Insurer urges customers with critical illness symptoms to seek medical advice at this time
Legal & General statistics show that 41% fewer policyholders claimed on their critical illness insurance policies during April than its typical figure of around 300 claims a month.
As a result, the insurer is echoing NHS advice that people should visit GPs and check symptoms at a time when the number of people visiting hospitals during COVID-19.
Recent research by The Health Foundation has shown that face-to-face GP appointments in England have steadily declined since January 2020 (30%), falling nearly six million by March. The NHS has also witnessed a 62% drop in urgent cancer referrals.
L&G said cancer diagnosis was responsible for 66% of its critical illness claims in 2019, accounting for a total of £224m in pay-outs last year.
"Our NHS is doing a fantastic job in supporting those people affected by COVID-19 and doctors and nurses across the country are truly heroes," said Ali Crossley, managing director, distribution, Legal & General. "We wholeheartedly back the advice given by Public Health England that the NHS is everybody's service, and nobody should be forgotten.
"We are living through uncertain and unprecedented times, but while our attention is focused on the COVID-19 outbreak, there are still thousands of people each and every day experiencing symptoms of a critical illness such as cancer or heart disease."
She continued: "Nobody ever wants to be in a situation where they are suffering from a critical illness, and we understand that people will be particularly worried in the current crisis as they agonise over visiting their GP or hospital. We support the NHS' calls that anyone experiencing symptoms of a critical illness seek medical advice. In these uncertain times, our customers can be certain that we are here to support them at what may be some of the most challenging times in their lives."
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