Life Insurance for Parents with Cancer

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  • Post last modified:April 13, 2021

If any of your parents are diagnosed with cancer, would it be too late to get him/her an insurance policy to ensure financial security during and after the entire medical period?

Your question is finally answered. It is still possible to get life insurance even after a cancer diagnosis.

But this would depend on a number of factors.

The most relevant information a life insurer would require from your parents would include:

  • the date of the first cancer diagnosis;
  • type of cancer;
  • treatment program;
  • duration of the remission stage.

Is It Possible for Parents with Cancer to Get a Policy?

It is Possible!

Fortunately, the insurance industry has been open to accommodating applications from cancer patients, although there are obvious limitations about the type of policies to be provided, the coverage, and the premiums involved.

At the same time, it should be clear that in most cases, benefits from such insurance products are intended to cover post-life expenses, though in several cases, other living benefits can be extended depending on the circumstances.

Higher Premium is a Fact

However, because of the nature of such insurance products, it is also understandable that premiums are skewed towards being expensive.

Cancer patients could expect premiums for their life insurances to be about 20% to 50% (or even greater) higher compared to rates applied to standard life insurance products.

This is another reason it is always advisable to obtain insurance policies while still young and at the pink of health, when there is almost no limitation imposed on applying for and getting such products.

But even at this stage, it is still possible to find and buy life insurance for parents with cancer. You just need to be more determined and patient along the process.

After one or both of your parents are diagnosed with the Big C, there are two major types of life insurance products that could apply to them.

But take note that there are certain provisions and conditions that would have to be observed, rooting from the fact that this medical condition makes an individual more of a risky case for any insurance provider.

Standard Term and Whole Life Insurance

Contrary to what many people think, it is still possible for cancer patients to apply for and obtain term or whole life insurance. However, there is still a need to disclose certain information, especially about the type and stage of cancer.

Moreover, it should be expected that premiums can get higher not just because of the medical condition but also due to the age and lifestyle of the patient.

Upon application, the patient would be asked to disclose the type of cancer (location, stage, and recoverability), and this information would be crucial when determining the type of coverage applies.

Patients who have undergone a remission stage are more likely to easily get approved although some insurers would still be cautious and opt to monitor recurrence within a certain period for a patient to be fully declared cancer-free.

Patients who are afflicted with low-risk cancer types would also find it easier to obtain life insurance at this point. Standard term or whole life policy could easily be obtained by those who have skin, prostate, and early-stage breast or testicular cancer.

Patients with pancreatic cancer may find a harder time because insurance firms know that the medical condition is the most problematic as this form of cancer easily spreads to other organs.

For other types of cancer, most insurers would initially charge add-on surcharge and higher premium rates for several years, although this could be lowered over time especially when remission sets in.

Guaranteed Life Insurance with Instant Approval

So far, this is the only type of life insurance that can provide coverage to your parents regardless of the stage of cancer and how the medical condition has progressed.

There is no need for the patient to undergo any medical examination or accomplish a set of health questionnaires.

In this type of life insurance, only the applicant’s age and gender are considered to qualify for a policy. This is why many people prefer this type of quick and easy life insurance.

It is also the reason why this form of life insurance is the best suited for cancer patients after diagnosis or during the treatment process.

However, guaranteed life insurance is logically the most costly when compared to all other life insurance policies available. Moreover, guaranteed policies also usually impose a waiting period of about two to four years before the benefits kick in.

The benefits that would possibly be paid would only comprise the total premiums plus about 10% to 20% of that amount until the lapse of the waiting period.

Only after the waiting period is over would the full benefits be possibly imposed.

Possible Shift from Guaranteed to Whole or Term Life Insurance

Before and during treatment, you can still obtain life insurance for your parent in the form of a guaranteed life policy.

The policy carries the guarantee to be possibly renewed upon your preference and still, no medical exam would be required.

However, if the patient gets into a remission stage following successful treatment, there would be a prescribed waiting period before the patient is declared cancer-free.

Here are some of the common types of cancer and the likely waiting period to be considered by insurers:

Breast cancer – 1 to 5 years (depending on stage upon diagnosis and treatment)

Lung cancer – a maximum of 5 years

Colorectal cancer – a maximum of 6 years

Prostate cancer – 6 months to a maximum of 2 years

Testicular cancer – 6 months to a maximum of 2 years

Pancreatic cancer – 2 years (but only when cancer was diagnosed and treated in early stages)

Bone cancer – at least 5 years

Read Also: Life Insurance with Lymphoma

Once the waiting period is breached, the policyholder could decide to continue his/her guaranteed life insurance or shift it to another form of life insurance for a lower rate of premium.


It is possible at this stage to shift to either a standard whole or term life insurance.

The underwriter could consider the survivor a better risk following getting into a cancer-free phase over a specific period.

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.