Ex Springbok Rugby Player Speaks of the Hazards Faced by Cancer Survivors and Insurance Cover

Campaigning for Cancer Survivor Ambassador and Springbok Player Chris Rossouw, launches the Insuring Against the Cost of Cancer Project at the inaugural Cost of Cancer golf day held in Johannesburg


Pretoria, South Africa -- (SBWire) -- 09/18/2013 --This project aims to encourage South Africans proactively to research insurance benefits and rules and to encourage insurers to take into account how a cancer diagnosis affects their clients as well as how the long-term survival of patients may be catered for when developing insurance products. Approximately eight million South Africans purchase medical scheme cover each year in South Africa. However, with the ever-increasing cost of cancer treatment, additional non - medical expenses and decreasing scheme benefits, many are looking to insure themselves against the potential financial impact of a cancer diagnosis through alternate insurance products such as life cover, critical illness and disability.

Insurers estimate that approximately 4-5 million South African have or will purchase one of these types of cover in the next year. But will they understand the implications a diagnosis of cancer will have on the insurance products they have already purchased or wish to purchase in the future?

“Only once I had recovered from my cancer was I faced with the fine print and the challenges my diagnosis posed to my ability to obtain insurance cover in future,” said Chris Rossouw, who was diagnosed with stage 3 lymphoma at the age of 36. “I found myself in a black hole of insurance where words like exclusions, risk analysis loading and disclosures became standard language used by the insurance companies I approached for cover. Nowadays, because of early detection and advances in treatment and care, cancer patients are going on to live long and productive cancer-free lives.”

Dr Devan Moodley, Oncologist and Director of Campaigning for Cancer agrees, “Forty years ago the overall median survival of all cancer types was just one year, now it is predicted to be nearly six years. Add to this that cancers such as colon cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma have improved 17-fold and 10-fold respectively while the breast cancer has doubled, more and more patients are living productive cancer free lives than ever before in history” he said.

Campaigning for Cancer is working with BrightRock, the people behind needs-matched life insurance, to explore the challenges faced by consumers in relation to obtaining cancer related insurance products before and after a cancer diagnosis.

BrightRock’s Executive Director Schalk Malan says, “We applaud Campaigning for Cancer’s initiative and we’re proud to play a role in helping them educate South Africans about how insurance products can enable them to provide for the potential costs of cancer. Too many people are without cover, or are uninformed about how their cover works – leaving them once diagnosed to battle both cancer and its financial impact.”

Malan adds that BrightRock’s “own philosophy is to ensure the cover we provide truly meets people’s needs, which has led us to create cancer coverage that provides much more choice, relevance and flexibility than the existing products in the market – especially at claim stage when it matters most.”

“Through Chris’ story we would like to call on all insurers and underwriters to explore insurance products that cater to cancer survivors and address issues that may affect cancer patients with existing insurance products”, said Lauren Pretorius, Campaigning for Cancer, CEO.

She added, “Campaigning for Cancer’s guiding philosophy has always been to dialogue and work with stakeholders to find solutions to challenges that cancer patients face during their cancer journey. We are delighted that BrightRock is one of the first insurance companies to enter into this dialogue by adding their knowledge and expertise to the conversation.”

The Insuring Against the Cost of Cancer Project will be driven through a public and social media awareness campaign and event platforms, such as the Cost of Cancer golf days to be held in Johannesburg and Cape Town and the information portal.

About BrightRock
BrightRock was started with the goal of creating insurance products that truly meet consumers’ and financial advisers’ needs. It offers truly individualised life insurance cover that’s built around client’s specific needs at the outset, and is specially designed to change as client’s needs change. Because this cover is flexible and changes appropriately, it’s more efficient. This means both the cover and the premiums remain relevant, and more affordable, throughout a person’s life. BrightRock received the 2013 Cover Excellence Award in the category “Life – Current” in recognition of its product innovation. BrightRock (Pty) Ltd is an authorised financial services provider, underwritten by Lombard Life Ltd. For more information, go to http://www.brightrock.co.za/.

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