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&#39Ageing population will be boost to CI market&#39

More people are considering taking out critical-illness cover because of increased longevity and the higher chance of succumbing to medical problems, according to consumer analyst Mintel.

A survey of 2,160 adults found that 11 per cent already have critical cover while a further 11 per cent find the idea appealing. Mintel found that most policies are taken out by people in higher socio-economic groups and those between ages 25 and 40.

Cancer is the most frequent cause of claims on critical-illness policies, which Mintel says is a reflection of the rising incidence of cancer among younger people. Currently, 35 per cent of cancers are found in people under 65. Conditions associated with cancer account for around 55 per cent of all claims, says Mintel.

Heart attacks and strokes are the next most common reasons for claims, with Mintel estimating that 270,000 people have a heart attack every year.

Strokes are suffered by 100,000 people a year, of whom over two-thirds will survive for more than a year.

Senior financial consultant Paul Davies says: “Although there are signs that consumers are becoming more aware about protecting financial commitments, many people really do not like to consider a time when they are unable to work due to serious illness or even disability and adopt a head-in-the-sand mentality. It is the task of critical-illness providers to outline the fact that falling victim to a critical illness is not uncommon.”

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