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Cancer Survivor Life Insurance: Can You Still Get Covered?

Updated: September 22, 2018

Getting a cancer diagnosis is one of the hardest things someone can endure on a personal level.

Not only do you have to fight this disease, but so many other things in your life are impacted by a cancer diagnosis.

Life insurance policies are different for individuals who have cancer or were diagnosed with cancer in the past.

But it is possible to get life insurance with cancer, especially if you are in remission.

Insurance for cancer survivors is available, with most insurance companies having a set time period that must pass before a cancer survivor can apply for a new policy.

Get Life Insurance with Cancer

If you are someone who was given a cancer diagnosis over the past few years, you may want to consider your options for life insurance.

The insurance company will consider the date of diagnosis, the type of cancer, how treatment progressed and whether you are cancer-free right now.

The best way to get a good life insurance policy as a cancer survivor is by talking with agents who specifically deal with these situations. These agents are more knowledgeable about the terms and conditions associated with insurance for cancer survivors.

A number of factors determine whether you can get life insurance as a cancer patient. The insurance company will consider the date of diagnosis, the type of cancer, how treatment progressed and whether you are cancer-free right now.

It is easier to get life insurance with cancer if you are in remission, with most people who still have a cancer diagnosis not qualifying for life insurance.

Companies may also ask about the stage or grade of the cancer diagnosis, whether tumors were involved, how the cancer metastasized and whether you went through any relapses. While these questions are difficult for someone still processing their health situation, insurance companies view them as necessary.

Insurance for Cancer Survivors

Some types of cancer can allow you to get a standard life insurance policy if you have passed a certain remission period. For example, most types of skin cancer are easily diagnosed and removed. If you are in remission for two or more years from most types of skin cancer, you will qualify for a regular life insurance policy.

Even after ten years, you will be subject to higher insurance premiums. The insurance providers take this stance because of the high rate where melanoma reemerges.

But melanoma is the one type of skin cancer where insurance companies are more cautious. This is because melanoma is responsible for most deaths related to skin cancer, even though it is only four percent of the overall skin cancer diagnoses.

You can only get life insurance if you are free of melanoma for ten years after chemotherapy.

Even after ten years, you will be subject to higher insurance premiums. The insurance providers take this stance because of the high rate where melanoma reemerges.

But it is possible for individuals who had melanoma to get a life insurance policy after two years of being cancer free – if they had the cancer removed through a surgical procedure.

Is there Insurance for Cancer Patients?

Breast cancer is another type of cancer where you have a very good chance of being eligible for live insurance if you are in remission. The insurance company will do their due diligence and make sure you are in remission for multiple years, but you will not have to worry about paying exorbitant premiums.

The longer you wait after your breast or prostate cancer remission date, the lower your insurance premiums will be.

Prostate cancer survivors are also in a good place when it comes to obtaining life insurance. As long as they are in remission and cleared by a doctor, they can get a life insurance policy almost immediately after treatment is completed.

The longer you wait after your breast or prostate cancer remission date, the lower your insurance premiums will be.

Each type of cancer has its own date where the insurance companies will start to consider you for a policy. For example, esophagus cancer survivors must wait three years, while metastatic cancer survivors have to wait for five years before being eligible for a life insurance policy.

The best thing you can do is call an insurance agent and inform them about your specific situation and how your cancer remission is progressing.

Cancer and Insurance Premiums

As mentioned above, different types of cancer will have a varied impact on your ability to obtain life insurance. This is also true for the related insurance premiums.

It may seem frustrating for cancer patients that they have to go through so many loopholes to get a life insurance policy, but they must look at things from the insurance company’s point of view.

An insurance company bases their premium offers on the risk involved with insuring the policyholder. Each type of cancer has a different percentage for full recovery or a relapse. Insurance companies will use these statistics to determine their premium offers to cancer survivors.

For example, someone whose cancer has a 5 percent chance of re-emerging is going to face far lower insurance premiums than someone with a 50 or 60 percent likelihood of relapsing.

It may seem frustrating for cancer patients that they have to go through so many loopholes to get a life insurance policy, but they must look at things from the insurance company’s point of view.

Insurance companies do not want a situation where they insure a cancer survivor at low rates, only to find the individual relapsing and passing away within three or four years.

Different Types of Life Insurance

Depending on the type of cancer that you had, the date of your remission and the current state of your health, you may be eligible for a number of different types of life insurance.

Even though term life policies expire after 10 or 20 years, the lower premiums are a huge help for cancer survivors.

On average, cancer patients will get quoted higher insurance premiums. This means term life insurance may be an affordable way for these individuals to get insurance protection.

Even though term life policies expire after 10 or 20 years, the lower premiums are a huge help for cancer survivors. But individuals who are wealthy and suffered from cancer may not have a problem affording the higher premiums for whole life insurance.

Other types of life insurance include universal life and adjustable life insurance. These are more complicated offerings with greater flexibility for the policyholder. It is best to consult with an insurance agent to see if you qualify for adjustable or universal life insurance as a cancer survivor.

Universal life allows for tweaking of the insurance premiums, while still offering protection for your entire life. Meanwhile, adjustable life allows you to change both the premium rate and term of the policy.