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The emotions experienced when hearing your ten year old child has cancer is soul destroying!

One can’t even begin to imagine the heartache and the anguish –  Why us, why us?

Any parent would willingly swap the situation if only they could, right?

With children, the pain and suffering is visible. You can see they’re hurting, but it’s the strength a fortitude they display which amazes. It’s as if the roles reverse, and they become the pillar of strength within their families.

The CHOC website (Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa) says that childhood cancer is increasing worldwide. In a 2015 report it rose from 165, 000 to 215, 000 cases for children younger than 14 years old. 85, 000 new cases were reported for 15 to 19 year olds.

Is it the leading cause of death amongst children?

In western countries, it is the second most common cause of death in children aged 5 to 14. How is it even possible that a 5 year old could get cancer?

What are most common forms of cancer amongst children in South Africa?

According to CHOC, from top to bottom, they are:

  • Leukaemia – 25, 4% of all cases
  • Lymphoma
  • Brain tumours – 13, 4%
  • Nephroblastomas
  • Cancer of the kidneys, and
  • Soft tissue sarcomas

So it makes sense to take out some sort of critical illness cover for them, right?

Hospital treatment for any disease is never cheap, and we can only imagine that cancer treatment must be near the top of that list.

  • Surely the possibility exists that some of those expenses aren’t going to get paid?
  • And what if one of the parents has to take care of their child fulltime? That means loss of income.
  • And there are all kinds of other things to consider.

But there’s one problem…

You can’t take out life insurance on children. So we’ve identified that cancer amongst children is a growing epidemic, but there’s not a single thing we can do about it.

Or is there?

Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome 1Life.

Now if you’ve been reading our articles at InsuranceFundi, you’ll have seen that we’re on a direct life insurance binge.

Think “direct life insurance”, and the first company that comes to everyone’s mind is 1Life.

We’ve often had to quote against 1Life products, and let me add that they’re no slouch in the price department.

But price is an article for another day. Today it’s about kids.

So I’m paging through the 1Life policy document (Yes, all 75 pages of it!), when I come across the female cancer benefit.

Without getting into too much detail, I read about all the different types of female cancers that this benefit covers.

Did you know that there are 8 types of cancer unique to women?

Besides cancer it also covers:

  • a list of pregnancy complications,
  • systemic lupus, and
  • Accidental HIV infection resulting from violent crime including rape.

But then I read about the children’s cancer benefit:

Remember the cancer’s I mentioned above?

Let’s run through them one by one plus a few more, shall we?

  • Leukaemia – covered
  • Lymphoma – covered
  • Brain tumours (benign or malignant) – covered
  • Nephroblastoma – covered
  • Neuroblastoma – covered
  • Retinoblastoma – covered
  • Osteosarcoma – covered
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma – covered

Of course the cancer must be malignant with uncontrolled growth of malignant cells. The definition of malignant tumour includes leukaemia, lymphoma, and sarcoma.

Is anything not covered?

Well yes, a few things:

  • Cancer diagnosed or where advice was sought prior to taking out the policy. Sounds reasonable.
  • All tumours which are benign (besides brain), pre malignant, borderline malignant, low malignant potential, or non-invasive
  • All cancers and carcinomas in situ
  • Stage 0 chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
  • Any skin cancer other than malignant melanoma
  • Central nervous system lymphoma
  • Kaposi’s sarcoma

Here’s how it works:

  • Up to 4 children can be covered besides mom of course
  • These must be your biological children, a stepchild, or a legally adopted child
  • The cancer must require treatment by surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy
  • The child must be 18 years old or younger and unmarried
  • A 6 month waiting period applies before 1Life will pay any claim. They start counting the waiting period from the date the policy commences.
  • 1 claim per child is allowed.
  • The maximum amount which will pay out per child claim is R250, 000 regardless of how much you’re insured for.
  • The actual payout per child is limited to 50% of the sum insured. So to get the R250, 000 maximum payout, you’d need to be insured for R500, 000. Got it?
  • Any payout received reduces the remaining sum insured by the amount you claim.
  • Claims must be submitted within 3 years of the birth of a child where the claim is related to congenital abnormalities.

Here’s what we think

We keep on saying that any amount of cover is better than nothing. So if the minimum monthly cost is R150, then only take out that amount. You can always increase it as you go.

Many of your reading this might have no medical aid at all.

Remember that this benefit pays out upon diagnosis (after the 6 month waiting period has lapsed) of a malignant cancer.

A R250, 000 payout could mean the difference between private and public healthcare for your child.

And even if you do have medical aid or some other hospital plan; you’d have one less thing to worry about.

Don’t think twice about this – take out whatever you can afford today – You’re not signing a 20 year lease! And remember…it’s not just your kids being covered – it’s you too mom!

Until next time.

The InsuranceFundi Team