Can You Get Life Insurance If You Have Cancer?

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A cancer diagnosis can bring a whirlwind of emotions and uncertainties. While your priority is likely your health and treatment, it’s natural to think about the future—including your loved ones’ financial well-being.

Life insurance can offer financial security and protection for your family. So, you may wonder: can you get life insurance if you have cancer? While purchasing a life insurance policy after a cancer diagnosis presents some challenges, options exist.

By understanding your choices and comparing policies, you can find coverage that fits your needs. Here’s where to start.

How Cancer Impacts the Life Insurance Application Process

Insurers carefully assess your overall health during the underwriting process to determine risk. Some medical conditions, including cancer, are considered pre-existing. Insurers consider these conditions because they represent a higher potential for future health complications and the need for a company to pay out a claim.

Life insurance companies thoroughly evaluate each case, considering a few factors.

Cancer Type and Stage

Different cancers carry different prognoses and survival rates. Insurers typically assess your cancer type and stage.

Treatment Status

Whether you’re undergoing treatment or in remission influences how insurers view the risk.

Time since Diagnosis

Insurers often view applications more favorably if you’ve been in remission for a while.

If you already have life insurance, a new cancer diagnosis typically won’t affect it.

Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance

Coverage options starting at $9.95 a month!

Guaranteed acceptance life insurance without medical exams, health questions, or rate increases.


Life Insurance Options for People with Cancer

So, can you get life insurance if you have cancer? Yes—here are some coverage options to consider.

Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance

Guaranteed acceptance life insurance policies offer coverage without requiring you to answer health questions or undergo a medical exam. Acceptance is guaranteed regardless of whether you have health conditions like cancer.

Compared to other types of life insurance, guaranteed acceptance policies may have lower coverage amounts and higher monthly premiums.

Simplified Issue Life Insurance

Simplified issue life insurance policies usually have a less rigorous application process than traditional coverage types. You typically need to answer some basic health questions but don’t need a medical exam.

Approval isn’t guaranteed with simplified issue insurance, and your coverage options might be limited depending on your health history.

Group Life Insurance

Many employers offer group life insurance as part of their benefits package. This term coverage can be accessible for cancer patients or survivors as it often has minimal health requirements, including no medical questions or health exams.

However, group life insurance generally offers lower coverage amounts than individual policies you purchase yourself. And if you leave your job, you may lose your coverage.

Traditional Term or Whole Life Insurance

You might qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy if you’ve been in remission for several years and have a positive long-term prognosis.

These policies may offer higher coverage amounts and potential benefits like cash value (in the case of whole life). However, the application process is typically more extensive and involves a medical exam. You may also have to pay higher premiums due to your health history.

Choosing a Life Insurance Provider

Finding the right life insurance company after a cancer diagnosis is crucial. Here are some key factors to consider when shopping for life insurance.

Company Reputation

Check the insurer’s financial ratings with agencies like AM Best to assess its stability. Also, read customer reviews to understand its overall reputation.


Find insurers or agents who specialize in life insurance for people with pre-existing conditions like cancer. They can help you find good coverage options.


Don’t hesitate to get as much information as you need from the insurer. Ask them to explain policies, potential exclusions, and costs upfront.

Securing the Coverage You Need

Although navigating life insurance with a cancer diagnosis can feel overwhelming, you have options. Research the available policies, compare quotes, and work with the right insurance agent to find coverage that aligns with your needs.

Colonial Penn is here for you!

Colonial Penn has specialized in making life insurance simple and accessible by offering it directly to consumers since 1957. Click here to learn more.

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