Cancer & Life Insurance

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Cancer & Life InsuranceWe understand that being told that you have a cancer is a scary experience, that makes you stop and think about what the future may hold.

For some, it makes them think about insurance, and putting measures in place to make sure that loved ones are financially secure if the worst happens. This is where we step in to help you.

Things we need to know:

  • What type of cancer did you have?
  • When were you diagnosed with cancer?
  • What staging and grading was the cancer?
  • Do you undergo chemotherapy or another treatment?
  • When did you last receive treatment for cancer?
  • Have you been given the all clear?

Life Insurance after you have had cancer is often possible once you have finished treatment and are free of cancer. The insurer that you approach will want to know where the cancer was located, the type of cancer and staging/grading that you were diagnosed with, the type of treatment that you underwent and the time since your treatment ended.

Cancer can vary largely in severity, so providing accurate price guidelines to cover the whole condition can be difficult. There are so many different factors to take into account, that to give you a clear indication of price, there needs to be a good amount of research done for your specific circumstances.

Certain cancers such as low staging and grading basal-cell carcinomas, usually cause little concern for insurance providers and are often accepted at normal terms.

On the other end of the scale if the cancer has been quite serious, with lymph node involvement or been particularly aggressive, then prices can be much higher than those with lower level cancers.

If your cancer was very recent then many insurance providers will ask you to wait for a set number of years before cover can be offered. There are however specialist insurers that you can get life insurance with, if your cancer happened recently.

Please use the links below to access pages specifically focused upon the cancer that you had and the potential ratings that you are looking at.

If you are over the age of 50 and do not want to provide information about your cancer then you may be eligible for Guaranteed Life Cover, with no medical questions. This works well for some people but it is normally worth checking out normal life insurance first, as you will generally get a lower premium and/or higher level of cover that way.

Critical illness cover pays out a cash lump sum of money, if you are diagnosed with a medical condition that is listed in the insurer’s claims set e.g. cancer, heart attack, stroke.

Critical illness cover after cancer, if available, will generally come with special terms. Depending upon the severity of the cancer that you had, and the time since you recovered, your critical illness application will include an increased premium, cancer exclusion, be postponed or in the worst case scenario be declined. 

Some very low staging/grading cancers, such as basal-cell carcinoma that has been recovered from for a while, can sometimes see critical illness cover offered at standard terms. This is assessed on a case by case basis. 

Similarly if you had childhood leukaemia and have not had a recurrence of cancer as an adult, you might also be able to get critical illness cover at standard terms. 

Regardless of the staging and grading of your cancer, the insurer will want to see a report from GP in order to establish your full medical history before they offer policy terms. This is something that we are quite happy to see happen. It means that the insurer has an accurate account of your health before they offer cover, which should make any claims in the future simpler.

Income protection pays you a replacement of your monthly income, if you are unable to work due to ill health.

Income protection after cancer can be more complex to arrange, but it may be possible if you approach the correct insurer for your circumstances.

In certain circumstances it is possible to get standard terms for income protection following cancer, but this will only be available once you have been free of cancer for a number of years, and will depend upon the staging and grading of your diagnosis. 

If you are happy to have an income protection policy with a cancer exclusion on the policy claims set, then you may see more options available to you.

If you find that long-term income protection policy is unavailable to you, or you don’t like the terms on offer, it might be worth looking at Accident, Sickness and Unemployment plan. This policy also replaces your income if your unable to work due to ill health, but can also include cover if you are made involuntarily redundant.

Are you going on holiday? We work alongside a specialist travel insurance broker who can help you choose the right insurance for you. To find out more about arranging travel insurance when you’ve had cancer, please click here.

Hi, so today I’m going to be talking to you about arranging life insurance if you’ve had cancer. So that can be a common cancer such as breast cancer, testicular cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, basal cell carcinomas. Or the more uncommon ones such as leukaemia, bowel cancer, thyroid cancer, Hodgkin’s, non Hodgkin’s. All things that need to be discussed in a life insurance application, or critical illness cover, or income protection.

A good thing to distinguish as well though is, if you have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, that is something that the insurer will not take into account when you apply for these insurances because, obviously there is the increased potential of cancer being developed, but you haven’t actually had it. So the insurer isn’t allowed to include that in their considerations the way the present rules are.

So when you’re going for the life insurance, the insurer is going to want to know what cancer you had and when you had it. They’re going to want to know things like the staging and grading and that is really essential, especially for an insurance broker such as ourselves to be able to tell you, which insurer to go for because without the staging and grading, we really can’t do anything. The insurer is going to just keep coming back to us and saying what’s the staging and grading? And we need that to be able to give you the idea of the potential premium that you will pay for the life insurance. So the staging and grading will be something like 1A Grade 2, just as an example. That is something that, as I say we will need. Not all cancers have that stage, such as your blood cancers, they’re more likely just to have the staging. You will have that within your medical notes. And it’s something that you can always ask your GP for as well.

They’re going to want to know if there’s any lymph node involvement. They are going to want to know what treatment you had and when that finished. So that could be radiotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery.

And they’ll also want to know family history. So, if any members of your family have had the cancers, usually before certain ages, is what they’re interested in as well.

So, when you’re going for life insurance, the terms that you’re gonna be able to get, it really depends on the cancer that you’ve had and how long it’s been since you’ve had the cancer. So, if you’ve had say, a mild basal cell carcinoma, it’s possible that you could be looking at normal terms for life insurance within say even the first 12 months of having had that diagnosed and removed. If you have had bowel cancer it could be more like 10 years before they will actually consider you for normal terms, when it comes to the life insurance.

You are going to find as well with critical illness and income protection that they are going to be looking at non standard terms for those. Critical illness, you’re probably more likely to see an exclusion rather than a price increase. Income protection, you are likely to see a price increase than an exclusion on the policy claims set. With the life insurance, you’re probably going to find that at least for the initial early stages from when you’ve been last treated and given the all clear from the cancer, that there’s gonna be some quite steep premium increases when it comes to life insurance.

There are options available, so there is the potential of taking out that cover at the higher premium and then, what happens in some instances, is the insurer will say all right we’ll have it at this premium for two years and then in two years time we will reduce it to this, once we think that that risk has reduced.

There is the potential also to look at some life insurance, and these are specialist policies that will look more at excluding life insurance claims related to cancer rather than putting on a steep premium increase. There may still potentially be some form of increase there though.

So I think that is probably the majority of the things that you would need to know if you are wanting life insurance and you’ve had cancer. So to just summarize very quickly, what cancer you had, if there’s lymph node involvement, staging and the grading and when you finished your treatment. And that is the main things that we would need to be able to give you a good initial idea as to what you could be looking for when you’ve had cancer and you need life insurance.

Please see our video case study of a client who was a cancer survivor, that we were able to arrange insurance for here

What is Cancer?

Cancer is one of the most common life changing illnesses experienced by individuals today. Cancer can affect almost any part of the body and in so many circumstances can leave physical, mental and emotional scars to the sufferer. This page provides an overview of how cancer can affect certain insurance policies; including malignant tumours and carcinomas amongst others.


We regularly arrange Life Insurance, Life and Critical Illness Cover and Income Protection application requests for the following cancers:

Common Questions

Yes. But you must understand the limits of the Life Insurance policies that you can have. Because you currently have cancer, you will not be able to get Life Insurance with standard insurers. There are some specialist Life Insurance policies that we can look at, but you must be fully aware that they will not pay out a claim if you were to die from cancer.

It depends on who you speak to. Some insurers on the standard market will be able to consider your application, and others will refuse life insurance. Without knowing more about the staging and grading of your cancer, the treatments you took and when they finished, we cannot say for certain if you would be able to get Life Insurance on the standard market, or if you would need to go to a specialist insurer.

When it comes to cancer and insurance, 5 years isn’t seen as a long time since diagnosis. Insurers are interested in when you last stopped treatment and were given the all clear, and we would assume that is probably 4 to 4 1/2 years ago for you, so even less time. Cancer scares insurers as they think that you are at a higher risk of dying sooner, than someone who doesn’t have it; over a quarter of the deaths in the UK are due to cancer. So the insurer increases the premiums for Life Insurance to offset the added risk. But if your cancer was a low severity and a long time ago, you may get Life Insurance at normal terms.

Client Reviews

Cura Financial Services has been rated 5 out of 5 based on 747 reviews.

Review by Dean on 13th October 2017

I had a cancer diagnosis a few years ago. After being declined online I approached cura to help. They took their time to understand my situation and asked very relevant questions about my condition. They gave me 2 options, 1 to pay a higher price and 1 to have my condition excluded for a lower price something I was told elsewhere could not be done. They've agreed to review this in the future too so I can hopefully get a better offer. - 5 

You can read more of our reviews here.

Cancer & Life Insurance

Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd

This page was written by Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd, an award-winning insurance adviser. To read more about Kathryn please see her bio here

Cancer & Life Insurance

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Cancer & Life Insurance

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