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One in Two People in the UK Will get Cancer – Could you Afford to be One of Them?

Posted by / March 10, 2015

One in two people in the UK will get cancer – could you afford to be one of them?

 New figures released this month by Cancer Research UK have revealed that one in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime.* It has been said that longer life expectancies mean more people will be affected by cancer – but leading income protection insurer, PG Mutual, are calling on professional people to consider just how far and wide the effects of a long-term serious illness could reach.

 A cancer diagnosis and the subsequent treatment required can take anything from a matter of weeks, to months, even years** – meaning that a person diagnosed with the disease could be looking at a significant period of time off from their professional occupation. While some employees will have a sick pay policy in place to cover them in the event of a long period of sick leave, others are not so lucky. Some people will find themselves moving swiftly from their usual salary, to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support allowance (ESA) – which can be as little as £350.20 a month.*** For someone who is already going through an extremely stressful time in their lives, this financial strain can prove difficult to cope with.

 One solution to cover the deficit between state sick pay and the amount you need to keep your lifestyle going is to protect your income with an insurance policy. Income protection insurance is designed to pay out a set monthly amount to help you stay afloat if you were to have an extended period of sick leave. However, it is still misunderstood by many who believe that if they have life cover or similar insurance, they don’t need it. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case – life insurance and similar policies will pay out a lump sum on the policy holder’s death – rather than providing financial support during a period of illness. While research showing that most cancer sufferers are actually surviving the illness* can only be seen as a positive, this means that many people may not benefit from having life cover should something of this nature occur to them.

 Leading UK insurer, PG Mutual is advising professionals to take a good look at how their lifestyle, and that of their families or significant others depending on their income, could be affected in the event of long-term sickness. As Chief Executive, Mike Perry, explains, “The new figures released today just highlight how important it is for people to think about the future, however unpleasant it may be and make provisions for themselves and their loved ones. While we can all hope that it never happens to us, we never know what is around the corner.

“We are advising members of our partner organisations in the wake of these figures to take a good look at your financial set up and the provisions in place to protect it. If you have financial commitments such as loans, a mortgage, HP on a car etc., could you cover these on £350.20 a week? How about your weekly shopping bill or fuel? What is your employers’ policy on sick pay? Do they have one? What do your other insurance products cover?”

“No one wants to think about these kinds of things, but in the wake of the latest figures released, we can’t ignore the potential risk. While no one knows what might happen next, one thing you can do is insure your income – giving yourself one less thing to worry about, should the unexpected occur.”

To find out more about income protection insurance and how little it could cost you to safeguard your lifestyle, call 0880 146 307 or email enquires@pgmutual.co.uk.

*Cancer Research UK, February 2015

**Macmillan, February 2015

***DWP Website, February 2015. Calculated based on Statutory Sick Pay at £87.55 a week for a four week month period.

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