Abstract“While there are several chronic diseases more destructive to life than cancer, none is more feared.” — Charles Mayo1
The development of new and innovative products is a key success factor for insurers. Various stakeholders across different disciplines are involved throughout the product development cycle, the culmination of which can be the introduction of a novel indemnity offering. There are several considerations throughout the process, but from the consumer’s perspective in order for there to be sufficient traction, there has to be a tangible need for the specific protection being offered. One such product is Cancer Reimbursement insurance. This article will address aspects of this product’s development journey.
Critical illness insurance, now well-entrenched in most insurance markets, is a product that meets an increasingly prevalent consumer need: a lump sum payment upon diagnosis of a condition that can impact life expectancy and quality of life, so as to ease the threat of financial loss. This cover is and will remain popular, but its current complexities, which have evolved over its past three-plus decades of existence, can overwhelm an average consumer at the point of sale.
Medical and hospital reimbursement insurance products are complex as well, and significant coverage gaps can exist in both private and state-provided reimbursement cover.
A solution? The simple yet elegant, contained yet comprehensive, niche indemnity solution known as Cancer Reimbursement (CR) insurance. Essentially a tailored hybrid product, CR provides comprehensive cover for the diagnosis, management, and ancillary care expenses incurred upon diagnosis of a defined incident cancer or a cancer in situ.
Public awareness of the threat of cancer is increasing, which is driving interest in targeted insurance protection.
CR as a product was first conceived of and launched in Asia towards the end of
2012. To date, its growth has averaged 25% per year – not unexpected as Asia
accounts for 60% of the world population and half the global burden of cancer.2
Lifestyle factors, sociocultural norms and ethnic heterogeneity contribute to
this significant cancer burden. Smoking prevalence among males in Indonesia,
China, Malaysia, and Korea, for example, is about twice that of males in the U.S.
Dietary habits, outdoor air pollution and the burden of cancer-related chronic
infections also offer some explanations for this prevalence.
Cancer’s reach is widespread, its effects significant and its associated burdens well understood, especially by those who receive the diagnosis, their families and communities. As medical science’s understanding of the many cancer conditions advances, doctors are increasingly able to provide clear explanations of its risks, the etiologies and prognoses of different cancers, and the newer, more effective personalized testing and treatment options that are available.
Still, although survival has improved – the current five-year average survival rate is approximately 65% – cancer remains a significant diagnosis. Cancer Reimbursement cover aims to protect against some of the impact associated with such a life-changing finding.
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