LV= has said it expects to see a jump in cancer claims in 2021 following screening backlogs.
The protection specialist said it recorded a 45% fall in critical illness claims in April compared with 2019 figures.
But it is anticipating a rise in advanced stage cancer diagnoses and claims in 2021, caused by a backlog of screenings.
Despite the fall in cancer claims during lockdown, LV= said that between January and July it paid more than £22.7 million in cancer claims to 412 people and their families across income protection, critical illness and life insurance.
Debbie Kennedy, director of protection at LV=, said: “Since the start of lockdown we saw a worrying fall in critical illness insurance claims as the NHS was forced to shut down or significantly reduce many areas of non-Covid care for cancer between April and June.
“This, combined with fewer patients seeking care during lockdown, means that there has been a significant drop in elective procedures, urgent cancer referrals, first cancer treatments and outpatient appointments.
“There is a real risk that having fewer cancer screenings during lockdown will develop into a long-term problem, as more people are prevented from receiving a timely cancer diagnosis. By the time that these cases reach the claims stage, customers may experience more acute symptoms than in previous years which will be difficult to treat.”