By Amanda Docherty, marketing manager
More people than ever are living with critical illnesses like cancer. And this will only increase as the years go on. In fact, the number of people currently living with cancer is expected to grow from 2.8 million to at least 4 million by 2030*.
Improving survival rates are, without question, a good thing but this means we’re also going to see more people needing support in recovery.
And when the medical treatment ends, it doesn’t necessarily mean someone has recovered. But the support needed to get back to some sort of normality isn’t readily available whenever they need it. The support from the NHS is great but increased pressure on budgets means more and more people are being forced to wait or look for help elsewhere.
This is when value-added services can come into their own.
Designed to complement existing services like those from the NHS and charitable organisations, they offer access to additional support ranging from simple helplines to personal nurse advisers.
Many providers now offer services like these and they appeal to advisers looking to differentiate and offer their clients something extra.
Our own service, Helping Hand, is available on all our menu, relevant life and whole-of-life plans from the day a plan starts – even if your client never has to make a claim. It’s also available to the client’s immediate family (spouse or partner and children). We were the first provider in the market to launch a nurse advice service and we’re proud to work with RedArc* in continuing to develop this.
The personal nurse adviser is at the heart of the service, taking the time to understand the situation then developing a personal care plan tailored to a client’s circumstances.
With illnesses like cancer, Helping Hand offers a wide range of practical and emotional support. This can include specialist oncologist nurses to answer questions about treatments and what to expect, and complementary therapies to help with side-effects.
And our service is diverse. For example, one of the nurses was able to source a specialist wig for a client who had lost her hair following treatment for cancer. This helped improve her confidence to cope with whatever came next.
Caring for a loved one while juggling a family life and work commitments can be difficult and stressful. So, if your client or their immediate family is caring for someone with cancer, the personal nurse adviser can also arrange access to help for carers, like counselling and sourcing respite.
Good protection is about more than just money
If your client is diagnosed with a critical illness, the financial payout isn’t going to be the first thing they think about. How will I cope? What are my chances of survival? What treatment can I get? These are the questions they’ll want answered.
And for clients who never need to make a claim, many will still go through difficult times in their lives and could face issues like stress, ill health and bereavement. Helping Hand has services to help in these situations too.
With comparison sites and price competition, it can be hard to see what sets some policies apart. Offering your clients more than they’d expect could help you do the right thing and make your advice stand out.
Have you considered whether the cover you’re recommending goes this far?
*Cancer: then and now, Macmillan Cancer Support, August 2016
**RedArc – Royal London Schemes Review, 2016