Life Insurance for Cancer Patients
Buying life insurance as a cancer patient can be a challenge.
Don’t give up though.
For many cancer survivors, it is still definitely possible to buy an insurance policy.
Whether you get insured depends on a number of factors like the severity of your illness and on the way you handle your application.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the life insurance underwriting rules for cancer patients. With this information, you’ll have a good idea what to expect when you apply for coverage.
Life Insurance Underwriting for Cancer Patients
When you apply for life insurance, your insurance agent should ask a number of questions about your cancer history. Be prepared to answer:
- When were you diagnosed with cancer?
- What type of cancer did you have?
- How long did your cancer treatment last?
- Have you needed to receive any cancer treatments like chemo or radiation therapy in the past 5 years?
- Have you been disabled in the past year because of your cancer or for some other reason?
- Do you have a family history of cancer and have any close family members died of cancer?
Make sure your application clearly answers all these questions regarding your medical history. Life insurance underwriters get worried when they see an application that is missing information, especially when the person applying is a former cancer patient. By submitting a complete application, you give yourself the best chance at getting a fair rating and avoiding a rejection.
Life Insurance Quotes for Cancer Patients
When you apply for life insurance after cancer, the type of cancer you had is incredibly important. Serious cancers like leukemia could be uninsurable whereas mild forms like non-melanoma skin cancer might not affect your rating at all.
To get the best possible rating, it helps to wait at least five years since your last cancer treatment before applying. Insurance companies want to see this long break to make sure new problems don’t come up. From there, your quote depends on a variety of factors. While each insurance company, such as Banner Life or MetLife, has different underwriting rules for, here are some general guidelines to give you an estimate of what rating you can expect.
- Preferred Plus: Possible in very rare cases for applicants that only had non-melanoma skin cancer. Cancer treatment must have ended at least 5 years ago and applicant must be in perfect health otherwise.
- Preferred: Also possible for applicants that only had non-melanoma skin cancer. Cancer treatment must have ended at least 5 years ago and applicant must be in very good health. Standards are a bit easier than Preferred Plus.
- Standard: Best possible rating for cancer patients that had breast, thyroid, testicular, and prostate cancer. Applicants need to be cancer-free for at least 5 years. Applicants should also be in good health otherwise.
- Table Rating (substandard): Most likely rating for most cancer patients, except applicants with non-melanoma skin cancer. Table rating will depend on the applicant’s health at the time of application, the severity of the illness, and the applicant’s family history of cancer.
- Declines: Most applicants that haven’t been cancer free for 5 years. Insurance companies also tend to decline applicants that had more serious forms of cancer like leukemia, colon cancer, or a cancer that metastasized.
Life Insurance Case Studies for Cancer Patients
As a cancer patient, you need to handle your application properly to avoid unnecessary problems. Here are a couple real life examples that show the importance of a well-handled application.
Case Study: Female, 55 y/o, non-smoker, had non-melanoma skin cancer at 47, only needed 1 year of treatment and had been healthy and cancer-free since then.
This applicant only had a mild case of non-melanoma skin cancer that had cleared up without any problems. Despite waiting the appropriate five years before applying and also being in very good health, this applicant only received rated policies. It seemed insurance companies were overweighting her past cancer history.
We suggested she reapply with a note from her doctor vouching for her good health and strong recovery. With this extra information, she was able to qualify for a Preferred rating and got a price discount for her policy.
Case Study #2: Male, 62 y/o, had prostate cancer at 56, ended cancer treatment at 57, applied for life insurance that year and was rejected
This applicant was treated for prostate cancer when he was 56. The treatments went well and the applicant fully recovered a little over a year afterwards. Right after his treatment ended, this applicant decided to apply for life insurance. He was rejected and gave up on ever trying again.
After reviewing our website, this applicant realized that he applied too soon after his cancer treatment to get a policy. We reviewed his application and also realized he left out some information on his past cancer treatments. Now five years later, this applicant tried again with an application that completely described his medical history. With these adjustments, he was able to receive a Substandard Level 1 policy, the best rating below Standard.
Getting life insurance as a cancer patient is definitely possible; you just need to be smart about your application. If you’re not sure what to do next, it might be a good idea to work with a qualified life insurance broker like our company. We’ve helped many cancer patients get life insurance and we can help you too.
Our company specializes in life insurance for cancer patients. We can guide you through your application plus match you up with the life insurance companies that offer the best rates for cancer survivors. For a free rate quote, call us or fill out our online quote application form today.