Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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StethoscopeYou may be surprised to discover that if you have been diagnosed with cancer there is a possibility that you can still purchase life insurance. As you can imagine, there are quite a lot of stipulations involved with getting life insurance when you do have cancer.

If you want to learn more about what is involved and whether or not you will qualify for life insurance with the type of cancer that you have, then read through this article; you will find that many of your questions will get answered right here.

Finding cancer life insurance quotes is a simple matter of entering your zip code in at the top of the page and comparing the various cancer life insurance underwriting guidelines along withe rate quotes. Just enter your zip code for free online insurance quotes.

Some Types of Cancer are Not an Issue for Insurance Companies

First of all, there are some cancers that insurance companies do not even consider an issue when approving life insurance policies. Skin cancer, for example, unless it is in its most advanced stage, is considered curable and generally won’t even affect premiums if you are diagnosed with it.

Interestingly, breast cancer, testicular cancer and prostate cancer are all cancers that are considered curable as long as they are caught in the early stages. In these cases you can still get life insurance with these types of cancers providing that the cancer is discovered in early to mid first stage and your prognosis is good.

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When Your Cancer is More Serious

Many times breast cancer, testicular cancer and prostate cancer aren’t caught in their early stages, especially if they don’t exhibit symptoms that prompt people to be checked for these forms of cancer. In these cases and in the case of other types of inherently less curable cancers, insurance companies are much more cautious.

First of all, there are no insurance companies that will provide life insurance during treatment for cancer of any kind with the exception of skin cancer. Part of the reason for this is that during treatment you are at a much higher risk for illness because your immune system simply isn’t working the way it is supposed to. Some people, especially the very young or the very old, die from their cancer treatments, putting them in the high risk category.

Another reason that insurance companies won’t insure cancer patients during treatment is because the prognosis is unknown until treatment is complete. Even if the doctor says a person has a good prognosis and even a great chance of survival after treatment, the bottom line is that cancer is unpredictable and insurance companies aren’t willing to take the risk.

If you have certain types of cancer, such as lung cancer, or any form of cancer that you have becomes metastasized then you cannot get life insurance under any circumstances. The reason that lung cancer is included in this category is that even in early stages it is the least curable of all cancer types. In addition it is the type of cancer that metastasizes the fastest and most often. In fact, most people who find that they have lung cancer learn about it too late for treatment to do any more than prolong their life for two to three years.

When cancer metastasizes it means that it spreads to other parts of the body; eventually the cancer will spread to the bones, brain, etc. Any type of cancer can metastasize, which is why it is important to have annual physicals and report any unusual symptoms to your doctor so that you can be tested early and hopefully stop the spreading of any cancer types.

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Insurance Options for People with Cancer

Now that you know if you may be able to purchase life insurance, you need to know what kind you can purchase and when. As mentioned earlier in this article, you can only purchase life insurance after treatment is completed. If you had one of the most curable cancer types listed above, or any other that an insurance company doesn’t consider high risk, then you can purchase life insurance right away. In most cases, however, they will only sell something called a graded policy.

A graded policy only pays a percentage of your death benefit in addition to your paid premiums if you die within the first two or three years of purchasing the policy. This only applies if you die from cancer; if you die from something else like a car accident, for example, many policies will pay your beneficiaries in full. It is up to you to determine what kind of stipulations exist on your policy.

If you have a more serious form of cancer, most insurance companies will require that you wait up to seven years to determine that the cancer has not returned or has not grown worse. Insurance companies will use the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database to determine what your prognosis is, if you have followed your doctor’s instructions to the letter, how long it’s been since your last treatment and so on. This information isn’t available for everyone, only to insurance underwriters that have your permission to access it.

Once you are able to purchase a policy, you should consider a whole life policy versus a term policy. The reason for this is that term policies will expire after a specific period of time and a whole life, once you have it, cannot be canceled by anyone but you. You will also want to consider a policy that has a maximum cap on premiums so that your premiums don’t increase to an unaffordable level should your cancer return or start to spread.

If you choose a term life insurance policy then you should try to purchase a policy that has a renewable option. When a term policy is renewable the insurance company cannot refuse to reinstate your policy for the next extension of the term. It is possible, however, that you will be unable to get this type of policy due to the cancer.

Where to Buy Life Insurance

As you can imagine, there are hundreds of options when it comes to companies that sell life insurance. There are some companies that specialize in selling life insurance to high risk individuals, so you might want to consider those choices first. Typically, however, high risk specialists have higher premiums than companies who write policies to just about anyone.

To find the best option, you will want to find the companies that will offer you the lowest rates. You can use our free quote tool to get an estimate of what you can expect to pay for your life insurance policy. You can even review quotes for both term and whole life to see what one will better serve your purposes.

Because of the nature of cancer, once you choose a company they will have to do a more in-depth case study of your situation to give you an exact quote. As mentioned above they will have to take into consideration the type of cancer you have as well as your prognosis.

The benefit of using a free quote tool is that you can compare basic rates between companies and avoid companies that start out at a higher rate than you can afford. In addition, you may see options that you didn’t know were available to you, such as coverage amounts or companies that you weren’t aware sold life insurance.

Enter your zip code in now for free life insurance rates!