Buying Life Insurance After Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1.9 million new cancer cases are predicted to be detected in 2022. It’s a sobering figure. Another statistic, on the other hand, is encouraging. Over the last several decades, the survival rate for all cancers has increased dramatically.

It’s also nice to know that you can get life insurance after being told you have cancer.

“Insurance companies are quite open and eager to insure people who have previously had cancer,” says Ryan Pinney, president of Pinney Insurance.

So don’t believe that having a family history of cancer would preclude you from purchasing life insurance to protect your family’s finances. Here’s what you need to know about how cancer impacts your insurance eligibility and rates.

The Importance of Purchasing Life Insurance While You Are Still Young

When you’re young and healthy, it’s the perfect time to acquire life insurance. This is because your age and health are two important criteria in establishing your insurance rate.

“Lower rates are associated with being younger and healthier,” says Matthew Sweeney, life and financial services specialist with Coverage, Inc., a Virginia-based independent insurance broker.

The ability to lock in a low rate isn’t the only advantage of purchasing life insurance early. You’re considerably more likely to find a decent deal on a large amount of coverage. Sweeney adds that your insurance will be assured for the duration of your insurance. If you have a health condition like cancer, you won’t lose your coverage, and your rate won’t go up.

How Cancer Affects Your Life Insurance Options?

If you wait until your health gets worse before getting life insurance, your ability to get it will be questioned.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer or are undergoing treatment, you’re unlikely to be able to obtain a typical life insurance policy, he says. Before you may apply for coverage, you must be cancer-free.

A guaranteed issue life insurance policy may be available to you. As long as you meet the insurer’s age restrictions, you will not be denied coverage (the minimum age is typically between 40 and 50). However, you’ll pay a hefty price for what you get, and coverage amounts are often limited to $25,000 or less.

However, such an amount can be sufficient to meet ultimate expenses such as burial fees or hospital bills. You could also get a “guaranteed issue” policy to cover at least some of your costs while you’re getting treatment and then apply for a “term” or “permanent” policy after you’re done with treatment.

Guaranteed issue policies also don’t guarantee that your life insurance beneficiaries will get a death payout. If you die during the first two or three years of owning the policy, your beneficiaries usually only get a return of the premiums you paid plus some interest, not the face value.

Obtaining Life Insurance Following Cancer

Before considering insuring you, most life insurance companies want to know that you’ve been cancer-free for a particular number of years. The length of time is determined by the sort of cancer you have.

According to Pinney, some cancers are regarded as less severe or life-threatening due to high treatment success rates. More severe and complex tumors, which often require radiation, chemotherapy, and even bone marrow transplants, usually have longer waiting periods.

“In general, less-severe cancers can have one to three-year waiting periods after the final therapy,” Pinney explains.

The length of your wait is partly determined by the severity of your cancer at the time of diagnosis. A woman with stage 1 or 2 breast cancer, for example, will have a shorter waiting period for life insurance than a woman with stage 3 or 4 breast cancer, according to Pinney.

Waiting periods differ from one insurer to the next. However, the Trusted Choice network of independent insurance agents has compiled a list of waiting times for several types of cancer:

2 years with bladder cancer

5 years of bone cancer

2 years after breast cancer diagnosis

1 year after cervix cancer

2 years with colon cancer

3 years with kidney cancer

ten years of leukemia

3 years with lung cancer

2 Years with Lymphoma

5 Years of Metastatic Cancer

3 years of ovarian cancer

1 year of prostate cancer

2 years of rectal cancer

1 year of skin melanoma

The Impact of Cancer on Life Insurance Rates

Pinney argues that even if you can buy life insurance after cancer, you’re unlikely to get the best premium. Because of your cancer history, you are now at a greater risk to insure.

When you apply for insurance, the insurance company will inquire about your current health, medical history, and medical history of your family. It will also examine your medical data, prescription drug history, driving record, and other details to determine which risk category you fall into. Your risk class, as well as your age and gender, will be utilized to set your life insurance rate.

Underwriting risk classes are commonly used by insurance companies:

The majority of people fall into this category, which is the starting point for insurance prices.

Preferred — You must be in good health to qualify for this rate, which is lower than the normal rate.

Super preferred — This is the lowest cost possible, and to qualify, you must be in perfect health.

Those with major medical problems may not even be eligible for the standard risk category. Instead, insurers will utilize a letter or number-based “table rating” system. The premium for an A or 1 rating is normally 25% higher than the ordinary risk class, and rates rise as the table rating rises from B, C, D, or 2, 3, 4, and so on.

Cancer survivors may qualify for preferred rates based on the type of cancer, severity, and length of time following treatment, according to Pinney. Some kinds of skin cancer, for example, have little impact on life insurance premiums. Following cancer, however, a standard grade or table rating of 1/A to 4/D is more typical.

Improve Your Chances of Getting a Cheaper Life Insurance Policy

If you have a history of cancer, you will almost certainly have to pay more for life insurance than you would otherwise. However, there are ways to keep insurance costs down.

Do not rush into purchasing life insurance

You’ll have to wait at least a few years after treatment to even be considered for a life insurance policy. Waiting for a little longer after receiving a cancer-free diagnosis can, however, pay off. “The longer it’s been since that date,” Pinney says, “the better your chances of getting the best rates depending on your health history.” That’s because you’ve demonstrated that your treatment was long-term effective.

Enhance your general health

Make the most of the time you have to get in shape, kick any bad habits you may have, and get any other medical concerns under control. Having the best possible health will help you receive a better rate.

Consult a financial advisor or an independent life insurance agent.

Independent brokers work with a variety of insurance companies and will be able to tell you which ones are more ready to cover cancer survivors. Look for an independent agent who specializes in impaired risk underwriting in particular.

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