Cancer patients might find their life insurance options are limited. Common challenges to securing life insurance include higher premiums, limited coverage options, potential exclusions for cancer-related issues, and coverage denial in some cases. Exploring providers and policies is critical, as some companies may be more accommodating based on individual circumstances.
We have analyzed various life insurance companies that provide the best policies suitable for cancer patients. Here are some of our top picks based on their benefits and considering the most challenging factors.
Best life insurance for cancer patients in 2024: shortlist
- Mutual of Omaha — best overall life insurance after cancer diagnosis
- AARP — best guaranteed life insurance for cancer patients
- United Home Life — best insurance with no medical exam required
- Fidelity Life — best insurance for cancer patients in remission
- USAA — best insurance for active military members, veterans, and their family members
Best life insurance companies for cancer patients in 2024
For cancer patients, Life Insurance can be a puzzling subject. This article explores everything from policy terms to underwriting processes to help you select the best coverage for your requirements, so you can feel confident in your financial protection during these challenging times. However, please be aware that these are our top picks as well as this list is limited to the life insurance plans we analyzed. Therefore, there might be other life insurance plans that are more appropriate to your needs. We always recommend to make a comparison among all available life insurance plans, considering both the benefits and drawbacks, in order to find the best option.
Mutual of Omaha — best overall for patients diagnosed with cancer
Mutual of Omaha is our top contender in the life insurance for cancer patients category due to its wide range of life insurance policies and simplified underwriting options that eliminate the need for a medical exam.
If you are in remission, contact Mutual of Omaha to check if you meet the criteria for other life insurance options. Eligibility may vary based on the cancer type, duration of remission, and other factors.
AARP — best guaranteed life insurance
AARP is our top choice for a guaranteed issue, as it provides coverage without declining individuals based on pre-existing health conditions such as cancer and does not require medical exams or medical history questions. AARP's Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance is available to individuals over 50 who are AARP members.
It offers guaranteed acceptance as long as you are not terminally ill, and there's no requirement for an invasive physical examination, even if you have been diagnosed with cancer.
United Home Life — best with no medical exam required
We have chosen United Home Life as our preferred option for no medical exams life insurance because it provides a variety of whole-life policies to cancer patients without requiring medical exams or invasive testing. Whole-life policies are issued with guaranteed acceptance, even if applicants have a cancer diagnosis.
As long as premiums are paid on time each month, the policyholder's premiums will remain constant. Moreover, these policies are available for individuals between 0 and 100 years old.
Fidelity Life — best for cancer patients in remission
Fidelity Life offers various term and whole life plans and a guaranteed issue RAPIDecision Final Expense policy for those who may not qualify for other options.
If you have a cancer diagnosis and want to inquire about coverage, you can contact Fidelity Life. However, please note that the online quote system rates your health from poor to excellent without including specific health information.
USAA — best for active military members, veterans, and their family members
USAA life insurance policies are available to everyone, especially supporting and insuring military members, veterans, and their families. Other life insurance companies will decline active-duty military personnel.
Best life insurance companies for cancer patients 2024: a comparison
The following table provides a comparison of our top life insurance companies for cancer patients in 2024.
|Available plan types
|AM Best Rating
|Mutual of Omaha
|Term, Whole Life, Universal Life, Living Promise Policies
|AARP (NY Life Ins Co.)
|Term, Permanent Life, Guaranteed acceptance
|United Home Life
|Term, Whole Life
|Term, Whole Life, Universal Life, Guaranteed acceptance
Ranking the top life insurance for cancer patients
When ranking the best life insurance for cancer patients, we considered the following factors:
- Overall value. Most factors are weighed to identify the option better suited for the general population.
- Financial strength. The ability of the Insurance company to meet its obligations to the insured regardless of any economic industry challenges.
- Coverage probability. The likelihood that the applicants will be covered regardless of medical history.
- Ease of application. How easy or complicated applying for coverage may be, especially when facing a diagnosis like cancer.
- Available plan types. Various options may facilitate decision-making based on coverage, costs, and requirements, among other factors.
Can cancer patients seek life insurance?
For cancer patients seeking life insurance, several factors come into play:
- Cancer type and stage. The type and stage of cancer significantly impact insurance options. Some cancers are considered less risky than others, leading to more favorable underwriting terms. Advanced stages of cancer might limit policy options or result in higher premiums.
- Medical history and treatment records. Insurers review medical history and treatment records to assess the current health status and prognosis. This information helps underwriters determine the level of risk associated with insuring the individual.
- Time since last treatment. The duration since the last cancer treatment can influence the insurability. A more extended period without recurrence may improve the chances of obtaining coverage or obtaining it at more reasonable rates.
- Overall health condition. Besides cancer, the individual's overall health and pre-existing conditions play a role in underwriting. This includes family medical history, lifestyle habits, and other health issues.
- Age. The age of the cancer patient is a crucial factor. Younger individuals have more insurance options and potentially lower premiums than older applicants.
- Insurance company policies. Cancer patients encounter diverse underwriting guidelines from insurance companies. Shopping around and comparing options is crucial to discovering the coverage that best fits their needs.
- Policy type. The type of life insurance (e.g., term, whole life) can also impact the options and premiums available to cancer patients.
Remember, each insurance application is unique, and the final decision depends on the specific details of the individual's case and the insurance provider's policies.
What are the best life insurances for cancer patients?
Various forms of life insurance serve the purpose of offering financial security upon the death of the insured. The primary categories include Term Life and Permanent Life, each with advantages and considerations tailored to diverse financial requirements and preferences.
Term Life insurance
This type of policy tends to be more affordable for life insurance. Providing coverage for a specific period, typically 10, 20, or 30 years, makes it a cost-effective option for many. No exam policies are also available, though those usually have lower payouts but higher premiums.
Guaranteed Issue life insurance
Health questions or medical exams are usually unnecessary for this type of policy. It provides coverage regardless of the applicant's health condition. However, premiums might be higher compared to other insurance policies.
These types of insurance are also known as Final Expense or Funeral Insurance. They cover the expenses related to a person's funeral and burial. They typically offer a smaller death benefit than regular life insurance policies. The main aim of burial insurance is to alleviate the financial burden on the family or beneficiaries during a challenging period and ensure that funeral costs will be handled.
No-exam life insurance
No-exam life insurance, also known as "no medical exam life insurance," is a policy that does not require the applicant to undergo a medical examination as part of the underwriting process. Unlike traditional life insurance policies, which typically involve a medical exam to assess the applicant's health and risk factors, no-exam life insurance policies rely on other factors, such as the applicant's age, gender, and responses to health-related questions on the application form.
This type of insurance typically involves a simplified underwriting process, where applicants answer health-related questions or provide medical information through a questionnaire. It is often a quicker and more accessible option for people who may have certain health conditions or prefer to avoid medical exams. However, no-exam life insurance policies may have higher premiums than traditional policies, as the insurance company may assume a higher level of risk due to the limited health information available for the applicant.
Life insurance options for cancer patients by condition
Having covered the best current companies and the general types of insurance available for cancer patients, we'll present some possible policies for different cancer conditions.
Early-Stage Cancer. Some insurance companies cover individuals with early-stage cancer. This type of policy might involve higher premiums and specific waiting periods before benefits are effective.
Advanced Stage Cancer. Obtaining traditional life insurance for those with advanced cancer might be difficult. However, you could explore graded or modified benefits policies that provide partial coverage after a specific waiting period.
Stage 4 Cancer. The options will be limited. A Guaranteed Issue life insurance policy for cancer patients may be the only option with lower coverage and high premiums.
Terminal Cancer. Individuals with terminal cancer may struggle to qualify for traditional life insurance policies. However, there might be options like Guaranteed Issue life insurance or Simplified Issue policies, which have limited underwriting requirements but may come with higher premiums.
Cancer Remission. If you have been cancer-free for a certain period, you may be eligible for standard life insurance policies, albeit with potential premium adjustments based on the type and stage of your previous cancer.
Cancer Survivors. Survivors who have completed their treatment and are cancer-free for an extended period may qualify for standard life insurance policies. However, the underwriting process may consider the type and stage of previous cancer.
How much does life insurance cost for cancer patients?
The cost of life insurance for cancer patients will be primarily influenced by several factors, including but not limited to:
- Type and stage of cancer. The specific type and stage of cancer can significantly impact the premium. Some cancers may be considered higher risk than others.
- Medical history. The individual's overall medical history, including past and current health conditions, can play a role in determining the cost.
- Age. Younger cancer patients may have more favorable rates than older individuals.
- Treatment and progression. The type of treatment received and the response to treatment can affect the cost.
- Time since remission. The length of time since cancer remission can impact the cost, as more extended periods of remission may lead to lower premiums.
- Family history. A family history of cancer may influence the cost of life insurance.
- Smoking and lifestyle habits. Smoking or other risky lifestyle habits can increase insurance costs.
- Insurance amount and term. The coverage amount and length of the policy term can affect the premium.
- Insurance company's underwriting. Each insurance company has its underwriting guidelines, leading to varying premium rates.
- Policy riders. Additional riders or optional benefits added to the policy can impact the cost.
- Overall health. Apart from cancer, the individual's general health condition is considered in the assessment.
Average pricing of main type of polices by gender & age
The following are 2024 average pricing for the main types of policies available for individuals who have recovered from cancer or with a recent or current cancer diagnosis:
Methodology: These are the average monthly estimated rates for males and females with standard health ratings applying for a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy. The rates are based on policies offered by several companies, including Banner Life, Brighthouse Financial, Corebridge Financial, Foresters, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Principal, Protective, Prudential, Symetra, and Transamerica, tailored to each age group.
It's important to note that not all policies are available in all states, and the rate illustration provided is valid as of 07/01/2023.
Methodology: Involves computing average monthly rates for male and female applicants who secure a $15,000 or $25,000 guaranteed issue whole life insurance policy. These rates are based on policies offered by Mutual of Omaha and Corebridge Financial. Please note that not all policies are accessible in every state, and the rate illustration is current as of 07/01/2023.
Prices can vary depending on the insurance company's policies and practices.
Life insurance for cancer survivors: things to consider
Securing affordable life insurance can be influenced by several factors. Here are some tips to help you:
- Lifestyle changes and health improvements. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle consistent with regular exercise, a balanced diet, and avoiding tobacco products can reduce costs. Also, managing existing health conditions and staying up-to-date with medical check-ups can be beneficial.
- Consider Term Life insurance. It is generally the most cost-effective option for many.
- Compare quotes from multiple insurers. It is recommended to compare quotes from different insurance providers. Rates can vary significantly, so getting multiple quotes allows you to find the most affordable option.
- Choose the right coverage amount. Assess your insurance needs accurately to avoid overpaying for coverage you don't require. Determine the appropriate amount that would adequately protect your beneficiaries.
- Utilize policy riders wisely. Policy riders are add-ons to your life insurance policy that offer additional benefits. While some riders may be necessary, carefully evaluate if others are worth the extra cost.
Read more about other life insurance policies
Can a stage 4 cancer patient get life insurance?
It might be challenging for a stage 4 cancer patient to obtain traditional life insurance due to the severity of their condition. However, some insurance companies may offer specialized policies or options, like Guaranteed Issue or Simplified Issue plans. It's best to consult with insurance providers directly to explore options based on individual circumstances.
Is cancer a pre-existing condition for life insurance?
Some life insurance companies may consider cancer a pre-existing condition, affecting coverage and premiums.
Will a family history of cancer affect life insurance?
Although a family history of cancer does not disqualify a life insurance applicant, it can impact premiums and coverage. Insurance companies often consider family medical history, including cancer, as part of their underwriting process. If you have a family history of cancer, it might lead to higher premiums or more stringent underwriting requirements.
How long after having cancer can you get life insurance?
Generally, the eligibility for life insurance after cancer can vary depending on the type, the diagnosed stage, treatment, and the time since remission. Cancer survivors in remission for two to five years are more likely to qualify for a traditional term or permanent life insurance policy.