Beagle Street: 42% of young adults would use Critical Illness to pay for private medical treatment if needed

According to the latest research commissioned by Beagle Street, part of OneFamily, 53% of adults aged 18-40 years old don’t understand what Critical Illness (CI) is for, and 42% said they’d consider taking out a policy to pay for private medical treatement if needed.

Related topics:  Beagle Street,  Cost of living
Tabitha Lambie | Editor, Protection Reporter
18th January 2024
Young person learning about money
"Critical Illness can be a lifeline for families in difficult times to keep on top of their bills, pay off part of a mortgage or even pay for rehabilitation support."
- Ryan Griffin, Protection Director at OneFamily

Of those surveyed (2,000), 29% 0f adults aged 18-40 years old hadn’t heard of Critical Illness (CI) before but four in five ‘may or would definitely consider’ purchasing a CI policy once the product had been explained.

When asked why they’d purchase this product, the majority agreed that giving themselves and their family peace of mind (61%) was the most important consideration, followed by using it to pay for private medical treatment if needed (42%), and to keep on top of bills (33%).

Last year, Unum reported that 46% of adults in the UK worry about their finances every day, which has led to 39% eating less or maintaining an unhealthy diet. Overall, 86% said they’d been negatively affected by cost-of-living pressures which is a 9% increase since 2022.

This aligns with findings from The Exeter’s ‘Health & Financial Fears’ 2023 Report which revealed 75% of adults in the UK were worried about the continued rise in the cost-of-living. This was followed by less disposable income (69%), tax or national insurance increases (66%), not saving enough (65%), paying for utility or food bills (58%), mortgage payments or rent (52%), loss of employment or reduced working hours (51%), and a loss of earnings due to illness (47%).

As such, it’s unsurprising that Beagle Street found 21% of young adults didn’t want to think about how their family would cope if they became seriously ill and couldn’t work. Of those surveyed, 10% said their families categorically wouldn’t cope as they’re the main source of income for the household.

The majority (61%) said the most important aspect they’d consider when purchasing a policy was cost, followed by a wide range of conditions being covered (49%), and access to healthcare advice (40%).

Ryan Griffin, Protection Director at OneFamily, said that with so many young adults considering CI once they understand the benefits, “it’s clear that there is a need for this product to be more accessible.”

“For many people, being diagnosed with a serious condition would create worrying financial problems […] CI can be a lifeline for families in difficult times to keep on top of their bills, pay off part of a mortgage or even pay for rehabilitation support,” he concluded.

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