Nearly 60,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK every year, equivalent to one person every 10 minutes, according to Breast Cancer Care.
As October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the statistics reveal that one in eight women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
Research from Scottish Widows, however, shows that only 32% of women have taken out life insurance and just 8% have critical illness cover, raising concerns over their financial resilience in the event of serious illness happening.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK and almost 12,000 people die from the disease every year. Survival is improving, however, and more than eight out of 10 (85%) people survive breast cancer beyond five years, making the need for financial protection increasingly strong. Research commissioned by Macmillan Cancer Support has revealed four in five people are, on average, £570 a month worse off as a result of their cancer diagnosis.
Scottish Widows paid out more than £10.57 million in critical illness claims relating to breast cancer in 2015, which accounted for almost a third (31%) of all cancer-related critical illness claims that year, and 19% of all critical illness claims. The company’s data shows that the average age at claim was 49.
Sarah Moore, senior protection proposition manager at Scottish Widows, said: “Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and more than 99% of cases are in women. It’s astonishing, therefore, that so few women have protection in place, which means that they could be exposed to potential financial hardship should the unthinkable happen.
“The situation is particularly worrying for women with dependent children, a third (33%) of whom admit they could only pay three months of household bills if they or their partner lost their income due to unforeseen circumstances, and 10% think they wouldn’t be able to pay them at all.”