It can be very hard to get life insurance after being diagnosed for cancer, although it’s not impossible, depending on the severity of the diagnosis.
When a person gets cancer, this naturally will significantly increase their life insurance premium on a new policy, because even with a relatively treatable form of cancer, their life expectancy has gone down. Life insurance premiums are based on the applicant’s life expectancy over the proposed insurance term. This premium increase charged on a new life insurance policy would be much higher for young applicants, as although they may have a higher chance of survival, their life expectancy before the diagnosis was already quite high.
If the cancer victim has an existing life insurance policy at the time of diagnosis, it will not increase the premium cost. However, if the victim is on a short-term policy, such as annual life insurance, they can find their premium is unexpectedly raised when it comes time for renewal. This is the risk people take with annual life insurance, where the policy holder pays lower premiums because the life insurance covers them over one year rather than twenty. But if there is a diagnosis or some other event that lowers life expectancy, their life insurance payments will suddenly rise very fast.
It is possible to find life insurance after a cancer diagnosis. Such policies are generally provided by specialist insurers and not by the main life insurance companies. These specialist insurers can be found through life insurance brokers, who are trained to look through the whole market and tend to have contacts with a number of life insurance providers.
The specialist life insurance provider will consider various details of the diagnosis and will look far more closely at lifestyle factors. The questions will generally be more intrusive and detailed than those typically asked by mainstream life insurers.
If the diagnosis is particularly severe, it’s possible no life insurance provider will look at this case. However, a cancer victim has a better chance of finding a life insurance provider that will underwrite a policy if they go through a life insurance broker.