If you have cancer now or had it in the past, is life insurance available and what is it going to cost you?
We answer these questions (and more) in this article.
Cancer Life Insurance Overview
You should be aware that the type and severity of cancer dictate the availability and price.
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- Bladder Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Colon Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Skin Cancer
- Throat Cancer
- Thyroid Cancer
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We specialize in high-risk life insurance for cancer and add new guides here regularly.
Getting life insurance after cancer may seem impossible, but we do this all the time.
Life Insurance for Cancer Patients
Can you get life insurance if you have cancer?
Yes, people with cancer can get life insurance if your diagnosis is a low stage malignancy.
- Basal cell skin cancer
- Squamous cell skin cancer
- Prostate cancer (stage 1 & 2, age 65+)
- Thyroid cancer (stage 1, age 65+)
While it’s difficult to qualify while you’re going through treatment, many cancers are insurable soon after.
The type of cancer treatment determines when life insurance is available.
Targeted therapies such as radiation typically require a 12 month postpone period.
The reason why is to ensure that radiation therapy has worked.
Guaranteed issue life insurance and accidental death insurance are available now with no medical underwriting.
These types of insurance policies offer limited benefits compared to term life insurance.
Most people who currently have cancer will have to wait until after treatment.
See the below chart for average postpone periods by cancer stage.
Life Insurance for Cancer Survivors
Is life insurance for cancer survivors available?
Life insurance after cancer requires a postpone period for most people.
The waiting period depends on many factors, including:
- What type of cancer did you have?
- When were you diagnosed with cancer?
- What was the cancer stage?
- What was the cancer grade?
- How was cancer treated?
- When did you complete all treatment?
- Has there been any recurrence?
- Do you have any other pre-existing conditions?
- Is there any family history of the type of cancer you had?
Many life insurers charge you an additional expense called a flat extra if you had cancer.
The flat extra lasts 10 years or less depending on your cancer details.
Average Postpone Period by Cancer Stage
|Stage 1||Surgery Only||3-12 months|
|Stage 1||Surgery & Radiation/Chemo||12 months|
|Stage 2||All Treatments||12 months (1)|
|Stage 3||All Treatments||5 Years (2)|
|Stage 4||All Treatments||Guaranteed Issue (3)|
(2) Breast, lymphoma, bladder cancers require longer postpone period
(3) Guaranteed issue policies are the only option available.
Life Insurance with Cancer Remission
If you had leukemia, Hodgkin’s or Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, underwriting looks for a complete remission.
Companies require 3-5 years after treatment before coverage is available.
Life insurance policies will require a table rating and a flat extra.
Declined due to cancer?
If you’ve been declined, read this first – Denied Life Insurance
Can you get life insurance if cancer has returned?
Recurrence is the most complicated medical history to get through underwriting, as many factors are considered:
- Type – What type of cancer did you originally have?
- Is recurrent cancer the same type as your original cancer?
- Pathology – What does the pathology report say?
- What type of treatment did you receive?
- How much time passed since the completion of original treatment?
- Has cancer spread to lymph nodes or other organs?
- When did you complete cancer treatment?
- What else do your medical records indicate?
Life insurers’ postpone period is 5-10 years after completion of treatment the second time around.
Life insurance is considered on a case by case basis and will involve a table rating and a flat extra expense.
Malignancy history and life insurance
Malignancy histories disclosed during underwriting are factored into and covered by your policy.
Diagnosed with cancer after purchasing life insurance?
If you’re diagnosed with cancer after you have purchased a policy, you’re insured.
Life insurance companies won’t terminate your policy or reduce the death benefit after the fact.
If you died within the contestability period of the policy, insurers review your medical history.
Companies want to know that your health information was disclosed.
As long as it was, your life insurance beneficiary will receive the proceeds.
Whether you’re a survivor, currently have cancer, or were approved for coverage, we’ll help you.
Life Insurance for Terminal Cancer Patients
If you have terminal cancer, a guaranteed issue life insurance policy may be available.
But, keep in mind that the policy will be a graded benefit life insurance policy.
If death occurs during the graded period (usually the first 2-3 years), your beneficiaries would only receive the premiums you paid plus interest.
A graded benefit pays the full death benefit if death occurs after the graded period has passed.
Existing life insurance with terminal cancer
Many life insurance policies contain “accelerated death benefit” provision.
This allows you to receive a portion of the death benefit now while living.
Upon death, the balance of your policy is paid to your beneficiary.
Another possibility is a viatical settlement where you sell your policy.
You would receive a lump sum and the viatical company receives the proceeds upon your death.
The most common questions we receive are:
Life insurance is typically limited to guaranteed issue life insurance and accidental death insurance for most people.
You can get life insurance after cancer, although the postpone period will depend on the type of cancer, stage, treatment, etc.
Yes, life insurance policies cover cancer if you buy a policy and are later diagnosed with cancer.
Family history of cancer does not affect life insurance if you work with the correct life insurance companies.
The best life insurer depends on the type of malignancy, the severity, and the treatment you received.
We match you to the best cancer life insurance companies and policies based on your individual medical history.
We use a quick quote process with our clients to ensure we reach all of the competitive companies.
A quick quote is a summary of your medical history.
We get the information we need from you and request feedback from the companies we work with.
It takes about 3 days to hear back from companies.
The benefit is that the quotes you receive from us are accurate based on the type and severity of your cancer history.
As always, there is no pressure and no obligation with our service.
Please take a few minutes to submit your quote request today. Thank you.