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Taking a healthy approach

There is a common misconception that if you have health insurance you don't need serious illness cover, when in fact this couldn't be further from the truth.

No one wants to think about what would happen if they became seriously ill or how they would support themselves and their family through an illness. That's why it's important to have a plan in place now so you can be reassured that should the worst happen, you and your family will be fully protected.

While private health insurance covers your medical expenses should you get ill, the reality is that while you're recovering, you're not working. But that doesn't stop the bills coming in. Mortgage/rent, utility bills, car payments and even your health insurance premiums still need to be paid.

It is uncomfortable to think about, but if you suffered a serious illness such as cancer, and did not have the right protection plans in place, how would you support yourself and your family financially?

Many people believe it'll never happen to them, but sadly this is not always the case. Incidences of cancer are growing and by 2020, 1 in 2 of us will get a cancer diagnosis in our lifetime*. In addition to the distress and turmoil of being ill, patients and their families can be confronted with financial challenges too.

According to a report published by the Irish Cancer Society entitled 'The Real Cost of Cancer', many patients and families face significant financial strains when really they should be concentrating on getting well**. The research report finds that patients often experience a severe drop in income while at the same time incurring extra costs for items such as home heating, childcare, travel, hospital stays, consultant visits and prescription charges, to mention a few.

The Irish Cancer Society's report also calculates the average extra spend per month for a cancer patient and finds that it is approximately €860, even for patients with a medical card or private health insurance. In addition, the report finds that: "those who cannot work, work less or lose income as a result of having cancer face an income drop averaging €1,400 a month, or €16,750 per year." Given these startling figures, it makes sense to have a protection plan in place now so you can be reassured that should the worst happen, you and your family will be fully protected.

The right protection plans can help alleviate financial worries at a time when you need to focus on your health, safe in the knowledge that your family are financially secure too. Choosing the right protection cover for you is important. See the table below for a guide on the different cover options.


Type of Cover It pays a... What it does for you
Cancer Cover Cash lump sum to you if you are diagnosed with Cancer of specified severity* It can help you to cover the unforeseen costs of dealing with cancer such as loss of income, increased medical bills, day to day expenses or repayment of debts.
Serious Illness Cover Cash lump sum to you if you are diagnosed with a specified serious illness** It can help you to cover the unforeseen costs of dealing with a serious illness such as loss of income, increased medical bills, day to day expenses or repayment of debts.
Life Cover Cash lump sum to your beneficiaries* It can help financially protect your beneficiaries in the event of your death. It provides money to help pay off any of your debts and financial support for those left behind.
Life Cover (Monthly Income) Regular monthly income to your beneficiaries such as your family* It can help financially protect your beneficiaries in the event of your death. It provides a regular income (to replace your lost salary) to help protect the lifestyle of those left behind.
Important Note - please read
*Cover is subject to terms and conditions which are contained in the policy document.
**It is important to note that not all serious illnesses are covered under this policy. In order to make a valid claim, policy specific conditions must be met and certain exclusions apply You should refer to the policy document which is available on request from Zurich.

When choosing a protection plan there are a few options available. Whether its cancer cover, serious illness protection or life insurance, we have the right plan for you. Why not talk to one of our Financial Advisors or to your Broker who can advise you on the best plan for you and your family. You can find a local financial advisor near you with the Zurich Advisor Finder.

*Source: The National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI)

**Source: The Irish Cancer Society 'Real Cost of Cancer' report

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