a financial cushion to fall back on if diagnosis happened, to make life that little bit easier, and would mean you could concentrate on getting better. This is where critical illness cover can really help – even a little bit is better than none at all. It would give you some peace of mind that if the worst happened, you’d have some financial help.

So, what does this mean for contractors?

Contractors can now pay for their Life & Critical Illness Insurance through their limited company via a Relevant Critical Illness & Life Plan. This is classed as an allowable business expense, can be up to 50% cheaper than paying for the premiums personally, is not a benefit-in-kind or a P11D benefit, and the company can also claim Corporation Tax Relief on the premiums.

So, whether you are already paying for life & critical illness insurance out of taxed income, or you have not yet got around to putting vital life insurance in place, a Relevant Life Policy could be the most tax-efficient solution.

For more information, contact C&D: Business Protection Specialists on 0330 043 4321 (local rate) or request your free impartial quote here.

* Source (all statistics) Cancer Research UK

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