The real cost of summer fun in the sun

While the busy beach season may be over soon, we still have a few weeks of warm weather ahead. But the pleasant sunshine has its risks. The question is, are you covered?

SA’s skin cancer incidence rate for melanomas ranks alongside Australia’s, with a startling lifetime risk of 1 in 50. This may be a good time to ensure your clients are properly covered – literally and figuratively.

‘Three blistering sunburns are enough to irreversibly change your genetic information in the skin cell and cause skin cancer later in life,’ says Dr Dagmar Whitaker, President of the Melanoma Society of South Africa, Vice President of the World Melanoma Society and former President of the Dermatological Society of SA.

‘A good factor 50+ sunscreen usually costs between R150 and R300. The cost of reversing sun-caused skin complications can be anything from R390 to R40 000,’ he adds.

But in addition to the preventative measures of wearing a good sunblock, protective clothing and avoiding unnecessary exposure between 10:00 and 14:00, it’s also important for clients to make sure their insurance is up to date and that they have the appropriate dread disease cover.

Sanlam offers comprehensive severe illness cover and a unique cancer-only benefit that covers all stages of malignant melanoma from stage I to IV; basal cell skin carcinoma or squamous cell skin carcinoma (stage I or II), having undergone a skin graft or skin flap; and all non-melanoma skin cancer, diagnosed as stage III or IV.

Last year, Sanlam paid out R8,9 million in claims for skin cancer.

Read the full article by Dr Marion Morkel, Chief Medical Officer at Sanlam, here.