Life Insurance and Cancer
Getting screened for cancer
does not have to prevent
you from obtaining life insurance.
Recent advancements in the treatment of cancer have had a major impact on the way life insurance companies underwrite cancer survivors. Many forms of cancer are very treatable in the early stages and insurance companies have adjusted their pricing accordingly.
This point was highlighted in a recent National Post article. Joan Tolan a retired Vice President at Munich Reinsurance was quoted as saying "Every individual is treated differently and assessed on their own individual risk. But almost every disease out there, if it's under control, there will be some type of coverage."
In certain instances cancer survivors can qualify for traditional life insurance. Caroline Keyes, Director and Chief Underwriter at Kingston based insurer Empire Life points out in underwriting life insurance and cancer "we look at the type of cancer, the stage it's at and how far advanced it is." The earlier it's diagnosed the better, because it's more treatable and is more likely to have a favourable underwriting decision.
It is very important to work with a broker who has experience with Life Insurance and Cancer. The claims experience and underwriting practises can vary sharply from one insurance company to another. For applicants with a history of Cancer it is often useful for your broker to submit a cover letter with the application. Underwriting life insurance and Cancer is about assessing and understanding risk, is the person more likely to die sooner than someone else the same age without that risk. People often think because they have have had cancer that can not qualify for insurance but recent advancements in technology and on the product side have created new opportunities for clients.
A very exciting recent trend in the industry has been the increase in non medical life insurance providers. The term "non medical life insurance" is sometimes misused, while it's true the insurance company does not require a medical on many of these plans still do ask a series of health questions.
No Medical life insurance can be broken down into 2 categories. Simplified Issue Life Insurance where there are no medical tests and a short series of health questions and Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance where there no medical tests and no health questions. All Guaranteed Issue plans and some Simplified Issue plans have a 2 year waiting period, meaning if the insured dies in the first 2 years by a non accident the death benefit is limited to a return of premium plus interest.
Assumption Life has very competitive rates on its Golden Protection plan. This plan is available without a medical and cancer survivors will qualify as long as they were diagnosed with cancer over 2 years ago and have not had a change in medication over the last 2 years. Canada Protection Plan also has a series popular no medical plans for cancer survivors. Their Deferred Life has a more stringent qualification question but they also introduced a plan a few years back called Acceptance with higher premiums and a Deferred death benefit which does not have a cancer related question.
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Some other Simplified Issue insurance companies include Industrial Alliance, Wawanessa Life, La Capitale and Humania Assurance which recently introduced a $300,000 Simplified Issue Term 10 and Term 20 policy which is available to people with Cancer if they are actively working. But their is a pre-existing condition exclusion period on their plans.
One big caveat in qualifying for Simplified Issue plans especially those with an immediate pay out is that the insured can not have been declined in the last 2 years. My advice to many cancer survivors looking at life insurance use this plan as your worse case scenario and than apply to another carrier to see if you can get a better rate.
If you would like discuss Life Insurance and Cancer or your particular situation in more detail please do not hesitate to call us at 1.866.899.4849 or visit No Medical Life Insurance Quote Page.