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If I had cancer – can I still get life insurance?

By Grant Willis
Executive Manager, Life Portfolio

23 April 2020

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The good news is, it is possible to get life insurance after a cancer diagnosis.

If you are in remission and otherwise healthy, in most cases you will be able to find life cover that works for you. However, the policy you qualify for will likely be determined by factors such as the date of your diagnosis, the type of cancer you had and the severity of the disease.

The more you can provide detailed answers about your medical history, the smoother the process of getting life cover will be. When applying for life cover, expect to be asked questions such as when you were diagnosed with cancer, the type and stage of cancer you had, the size and location of your cancer, whether it metastasized, as well as what treatment you underwent, when and for how long.

Your medical records will be reviewed by an underwriter to enable a fair and accurate assessment.

You might also be asked to provide proof that you are strictly following any ongoing treatment plans. This includes taking prescribed medications and attending follow-up appointments.

If you are in remission, but have other health issues, this may also impact the type of cover you can get and determine any exclusions put in place.

One of the key qualifiers for life insurance after a cancer diagnosis is time.

The longer you have been in remission and out of treatment, the more insurance options will be available to you.

After having cancer, there will often be stand down periods (also called postponement periods) in place. Generally, these outline the length of time you may need to wait before you can apply for life cover. Those who have been in remission less than a year are more likely to be subject to a stand down period. However, depending on the severity of the type of cancer you have had, you might need to wait anywhere between a year to ten years before your application for life cover can be accepted.

The best person to talk to is an adviser.

An adviser is the best person to help you find the insurance cover that works for you after a cancer diagnosis. Advisers can help you find the best products for you budget and needs, provide customised advice,  keep your insurance up to date and most of all, be impartial.

If you want to talk to an adviser about your life insurance policy, you can find one here.

The information in this article has been compiled from various sources and is intended to be factual information only. It is not personal advice and any description of an insurance product or service is not a complete description of all the terms and conditions applicable to the particular insurance product or service. You should consult a qualified adviser for advice on whether the information in this article is suitable for your personal situation and needs. While we take reasonable steps to ensure that the information contained in this article is accurate and up-to-date, it is subject to change without notice. Asteron Life Limited and its related companies does/do not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with your use of or reliance on this article.

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