Life Insurance Companies for Those with Skin Cancer

Written by Jeff Root

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, impacting millions of people each year. Like all medical situations, an early diagnosis is a key to treatment. There are many types of skin cancer, some more severe than others. The type you have, the treatment you have undergone, and a handful of other factors will impact when you qualify for life insurance and what health rating you will receive.

Before we take a dive into the best life insurance companies for people with skin cancer, let’s take a second to outline what we will discuss in this article:

What you will learn in this article (click to go to section):

The Different Types of Skin Cancer

Each type of skin cancer is going to have a different impact on the prices you are offered for life insurance. The three most common forms of skin cancer and their impact on pricing are listed below:

Basal Cell Carcinoma

The most common form of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma. Roughly 3 million people per year are affected by it. This is a slow-growing form of skin cancer which can be removed easily. This type is treatable and will rarely spread to other tissue.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

If you were not diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, then chances are you have squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is twice as likely to show up in men as in women, typically impacts those who are in their 70’s and is in fact rarely seen in anyone under the age of 50. Almost 700,000 Americans suffer from squamous cell carcinoma annually.

Malignant Melanoma

Malignant melanoma is the most dangerous and invasive form of skin cancer. Impacting 4% of skin cancer patients, this particular type is responsible for almost all skin-cancer related deaths. Overexposure to tanning beds or direct sunlight will allow abnormal melanocytes to grow on the skin.

As part of your application, you will need to disclose if your cancer is “in situ”. This simply means it is contained, localized to a specific area and has not spread beyond the top layers of your skin. Regardless, you will also need to disclose the stage of your cancer.

Are You Still Eligible for Life Insurance?

Yes, you are still eligible even if you have had skin cancer. Again, the type you have, and the severity therein plays a critical role. Obviously, in the worst case scenarios, you might be declined immediately after a diagnosis or treatment—if, for example, you just treated a malignant melanoma with radiation—but that does not mean it is impossible to ever get coverage again. Different types of skin cancers correlate to various waiting periods after which you can apply and still receive standard or even preferred coverage based on your situation.

How Does Each Type of Skin Cancer Affect Your Life Insurance Rating?

Basal Cell Carcinoma Underwriting

Due to its slow growth and easy treatment, you can be approved for a preferred rate or better if you have had only one instance of basal cell carcinoma, and that spot was surgically removed. If you have had more than one instance of it, then you will likely be approved at a standard plus or standard rate class.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Underwriting

While more dangerous than basal, it is not typically life-threatening. For this reason, life insurance companies will still place applicants in a preferred or standard rate if your cancer has been successfully removed surgically.

Malignant Melanoma Life Insurance Underwriting

Applicants whose tumors have been surgically removed will typically qualify for standard or standard plus health class ratings 6 months after the surgery. The biggest risk with malignant melanoma is that it can quickly metastasize and infect other parts of the body, such as internal organs. That said, if you were diagnosed and treated with radiation or chemotherapy, there is a 5-10 year waiting period during which time you must remain cancer-free before your application will be approved.

What are the Factors That Insurers Take Into Consideration Before Approving Your Insurance Application?

When you apply for life insurance, the companies in question will want to know a few things about your condition to best assess your risk levels. They will ask for things such as:

  • When were you first diagnosed with skin cancer?
  • What type of skin cancer do you have?
  • Has your skin cancer spread or metastasized since your diagnosis?
  • Have you received treatment for your skin cancer, and if so, what type and for how long?
  • Is your skin cancer treatment done, if so, when did it end? If not, when is it scheduled to be done?
  • Is your skin cancer recurring since your treatment? How many times has it come back?
  • Are you still seeing your doctor or dermatologist regarding your skin cancer? How often do you visit them, and what do they check?

Life Insurance Rates

Below are samples for the rates you might receive based on age, type of product, coverage amount, and having a cancer diagnosis. These rates listed are monthly premiums.  The people in this chart are in otherwise excellent health besides their skin cancer diagnosis.

Keep in mind, life insurance rates vary heavily by the company and a multitude of other factors. For more accurate life insurance quotes based on your specific situation, you should speak with an independent agent who can help you find the right policy for you and your loved ones.

Age Policy Type $100,000 Male $100,000 Female $500,000 Male $500,000 Female $1,000,000 Male $1,000,000 Female
30 10 Year Term $7 $6 $13 $12 $20 $18
30 20 Year Term $9 $8 $20 $17 $34 $28
30 30 Year Term $13 $11 $33 $27 $59 $48
30 Whole Life $72 $64 $160 $136 $272 $224
40 10 Year Term $8 $8 $19 $17 $30 $28
40 20 Year Term $11 $10 $31 $27 $58 $47
40 30 Year Term $19 $16 $58 $45 $108 $85
40 Whole Life $88 $80 $248 $216 $464 $376
50 10 Year Term $15 $13 $46 $37 $83 $67
50 20 Year Term $24 $19 $82 $61 $155 $112
50 30 Year Term $41 $31 $140 $107 $270 $206
50 Whole Life $209 $165 $682 $484 $1,287 $902
60 10 Year Term $32 $25 $122 $83 $226 $151
60 20 Year Term $60 $41 $235 $158 $456 $304
60 Whole Life $384 $300 $1,464 $996 $2,712 $1,812
70 10 Year Term $96 $63 $373 $241 $705 $445
70 20 Year Term $207 $172 $878 $730 $1,694 $1,406

Types of Life Insurance Available

If you have skin cancer, there are different policy options available to you, based on your situation:

Type of Cancer Term Permanent Guaranteed Issue
Basal Cell Carcinoma If you have had a basal cell carcinoma successfully removed via surgery, you can apply for and receive term life insurance products from a variety of companies, likely with an affordable preferred or standard rate. If you have had a basal cell carcinoma successfully removed via surgery, and you have remained cancer free for a significant amount of time, there are companies that will offer affordable permanent plans including whole life, universal life, and variable life. If you have had a basal cell carcinoma you can find lenient guaranteed issue whole life insurance policies that will a) ask limited questions about your case or b) ask no questions. This should only be a consideration if you have other health conditions that would disqualify you from term or permanent because it is the most expensive option with limited coverage.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma With squamous cell carcinoma, you can get a term policy with a preferred or standard rate if your cancer has been successfully removed surgically. With squamous cell carcinoma, you can get permanent plans including whole life, universal life, and variable life with a preferred or standard rate if your cancer has been successfully removed surgically. You can apply for a guaranteed issue policy if you need immediate coverage, have not received treatment, cannot receive treatment for some reason, or have other health concerns which would disqualify you. This is the most expensive option with limited coverage adequate only for final expenses.
Malignant Melanoma If you have had your malignant melanoma removed successfully via surgery, you can qualify for standard or standard plus health class ratings 6 months after the surgery. If you do, then you may apply for a term policy. If you have had your malignant melanoma removed successfully via surgery you will qualify for standard or standard plus health class ratings 6 months after the surgery with certain companies. If you need insurance immediately and you have not fulfilled the 5-10 year waiting period for a cancer-free diagnosis, you can opt for a guaranteed issue, no questions asked policy. This policy will provide coverage for funeral expenses and final costs, but nothing more. It is the most expensive option, but there are no medical exams required nor any medical questions.

The Best Life Insurance Companies

When it comes to the best life insurance companies for people with skin cancer, there are a few companies that really stick out above the rest for the superior life insurance rates they are able to offer, and the types of policies they are able to offer to people with the disease.

While these companies may not always offer the best rates for your given age group and type of skin cancer, they are generally considered to be the best life insurance companies for people with skin cancer because for most applicants they have superior product offerings with very affordable rates.

We chose these companies based on:

  • Financial Ratings
  • Customer Satisfaction Ratings
  • Life Insurance Rates for people with skin cancer
  • Life Insurance Policies for people with skin cancer
Company A.M.Best Customer Reviews
Protective Life A+ 4.3 / 5.0
Lincoln Financial A+ 4.2 / 5.0
Banner Life A+ 4.3 / 5.0
Mutual of Omaha A+ 4.0 / 5.0
AIG A 4.1 / 5.0

Finding the Best Life Insurance Coverage for People With Skin Cancer

When you set out to find the best life insurance company with skin cancer, it is in your best interest to work with a company or agency specializing in high-risk applicants. They will offer you more direct comparisons for benefits, policies, and premiums than you would find on a generic quote site.

You should find a company that has lenient table ratings and health ratings for cancers, especially for basal cell and squamous carcinoma.

If you have malignant melanoma, then you want to find an insurance company that has a shorter waiting period for applicants who underwent chemotherapy or radiation. Waiting 10 years can seem like a lifetime, and the older you are when you apply for life insurance, the higher the rates will be.

To that end, finding a company with a shorter waiting period presents the opportunity to lock in more affordable rates before age becomes a factor.

Shopping for coverage will mean disclosing many things, such as the age you were diagnosed, what stage you are in, how quickly your cancer cells are dividing, what treatment you have had, what reoccurrences you have had, what other conditions you have, what medications you are on, etc… It is important to have all of this information on hand so that you can more easily disclose things to the agent or company you are using and to the insurance providers.

You want to take steps toward prevention too. The more efforts you take to prevent skin cancer from re-appearing, the better your chances of obtaining affordable coverage will be.

The best way to ensure that you find the best life insurance with skin cancer is to work with an independent life insurance agent who can help you find the best policies, rates, and companies for your situation.

Give our agents a call today to compare rates and policies from dozens of the best life insurance companies on the market. Or, get started using our online quoting engine to get quick and easy life insurance quotes for people with skin cancer.

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