CIExpert evolves Insight Zone to accommodate Zurich Insurance’s new investigation & treatment service

Today, Zurich Insurance (Zurich) announced its latest partnership with Further to provide customers with investigation and treatment services for cancer, heart, and neurological conditions, including cover for treatment abroad.

Related topics:  CIExpert,  Zurich Insurance
Tabitha Lambie | Editor, Protection Reporter
23rd May 2024
Cancer Patient
"Accelerate has been designed around the experience my family had, to provide our customers with fast access, choice, and control, through a complete service rather than a piecemeal solution."
- Sam Wells, Head of Proposition Innovation at Zurich

Zurich Insurance’s (Zurich) latest service, ‘Accelerate’ can be added to any new Life, Critical Illness (CI), and Income Protection (IP) with the provider at the point of sale or any point during the life of the policy, and can be cancelled at any time. This allows advisers to meet the ongoing and changing needs of their customers.

Accelerate had been designed to provide customers with more choice and control over their healthcare decisions, offering virtual consultations (multiple people can attend these consultations, including other doctors or family members), private diagnostics at private centres in the UK, second medical opinions, precision cancer medicine, cancer clinical trial support, and global treatment.

Notably, the cancer medicine benefit consists of a wide range of services that help tailor treatment for each customer using the latest tumour profiling technology, and if the cancer has a hereditary or genetic component, the customer’s siblings and children are also eligible for testing and counselling.

For customers with a cancer diagnosis who decide to join a clinical trial via Accelerate, Zurich will cover the cost of travel and accommodation during this time, as well as a daily allowance for customers and their travel companions.

The concerning cost of cancer treatment was raised by Guardian Financial Services (Guardian) last year. According to the latest Young Lives vs Cancer research sponsored by Guardian, young cancer patients and their families face significant monthly costs averaging £691 so they can receive life-saving treatment.

Of those surveyed (259), the average cancer costs per month include: food (£144), energy (£68), clothing (£56), toys (£48), parking (£24), childcare (£30), telephone calls (£15), accommodation (£14), and travel (£250). The combined costs add up to £691 which is 15% higher than in 2017 when this research was last conducted. Alongside these costs, a cancer diagnosis comes with an additional financial penalty, with the majority of young cancer patients and their families experiencing a loss of, on average, £6,000 in earnings annually.

READ MORE: 71% of young cancer patients and their families fight financial penalties every day

Policyholder’s children will also be automatically covered from birth up to the age of 22.

Accelerate is a complementary service to both public and private healthcare and isn’t intended to replace either. It gives customers an alternative route and should be taken up in consultation with their GP.

“From my personal experience, I have seen the challenges that you face when dealing with a cancer diagnosis and how important it is to be supported through a complex journey that can last years, spanning investigation, diagnosis, and treatment,” said Sam Wells, Head of Proposition Innovation at Zurich.

He explained that this new service has been designed around the experience his family had, “to provide our customers with fast access, choice, and control, through a complete service rather than a piecemeal solution.”

“We’re incredibly proud to launch this market-first, optional benefit, which will provide a suite of services that policyholders can choose to use in order to access fast diagnoses as well as treatment as quickly as possible,” said Louise Colley, Director of Retail Protection at Zurich.

She said CIExpert’s ‘Critical Thinking’ 2024 Report “supported our view of this genuine customer need. It highlighted that a significant proportion of customers would use the proceeds of a CI policy to pay for private treatment.” Similar findings were reported by Beagle Street which found 53% of adults aged 18-40 years old don’t understand what CI is for, and 42% said they’d consider taking out a policy to pay for private medical treatment if needed.

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

“Serious illnesses have been on the rise over the last decade with a 50% increase in heart disease and one in two people receiving a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. Accelerate provides a suite of options to those suffering symptoms […] We’re incredibly proud that this new offering fills a gap in the market with a comprehensive solution,” Louise added.

In response to Zurich’s innovation, CIExpert has evolved its Insight Zone, extending it to reflect this new direction. “Our ‘Critical Thinking’ 2024 Report highlighted the value that consumers according to health services, so it’s no surprise that Zurich had elected to provide a range of discretionary, superior health services,” explained Alan Lakey, Director at CIExpert.

He said: “By enabling access to some of the leading experts in oncology, cardiology, and neurology from across the globe Zurich’s new services will provide invaluable support for customers.”

“Currently, Zurich offers non-contractual rehabilitation, counselling, bereavement, and work-life support services, which are built into each policy. By offering optional paid-for services, Zurich is continuing its process of deconstructing its plans into optional, contractual components,” Alan concluded.

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