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Life Insurance and Cancer – What You Need to Know

It’s difficult to talk about cancer. Many Canadians are affected by, or are close to someone that has, this disease. Last year the Canadian Cancer Society estimated that:

  • More than 100,000 men would be diagnosed with cancer
  • More than 40,000 men would pass away from cancer
  • Over 90,000 women would be diagnosed with cancer
  • Over 37,000 women would pass away from cancer
  • An average of 555 Canadians would be diagnosed every day and an average of 216 would be claimed by the disease daily

With statistics like that, it’s clear that Canadians need to be having conversations about cancer, and one of those conversations should be about the relationship between cancer and life insurance.

Did you know that cancer patients and cancer survivors can get life insurance? Over the past few years, underwriters across Canada have revamped polices and added no medical insurance (more on that below) to ensure that everyone can get coverage! This is a great relief to those facing funeral costs within the next 3-5 years, or to those that were not insured prior to diagnosis.

Life Insurance for Cancer Patients Varies Because Not all Cancers are the Same

Women are more prone to breast and thyroid cancer than men, and men are more prone to prostate and bladder cancer than women. Both sexes are equally affected by lung/bronchus and colorectal cancers. Cancer may go into remission, or shorten a life span. Some cancers are quickly treated, and others require long, aggressive interventions.

Underwriters providing life insurance for cancer patients consider the type of cancer, its survival rate, the method of treatment, if the cancer is in remission, how long the cancer has been in remission, etc. If the patient has been cancer-free for a number of years, the underwriter may offer a rated or excluded policy. This means the insurer charges a little more to cover their risk, or offers a standard life insurance policy but excludes cancer-related death from the benefit.

Life Insurance for the Most Serious Cancer Cases

Those that do not qualify for a form of standard insurance can still qualify for no medical life insurance. There are two types of no medical life insurance: simplified issue and guaranteed issue.

Simplified Issue

  • The application process does not include a medical exam
  • The application has a series of medical questions (you must be able to answer no to all of them)
  • Different underwriters have different question lists “ a broker will guide you to the company that is the most likely to insure you
  • If the applicant passes away within two years of the policy being in force, the benefit is not paid, but the premiums are returned to the beneficiaries
  • Lower premiums than guaranteed issue, but higher than a standard policy
  • Less maximum coverage available than for a standard policy

Guaranteed Issue

  • The application process does not include a medical exam
  • The application does not have any medical questions
  • If the applicant passes away within two years of the policy being in force, the benefit is not paid, but the premiums are returned to the beneficiaries
  • More expensive than simplified issue or a standard policy, but guaranteed acceptance
  • Less maximum coverage available than for a simplified issue policy

Where to get life insurance for cancer cases

Both agents and brokers can offer life insurance to those with cancer, but there is a very important distinction: an agent works for one company and can only sell the products of that company. A broker is independent and can sell the products of any Canadian insurer.

If you have cancer and need life insurance, strongly consider speaking with a broker. Upon doing a full needs assessment, the broker can match you with a policy from a top insurance brand, or a company that is known to frequently insure those with cases similar to yours. You do not want to get denied for a policy because a denial makes it much harder to get any type of policy in the future. A broker has more options to get you the policy that best suits your needs.

NoMedicalLifeInsurance.ca will help you to connect with the best life insurance brokers who are experienced in various types of health pre-conditions, including different types of cancer. Contact us for free and confidential advice, quotes and information.