Legal & General is urging people with symptoms which may be linked to serious illness to seek medical advice from their GP, after it emerged its critical illness claims had fallen by just over 40 per cent as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The insurer says 41 per cent fewer policyholders claimed on their critical illness insurance in April. Normally the insurer sees around 300 claims a month.
It adds that these figures reflect recent research by The Health Foundation, which showed that face-to-face GP appointments in England have steadily declined since January 2020, with a 30 per cent fall in GP appointments in March.
Concerns have also been raised about a 62 per cent drop in urgent cancer referrals for NHS England, as announced by Dame Cally Palmer, chief executive of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in a recent Health and Social Care Select Committee hearing.
Legal & General has reiterated that delaying visiting a GP to proceed with getting a diagnosis will have no impact on whether customers are able to claim. However, the insurer is encouraging people with symptoms to visit their GP as soon as possible in order to catch any critical illnesses early and have the best chance of a successful prognosis.
L&G managing director, distribution Ali Crossley says: “We wholeheartedly back the advice given by Public Health England that the NHS is everybody’s service, and nobody should be forgotten.
“We are living through uncertain and unprecedented times, but while our attention is focused on the Covid-19 outbreak, there are still thousands of people each and every day experiencing symptoms of a critical illness such as cancer or heart disease.
“Nobody ever wants to be in a situation where they are suffering from a critical illness, and we understand that people will be particularly worried in the current crisis as they agonise over visiting their GP or hospital. We support the NHS’s calls that anyone experiencing symptoms of a critical illness seek medical advice. In these uncertain times, our customers can be certain that we are here to support them at what may be some of the most challenging times in their lives.”