Life Insurance for Cancer Survivors [YES! You Can Buy]

What more justifications you need to prove your metal? Of course, surviving cancer is no picnic, but you are one of those Americans who have overcome this disease. The traumas, stress, worries, and pain during the entire period can surely make anyone into a lot of mental distress.

But, as now you have survived, it is time to think further to make sure you can beat the disease again if needed because cancer is reversible. Remember, time may not favor you always, therefore, it is always in your best interest to plan things for any mishaps.

So, if you don’t have life insurance yet, then make sure you buy life insurance for cancer survivors to live peacefully.

Is Life Insurance for Cancer Survivors Available?

yes you can buyAs a cancer survivor, life insurance could be expensive. But that doesn’t mean you cannot buy the policy. As long as you are completely healthy or in a state of abeyance, you have opportunities to buy a life insurance plan.

This means that as being a tough nut on cancer, you are still eligible to enjoy the insurance perks. But, it is important to keep in mind that some companies might directly refuse your request due to the cancer type you had in the past.

Nevertheless, optimism can do wonders and you can get life insurance if the disease is in respite since you defeated it for the very first time. If cancer has left you already, then the chances of getting life insurance are even more positive.

But for the sake of assurance, insurance organizations will require remission reports as evidence. You will also have to provide your recent health history, as the policymakers would decide on your current medical condition whether to approve life insurance or simply reject it.

So, in one word, the answer is ‘YES’. Life insurance is available for former cancer patients.

Options for Cancer Survivors

There are various options available when you plan to buy life insurance as a cancer survivor. Here are the names along with their important details to help you get the best plan.

#1. Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance

As a cancer survivor, you must be searching for insurance companies to buy a life insurance policy. But, due to your medical history, you would have been through a lot of rejections. It is alright because many soldiers like you have witnessed similar problems. But fortunately, they have found the ‘Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance’.

Some people call it ‘Guaranteed Issue’ in which no health-related questions are asked. Also, there is no need to give a medical examination to get this policy. So all you need is to apply and get the approval. Yes! It is that simple, and below are some of its characteristics:

  • Fixed coverage/benefit amount ($25,000 to $40,000).
  • No stressful interviews or medical checkups.
  • Easy approval for cancer survivors or those in remission.
  • People aged 40 or above can avail of this.


  • It is expensive than the rest of the life insurance policies.
  • Beneficiaries may not receive the full amount due to the ‘graded benefit’ clause. This means that if death calls you during the insurance period, only the paid premiums along with an addition of 10% will be received.
  • You cannot enhance the coverage amount.

#2. Universal Whole Life Insurance

Universal whole life insurance is also called ‘permanent life insurance’. This insurance comes with low premiums, and it is supple if you compare it with the term life insurance. In this insurance, the policyholders have several options to modify their annual premiums or death benefits.

Universal whole life insurance revolves around to basic elements:

  • Cost of Insurance amount (COI)
  • Cash value

As the name suggests, the COI is the minimum premium amount required to pay by the policyholders to ensure that the plan remains active. COI covers several charges, such as policy administration, mortality, and other related expenses to enforce the policy.

On the contrary, the ‘cash value’ is like a savings account, where the paid premiums could be considered as an investment because the amount earns interest. However, the interest rates are lower than the ones offered in the market.

Cancer survivors can opt for universal whole life insurance, however, the coverage would depend on your current health condition.

#3. Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance ensures coverage on the insured’s life. The basic features are similar to most of the insurance policies, but it has a death benefit along with cash value accumulation. This insurance lasts for a lifetime rather than fixed to a specific period (years).

Furthermore, the benefit provision is only guaranteed upon the insured’s death, and the coverage amount is given to the beneficiaries.

It does have a saving option and the invested amount can be withdrawn or borrowed by the policyholder while he or she is alive.

Nevertheless, for cancer survivors, getting whole life insurance could be challenging, as the interested candidate may have to go through several medical checkups to confirm good health.

#4. Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is the purest form of life insurance in which the insured gets the death benefit even if he or she is alive, once the policy duration is over. The policyholder can renew the policy if he or she has completed the tenure, or can simply claim for the death benefit. But like other life insurance types, this plan has no cash value or savings option.

Being a former cancer patient, you can purchase term life insurance if you are in complete remission, and if you haven’t been in any cancer treatment from the last 2 to 5 years.

What Type of Cancer is Crucial?

Below are the cancer types, which insurance companies consider before approving the life insurance for former cancer patients.

Breast Cancer

To qualify for life insurance, the companies would ask you specific questions related to your breast cancer:

  • Your age at the time of diagnosis
  • Cancer stage when the disease was diagnosed
  • What medical procedures did you undergo and the last date of cancer treatment?
  • Are you presently in remission?
  • When was the last time you met your physician?

Lung Cancer

If you have survived lung cancer, then there are good chances of getting life insurance, but only if you haven’t been consuming tobacco since your treatment, and your cancer didn’t exceed the stage 4.

Endometrial Cancer and Uterine Cancer

Women with any of these cancers are likely to get life insurance because this cancer is diagnosable at the early stage, which results in immediate treatment. Therefore, insurance companies are comfortable in offering life insurance plans to such survivors.

Cervical Cancer

If you were diagnosed with cervical cancer in the early stage, and it was surgically removed, then you can purchase a life insurance policy.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer cases aren’t much alarming for most of the insurance companies. Therefore, getting approved for life insurance is not difficult unless the cancer was found in the aggressive form.

Liver Cancer

Purchasing life insurance for former liver cancer patients can be difficult, but if they were treated and diagnosed before the disease attacked the main organ, then in that case, they can apply for a policy.

Ovarian Cancer

If you are a woman and your cancer was diagnosed in the early stages, then you are eligible for life insurance.

Kidney and Pancreatic Cancer

If your kidney cancer was diagnosed in stage zero, then insurance companies can qualify you for the life insurance. The same goes for pancreatic cancer, and even if your cancer reached stage 1, the insurance firms will consider you eligible.


Leukemia cancer has many types and there’s a different policy for each type. And because the majority of leukemia patients are treatable, many insurance companies would allow life insurance. But you have to assure them with a 12-month remission period. Remember, the longer the remission duration, the better the chances of getting good coverage.

Testicular Cancer

Many life insurance organizations are ready to provide ‘preferred rates’ to testicular cancer survivors who won over this disease at stage 1.

Other cancer survivors with similar conditions can qualify for life insurance including:

  • Colon cancer survivors
  • Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivors
  • Bladder cancer survivors
  • Thyroid cancer survivors
  • Prostate cancer survivors
  • Pancreatic cancer survivors

What is the Current State?

Life insurance companies are interested to know your current cancer state.

This is why they might look for the following details:

Remission and Waiting Period

Remission means that your cancer symptoms and signs are reduced. This state can also occur if the cancer is completely terminated. So, insurance companies may ask you for a detailed prognosis to see if the remission is complete or partial.

If it’s complete, then all the cancer signs will no longer appear in the reports. According to doctors, a patient with a 5-year remission is redeemed as cured.

On the other hand, the waiting period is the time, which companies take to examine your health condition after you have taken the last cancer treatment. It helps them identify whether your current health condition qualifies you for life insurance or not.

And depending on your past cancer state or treatment, the premium is set. Now it is important to keep in mind that every insurance firm follows its own SOPs when it comes to the waiting period.

Currently in Treatment

This is an important consideration for insurance companies. So if your cancer was diagnosed in the last 2 to 4 years, and you are still taking the treatment, then there are several chances of not getting a life insurance policy. But why is that so? Well, it is because your cancer and overall health are dubious, and it makes you a risky candidate for the insurance companies.

For example, if you were diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago, and presently you are on medications or taking chemotherapy sessions, then your application is likely to be rejected by the insurer.

Therefore, in such circumstances, you can always go for the ‘guaranteed acceptance life insurance’. However, planning to buy any other life insurance type seems impossible if your cancer is currently being treated.

Medically Fit

You will be considered as a ‘medically fit’ person if there are zero cancer symptoms in your health reports. At this stage, remission is also an essential element which most of the companies would deem when they see your insurance application.

So, if you are medically fit, you are free to choose different life insurances.

Cured and Past Waiting Period

It’s okay if you have been rejected. Most of the cancer survivors like you would have gone through the same hurdles, so it’s important not to give up because you can re-apply.

Last time you didn’t get life insurance is because you had cancer, but now as you have survived it, and the disease is finally cured, you can apply again.

Nonetheless, the process will take time, as your chosen insurance company will confirm the following things:

  • The date when you were finally given the green signal by the doctors
  • The waiting period you just passed when you were in remission

As soon as your details will satisfy the insurer, you will be considered eligible to apply for the life insurance policy once again or retake the medical tests.

What about Critical Illness Life Insurance?

Lucky are those who haven’t found an urge to go for the critical illness life insurance, and it’s alright if you hearing the name for the first time. But, believe it or not, this insurance policy can save your life when every other insurance door is closed on you.

This insurance plan, aka, catastrophic illness insurance, is beneficial when it comes to protecting your finances if you are unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer, or, out of nowhere, you have been hit by a heart stroke.

This insurance plan can bear the entire cost that is mostly not covered by traditional life insurance policies. The coverage amount depends on the premium you can pay. For instance, if a 45-year-old male with cancer can pay $40 as a monthly premium, then the coverage he is likely to receive would be around $25,000.

So it means that the more you can contribute to premiums, the more critical illnesses will be covered through this plan. Here’s the list of diseases that could be handled through this insurance.

  • Heart attack and stroke
  • Organ transplants
  • Coronary bypass
  • Cancer

Paying Treatment Expenses from Life Insurance

pay expensesInsurance is a great way to get a helping hand for your treatment. However, a simple life insurance policy may not help you enjoy such perks. But luckily, there are some other options to help cover potential medical expenditures.

These options are called ‘riders’, which could be added to your life insurance plan as an extra-feature. These features offer tax-free amounts to pay for treatment. So, if you wish to add riders to your policy, you will need to pay separate charges for them.

In general, there are three kinds of riders:

  1. Long-term riders
  2. Chronic illness riders
  3. Terminal illness riders

Long-term Riders

Long-term riders are for those people who are unable to perform two out of six ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) from the past 90 days. These activities include bathing, eating, transferring, dressing, continence, and toileting. So this additional insurance service will make insurers pay for your treatment.

Chronic Illness Riders

Chronic illness riders have similar ADL conditions, but this feature is for chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Through this policy, you can have a small portion of the death benefit in advance to help you treat your chronic disease. However, this plan only covers non-recoverable diseases.

Terminal Illness Riders

Making ‘terminal illness riders’ a part of your life insurance will allow you to collect a portion of your life insurance coverage before the termination of the policy. The benefit is useful if the policyholder falls into any terminal illness with an estimated life expectancy of 12 to 24 months.

 Therefore, it is recommended to add ‘riders’ to your life insurance policy because it is the only way to get paid for your medical expenses through a life insurance plan.

Impact of Family History

Family history plays a vital role in getting a life insurance policy. If everything is good health-wise, then you might be offered high benefits. And if there is a trouble with your family history, then you will get a low coverage. But most of the time, the insurance companies will reject your life insurance application, if they find a displeasing history.

You have to be answerable for your family medical history if you wish to have a life insurance policy. The insurer would ask you several questions related to the health of your parents and siblings. You are also required to tell them if there is a chronic disease running in your family members who are below 60 years.

In case, any of your family members have died due to cancer, cardiovascular, or smoking-related diseases, then this can negatively impact your eligibility. Similarly, if your family has a history of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, a heart stroke victim, or any mental illness, you still won’t qualify for life insurance.

Cancer survivors often face numerous obstacles when they look for life insurance. But the good news is that with the right information, considerable health condition, and good medical family history, they can purchase different life insurance types, even if term life insurance is not the option.


If you have survived cancer, make sure you waste no time in buying life insurance for cancer survivors because you never know what time may bring. Positivity is the key to fight life-threatening diseases, but planning a bright future for your family, after you are departed, is the best thing you can do while you are still alive.

Linda Chavez

I'm a burial & senior life insurance expert, independent agent, Founder & CEO of Seniors Life Insurance Finder. I have been working in this sector since 2004 and established my own company in 2014. I have a team of seven members, and we are trying hard to share the knowledge we've gathered. We know how difficult often it is to find an affordable policy. Hence, we are doing our best to help you.