Cancer single biggest cause of sickness cover claims
CANCER is the biggest cause of a claim for a payout for those who have insurance cover in the event that they get very ill.
Almost half of the claims by men who have specified illness cover over the last three years were related to cancer, figures from Irish Life, seen by the Irish Independent, show.
Specified illness cover pays out a lump sum to a person who is diagnosed with one of a number of conditions.
Cancer was the reason for a claim under this type of insurance, also known as serious illness cover, in about six out of 10 cases, according to Irish Life.
In a review of claims made between July 2006 and June 2009, the insurer found that cancer accounted for more than 78pc of the 573 claims by females and almost half of the 728 claims by males.
Malignant breast cancer accounted for more than half of the 448 female cancer claims.
Malignant cancer is still the biggest cause of claims by males -- at almost half of the total.
Heart-related conditions accounted for more than one in three claims by males but comparatively few claims by females -- just 33 cases or less than 6pc of the total.
Irish Life's Martin Duffy commented: "The incidence of malignant cancer remains very high but particularly so among females with malignant breast cancer -- accounting for over three quarters of all claims settled by Irish Life.
"Early diagnosis of breast cancer through self-examination and participation in the Breastcheck programme is essential," he added.