The good news is that it is possible for breast cancer survivors to get life insurance. The bad news is that survivors will have to shop around and pay extra for the coverage.
Many companies are willing to cover breast cancer survivors because more women are surviving the disease and living longer. The insurance industry is taking a second look at breast cancer survivors; because of all the advances in medical technology, that make the disease treatable.
Unfortunately, companies are still very selective on which breast-cancer survivors they sell life-insurance too. This means breast cancer survivors will probably have fewer choices and pay more for coverage. Despite that, survivors can get a good deal on life insurance – if they are willing to shop around and learn something about the insurance process.
How Life Insurance for Breast Cancer Survivors Works
The key to getting a good deal on life insurance for breast cancer survivors is to understand how companies write such policies.
A company has to tailor policies specifically for each breast cancer survivor through a process called underwriting. The policy might contain special provisions, and the premium will be based on the risk of the cancer’s reoccurrence.
The premium will be higher if the insurer thinks the cancer is likely to occur. Other factors taken into consideration include the woman’s age and overall health. A survivor with other health problems such as heart disease might pay more than somebody with just cancer.
The underwriting process for such policies takes more time and requires more resources, so it is more expensive. That is why some companies refuse to write such policies or refer customers that want one to other insurers.
Where Breast Cancer Survivors Should Look for Life Insurance
The easiest way for a breast cancer survivor insurance is to work with an insurance agent or broker.
Agents work directly with insurance companies so they are often able to negotiate with the insurer for a better deal. A survivor with a strong relationship with an insurer or agent can often get a good deal on life insurance. A survivor that has other policies such as car and homeowners or a spouse with a policy has a better chance of getting covered.
Many insurance companies will write new policies for breast-cancer survivors with a history of being good customers. A breast-cancer survivor with an established history with an agent and a company can usually get some life insurance coverage.
Unlike agents; who usually represent one or a handful of companies, an insurance broker works with a variety of insurers. That means a broker has the ability to get quotes from a number of insurance companies.
Brokers often have a good knowledge of the market, so they will know which companies are most likely to write policies for breast cancer survivors. A good broker should know where a person can get the most coverage at the best price. There are also brokers who specialize in getting policies for hard-to-cover individuals, such as cancer survivors.
Tell the Insurance Company Everything
Once a survivor has found an insurance agent or broker, her best course of action is to tell that professional everything about the cancer. Survivors need to be honest and thorough, because insurance companies need complete information to write policies.
The survivor should make her medical records available, and answer every question that the insurer asks. The more details about the cancer, a survivor provides, the easier time she will have receiving coverage.
Unfortunately, insurance companies do not treat all cancer survivors equally. Insurers consider survivors of stage three, four, and five cancer greater risks. Some companies will insure survivors of stage zero, one or two breast cancer, but not stage three or above. Other companies will insure stage three, four, or five cancer survivors, but charge far higher premiums.
Should Breast Cancer Survivors buy Term or Permanent Life Insurance?
A final tip for breast cancer survivors is to purchase permanent or whole life insurance.
Permanent life insurance is an investment that cannot change if a person’s health changes. Regular or term life insurance has to be renewed on a monthly or annual basis, which gives the insurer the ability to change the terms or cancel the policy.
Purchasing permanent life insurance can enable a breast cancer to have some life insurance even if the cancer comes back. It is always a good idea for breast cancer survivors to discuss both permanent and term life insurance.
Understanding life insurance can help a breast-cancer survivor safeguard her family’s future.