Can I get Life Insurance after beating Cancer?


The simple answer is …YES



If you are among the majority of cancer patients who survive following a diagnosis, you may face another battle: taking out a life insurance plan or mortgage protection policy.



Trying to get life insurance after a cancer diagnosis is not easy but not impossible. There are a number of factors that will determine the cost of your cover:


  • type of cancer
  • what stage you were at
  • grade of the cancer
  • the treatment plan
  • how long ago your last treatment was


The following are guidelines estimating the waiting periods for different types of cancer.


  • Bladder Cancer – 2 Years
  • Bone Cancer – 5 Years
  • Breast Cancer – 2 Years
  • Cervix Cancer – 1 Year
  • Cervix (In Situ) – 0 Years
  • Colon Cancer – 2 Years
  • Esophagus Cancer – 3 Years
  • Kidney Cancer – 3 Years
  • Larynx Cancer – 1 Year
  • Leukemia – 10 Years
  • Lung Cancer – 3 Years
  • Lymphoma – 2 Years
  • Metastatic Cancer – 5 Years
  • Ovarian Cancer – 3 Years
  • Parotid – 2 Years
  • Pancreatic Cancer – 2 Years
  • Prostate – 1 Year
  • Rectum Cancer – 2 Years
  • Salivary – 2 Years
  • Skin Melanoma – 1 Year
  • Testicular Cancer – 1 Year




Life insurance after cancer



It’s unusual if an insurer offers a policy to someone who is still undergoing treatment. If they have a good prognosis, they may become eligible for a policy. Life insurance companies often examine medical records and consultant reports for breast cancer survivors seven years after a completed treatment. If the prognosis is good, the patient can ask for a re-evaluation and lower premiums.


Most cancer survivors who apply for life insurance do so after five years of being cancer-free (after their last treatment) but depending on the cancer you can get cover before this period.


The life insurance policies and price you receive will hinge on the curability of your cancer. Certain types of non-melanoma skin cancer, for example, are considered very low risk by life insurance companies, and a skin cancer history may not impact premiums at all. Depending on your type of cancer, the life insurer might add loading.


Applicants with common and treatable forms of breast, prostate, testicular and thyroid cancer may be able to get a small loading under ideal circumstances.

But patients with a history of leukaemia or colon cancer may fall into a higher loading of premium at best, or even receive declines. Anyone with cancer that has metastasised likely won’t be able to obtain a policy.



Most insurers will not offer a policy to someone who is still undergoing treatment for cancer.




Cancer risk specialists


While any dedicated life insurance broker can search the insurance marketplace to find companies that will sell you a life insurance policy, we at ONE LIFE are brokers who specialise in finding life insurance for people after cancer as we know which insurer will look on each case more favourably.




Life insurance application tips for cancer survivors



Gather all necessary medical records before you apply. This includes your all your reports, medical records and treatment records. This will give underwriters the most complete picture of you, your health and your cancer history. Having all those records before you apply will reduce delays in the application process because your life insurer is going to request them and will wait for them. The less underwriters know about you, the more likely they are to assume you are a high-risk case and offer you high premiums accordingly.


Make sure you follow your doctor’s treatment plan to the letter. Your life insurer is not going to offer you a policy without seeing the results of your follow-up appointments. Similarly, if you’ve had breast cancer and you’re due for a mammogram soon after applying for Life Insurance, your life insurer will likely wait for the results of your next mammogram.
Contact ONE LIFE INSURE and will go through your application and complete a Cancer Medical Questionnaire in fine detail with you.




Most insurers you would think sing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to accepting life insurance with cancer survivors. But that is not the case. The following case study is an example of much of a saving you can make by applying to the right company to get your cover.



Case Study: Last year, a couple (Alan and Hannah) contacted me, they were buying their first house together. Hannah had been given the all clear from cancer (Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma) 7 years previous. The bank who arranged their mortgage loan advised them that the Mortgage Protection premium, because of a medical loading, was going to be €320.50 per month. Understandably, this was a unaffordable amount and the purchase of the house was in jeopardy.



However, we didn’t panic, as I knew from previous experience, the insurance company whom they originally applied for this cover for wasn’t very lenient towards cancer survivors.



So we set about applying with two other insurers (two insurers that I knew would be more understanding) in great confidence of getting a reduced premium. After plenty phone calls to GPs etc,  we got quoted two vastly reduced premiums. One Insurer quoted €81.15 per month and another quoted €50.79 per month. This was a huge saving of €269.71 per month, over €3,200 a year. Obviously Alan and Hannah were thrilled with this outcome, but real life stories like this also gives myself and the staff here a great sense of achievement and fulfilment.




Regardless of how long it has been since your cancer diagnosis, it’s important that you stay positive. Even if you’ve been denied life insurance coverage in the past, it is still possible that you can qualify for a policy in the future. The best course of action is to complete the waiting period post treatment and then move forward from there.

If an insurer has declined you, try another one or speak to us at  ONE LIFE INSURANCE. We are specialist life insurance advisors who know where to apply to get the most appropriate plan and the cheapest cover for you.


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T: 01-5390410