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Looking for life insurance for cancer patients in Canada? If so I bet you’re doing so with trepidation! The C word and life insurance don’t seem like a good fit. 

…but what if I told you that life insurance with cancer is absolutely possible? 

High risk life insurance is one of those topics that scares the beejeebies out of most of us. Sadly the first time many people consider purchasing life insurance is AFTER a health scare.

YEP. That’s because the reality of mortality is sitting at their doorstep. This is why I encourage people to buy life insurance when they are young and healthy. 

The thing everyone needs to understand is underwriting is a complex thing. What you think is uninsurable might not be uninsurable in reality. So let’s see how underwriters view life insurance for cancer patients in Canada. 

Life Insurance for Cancer Patients in Canada

So Before I Talk To You About Life Insurance For Cancer Patients In Canada -  A Word Or Two About Myself! 

I’m an independent life insurance agent. One of the reasons I launched this site is to right the myths that circulate about this valuable product. I also want to provide people who are actively shopping for life insurance, with in-depth information so they can make the most educated decision possible. Life insurance is more affordable and necessary than most know. It’s only when tragedy strikes that people realize just how important life insurance is. 

Cancer, heart attacks and old age seem like someone else’s problem when you’re fit and in your 30’s.  The thing is everything can change in a day, my friends. My wife’s best friend passed away at 24 from brain cancer. Sure this is not typical but it does happen. If you have debt and dependents life insurance is a no-brainer. 

Call Policy Architects today. We can help you find the BEST rates, even if you’re high risk. 

“Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer,” Elizabeth Dessureault liked to say. “I’m hoping that by sharing my story with others that I’m able to change the face of lung cancer to show that a 26-year-old, non-smoking, new-mom-to-be can get lung cancer, then anybody can.” Young Ontario Mother Who Changed the Face of Lung Cancer Dies at 27, National Post 

Underwriting & Life Insurance for Cancer Patients in Canada  

Cancer is still the leading cause of premature death in North America, statistically speaking.

Life insurance underwriters have a very specific job. They’re tasked with figuring out how long you’ll live. Life insurance is a business and companies need and want to make money. So let’s address that elephant in the room right now. 

Don’t pretend that they are doing you a favour. Once you know this you’re in a better position to assess this very important product. 

So when you apply for life insurance you’re asked a battery of questions and take a medical exam if you’re applying for traditional life insurance. These questions and tests are created to divide people into groups for rating purposes. The healthier you are the lower your rates. The more medical issues you have the higher your rates. 

What if you’re looking for life insurance for patients with cancer in Canada? Bet you think you’re dunzo when it comes to coverage! But I have some good news for some of you…

Life Insurance for Cancer Patients in Canada

You Have Options!

Life insurance underwriting is constantly changing because research and development are always advancing. What used to be a death sentence may now be highly treatable and life insurance underwriting reflects this. 

This is one of the main reasons it’s so important to seek the help of an independent life insurance agent. Some companies are more lenient than others when it comes to insuring people for specific conditions and cancer is no different.  

The key to getting life insurance is to show the company you select that your condition is under control. This is true for any medical issue. Let’s take a look at what insurers are looking for when you have cancer: 

Life Insurance After Cancer

Type of Cancer

LIfe insurance underwriters want to know what type of cancer you have or have been diagnosed with. Bladder Cancer, for example, has a high recurrence rate. Depending on the size and number of tumours, it is difficult to underwrite. 

Basil Cell Carcinoma, on the other hand, is slow moving. It’s not as invasive and probably the most treatable form of skin cancer. Which means it may be possible you qualify for standard or preferred rates once your treatment is completed. 

If you’re a Breast Cancer survivor or are recently diagnosed, advances in early detection and treatment make for better outcomes. Some carriers offer affordable rates depending on the kind of breast cancer, severity, type of treatment and prognosis. 

As you can see, every type of cancer is different. A good independent life insurance agent will put his or her expertise to work to find you the most affordable coverage. 

Life Insurance for cancer survivors

Stage of the Cancer

Underwriters want to know what stage your cancer is at. 

In Situ Is often called a pre-cancerous stage where the initial growth hasn’t moved from the original site. A standard rating is the best case scenario. 

Let’s take a peek at the different stages of cancer now: 

Stage 1 is “early-stage” cancer. It’s usually limited to the organ where it was detected. With traditional life insurance carriers, you’re probably looking at a waiting period before they consider underwriting you. A simplified-issue no medical policy may your best option. 

Stage 2 & 3: Larger tumours have developed more deeply into surrounding tissues and cancer may have spread to lymph nodes as well.  You’re definitely looking at a significant waiting period before a traditional insurer will underwrite you. A simplified-issue no medical policy may be your only option until you’re cancer-free for some time.

Stage 4: This is the most advanced stage. The Cancer spread to other organs and parts of the body. You’ll receive a definite decline from the insurance company. A Guaranteed Issue Policy is your only option.

life insurance for ex cancer patients

Are You In Remission or Cured?  

Insurers want to know whether you’re in partial remission, your cancer has stopped growing or you’re completely cancer-free.

Depending on the completion date of your treatment and type of cancer, it is likely the underwriters will require a waiting period of anywhere from 1 – 10 years before they consider coverage. 

Life insurance for cancer patients in canada family

Family & Prior History of Cancer

Did you know all cancer is genetic but not necessarily inherited?

When cancer develops, damage occurs in the genetic material of our cells. Cancer can be inherited or caused by outside environmental factors. When you have an inherited susceptibility to cancer, your chances of getting the disease at a younger age are higher. Someone who develops a random cancer is more likely to be older. This is why inherited cancer risk is with you for life.

Underwriters pay close attention to any family history of cancer. Especially when there’s more than one family member affected or cancer occurs at a young age.  

Life Insurance for Cancer Patients in Canada - Companies That Offer Traditional Coverage

“Each day, 73 Canadians will hear the words ‘you have breast cancer.’ Today’s Run was an incredible show of support for each and every one of those Canadians who will be impacted in some way by a breast cancer diagnosis,’” says Lynne Hudson, President and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society. “The funds we raised are going to go a long way in helping to change the way we prevent, diagnose, treat, and live with – and beyond – breast cancer.” 82,000 Canadians Raise $16.2 Million to Make Breast Cancer Beatable through the Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure – Cision 

For obvious reasons traditional coverage is tougher to obtain when you have cancer. Let’s face it if you have cancer it’s more likely you’ll die before a person who just got preferred rates. 

What are life insurance companies looking for when they assess you for a policy and you have cancer? You have to meet the following criteria to even be considered for a typical term policy: 

Your Cancer Treatments Are Complete 

Life insurance companies want you to show a history of recovery. Carriers want as much as 1 – 10 years to lapse after your final treatment. These requirements change from company to company and are based on your personal situation. 

The Medical Exam Comes Back in Good Shape  

You have to show that despite a past history of cancer you’re now in good shape. A positive medical exam provides this evidence. 

The Doc Says You're Cured or in Remission

If you’re battling cancer, you won’t find traditional coverage. The underwriters want to see that you successfully won this fight. 

If you meet these qualifications there are some life insurance companies that will consider underwriting you...

...but it's really on a case by case basis.

Remember I can give you some basic direction online but you need a proper personal assessment to decide which life insurance policy is right for you. 

Often I test the waters by submitting your general details anonymously to insurers. Sometimes they'll provide an idea of the outcome we might expect. This helps you avoid an unnecessary decline and gives you a better idea of the route you should take.

BUYER BEWARE: Even If You Get Traditional Coverage It May Be Costly

This is yet another reason to speak to Policy Architects today. Your premiums are based on an underwriters assessment of your health.  The difference between the cost of life insurance for a person who gets a preferred plus rating and someone who is rated is huge. It can cost you 10’s of thousands of dollars more over your term if you make the wrong decision. If premiums get too high there may be a better option out there for you which I will discuss below. 

Life Insurance for Cancer Patients in Canada - Simplified Issue & Guaranteed Issue

What if your situation isn’t great? Let’s say you were diagnosed with cancer last year and you’re still undergoing therapy. The doctors are positive and think you’ll make a full recovery but there are no guarantees…

…now what? 

Is it too late to get life insurance coverage to help your family should your treatment fail? 

Well, I have some great news for you. There are surprisingly affordable options. 

Don’t get discouraged I’m going to walk you through your choices right now. 

Life Insurance for Cancer Patients in Canada Treatment
Guaranteed Life Insurance for Cancer Patients in Canada Guaranteed Issue

Guaranteed Life Insurance For Cancer Patients

Well, the upside of guaranteed issue is that you can’t be turned down. If you are recently diagnosed with cancer this may be the right choice for you. There are many Canadian companies that offer this product including Industrial Alliance, Assumption, CPP, Humania, etc. Read one of the best Canada Protection Plan reviews right NOW!

  • 18 – 60 you can get $10,000 – $25,000 of coverage
  • 61 – 75 you can get $5,000 – $25,000 of coverage

The downside is pretty clear – the coverage is low and the cost is high. Premiums will set you back $103.52 per month for $25,000 of coverage if you’re a 57-year-old female, non-smoker.  Sounds great right? But there’s a catch. Most Guaranteed Issue Policies have a 2-year waiting period. If you die before this period is up, your beneficiaries will only receive the premiums you paid plus interest.

On the upside, there’s no risk. Even if your family doesn’t make it past the waiting period they’ll get your premiums back, so no one is out of pocket. 

Guaranteed Life Insurance for Cancer Patients in Canada Simplified

Simplified Issue Life Insurance 

If you have health issues you may want to take notes because no medical exam is required for this coverage.

Simplified issue may a good option for you if your cancer treatment’s completed and the Doctor says you’re in remission.

This type of policy will typically provide coverage from 18 – 85 years of age for $5,000 – $500,000. Most Simplified Issue policies have a 2 year waiting period. So this is something you should be aware of.

With Canada Protection Plan, if you’ve had non-aggressive cancer in the following areas: 

  • Thyroid
  • Bone
  • Liver 
  • Bladder 
  • Kidney
  • Colon 

…and you’re in remission, you’re eligible for up to $500,000 of simplified-issue coverage. You must also be a year past the completion of treatment to qualify.

Life Insurance for Cancer Patients in Canada Final Expense

​Final Expense Life Insurance 

Well, this type of coverage speaks for itself. 

If you are diagnosed with terminal cancer and survive the 2-year waiting period associated with a Guaranteed Issue Policy, your beneficiaries will receive money for your funeral. They’ll get all your premiums paid back, however, if you don’t make it the two years.

Some of the Carriers that offer great Guaranteed & Simplified-Issue products include Assumption Life, CPP insurance, Humania and Industrial Alliance.

Life Insurance for Cancer Patients in Canada Why You Should Call Policy Architects 

As you can see there’s a lot to consider when you’re looking at life insurance for cancer patients in Canada. This is not a road I would attempt to travel alone as it’s fraught with pitfalls. 

NOTHING when it comes to cancer is clearcut.

I typically tell clients that traditional term life insurance is the best option for most people most of the time. However, this doesn’t apply to those looking for life insurance for cancer patients in Canada.

Simplified Issue might actually be the better bet…

…and if you’re in a tough place, Guaranteed Life Insurance for cancer patients may be the only option. 

The best advice I have to give? Call the independent agents at Policy Architects today! We know the ins and outs of the underwriting policies for the top insurers in Canada. We will help you find the best rates for the most comprehensive life insurance today. 

James Heidebrecht Life Insurance for People with Cancer Canada