Can You Get Life Insurance if You Have Cancer? Understanding Exclusions

After a cancer diagnosis, a lot of things race through your mind. Some of these thoughts may have to do with your loved ones and what will happen to them after you’re gone. Although cancer treatments are constantly improving and many types of cancer have a good prognosis, you may be interested in buying life insurance and wondering whether it’s even possible.

Yes, it is possible to buy life insurance when you have cancer. However, there are restrictions that you will need to understand.

You May Be Denied Coverage.

While it is possible to purchase life insurance after a cancer diagnosis, many insurers will reject your application for coverage.

Life insurance applications often include medical underwriting. This means that you will have to answer questions about your medical history and undergo a medical exam before your application can be approved. If you have cancer, your application will likely be rejected.

However, some life insurance policies are available on a guaranteed issue basis. A guaranteed issue life insurance policy does not require medical underwriting. Therefore, it is possible to get a guaranteed issue life insurance policy even if you have cancer.  

There May Be Restrictions.

Before you purchase life insurance, check the policy for exclusions and limitations. These may include limitations on pre-existing conditions and waiting periods.  

For example, a guaranteed issue life insurance policy may be graded. This means that the full benefit amount will not be available until after a number of years. If you die earlier than that, the benefit will be reduced.

Cancer Survivors May Also Have Difficulty Securing Insurance.

Once your cancer has gone into remission, you may have an easier time purchasing life insurance with a large benefit and an affordable premium. However, you will need to disclose your history of cancer. How this impacts your application and your rates will depend on several factors, including the type of cancer you had and how long it’s been in remission, as well as the insurer’s policies.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 1,762,450 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States in 2019. Approximately 39 percent of men and 38 percent of women will develop cancer during their lifetime. After heart disease, cancer is the leading cause of death, and approximately 1,660 people die of cancer every day.

Although it is possible to purchase life insurance after a cancer diagnosis, it can be harder. The best time to buy life insurance is while you are still relatively healthy.

Talk to Your Insurance Agent.

You may be tempted to try to hide your cancer diagnosis when applying for life insurance. However, this is not a smart idea. If the insurer discovers that you have withheld information, your coverage could be cancelled.

This could happen even after your death. During the contestability period, which can cover the first two years of the policy, life insurance companies have the right to investigate applications for omissions and mistakes. If it is discovered that you lied about having cancer, the claim could be denied.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer or have any other health issues, tell your insurance agent. This will help your insurance agent find the most suitable policy for you.

Learn more by talking to an Insurance Line One agent. Request a life insurance quote.

Sources
  • https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/all-cancer-facts-figures/cancer-facts-figures-2019.html

WRITTEN BY