Life Insurance for Cancer Patients

Life Insurance for Cancer Patients
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    We’re frequently asked, “Can I get life insurance if I have cancer? Is life insurance for cancer patients available? What is the best life insurance company for cancer?” In this article we’re going to show you how to buy cancer life insurance for every possible situation. We’ll provide you everything you need to know about securing a cancer life insurance policy and answer these questions and more:

    • Can you get life insurance after being diagnosed with cancer?
    • Can you buy life insurance if you have cancer now?
    • Is life insurance for cancer survivors available?
    • What about life insurance for terminally ill cancer patients?

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    Life Insurance With Cancer

    When it comes to getting life insurance with cancer, you need to learn how life insurance companies look at health risks and preexisting conditions. Just know that there are many situations where securing a cancer life insurance policy is possible. It will often depend on the type of cancer, when you were diagnosed, your treatment details and how much coverage you’re seeking.

    Life Insurance for Cancer Survivors

    Life insurance will be more expensive for cancer survivors. However, your options  to purchase coverage can vary depending if you’re in remission and are relatively healthy. There are specific kinds of cancer that may cause the life insurance company to decline you. This depends on the type of policy you’re applying for. The length of time that you’ve been in remission will also play a part in your life insurance options. We’ll go over this shortly.


    What Insurers Want To Know

    It’s always good to understand how life insurance companies approve life insurance policies. After you apply for coverage, the life insurance company will begin the underwriting process. Part of this process includes completing the life insurance medical exam, ordering medical records from your physicians, and a prescription database check. Each company uses their own unique underwriting rules to see if you’re insurable and what your rate will be if you’re approved.

    It’s extremely important to work with an independent life insurance agent who has access to multiple companies in order to find the carrier that will look at your situation the best. Your agent will ask you the questions that every company will want to know including:

    • When were you first diagnosed with cancer? Life insurance companies will want to know the date of diagnosis.
    • What type of cancer were you diagnosed with? The type of life insurance available to you will often depend on the type of cancer you have.
    • What was the cancer treatment? Were you treated with one method or several? Did you have surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, medications?
    • How long you have been cancer-free? How long has it been since your last treatment?
    • What was your cancer stage and grade of your cancer? The stage of your cancer can have a big effect on your life insurance options.
    • Did you have a tumor or tumors? What was the number and size of the tumor(s)?
    • Were there any lymph nodes involved? How many?
    • Did your cancer metastasize?
    • When did you start and end your treatment?
    • What was the date when you completed treatment?
    • Have there been any relapses?
    • What medications did you take? Are you currently taking medications?
    • How is your overall health? Other than your cancer diagnosis, are you healthy? Do you have any other health risks or conditions?
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    As you can see, life insurance companies are very interested in the dates of diagnosis, treatment and completion of treatment. Let’s look at how each stage will affect the type of life insurance policies that will be available to you.

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    Here are the life insurance policies for cancer patients as well as those who have completed treatment. The next section will go into detail about each treatment stage and the cancer life insurance plans available to you.

    Treatment Stage Life Insurance Options
    Life Insurance after a Cancer Diagnosis Guaranteed Issue
    Have Cancer Now Guaranteed Issue
    Within Life Insurance Waiting Period Guaranteed Issue
    Out of Life Insurance Waiting Period Term or Permanent Policies

    Life Insurance Coverage after a Cancer Diagnosis

    It all starts here with the diagnosis. Life insurance for someone with cancer is possible even at the earliest stage of diagnosis. More than likely, you’ll only be able to secure a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. The biggest exception to this rule is if you have received a diagnosis basal cell skin cancer

    Guaranteed issue life insurance policies do not have health questions. Qualification is typically based on a few factors such as your resident state and your age – not your health. These policies have a graded benefit which means there is a waiting period before the full death benefit is available. 

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    Each carrier can be different, but a 2 year waiting period is the most common graded benefit. The coverage amounts are not large. The death benefits usually range anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000.

    life insurance for someone with cancer

    If you currently have cancer or a currently in treatment, your only option will be guaranteed issue policies. As mentioned previously, GI policies will have a waiting period on the death benefit. Coverage typically ranges from $5,000 to $25,000, but $50,000 may be available. 

    GI policies are sometimes called final expense life insurance policies. There are no health questions because it’s a no medical exam life insurance policy. Guaranteed issue policies are also guaranteed to be renewed. Guaranteed acceptance is the only type of life insurance for terminal cancer patients. If you can only qualify for GI, be sure to read our reviews on the best guaranteed acceptance life insurance companies.

    life insurance after cancer treatment

    Can someone with cancer get life insurance after finishing treatment? The quick answer is yes. The type of policy available will depend on if you’re in remission and when you completed your cancer treatment. Insurance companies will often have a life insurance waiting period.

    Life Insurance Waiting Period

    For many health risks, including cancer, a life insurance company may not offer coverage until a certain amount of time has passed. If you are still within the life insurance waiting period, a Guaranteed Issue policy is likely the only type of policy available to you.

    After you have past the waiting period, all life insurance policy types should be available to you. Remember, every company is different with their underwriting rules. Your agent’s job is to help find the company with the shortest waiting period for your specific case.

    Life Insurance Waiting Periods

    Cancer Type Life Insurance Waiting Period
    Basal Cell Cancer Up to 3 months
    Bladder Cancer 2+ Years
    Bone Cancer 5+ Years
    Breast Cancer 1-5 Years
    Cervical In Situ 0 Years
    Cervical Cancer 0-1 Year
    Colon Cancer 1-6 Years
    Esophageal Cancer 3 Years
    Hodgkins Lymphoma 3-10 Years
    Kidney Cancer 1-5 Years
    Larynx Cancer 1 Year
    Lung Cancer 3-5 Years
    Leukemia 5-10 Years
    Melanoma 1-5 Years
    Metastatic Cancer 5+ Years
    Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma 3-10 Years
    Ovarian Cancer 1-3+ Years
    Pancreatic Cancer 2+ Years
    Partoid Salivary Glands 2+ Years
    Prostate Cancer 6 Months – 2 Years
    Testicular Cancer 6 Months – 2 Years
    Uterine Cancer 2-5 Years

    Life Insurance Tips For Specific Cancers

    Not all cancers are looked at the same. Even specific cancers are looked at differently depending on their stage and other factors.

    Breast Cancer

    Life insurance after breast cancer is possible. Life insurance insurers will want to know if your breast cancer is in full remission or not. Your agent will want to shop your case based on when your breast cancer was diagnosed, the treatment type, and length of remission time.

    Basal Cell Carcinoma

    Basal cell is the most common and harmless form of skin cancer. It typically is not an issue with life insurance companies.


    The most severe type of skin cancer is Melanoma. However, life insurance after melanoma is possible. One of the things insurance companies want to be sure about is that the melanoma has not metastasized. You should be approved for life insurance if your melanoma has been surgically removed and you’ve been in remission for 12-24 months. It is a bit more complicated if your treatment involved radiation or chemotherapy. You’re looking at possibly 5 years or more depending on the carrier.

    Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    Squamous cell carcinoma is typically the 2nd tier of skin cancer severity. It’s looked at a little more severely compared to basal cell and less severe compared to Melanoma. If your squamous cell hasn’t spread in the past 12 to 24 months, you can typically get approved at standard rates.

    Prostate Cancer

    Life insurance after prostate cancer is possible. Life insurance companies will want to know your PSA levels and Gleason scores before making a decision on your case. The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels and Gleason scores will be looked at differently from each company. The carriers will also want to know how long you’ve been in remission after your prostate cancer treatment. They may also want to see that you’ve had follow up testing and received continuous care from your physician. 

    How to Get Best Life Insurance Rates for Cancer Patients

    How to Get Best Life Insurance Rates for Cancer Patients

    Follow this guide below if you want to get the best rate possible:

    1. Prepare: Get all of your medical records before everything. This will include your 1st cancer pathology record, as well as all of your accessible medical records. The details of your treatment plan is also important.
    2. Independent Agent: Use and independent agent who will do all the investigative work to make sure you apply with the company that will give you the best chance at coverage at the lowest price.
    3. Following Dr’s Orders: Make sure you have followed your doctor’s treatment plan. Life insurance companies want to see that you have followed treatment guidelines.
    4. Compare Life Insurance Quotes: If you’re using an independent life insurance agent, they will provide your multiple quotes from several companies and explain which companies give you the best chance at an approval.
    5. Look at all options: Do you have group coverage available to you through your employer? Find out if it’s affordable and available. This can be a quick and easy way to get initial coverage.
    6. Guaranteed Issue: A guaranteed issue graded policy is a last resort life insurance policy. It’s great that it’s an option, but there is a waiting period before the full death benefit will be available.
    7. Don’t apply until after all of your tests. Life insurance companies want to know that your health is stabilized. If your tests show that you are in complete remission, you can potentially qualify for lower life insurance rates.
    8. Time: You may have to be patient. With cancer life insurance, the longer you’ve been in remission, the better. Certain cancers have different remission waiting periods before a carrier will offer.

    Life Insurance for Cancer Patients

    As you can see, you can purchase life insurance if you have or had cancer. Your buying options are simply limited based on the factors we listed above. Traditional permanent life insurance and term life insurance policies are usually unavailable until the specific waiting periods have passed. 

    Whole life, universal life and guaranteed universal life insurance are popular forms of permanent coverage. You can always fall back on a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.

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    Also, you should buy  group coverage from your employer if that is available to you. This is also guaranteed as there is no individual underwriting. Another great thing about group plans is that they don’t have a waiting period. Group life insurance for terminally ill cancer patients is a great way to secure coverage without waiting periods. You’ll need to contact your employer or HR department to see how and when you can apply.

    Does Family History Affect Life Insurance?

    Life Insurance with a Cancer Family History

    If you have a history of cancer in your family, you don’t really need to be worried about getting declined for life insurance. However, your rates may be increased when compared to someone with no family history of cancer. It will depend on the specifics of your case as well a your family’s cancer history. 

    Does Life Insurance Cover Cancer?

    We’re frequently asked, “I have cancer can I get life insurance?” The answer is: Yes, life insurance covers cancer. If you apply for life insurance and are approved then you are covered for all health related and accidental deaths. This includes cancer or any other health risk. 

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    2 Ways to Get Quotes: Use our life insurance calculator and compare rates from 60+ companies -or-  contact us directly for the most accurate quotes.

    Cancer Life Insurance Policy – Bottom Line

    Does life insurance cover cancer? Yes. Life insurance for people with cancer is available to you. 

    As a smart life insurance shopper, you need to know that life insurance rates will be the same no matter if you buy the policy direct or with an agent. All agents have access to the same rates, so going to multiple agents hoping for a discount is a waste of your time. 

    The big difference is the quality of the agent, how well they know the underwriting guidelines and the number of companies they use for their clients.

    At Life Insurance Blog, we have access to over 60 of the best life insurance companies in order to get the best deal for you. We go the extra mile and ask you the right questions so you don’t waste your time applying to a company that will decline you or rate you with a more expensive policy. Life insurance when you have cancer doesn’t have to be stressful. We’ll handle everything from the application, help you pass the life insurance medical exam, and updating you throughout the process.

    Contact us today. We’re here to answer your questions and provide you customized quotes.

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    Everyone age 18 to 75 accepted Guaranteed! Get up to $50,000 Guaranteed Issue term life insurance coverage.

    No Medical Questions Asked!

    Michael Quinn

    Michael Quinn

    Michael is a licensed life insurance agent, expert & owner of Life Insurance Blog. LIB has helped thousands of shoppers understand life insurance and secure affordable coverage.

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