D2C proposition pays out lump sum on diagnosis and funds cancer drugs recommended by NHS
Lime has launched cancer cover that costs as little as £2.03 per month for an 18-year-old non-smoker or £3.16 for a 37-year-old non-smoker.
As well as a one-off cash benefit of £5,000, ‘Cancer Essentials' pays out up to £100,000 to pay for the cost of drugs recommended by the patient's NHS specialist but not funded by their NHS health trust.
Customers will also be given access to a cancer helpline (open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).
Lime cancer cover is available online and underwritten by Aviva. The policy is eligible to people aged 18 to 75 and there are three precursor questions at application which should take under two minutes. They are: Have you ever had cancer? Are you awaiting any medical results, if so what was the test? Has your doctor prescribed or recommended any lifestyle change for you to live a healthier life?
To be able to offer cancer cover at such a low cost, Lime requires 10 years to have passed since a customer with a pre-existing cancer diagnosis has been given the all-clear.
If an applicant is declined, the customer journey will end however Lime confirmed that there are plans to launch a secondary offer to provide alternative solutions to those unable to get cover.
"Cancer is a real and genuine fear for many people," said Shaun Williams, Lime's CEO. "Thankfully, survival rates are starting to improve, but insurance just hasn't changed, until now. At Lime, we are innovating and making cancer cover available and affordable for all. We want everyone to have the health insurance cover they know they need and deserve."
According to Cancer Research, 50% of the UK population born after 1960 will get diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and one person is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes (1000 per day). "These figures indicate that there needs to be an immediate change for accessible and affordable cancer cover for all," added Williams.
Doug Wright, medical director of Aviva said: "The NHS does a brilliant job of offering an extensive range of cancer services, but financial pressures mean it simply cannot fund every cancer drug that is appropriate.
"We know how devastating a cancer diagnosis can be, so we are pleased to offer our ‘Cancer Essentials' product through Lime so that more individuals will receive both financial and emotional support when they need it."
Lime recently launched its first product, accidental death cover,. Underwritten by Vibe Syndicate Management, it offers cover from £5,000 to £500,000 (a 37-year-old can get £100,000 cover for £2.30 per month in year one).
The product will pay a lump sum to nominated beneficiaries in the event of death caused by accident.
The firm also told COVER there are plans to launch additional NHS bolt-on products in the future.
"Lime has a strong pipeline of new products in development which will compliment and enhance their offer to existing and new customers," said someone close to the firm. "Like our new cancer cover these new products will be designed to help everyday people, providing the peace of mind that they will be able to quickly access services which will be complimentary to the NHS, and which will positively contribute towards the proactive management of their health and wellbeing."
Lime said it is partnering with leading insurers to design and build new products which it expects to launch in the next six to 12 months. The products include physio cover, dental cover, cancer-only critical illness cover, full life insurance and priority diagnosis cover to fast track NHS waiting times and online GP appointments.
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