Life insurance for cancer sufferers

Insurance companies are in the profession of making money from their policies, they take a gamble on each policy they issue that they will gain more in premiums (and interest accrued on investing those premiums) they will be required to pay out in claims. It is not in an insurances company’s best interest to take on a policy that is likely to require a higher pay-out, than the amount paid in.

With regards to life insurance this poses a problem for people who are known to have existing medical conditionals, inherited diseases, or are diagnosed as critically ill (or any other factor that may reduce their life expectancy).

It is not in a life insurance company’s interest to offer them normal life insurance policies – they will probably lose money on the deal.

How does this affect Cancer patients, specifically those recovering from cancer treatment?

First of all, if you started your life insurance policy before you were diagnosed as having cancer, your insurance company cannot – by law – cancel the policy. This is especially important with regard to permanent insurance, and your policy is guaranteed for your whole life (as long as you keep up the payments). With “term” life insurance problems can arise at the end of the “term” as your insurance company may be loathed to renew the term upon news of your diagnosis, even if you are in recovery.

With annual term policies, you are advised to check your documentation, as although the concept of annual term policies is that the insurance company guarantees to renew you policy each year. Also there may be the ability to convert the Term insurance into a permanent product without having to prove good health.

Some insurance companies will outright refuse to accept a policy for someone who has, or is recovering from cancer, whereas others will accept a policy depending on the type of cancer.

Companies that do insure cancer, or ex-cancer patients will normally accept a policy holder if they had prostate, breast cancer (usually only stage one) or testicular cancer. They may also accept clients who had a cancer that was caught, and treated at an early stage.

Insurance companies that do provide Insurance for those recovering from cancer will normally require the following:

  • You must have gone for more than a specific period since your last cancer treatment (this can be as much as 5 years, but varies from company to company).
  •  You must be medically diagnosed as cured, or in remission.
  • You must have medical evidence (a certificate from your medical advisor) of your continued good health.

Even with the above conditions met, most life insurance companies will charge you a greater premium than that offered to the general public.

Sometimes it may be easier to get life insurance through your work if you are a recovering cancer patient. This is due to the fact that certain insurers are allowed to insure a whole collection of people (usually over 50) without individual medical conditions being taken into account.

Facing the possibility of not being able to obtain insurance because of your current or previous condition, it may be worth your while looking at your insurance needs:

  • Are you looking for insurance to pay off existing financial commitments in the event of your untimely death? You can opt for paying larger premiums to the company that you hold a debt with so as to clear it as early as possible.
  • Do you require insurance to take care of your funeral costs? A simple savings plan may be your best choice here, making sure that enough is put by and safe in an account you hold to pay for any immediate after death costs.
  • Is the insurance required to make sure your family are taken care of in the event of your death? Again a savings plan or investment plan may produce a larger return than a normal insurance policy. This has similar advantages to permanent life insurance, I that you can withdraw from your investment if you require funds for a specific reason (subject to the terms and conditions of your investment plan), and in the event of your death the amount in your investment portfolio will be passed on to your next of kin.

So if you are a cancer sufferer, or recovering from cancer, you do not need to despair that you cannot take out life insurance (or find it too expensive or restrictive to make it viable), you can always use standard investment tools to make sure that your next of kin are not overly burdened financially should you face an untimely death.

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