Life insurance for someone who has had cancer

Life Insurance for Someone who has had Cancer

By Vicki Coleman

If you have or have had cancer, you may find it more difficult to get standard life insurance. But we can say with some certainty, you’ll still be able to get some kind of life cover.

Dealing with the unknown can be the hardest part of cancer and its treatment. So, it’s reassuring to know that you can put some sort of protection in place in case the disease – or something else – was to curtail your life.

However, you may not be guaranteed a big payout. Before taking out a policy, it’s important you know what you’re signing yourself up for and what you can expect should different circumstances play out.

What is over 50 life insurance?

Cancer is a cruel disease and can strike at any age. But the average age of a patient diagnosed with cancer is 66, and a quarter of all new cancer cases are diagnosed in people between 65 and 74 years[1].

So, it only seems fitting to talk about over 50s life insurance, which is designed specifically for people aged 50-80 who might be carrying the odd medical condition or two, including cancer.

It’s guaranteed acceptance if you tick off the insurer’s eligibility requirements, which are normally age related. So, as long as you fall into the required age range, you’ll be able to take out a policy.

You won’t be asked to provide any details whatsoever about your cancer or any other existing health issues.

Why do insurers offer life cover for cancer patients?

There are around 375,000 new cancer cases in the UK every year, which works out at around 1,000 every day. Or to put it another way, someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes[2].

Over the last decade, incidence rates for all cancers combined have increased by around a twentieth (4%) in the UK. And almost half (45.5%) of all cancer cases are diagnosed at stage 3 & 4 (out of those with a known stage at diagnosis) in England.

But, to look at it another way, cancer survival in the UK has doubled in the last 40 years. Now, half of people diagnosed with cancer survive the disease for 10 or more years.

Of course, survival varies between cancer types, ranging from 98% for testicular cancer to just 1% for pancreatic cancer[3].

But insurers won’t discriminate based on cancer type, provided you’re taking out guaranteed life cover. That’s because they are obliged, as per the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), to try to offer everyone affordable life cover.

Even if you’re trying to take out standard life cover, if you have a type of cancer that statistics show is either curable or manageable, it might be against the law for the life insurance company to refuse you insurance or charge you a higher premium.

Are you guaranteed a payout if you die from cancer?

As we’ve already alluded to, this is where things get a little complicated.

When it comes to paying out, over-50 policies will have different rules. The main point of difference is around the amount of time you have to pay for cover before it will pay out.

In other words, if you die relatively quickly after taking out your life insurance policy, your loved ones probably won’t be entitled to the agreed lump sum. That’s not to say they’ll be left empty handed – but they might only receive a ‘refund’ on the premiums you’ve paid to date, and this probably won’t amount to much.

So, when doing your research on life cover, look out for each policy’s ‘minimum terms’. This will dictate where the line in sand is drawn – in other words, how long you have to be alive with the policy in place for it to pay out in full.

Generally speaking, it is either 12 or 24 months. But insurers will usually pay out the full cover amount if you die because of an accident before the minimum term has passed.

What if you already have life cover in place?

If you took out a life insurance policy prior to your cancer diagnosis, the insurer should honour it as normal, provided you were honest about your medical history when you took the policy out.

That’s a good lesson for life cover in general: give as many details about any existing conditions – and your lifestyle – as requested by the insurer. While doing so may cost you more in premiums in the short term, not disclosing certain details could result in discrepancies over the lump sum payout in the future.

One of the reasons that people take out life insurance is to get some peace of mind; they want to know that their loved ones will be financially secure in the event of their death. So, if you are worried that you’re withholding anything which could affect that, your best bet is to give your insurer a ring to clear things up.

If you’ve got guaranteed life cover, any change to your circumstances will have little or no bearing on your policy – but it’s always a good idea to be sure.

Get cover today

Whether you have been given a terminal diagnosis, are in remission from cancer or receiving treatment, you should be able to find affordable life cover that suits your needs.

It’s understandable if you’re a little sceptical about your eligibility for life insurance whilst living with cancer. But, here at QuoteSearch, we’re independent and FCA regulated, so you can proceed with trust.

Our experts are honest and clear from the get-go, focussed on getting you the best deal possible. To compare your free life insurance quotes from leading providers, click here.


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