Being recently diagnosed or treated for cancer will generally impede your ability to purchase traditional life insurance.
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However, a cancer diagnosis is not always a guaranteed barrier to obtaining life insurance.
Can you get life insurance if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer?
You can buy some types of life insurance if you currently have cancer, but it can be limited and expensive. “It depends on the type of cancer,” says Jeremy Hallett, founder of Quotacy, a national online life insurance agency based in Minneapolis. “Non-melanoma skin cancers generally don’t affect the price of life insurance at all, while a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer can make it nearly impossible to get coverage. a diagnosis of malignant cancer will generally impede your ability to obtain a policy.”
Travis Price, a senior independent market insurance agent in Manton, Michigan, agrees that most insurers don’t put limits on basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer).
“However, if you had small cell lung cancer, there would be a high probability that you would never get life insurance because of the nature of the cancer,” says price.
what are the types of life insurance for cancer patients?
“Following a cancer diagnosis, you may be able to qualify for guaranteed issue, group life, and final expense life insurance coverage, which provides coverage for final expenses and funeral costs,” he says. mark friedlander, spokesman for insurance information. institute (triple-i). “However, the two most common types of life insurance, term and whole, may not be available to you after a cancer diagnosis.”
You generally cannot be turned down for this type of life insurance, and applications do not require a life insurance medical exam or typically any health questions.
One drawback is that coverage amounts can be low. Another drawback is that final expense and guaranteed issue life insurance usually have graduated death benefits, so if you die within two or three years of purchasing the policy, your beneficiaries won’t get paid. complete. (exact timeline depends on policy and will be detailed).
Wilson Coffman, an independent life insurance agent in Huntsville, Alabama, was diagnosed with colon cancer three years ago while trying to get his own life insurance. coffman warns that guaranteed issue life insurance policies only provide low payouts, typically $5,000 to $25,000.
“The details of your diagnosis will also influence the coverage you may qualify for,” says friedlander.
how long does it take to qualify for life insurance after cancer?
While every insurance company is different, triple-i’s friedlander says you generally must be in remission from cancer for a minimum of five years to qualify for newly issued term life insurance, whole life or other types of coverage.
A waiting period for life insurance after cancer can vary depending on the type of cancer, invasiveness, and the likelihood of recurrence.
pugh from legal & General offers an example: “Our company can generally cover breast and prostate cancer survivors if it has been three years since treatment, although the cost may be significantly higher.”
Waiting periods for post-cancer life insurance vary from insurer to insurer. “Some insurers have stricter underwriting standards for certain types of cancer that would require a minimum 10-year referral,” Friedlander says.
life insurance waiting periods after different types of cancer
Here are examples of waiting periods for various types of cancer from Reliable Choice, a network of independent insurance agents:
- bladder cancer: 2 years
- bone cancer: 5 years
- breast cancer: 2 years
- cervical cancer: 1 year
- colon cancer: 2 years
- kidney cancer: 3 years
- leukemia: 10 years
- lung cancer: 3 years
- lymphoma: 2 years
- metastatic cancer: 5 years
- ovarian cancer: 3 years
- prostate: 1 year
- rectal cancer: 2 years
- skin melanoma: 1 year
- super preferred
- improve your overall health by eating healthy and exercising.
- do not use tobacco. life insurance quotes for smokers are often much higher.
- work in a low-risk profession. Friedlander says, “Police officers, firefighters, pilots, and construction workers are among the occupations that can experience higher premiums.”
- stay away from risky hobbies like mountain climbing, skydiving, and scuba diving. these will take into account your quotes and cause higher rates.
- maintain a clean driving and criminal record. “DUIs, previous arrests, and other criminal convictions can affect your rate or even disqualify you from coverage,” Friedlander says.
what is the best life insurance after cancer?
“If you’ve been in remission for at least five years, traditional life insurance might still be an option,” says Triple-I’s Friedlander. here are some possible options.
term life insurance
If you can qualify for term life insurance, it’s usually the cheapest way to buy coverage. You will likely need to have a life insurance medical exam and be prepared to answer questions about your previous cancer diagnosis and treatment.
With term life insurance, you lock in your rates for a certain period of time, like 10 or 20 years.
permanent life insurance
Types of permanent life insurance may be an option, such as whole life insurance and universal life insurance. these policies can provide life insurance for as long as you live, assuming you pay the premiums.
simplified issue life insurance
While there is no medical exam with simplified issue life insurance, you may be required to complete a short health questionnaire.
according to friedlander, “if you don’t have cancer but you’re not in perfect health, the simplified question may be a good option.”
guaranteed issue life insurance
With no medical exam, health questions or medical history requirements, you cannot be turned down for guaranteed issue life insurance. That sounds appealing, but you’ll face a high cost for the amount of coverage you get, and the policy will have graduated death benefits.
burial life insurance
Designed for life insurance buyers over the age of 50, burial insurance is intended to pay for end-of-life costs such as funeral expenses and outstanding medical bills.
“No medical exam is required to get this coverage,” says friedlander.
how does cancer affect the cost of life insurance?
Most life insurance companies use a rating system to determine life insurance rates for all policies, including those for cancer patients and survivors. according to triple-i, the most common levels in this rating system are:
“Policyholders designated as ‘standard’ or ‘poor’ tend to pay the highest rates,” Friedlander explains.
Depending on your age and type of cancer, you could pay four times as much for a life insurance policy over several years, depending on how long you’ve been cancer-free, be careful.
“I had a $500,000 life insurance policy before my cancer diagnosis. It cost me $100 a month, even after I was diagnosed and treated for cancer,” says Coffman. “I was quoted a second identical $500,000 life insurance policy after having cancer, but the cost went up to $800 a month, which would have been unaffordable to buy.”
hallett of quotacy agrees that five years after a cancer diagnosis and successful treatment, you are likely to pay two to four times as much for a whole life or term life insurance policy as an individual healthy without cancer.
what is the best life insurance for people with a family history of cancer?
When you buy life insurance, your family’s medical history is often a factor in the quotes. (this means your parents and siblings). If your family has a history of cancer but you personally don’t, there’s no one life insurance policy that’s better than another, according to Coffman.
“But keep in mind that with traditional life insurance, which requires you to share your family medical history, a previous cancer diagnosis in the family could affect your rates and your eligibility,” says friedlander.
In general, the best type of life insurance for you is the type of policy that meets your needs.
“Is it coverage that should last a lifetime? If so, buy a lifetime. Is it the coverage you need to protect your family as they grow? then buy term insurance,” suggests hallett.
tips to increase your chances of getting life insurance after cancer
The most important thing is to work with an experienced independent life insurance agent. Independent agents work with several insurance companies and will know which ones are most willing to insure cancer survivors. in particular, look for an independent broker who specializes in underwriting impaired risks.
Regardless of when you qualify for life insurance after cancer, you can find affordable life insurance with these strategies.