Cancer is the biggest threat?

I was speaking to my insurance agent here in Hong Kong as I am fine tuning my insurance policies. I wanted to know what was the biggest claim in Hong Kong right now.

The answer was cancer. 80% of all claims were for cancer. 9% were for cardiovascular related issues and 11% others. This blew me away. I thought it would be cardiovascular and cancer in a dead heat.

It also appears that most claims are coming from women for breast cancer.

Is this similar for North America and Europe?

I don’t know that causes of death in general correlate with life insurance claims?

No, these are medical insurance claims. It just highlights the prevalence of cancer.

Although now that you mention it, there are probably more medical claims generated by a case of cancer than by a cardiovascular condition.

when i was last in China, the key health statistic was that 80% of Chinese still smoke, the main cause of lung cancer, the most common cause of death from cancer. the comparable number in the US is 15 percent. In the US, the main cause of death is heart disease, followed not far behind by cancer.

And cardiovascular deaths may occur at older age after insurance expired?

Could very well be. I guess cancer is more of a risk for younger insured folk. Also breast cancer would be caught during routine screenings while other conditions may not.

Smoking rate in China :
China Total 24.70% Male 47.70% Female 1.80%

It’s not the highest among others, but it’s still pretty high.
Just for the comparison:
Singapore Total 16.50% Male 27.80% Female 5.10%
Taiwan Total 13.1% Male 23.1% Female 2.9%
Hong Kong Total 9.5% Male 16.7% Female 3%

But I think the smoking problem in China is not its smoking rate, China has similar smoking rate with USA (China 24.70%, United States 25.10%), but you may feel more severe in China, because smoking Indoors is legal in China, people smoke in restaurants, college dorms, elevators…ect. You always can smell cigarette smoke everywhere, it’s a nightmare for non-smoking people.


What a contrast. We’re here trying to extend our healthspan, and 25% of people are doing the one thing that will guarantee a short healthspan.


It’s mind boggling, isn’t it? Smokers spend a fortune over their lifetimes to subtract 10 years off their lifespan. Smoking just doesn’t make sense.