Life Insurance for Cancer Patients & Survivors

Can you get life insurance if you have cancer now, or recently completed treatment?

Cancer Life Insurance Overview

Cancer falls into the category of high-risk life insurance due to its complicated nature and the fact that only a limited number of insurers will offer coverage to you.

At RiskQuoter, we review your medical history, get preliminary feedback from life insurers and tell you exactly what to expect before you apply.

If life insurance is available, we’re going to help you find the best company and policy to meet your needs.

And there’s never any pressure or obligation with our service.

Life Insurance by Type of Cancer

We have life insurance options available no matter what type of cancer you’re been diagnosed with, including:

Life Insurance with Cancer

Can you get life insurance with cancer?

You’re most likely going to have to wait until after treatment to get term life insurance, but there are some exceptions.

For example, if you had basal cell skin cancer, life insurance is available immediately.

If it was melanoma, the cancer stage determines when coverage is available.

With some cancers, your treatment may be surveillance such as with prostate cancer.

In this scenario, life insurers want to see a history of stability before they will offer coverage.

The type of cancer and treatment received determines when life insurance is available.

When we discuss your medical history with you, we’ll tell you if life insurance is available now, or if your options are limited to accidental or guaranteed issue policies.

Life Insurance with Terminal Cancer

If you have a terminal illness, guaranteed issue life insurance may be available for those age 50 or older.

In some cases, policies are available for age 40 and older.

Keep in mind that the policy will be a graded benefit life insurance policy, meaning that you need to live for 2-3 years in order for your beneficiaries to receive a death benefit.

Otherwise, your beneficiaries would only receive the premiums you paid plus interest.

An accidental death benefit policy may be available as well.

If you have an existing life insurance policy, there may be benefits available that allow you to access a portion of the death benefit now.

It’s called an accelerated death benefit rider that many life insurance policies today include automatically.

It allows people with terminal cancer to receive part of the death benefit while still living.

You receive a portion of the death benefit now while living.

Upon death, the balance of your policy is paid to your beneficiary.

Cancer Survivors

You made it through treatment and now need life insurance.

In some cases, cancer survivors may find coverage within a few months of completing all treatment.

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 cancer?

For others, there will be a longer postpone period (see below).

Postpone Period by Cancer Stage

Here are some general guidelines for postponed periods.

Treatment Minimum
Postpone Period
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 G. I. Policy (3)
(1) 6 months for some prostate, colon, thyroid cancer, & melanomas
(2) Longer for some breast, lymphoma, bladder cancer
(3) Guaranteed issue policies are the only option available.

Keep in mind that your medical history may have a shorter or longer postpone period.

Some stage 1 breast cancers may be insurable within 6 months of completing treatment whereas many stage 1 cervical cancers require longer postpone periods.

In addition, some life insurers charge a “flat extra” expense that may last from 1-20 years.

Some of the postpone periods have recently increased with COVID-19, but we’ll let you know when we discuss your case.

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.

Once life insurance is available, policies will require a table rating and a flat extra.

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?
  • When was the original treatment completed?
  • Has cancer spread to lymph nodes or other organs?
  • When did you complete recurrent 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.

It will involve a table rating and a flat extra expense.

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 as long as you did not commit fraud to obtain the policy.

If you died within the contestability period of the policy, insurers review your medical history.

Your beneficiary will receive the proceeds after review.

Cancer FAQ

The most common questions are:

Can you get life insurance if you have cancer?

Life insurance is typically limited to guaranteed issue life insurance and accidental death insurance for most people.

How long after cancer can I get life insurance?

You can get life insurance after cancer, although the postpone period will depend on the type of cancer, stage, treatment, etc.

Do most life insurance policies cover cancer?

Yes, life insurance policies cover cancer if you buy a policy and are later diagnosed with cancer.

Does a family history of cancer affect life insurance?

A family history of cancer does not affect life insurance if you work with the correct life insurance companies.

Which life insurance company is best after cancer?

The best life insurer depends on the type of malignancy, the severity, and the treatment you received.

Cancer Conclusion

We match you with the best life insurance companies based on your individual cancer history.

We use a quick quote process with our clients to ensure we reach all of the competitive companies.

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.

There is no pressure and no obligation with our service.

Please take a few minutes to submit your quote request today.

Thank you.

Custom Life Insurance Quote In less than 5 minutes!

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  •, Life Insurance, Lakewood Ranch, FL

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Meet the Author - Michael Horbal

That’s me to the left. I’m the founder and owner of RiskQuoter. I hate the fact that many people pay too much for life insurance because they end up with the wrong life insurance company, agent or both.

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There’s never any pressure or obligation with my life insurance service. Get the information you need to make an informed decision for yourself.

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