As we approach World Cancer Day, the natural focus is the fight against cancer, but what about after someone wins the fight? Thanks to new research and treatment options – more and more people are recovering, but they may still need help to get back to their life and full activity.
Helping people return to work is an area we've discovered is a great opportunity for disability insurers to step in and help far beyond their traditional role of paying claims. At Swiss Re we've created a new collaboration that addresses the next steps after a patient is told: "You're okay!"
Various types of insurance including life cover, critical illness and medical policies all form an important security blanket that helps financially protect people and families who are dealing with the diagnosis and treatment for cancer. Disability insurance pays when you can't work, and it's helped many thousands of people to worry less about money during an already difficult time.
So before I write another word, I have to encourage everyone, not to ignore this most basic and valuable protection. It will help you sleep better knowing that if you can't work, you can still protect your family.
Paying people is one thing, but helping them move on in their life is another. At Swiss Re, we've developed a more holistic approach to disability income claims that helps people regain their ability to work after they've been out due to illness.
This unique collaboration is focussed on rehabilitation and offers practical solutions that address individual needs, paired with effective risk management to make the coverage affordable.
People in my age range – those in their 30s and 40s - are actively laying the foundations for our families and our futures. If I had cancer, I would want to be able to recover and fully re-engage with life, my career and most important – to share and support my children's hopes and dreams. That's why I'm passionate about this effort.
The programme is winning awards but more important – it's winning life back for people and helping their employers too. In the UK we've supported nearly 400 people and helped 165 of them successfully return to work since the programme's launch in 2013.
We've now exported what we've learned to Australia, working together with one of our clients to launch a similar stepped-care cancer recovery programme, endorsed by the Cancer Council NSW.
Whether it's counselling, physical therapy or helping with small worries that become big concerns, the payoffs for people, employers and insurers are great. But I'm most happy about the rewards that come from the words of patients. Listen to Ade – a cancer survivor who shares her story of challenge, strength and recovery that included a new strategy to get around her basic concern – how will I manage a long commute and being jostled on a train?
Thank you, Ade, for this perfect exclamation point on the world cancer day theme: "We can. I can".
Cancer rehab landing page on SR.com
Category: Funding longer lives