Fewer people are being diagnosed with cancer as a result of paused screenings and fewer referrals
LV= has paid over £22.7m in cancer claims so far this year, its H1 claims stats show, however in April there was a 45% drop in critical illness (CI) claims.
Figures from a recent HDR study show that there could be up to 35,000 excess cancer-related deaths as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
LV= confirmed cancer has accounted for 20% of its income protection (IP) claims, 56% of critical illness claims and 40% of life insurance claims during the first half of 2020.
Anna Rogers, head of underwriting at LV=, will explore the impact of Covid-19 on the insurer's claims experience at the COVER Claims & Underwriting Forum tomorrow (11am) in a session titled Seen and not heard: Covid-19, cancer and the dangers of missed diagnosis.
She said: "From the start of lockdown we saw a worrying fall in new claims for critical Illness. This trend reflected the wider healthcare picture, as the NHS was forced to focus on the frontline and shut down or significantly reduce many areas of non- COVID care for cancer between April and June.
"This, combined with fewer patients seeking care during lockdown, has driven a significant drop in elective procedures, urgent cancer referrals, first cancer treatments and outpatient appointments.
"We expect that the number of critical illness claims volumes to remain suppressed, until health services fully resume and in-roads made into screening and appointment backlogs. There's a potential that sickness claims, which pre- Covid, would have been short term, will now last longer and increase in severity. We anticipate more claims involving mental health issues, either as a direct or associated cause."
To hear more about the impact of Covid-19 on cancer claims tune into Anna's session at the COVER Claims & Underwriting Forum tomorrow at 11am.
More information about the risk of cancer and how LV='s claims experience is being impacted by the pandemic (like the image below) will also be found at the LV= virtual exhibition stand tomorrow, where delegates can ask questions and offer feedback.
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COVER Podcast #10