Can you get life insurance if you’ve had cancer? Actually, sometimes, Yes you can. AND sometimes you can get it at standard or regular premiums!
If you’re recently diagnosed with any type of cancer, then regular life insurance won’t be available. For those people, there may be some simplified issue policies available. These policies have a short list of yes/no questions. If you answer all the questions no, then you qualify for the life insurance. Importantly though, these policies typically only provide accidental death (no coverage for death due to medical reasons) in the first two years of the policy. After that time, full life insurance coverage is in effect.
These policies, because they insure people at higher risk, are generally available at a higher premium than standard life insurance rates. However, insurance is still often available. Expect it to have limited benefits and much higher premium though.
Since each company has it’s own list of questions, we can’t give you a short answer as to which policy you should choose. In these situations, we look at different companies’ questions and review them with you until we find one that you can answer all the questions for – then we can give you a quote. Therefore if you’re currently or recently been treated for cancer – or have had some types of cancer in the past that’s in remission, feel welcome to call us and we’ll step you through this process and provide you your options.
These days, with medical advances, some types of cancer simply aren’t as life threatening as they were in the past. Plus, it’s been shown that after you’ve had cancer the routine monitoring that you’ll go through means if any new cancer arises, that it will be caught promptly and treated. And this means that with some types of cancers, after some time has passed, your mortality expectation is actually the same as someone who’s never had cancer.
First example of this is some types of breast cancers. In this case, after 5 years has passed and you’re no longer taking some medications, you may actually qualify at standard life insurance premiums – no additional costs.
Second example would be some types of skin cancers. Similiarly, after some time has passed – generally 5 years – you may be able to get life insurance, AND at standard or regular insurance premiums.
In all cases, there are so many moving parts that we can’t provide a definitive general answer. Instead, to determine what’s available and what your choices are, we take you through this process:
- initial phone consultation with one of our advisors who will give you their initial thoughts on possibility of getting coverage.
- Based on our experience, if there’s some possibility of coverage, we will ask you to complete between 1-3 applications from different companies, often without an in-person medical exam (but likely, with some questions being answered in detail). We then send these to the insurance companies where they’ll request a report from your doctor. Based on that level of information, they’ll provide an initial offer which is subject to a standard medical exam. You choose the best option, take the medical exam, and assuming nothing new arises, you should expect to be offered insurance at the premiums that were quoted to you before the medical exam.
If you’d like to discuss this with an experienced advisor to discuss your situation, please contact our office.