Helping our protection customers living with cancer
We’re pleased to announce a new phase of our existing partnership with UK cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support, across both individual and group protection.
The new partnership builds on the great work we’re already doing with Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialists to provide a quicker claims process for our individual protection customers.
It will also see a range of new initiatives throughout the year to help support our customers experiencing cancer get the financial, practical and emotional support they need.
Continuing our work to provide a speedier claims process
A Macmillan/Truth survey from early 2020 found that more than a third of people with cancer (39%) are severely financially impacted by their diagnosis.
The charity estimates there are tens of thousands of people 'missing' a cancer diagnosis in the UK due to disruption caused by the pandemic and ongoing pressure on NHS services . Macmillan warns that it could, at best, take the NHS well into 2022 to identify those individuals whose cancer has not yet been diagnosed because of the disruption caused by Covid-19. 'The Forgotten C? The impact of Covid-19 on cancer care', Macmillan Cancer Support, October 2020.
As a result, we expect to see protection claims presenting with more advanced cancers throughout 2021 and into 2022.
Our work with Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialists has enabled us to speed up individual protection claim payments for our critical illness customers. Where a critical illness customer diagnosed with cancer has been allocated a Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist through the NHS, in many cases we look to obtain the patient's permission to speak directly to their cancer nurse to get all the information we need over the phone. By speaking to their Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist, we can verify the customer's diagnosis quickly, without having to wait for medical reports. This has reduced waits from up to 60 days down to just a few hours in some cases.
Given the current challenges of the pandemic, this streamlined claims process will continue to reduce any pressure on the customer’s medical providers and will enable cancer nurses to help our individual protection customers get vital financial security quickly, when they need it most.
What else can you expect to see?
In addition to continuing our work on claims, our deepening relationship with Macmillan will allow us to:
- Train more than 200 front-line Aviva protection claims employees to provide support to protection customers living with cancer, or who live with someone who has cancer. This will be implemented through a conversation on how Macmillan can support customers and by signposting them to the most relevant Macmillan support service. The Macmillan Support Line offers confidential support to people living with cancer and their loved ones. If they are worried about money, work or treatment, or just want to speak about whatever is on their mind, Macmillan will listen and support them.
- Explore ways to use the new Aviva DigiCare+ apps to signpost Macmillan’s support.
- Run learning events for financial advisers and corporate employer clients, to provide them with guidance on giving emotional support to customers who have been diagnosed with cancer and guidance on signposting them to available services through Macmillan.
- Work with Macmillan to identify new ways to help our customers or colleagues living with cancer get practical, emotional and financial support they need.
Paul Brencher, Aviva Managing Director of Individual Protection, said:
"At a time when protection customers experiencing cancer are likely to need additional support, it is right that we do everything that we can to help them get that support. I’m delighted to be entering a new phase of our partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support that will build on the success of our critical illness claims process with their specialist cancer nurses.
Together, Aviva and Macmillan helped hundreds of customers and their families to quickly access financial support from their policies in 2020, despite the impact of the pandemic on cancer diagnosis and treatment, enabling them to focus on their health and wellbeing.
Through the partnership of our two well-known brands, our aim is to lead the industry in helping more protection customers navigate the financial challenges of living with cancer and ultimately to support them in every way that we can through the on-going development of new initiatives.”
Natasha Parker, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
"Our partnership with Aviva enables Macmillan to provide better support for people living with cancer, particularly those struggling with the financial impact that a cancer diagnosis can bring.
By working together, we are able to signpost Aviva customers to our clinical, financial and emotional support services whilst working closely with our Clinical Nurse Specialists to help reduce the time it takes to process an individual critical illness insurance claim. This is crucial as more than one in three people with cancer (39%) are severely financially impacted by their diagnosis. Partnerships like ours with Aviva are more important than ever before, especially at a time when people living with cancer may have more complex needs and significant financial pressures from living with cancer due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic."
Working together to help our customers
You’ll see lots more mention of our partnership with Macmillan in our annual individual protection claims report, on our websites and in other joint promotions. And of course, we’ll investigate fundraising opportunities to support Macmillan further in the future.
At a time when the impact of Covid-19 is felt by so many, we’re proud to be supporting our customers by working with this very important charity.