Assessing Future Cancer Risk and Its Impact on Insurance


Cancer is one of the leading causes of death globally. While the path to finding a cure for this dreadful disease may be long and complex, there is growing optimism. Many scientists now believe that accelerating advancement in preventive measures such as screening and cancer vaccines and improvement in cancer treatment will drastically relieve or even eliminate this dreadful disease someday.

How would the outcome of these advancements affect the future of the insurance business? Is it possible to scientifically analyze and quantify the magnitude of the influence on mortality and morbidity for various possible future scenarios? SCOR’s biometric risks modeling team has taken up this challenge and conducted in-depth research.

This report is a part of SCOR’s footprint (= what if) scenario analysis, which aims to illustrate the impact of potential “real-life” events on insurers’ portfolios, particularly the potential offsets or accumulations between lines of business in life insurance.

The article focuses on three technological advances for fighting cancer that materially impact the life and health insurance business: liquid biopsy, cancer vaccines, and immunotherapy. Based on the outlook of these technologies, it discusses two probable cancer footprint scenarios and their impact on major lines of life and health insurance products, including protection, critical illness, annuity, and long-term care.

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