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Life Insurance for People with Cancer (and Cancer Survivors)

By Lloyd Harvey·November 08, 2022·6 Minute Read

In this Article

Finding out you or someone you care about has cancer is one of the toughest challenges you could ever face. At first, it can feel like the road ahead is paved with unanswered questions. From cancer treatment methods and their physical effects to care plans and support groups, there is a lot to unpack.

This article can help answer one crucial question: Can you get life insurance with cancer? 

Can You Get Life Insurance with Cancer?

In most cases, you can still get life insurance if you have cancer. There are actually types of life insurance designed specifically for people diagnosed with a terminal illness. Though getting life insurance with cancer is possible, it can sometimes be challenging. 

Here are some of the predicaments you may face when looking for life insurance for people with cancer:

  • If you apply for some of the more commonly purchased life insurance types, the insurer will likely reject your application.
  • The types of life insurance policies available to you are limited. 
  • You may find that the life insurance rates for cancer patients are higher than expected.
  • Life insurance for people with cancer is often limited to lower coverage amounts

Can People with a Recent Cancer Diagnosis Get Life Insurance?

A new cancer diagnosis can push life insurance to the top of your priority list. But rest assured, life insurance options exist for people with cancer, even if the detection is new.

Types of Life Insurance for Cancer Patients

However, knowing the types of life insurance with high approval rates for cancer patients can remove some stress from the application process. Here are some life insurance options to consider if you have cancer:

Simplified Issue Life Insurance

This no-medical exam life insurance offers permanent coverage. 

The maximum coverage amount is typically much lower than other types of insurance. 

Simplified Issue Life Insurance is intended for people over the age of forty-five. Although there is no medical exam, you will be required to answer some health history and medical questions when you apply. 

The not-so-great news: cancer can be a disqualifier for simplified issue life insurance, especially if you have additional health issues. The great news: there is another option, and this one is, quite literally, guaranteed.

Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance

Also known as “guaranteed issue life insurance” and “no questions life insurance,” this type of whole life insurance can help people with cancer who are looking for coverage, even if their diagnosis is considered terminal. 

There is no medical exam, no deep dive into your prescription history, and if you apply for guaranteed life insurance with cancer, the insurance company won’t even ask you what type of cancer you have. 

But, of course, there are some restrictions to consider before you purchase a guaranteed policy.

How Do You Get a Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance Policy with Cancer?

The name says it all. You will likely be approved for a guaranteed acceptance policy if you apply when you are in the allowed age range. Most companies offer guaranteed acceptance insurance to people between the ages of fifty and eighty. If you fall outside of this range, rare exceptions are sometimes made. 

While some types of life insurance offer coverage options up into the millions, the death benefit of guaranteed life insurance typically ranges from $2,000 to $25,000. In addition, death benefits are tax-free for your beneficiaries when delivered in a lump-sum payment. They could use the life insurance payout from your policy to cover the funeral cost or help pay off some lingering medical bills.

Every guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy comes with a waiting period. Each life insurer has its own waiting period regulations — typically two or three years. Once the waiting period ends, your policy is in force with the full death benefit. 

If you were to die before the waiting period ends, all is not lost. Your beneficiaries would still receive a payout. However, instead of the full death benefit, they likely would get the total amount you had spent on your insurance premiums plus interest (ask your insurance agent about the rates available).

Though some may feel disheartened by guaranteed acceptance life insurance limits, it can help lift some weight off the shoulders of those facing cancer. Knowing the people in your life have a little financial cushion to land on when you are gone gives you one less thing to worry over.

Can You Get Term Life Insurance with Cancer?

Term life insurance is one of the simplest forms of life insurance. A term life insurance policy provides coverage for a term, typically anywhere from ten to thirty years. Though there are no-medical exam term life insurance policies available, your application is unlikely to be approved while you have cancer.

Life Insurance for People with Cancer: Does Your Type of Cancer Matter?

The short answer is yes. Take, for example, non-melanoma skin cancer. Unlike most other types of cancer, this common form of skin cancer does not typically affect life insurance rates.

Another example of the type of cancer’s influence on life insurance is the length of time it takes for an insurer to consider you cancer free. 

Every life insurance company has its own set of rules. Still, most of them require you to be in remission for a minimum of three to ten years to be considered cancer-free, and some insurers have different requirements for different types of cancer. 

Should You Wait to Get Life Insurance After Cancer?

Now that you know that there is life insurance for people with cancer, you might be wondering if it’s something you should buy now or if you’re better off waiting to see if your cancer goes into remission. 

Unfortunately, this is one of those questions that no one can answer for you. The decision to buy life insurance with cancer is a deeply personal one. 

How Does the Insurance Company Determine Your Eligibility?

If you buy life insurance in remission, you will likely answer a few questions about your cancer history. Insurance companies take a deep dive into your lifestyle, medical records, and health status. As a result, you may have to undergo a medical exam or submit a lab test. If an exam and a blood draw sound less than pleasant, no medical exam life insurance applications are available. 

Here are some examples of what insurance companies might look for concerning cancer: 

Diagnosis date

Remember, each insurer has its own waiting period for those in remission. That length of time can be dependent on the cancer type. 

Type of cancer

See above. Cancer survival and recurrence rates can impact the underwriting process and influence premiums.

Metastasis or multiple cancer sites

Did your cancer metastasize or spread to multiple parts of your body? Metastatic cancer is considered more severe than non-metastatic cancer and may put you at a higher risk for recurrence.

Any relapses you may have faced

For example, an insurance company may ask you if your cancer ever returned after a period of remission.

Other health concerns

Health history comes up in life insurance for people with cancer and people without cancer. The insurance underwriter will likely inquire about your medical history, the medications you take, and any recent hospitalizations.

Your Family history

Insurance companies look at your medical history and that of your family.

What is the Best Type of Life Insurance for a Cancer Survivor?

You may want to take out a new life insurance policy when you are in remission. There are no limits to the number of life insurance policies one can have, but each insurance company has a coverage cap.

If you are over fifty, you may find that simplified issue life insurance and guaranteed acceptance life insurance are your best options, even in remission. However, suppose you are younger and have been cancer-free for years. In that case, you could qualify for term life insurance or a less restrictive type of permanent life insurance, like whole life insurance or universal life insurance coverage.

Quick Decision Term Life Insurance 

Cancer has a way of putting things into perspective for everyone involved. For example, if you have cancer, you might be motivated to encourage other people in your life to apply for life insurance sooner rather than later

Likewise, if you are caring for a cancer patient, you likely understand how difficult it is for people with cancer to get a life insurance policy after their diagnosis.

If you (or someone you care about) are in excellent health, consider applying for no medical exam term life insurance. With Bestow, applying for term life insurance is simple and rates from $11 per month

Upon approval and dependent on your age, you can apply for a policy that typically lasts anywhere from ten to thirty years. Once your term life insurance policy is activated, you lock your rate in for the entire term. As long as you pay your premium, that policy is in force, regardless of what curveballs life might throw your way.

Key Takeaways

  • You can get life insurance with cancer, but it may be a challenging process.
  • The type of cancer you have is relevant when applying for life insurance. For example, non-melanoma skin cancer typically doesn’t affect life insurance rates.
  • If you have cancer, you might consider guaranteed life insurance, a type of permanent life insurance that guarantees approval to those in a specific age range, typically fifty to eighty.
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    Bestow’s 100% online application process has four simple parts:

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    Bestow’s application process is entirely online. Seriously, 100%. Many companies offer an indicative quote online, but then refer applicants to an agent in order to finish the application process. Other online life insurance options may still require a medical exam for certain coverage amounts or applicants.

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    What Determines How Much I’ll Pay For Life Insurance?

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    What Is the 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee?

    It’s a 30-day free look period to examine your life insurance policy to see if it meets your needs. If you cancel your policy within the first 30 days, you’ll receive a refund.

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    How Can I Trust My Beneficiary Will Get Paid?

    North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® is the insurance carrier and pays the claim for policies purchased through Bestow. We are here to walk whoever is making the claim through the process and answer any questions.

    What Happens If I Die During My Term?

    Should you pass away, your beneficiary will contact Bestow to get started on the claims process. A Customer Care Advisor will walk them through the process and answer any questions while North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® processes and reviews the claim.

    In most cases, life insurance policies will have a two-year contestable period where the insurance company may investigate the cause of death and review the information provided on the application (only if there’s a reason). If information is found to be false or inaccurate, the insurance company can deny the payment of the life insurance benefit.

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    What Happens If I Don’t Die?

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    Term life insurance policies do not build cash value like a whole life policy does, so if you outlive your policy term, you won’t get anything back. Term life policies do not renew. At the end of your term, you can re-apply for a new policy.

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    1. Give us a call at 1.833.300.0603
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    No Medical Exam Life Insurance: What to Know

    Between work, home repairs, and a to-do list that never seems to shrink, it can feel like there is no time for extras. It’s safe to assume that most people would prefer not to take hours out of their day to get a life insurance medical exam. If this is the case, then why do most insurance companies require it?

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    What is No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance?

    No-medical exam life insurance is exactly what it sounds like: a life insurance policy that does not require a medical exam to apply.

    The traditional way of applying for a life insurance policy can involve medical exams, lab tests, and in-person interviews. With this traditional underwriting process, you might find yourself waiting up to a month to get a decision.

    Accelerated underwriting uses technology to make the process of applying for life insurance more efficient. As in, an application decision and knowing if you are eligible in minutes – not weeks. Pretty cool right?

    As with all types of life insurance coverage, whether or not a policy is a right fit for your needs depends on, well, your needs. Some may have higher premiums, some may have differences in the application process. There are a lot of options. Here, we’ve gathered some helpful info on some of the most common life insurance coverage options which may not require a medical exam.

    What Are the Different Types of No Medical Exam Life Insurance Policies?

    Term life insurance can be a solid choice for many families because of its simplicity and affordability, but there are a few other types of no medical exam life insurance options, as well.

    No-Medical Exam Term Life Insurance With a Fast Decision

    With this option, instead of bloodwork and a medical exam, applicants will answer health and lifestyle questions and provide information about their medical history to see if they qualify for a policy.

    Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance

    In some ways, simplified issue is similar to the above. There’s no medical exam, and you’ll instead provide information about your lifestyle and general health, including disclosing any medical conditions you may have. It’s an option worth considering if you’re generally in good health and looking for fast coverage.

    One key difference, though, is just how much life insurance coverage you can get. Simplified issue insurance typically caps off around $100,000 (although some life insurance providers do offer more coverage). Plus, a simplified issue policy may have graded death benefits, which means that your beneficiaries only get the full value of the policy if you pass away at least two years after you purchase. 

    Because there are minimal questions and quick coverage, the cost for simplified issue policies will typically be more expensive than both no-medical exam or traditionally underwritten life insurance.

    Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

    Guaranteed issue life insurance is a kind of whole life insurance policy (a type of permanent life insurance) that doesn’t require any health qualifications. There are no medical exams or health questionnaires. The coverage amount is quite limited though – usually between $2,000 and $25,000 – typically enough to serve as final expense insurance.

    Guaranteed issue coverage is typically purchased by people who can’t qualify for any other type of life insurance. If you are approved for guaranteed life insurance, your policy will likely have a waiting period before your benefits go into effect, typically two or three years. You would pay your premiums during this time but if you were to pass away during the waiting period, your beneficiaries would not receive the death benefit. 

    Group Life Insurance

    Your employer may offer group life insurance with a coverage amount equal to your salary. This coverage is generally inexpensive or free and there’s usually no medical exam. It’s a nice perk if you can get it, though it’s important to remember that you usually can’t take your coverage with you when you leave the company.

    Moreover, some people find that a simple one-time salary replacement is not an adequate amount of coverage. You may be able to purchase extra coverage through your employer, but consider getting a quote for a term policy before you do. You may be surprised at how much coverage you can get for the same price.

    Who Can Buy Life Insurance Without a Medical Exam?

    Generally speaking, healthy adults between the ages of twenty-one and forty-five may be eligible to buy a term life insurance policy online. (Bestow can underwrite policies for individuals ages eighteen to sixty, for terms of ten to thirty years, if approved.)

    No one will vet your yoga class attendance record or that marathon sticker on your Subaru’s rear window. But if you are in overall good health, a no-medical-exam life insurance policy might be the right fit for you.

    However, there are certain criteria that may prevent you from purchasing a policy without a medical exam. If you have a serious medical condition (such as heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, or blood pressure issues) or risky hobbies (like hang gliding, for example), you might need to speak to a licensed insurance agent to help you find a life insurance policy that fits your needs.

    How To Get a Fast, Free Quote Right Now

    Bestow offers term life insurance for today’s busy families. We believe that everyone should have access to the financial protection that life insurance can help provide, and that it should be convenient, affordable, and fast. 

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  • Author: Bestow Team, reading time: 4 minutes

    Who Needs Life Insurance – How It Works, and When You Should Have It

    In the event you’re not around to provide for your family members, the death benefit from a life insurance policy may leave your loved ones with some degree of financial security. And for a lot of people, especially parents, that peace of mind is priceless.

    You’ll have plenty of options when selecting life insurance from different face values and term lengths to riders and even policies that hold cash value. At the end of the day, the choice is personal, but knowing about all of your options can give you more confidence to finally purchase that policy.

    How Life Insurance Works

    In short, you pay a life insurance company a set amount of money each month (that’s the premium) for an agreed upon amount of time (that’s the term). If you pass away during that term, the insurer pays your beneficiary (the person you choose to receive the benefit) the life insurance payout.

    The payout is typically tax free, and many view it as income replacement. Others plan for it to cover daily living expenses, a mortgage, or even fund higher education. You can name nearly anyone as your life insurance beneficiary and they can spend the money however they need it.

    It really can be that simple. You continue to pay your insurance premiums on time each month, and you can feel good about the financial protection you are providing your family should they ever need it.

    Start with a quote

    Who Needs Life Insurance?

    Most people start to think about life insurance when they start a family or buy a home, but the truth is, it’s always a smart time to start buying life insurance. That’s because, typically, the most affordable time to buy is now. For most people, life insurance rates get more expensive as you age.

    Anyone with someone who depends on their income is a good candidate for life insurance.

    1. Parents

    Having kids means having bills, from early childcare costs for young children to higher education for older kids. Their financial needs are unpredictable and often come by surprise.

    2. Spouses or Partners

    From living expenses to outstanding debts and even private student loans, the loss of a loved one could be compounded by crushing financial burden. That’s to say nothing of the funeral expenses and other final expenses that face those left behind.

    3. Stay at Home Parents

    Stay at home moms and dads contribute a significant amount of non-paid labor in a home. While not typically viewed as financial support, the value of this work can easily be in the six-figures. Life insurance can help to cover the costs associated with childcare, home maintenance and more.

    4. Small Business Owners

    The terms of a small business loan often require life insurance, but having coverage can also solidify a commitment to employees, business partners, and small business cosigners, whose livelihoods may depend on your contribution to the company.

    5. Retirees

    Even if you were offered life insurance through work, that typically vanishes when you leave a job. Many retirees live on a fixed income and when a spouse or partner passes, a life insurance policy can ensure the other lives out their days comfortably.

    6. Anyone with Shared Debts

    If you and your spouse’s names are both on the mortgage, if your parents cosigned your student loans, or if you share a credit card, you may be leaving loved ones responsible for debt they aren’t able to pay off.

    Watch this video to learn more about who might need life insurance.

    Get an instant quote for term life insurance, no medical exam required.

    Who doesn’t need life insurance?

    If no one in your life depends on you for any financial support, you may not need life insurance coverage right now. But there’s no harm in looking at life insurance quotes today.

    If you work with a personal finance advisor, it’s likely they’ll bring up life insurance while you are young, if they think you may need life insurance in the future. That’s because, in most cases, life insurance will never be as affordable as it is today. Yup. Right now. Your premium rate is determined by a number of factors including your age and health, often with a medical exam. The rate you get at 25 will probably differ significantly from the rate you get at 35.

    What Kind Of Life Insurance Is Best For You?

    Once you’ve got an idea of the amount of life insurance you need, you’ll need to understand which type to buy. There are several types of life insurance coverage with differing amounts of coverage, policy lengths, and even add-ons. Let’s break it down.

    Whole Life Insurance

    Whole life insurance (or permanent life insurance) is a policy you purchase and pay premiums on for the rest of your life. When you pass, as we all do, your beneficiaries receive a payout.

    A whole life insurance policy might be right for someone hoping to transfer wealth to their children. Or people who expect to have mortgages into old age. It is almost always more expensive than a term policy because it, at some point, will pay out.

    Read more about the differences between term and whole life insurance here.

    Term Life Insurance

    Term life insurance policy is a great choice for people looking for more affordable rates and happy to have coverage for a set number of years (like 5, 10, or even up to 30).

    You can usually find out a more flexible policy with competitive rates for the years when your death would most impact your family (duration of a mortgage, children graduating, etc.)

    Watch the video below to learn more about how much insurance you need.

    Buying Your Life Insurance Policy

    Whether you’re looking to shore up your long-term financial plan or you’d just rest a little easier knowing you’ve done something that may help your family, life insurance is now a relatively easy place to start. With Bestow, you can get a fast, free quote in seconds. The full online application literally takes minutes, and you could have coverage today, if approved. Peace of mind could be just a few clicks today. So what are you waiting for? Get started today.


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