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No one needs any reminder that cancer is a serious illness, nor that it’s extremely common.

Around one in two of us will get cancer at some point in our lives and it’s one of the most common causes of death across the world.

Given this, you might assume that obtaining life insurance once you have experienced cancer would be impossible. Even if someone was judged to be free from cancer, would the insurers not be worried that the cancer might return?

It should be noted, however, that, in the UK, you are now more likely to survive cancer than die from it. This means that there are opportunities to obtain life cover should you have experienced cancer.

Moneysworth specialises in finding life insurance for people who might be considered higher risk or who may have been declined life cover when they made applications via brokers or when applying directly to an insurer. This includes arranging cover for people who have previously had cancer. 

Sometimes, a life insurance policy is arranged with an exclusion for a particular illness, so the insurer might decide to offer you insurance where you are covered for death for illnesses other than cancer. We have often been successful, however, in arranging comprehensive life cover where the policy includes cover for death from the type of cancer that our client experienced previously.

Even if your policy excludes death from cancer, you would still have the peace of mind that death from other causes will be covered.

Even more worthy of note is that a number of our clients who have experienced cancer manage to obtain cover at standard rates, i.e. at the same monthly cost as any other applicant.

It is possible though that your premium might be subject to a rating, i.e. you would need to pay more each month than a client who had not experienced cancer.

It’s also not that unusual for us to be able to help clients with a history of cancer. We have successfully arranged life insurance in many such cases since our foundation in 2003.

Successful outcomes we have obtained during 2021 and 2022 for Moneysworth clients with a history of cancer

At the end of this article is a list of 11 such cases we have completed in the previous two years.

As many as ten different insurers offered terms to our clients in these cases, so it’s certainly not the case that we are restricted to only one or two specialist providers when you have had cancer.

The successful outcomes in the list include cases where you might have thought obtaining cover would not be possible. We managed to obtain life insurance even when:

  • The cancer was diagnosed just two years previously
  • Clients were still under medical supervision at the time of the application
  • Clients were still taking medication
  • The cancer had spread to other areas of the body
  • The cancer had returned on a subsequent occasion
  • The client had experienced two separate cancer episodes

Moneysworth boasts a highly skilled and experienced team who know the best approaches to take when dealing with clients who have a history of cancer and other medical conditions

We promise to search the whole of the life insurance marketplace on your behalf – we will consider every possible provider. Some brokers only have access to policies from a limited number of insurers, and here it will inevitably be much harder to obtain cover for anyone who has experienced cancer.

If you have been told by another broker that you cannot get life insurance because you have had cancer, or if you have approached insurers directly, without success, then call Moneysworth today to see how we can help.

Case studies:

56-year-old man who had previously had testicular cancer.

  • First experienced cancer 18 years previously and underwent surgery to remove testicle
  • Further surgery required six years later to remove a small polyp
  • Two companies initially indicated they would consider offering life insurance
  • Both eventually offered him a policy at standard rates, i.e. the same premium as would be paid by any other applicant
  • He chose to take out £100,000 of cover over 15 years with both of the insurers who accepted his applications.  Premiums were £22.83 and £23.75 per month

52-year-old woman with a history of liver and breast cancer. 

  • Was diagnosed with breast cancer nine years prior to the application to Moneysworth and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy at this time
  • Was still undergoing hormone therapy at the time of the application
  • Surgery was also required to remove adenomas from her liver nine years previously
  • Other medical issues included an underactive thyroid and autistic spectrum disorder
  • One insurer was prepared to offer her £75,000 of life insurance with a premium that was 2.25 times higher than their standard rate, which made the final premium £55.51 per month

60-year-old woman who had previously had breast cancer

  • Diagnosed six years prior to the application and underwent a mastectomy
  • Subsequently given the all clear
  • Two insurers were prepared to offer her cover and the client made a decision to go with one of these
  • Accepted at standard rates for £138,000 of cover over an 11-year term, at a cost of £60.32 per month (this was a joint policy that also covered her husband)
  • The second offer was from another insurer who quoted £61.39 per month

56-year-old man with a history of skin and throat cancer

  • Was diagnosed with throat cancer eight years earlier and underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Had a malignant melanoma removed two years prior to his Moneysworth application
  • Regular check-ups would still be required for three years following the time of the application
  • Two insurers initially indicated they could offer cover and he eventually took out a policy with one of these
  •  Client was able to obtain a policy that had high premiums for the first four years, but which became more affordable after that. For £250,000 of cover over 25 years he needs to pay £751.30 for years 1 to 3; £425.05 for year 4; and £98.80 thereafter for the remainder of the policy. 
  • His second offer was  £477.48 for the first four years, reducing to £216.76 for the remaining 21 years

56-year-old woman who had experienced breast cancer. 

  • Had a breast cancer diagnosis 20 years earlier when it was identified that the cancer had also spread to her lymph nodes
  • Underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy at this time
  • Continued to have hormone treatment for a further five years
  • At least three insurers indicated they would be prepared to consider her application and two of these went on to offer her a policy
  • She was ultimately accepted by one of these insurers at their normal premium rate. A second insurer offered her cover where the premium was 50% higher than standard
  • She now has a policy with a death benefit of £119,000, a term of 18 years and a premium of £30.97 per month

50-year-old woman with a history of vaginal cancer. 

  • Experienced squamous cell carcinoma of the vagina six years prior to enquiring with Moneysworth
  • This was treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Two insurers were prepared to offer her cover, but she chose the insurer that offered the lower premium
  • Client has to pay a premium that is quite a lot higher than the standard rate for the first three years, but then her premium will revert to the normal level
  • Her policy is for £100,000 payable should death occur during the next 25 years, with an initial monthly premium of £97.71. This will reduce to £24.79 after three years.
  • The other contract she was offered would have required her to pay £282.46 per month for the first four years, then £21.46 per month for the rest of the policy term

45-year-old man who had suffered leukaemia. 

  • First diagnosed with the condition at two years of age
  • Re-occurrence of leukaemia at age 14
  • Underwent chemotherapy  on both occasions
  • Two insurers offered cover, both at double their usual premium level, and he chose the slightly cheaper insurer
  • He took out decreasing cover over 23 years, where the death benefit starts at £255,000 before reducing over the term, at a premium of £30.90 per month. 

47-year-old woman with a history of breast cancer

  • Her cancer was too recent for any mainstream insurer to consider her at the time of the application, although some indicated they would consider a further application between one and seven years in the future
  • Managed to obtain life, critical illness and sick pay cover for her with a specialist provider, where there was no underwriting and pre-existing medical conditions , such as her breast cancer, were excluded
  • She now has life insurance for £100,000 and Critical Illness Cover for £50,000 for five years. Monthly premium is £53.10, to increase by 10% at the first policy anniversary
  • She also has sick pay benefit of £2,000 per month for one year at £42.04 per month, payable if she is unable to work due to illness

51-year-old woman who had also had breast cancer in the past. 

  • Breast cancer diagnosed 16 years earlier and underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Still undergoing annual check ups
  • Two insurers offered cover, even though both would require her to pay at least double the standard premium rate
  • The offer she took was £300,000 payable should death occur during the next 10 years. at £77.72 per month. 

53-year-old woman with the BRCA gene. 

  • As a result of her having this gene, her breasts and ovaries were removed. This occurred three years prior to the application with Moneysworth
  • One insurer indicated they could accept her at twice the standard premium, while another asked her to pay 2.5 times the standard premium, so the cheaper option was preferred

41-year-old woman who had experienced breast cancer. 

  • Breast cancer was diagnosed two years previously
  • Underwent surgery at that time
  • Still taking hormone therapy at the time of the Moneysworth application
  • Two insurers initially indicated they would consider her, but one of these later declined the application
  • The remaining insurer offered her a plan where she needed to pay a high premium initially, but only for the first two years. After that, the premium she needs to pay will be just 1.5 times the  standard rate