Cancer and Critical Illness Insurance

Cancer and Critical Illness Insurance

22 May 2020

You may feel like securing life insurance products after having cancer is next to impossible. It’s true that in the past that even the whisper of the word ‘cancer’ would have been enough for many insurers to instantly decline - but cancer survivors are covered much better now than they used to be. In light of the survival rates for cancer skyrocketing in the last forty years, many insurance providers have updated their position about offering cover for people who have previously had cancer.

What kind of life insurance can I get if I’ve had cancer? 

Whilst your choice of providers may be smaller and your premiums may be higher, it’s possible to get many different types of life insurance cover - from Income Protection to Family Income Benefit. It’s also possible to get Critical Illness Insurance, even after having a serious illness. 

Critical illness insurance is a great choice, as it protects you whilst you’re still alive - paying out a tax free lump sum should you be diagnosed with a serious illness. This money can help you with medical costs or private healthcare, with school, car, mortgage or rent payments, or just with helping things tick along smoothly so you can focus on getting better. 

Can I really get critical illness insurance with cancer? 

Realistically, it’s impossible to guarantee that you’ll definitely be able to get critical illness insurance or other life insurance policies if you currently have cancer, or if the cancer you had was very severe. Insurance providers will ideally want you to have been free of cancer and have been finished with treatment for a few years, although it does depend on the stage and type of cancer. 

Different types of cancer will each be treated differently - as will different levels of severity. It’s possible that it’ll be more difficult to get cover if you’ve had very advanced cancer, or severe cancer like lung or bowel cancer. It’s important to remember that each insurer will approach every situation separately on a case by case basis. Whilst one insurer may decline you for critical illness cover, another might offer you a policy with a cancer exclusion.

An exclusion means you won’t be covered against cancer if you get sick again. Cancer could be either fully excluded or it could be more specifically tailored to your individual circumstances, for instance - the exclusion of breast cancer for a breast cancer survivor.

How can I apply for critical illness insurance? 

Your chances of getting any life insurance products that suit you, your wallet and your situation are increased by going through a broker. They’ll be able to advise and guide you and make the process as close to stress-free as possible. When applying with a pre-existing or previous condition, like cancer, brokers will know which providers are most likely to accept you and offer you reasonable premiums, so they’ll know how best to help. 

Before you’re accepted for an insurance policy, insurers will need to know a few things - and going through a broker will ease this process. You will probably be asked: 

  • What your medical history aside from the cancer is
  • How long ago your diagnosis was
  • Where the cancer was/the type of cancer
  • How long you were treated for
  • When your last treatment was 
  • What your current state of health is

You’ll need to provide GP details, possibly including any specialists and the hospital you visited.
It’s also possible you’ll need to go through a medical exam - which is normal and nothing to worry about. It just allows insurance to get an accurate picture of your health - and if you’re fit as a fiddle it could even lower your potential premiums. 

It’s vital to be super honest throughout this process, even if you’re worried it’ll drive up premiums. Going through an experienced life insurance broker will help a lot here, as they’ll be able to help you manage your expectations and place you with the best insurer possible for your situation.

How can I make a claim? 

If you already have a critical illness policy and you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, it’s likely that you’re thinking about making a claim on your policy. You can claim as soon as you’ve been diagnosed by your GP or a specialist. 

Contact your insurer as soon as possible after your diagnosis (even if you don’t intend to make a claim, as they will need to update your details) and they will guide you through making a claim. It can sometimes take a little while, as they’ll need medical information and proof of your diagnosis. However, if your condition is covered under the terms of your policy you shouldn’t have an issue and should receive your full pay out. If your condition isn’t covered, you won’t be able to make a claim. 

If you’re a cancer survivor or somebody with cancer looking to take out critical illness cover, let a broker like LifeSearch help you. We know how important insurance products become after going through something like cancer. You’ve been through enough - let us do the hard work for you and find you the best policy to save you a lot of time and effort.

Get in touch with us on 0800 316 7253 and we’ll provide you with the quotes you need to put your mind at ease after cancer.


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