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Cancer treatment on its own is expensive, and then there are also the hidden costs linked to lifestyle changes, employing a carer, and the cost of transport to treatment centres. So, how do you choose a cancer benefit that’s right for you and compare apples with apples?

There is no one-size-fits-all benefit, but the starting point is to understand what types of cancers are covered under various cancer benefit options, says Nonkululeko Zungu, Product Support Consultant for Sanlam Individual Life.

Your choice of cover will depend on you, your budget, your family history with cancer and so on. A qualified financial adviser can guide you on a benefit that meets your needs and gives you value for money.

Consider this when you compare benefits:

  • Which cancers are covered – at what stages – and what amount will the insurer pay?

    Remember that not all insurers cover the same types of cancer or pay out the same percentages of the cover amount for a particular stage of cancer. All insurers must, however, indicate what percentages they pay out for various stages of cancer.

    In superior cancer benefits, the percentage which is paid out is usually linked to both the severity (stage) of the cancer as well as to its likely impact on a person’s lifestyle. For example, Sanlam’s Cancer Benefits pays 100% for certain aggressive cancers even in their early stages.

    To give clients peace of mind, yet avoid long lists of specific types of cancers that are covered, some insurers include a catch-all claim event. When a cancer benefit includes a catch-all claim event, cancers that are not specifically listed may also be covered.

“To give clients peace of mind, yet avoid long lists of specific types of cancers that are covered, some insurers include a catch-all claim event,” says Nonkululeko Zungu, Product Support Consultant for Sanlam Individual Life.

  • Price:

    Compare premiums and understand what you’ll pay as an initial premium, but make sure you ask about premium increases later on. It is important to understand for how long premiums will remain unchanged. If you qualify for a discount from the insurer, ask whether you will continue to enjoy that discount should your circumstances change, for example, should you stop going to the gym or if you cancel some of your other policies with the same insurer. If these types of changes will affect your cancer benefit premium, make sure you understand by how much the premium may increase.

  • Also consider:
    • That the level of underwriting (health questionnaires, blood and other tests) will most likely impact the premium
    • That there may be exclusions linked to conditions or circumstances under which the benefit will not pay out
    • That waiting periods may apply before you can qualify to claim under a benefit

 

 

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