Scottish Provident saw a 20 per cent increase in children's critical-illness claims in the last six months of 2003.
The protection specialist has revealed to Money Marketing that the two biggest causes of claims for children are now leukemia and bacterial meningitis.
Head of marketing and product development Nick Kirwan says although it is difficult to make conclusive interpretations based on the data, recent reports on children's lifestyles should not be overlooked when studying CI claims figures.
Over that period, the number of claims paid have overtaken coronary artery bypass surgery and multiple sclerosis.
With the widely reported concerns in children's health, Kirwan believes children's claims could rise up the CI claims tables.
ScotProv has had £233m in CI claims to date and the average payout is now £71,935. The average age of claimants is 42 years. Melanoma claims are up by 21 per cent and claims for bowel cancer have risen by 18 per cent.
Kirwan says: “One of the things consumers have in mind when looking at companies for CI cover is reputation and trust. The statistics prove that claims are being paid out by us. Alleviating the financial burdens allows people to focus on what is important when they come to deal with illness in the family.”