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Qualifying for Life Insurance After Kidney Cancer

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A lot of people assume it’s impossible to qualify for life insurance after kidney cancer (aka renal cancer).

Though it can be the case, it’s not always the case. Your chances of qualifying for traditional coverage are slim when compared to other factors, but it’s still possible.

Kidney cancer will play significant, albeit negative role, in your application for life insurance. It tells the underwriter you’re a great risk for their company.

However, the underwriter looks at a wide range of information to make this decision. If you pass certain requirements, they still might offer you a policy.

In particular, life insurance companies look at your last date of treatment, current symptoms, and, most importantly, the stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis.

Below we break down the process of qualifying for life insurance after kidney cancer in much more detail.

Kidney Cancer, And How It Impacts Life Insurance

life insurance with kidney cancerTo put it simply, kidney cancer is cancer of the kidneys.

Also known as renal cancer, it’s among the ten most common types of cancer for both men and women.

In fact, estimates about 1 in 63 Americans are diagnosed with kidney cancer at some point in their lifetimes.

Though kidney cancer begins in the kidneys, it can quickly spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.

Kidney cancer is usually diagnosed thanks to the same initial symptoms. These include a lump in the abdomen, loss of appetite, and bloody urine.

Other common symptoms of kidney cancer include:

  • pain which won’t go away
  • fever and fatigue
  • weight loss (without trying)

A doctor who suspects kidney cancer will order a computerized tomography (CT) scan to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms.

Because kidney cancer causes symptoms in its early stages, early treatment is often possible.

Starting treatment as early as possible is the key to stopping kidney cancer in its tracks. The most common treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

In addition to providing better chances of successful treatment, an early diagnosis is also a big plus with life insurance providers.

Who Gets Kidney Cancer?

Certain people are more likely to develop kidney cancer than others.

Chief among those at risk are smokers. According to The Mayo Clinic, smokers are at a greater risk for not only kidney cancer, but most other types of cancer as well.

The organization goes on to list those at the greatest risk for kidney cancer as:

Simply put, your risk for developing kidney cancer goes up as you age.

Of course, not everyone who is in one of the above groups will ever develop kidney cancer – it’s just more likely.

Conversely, someone who doesn’t fit into any of the above groups has the potential to develop kidney cancer in the future.

This is why living a healthy lifestyle to prevent kidney cancer and other types of cancer is so important.

Doing this starts with not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling your blood pressure.

Questions You’ll Be Asked

The bulk of applying for life insurance consists of filling out your application.

The application is what the underwriter uses to assess your overall risk as a potential client.

They use the information you provide, along with the results of a medical exam, to determine whether or not their company should provide you coverage.

Expect your life insurance application to start with basic questions. These will include questions about your basic health and lifestyle.

You’ll then be required to answer several more detailed questions about your kidney cancer, specifically.

You can expect to answer a wide range of questions such as:

  • When was your kidney cancer diagnosed?
  • What were the symptoms?
  • What was your treatment?
  • What is your kidney cancer prognosis?

As mentioned above, your answers to these questions are what underwriters use to determine your eligibility, as well as your rating class.

Note, it’s important to be upfront and honest on your application. Lying or stretching the truth won’t pay off.

Because your application will be paired with a medical exam, any inaccuracies will quickly come to light.

The Application and Approval Process

Applying for life insurance after kidney cancer is straightforward.

After filling out the application and sending in a current medical exam, the next step is simply waiting.

Most traditional life insurance providers take between 4 and 6 weeks to tell you whether or not you qualify for coverage. They’ll also let you know what rating class you qualify for, if you do qualify.

The 4 to 6 week period gives the underwriters plenty of time to review your application, any exam information, other documents from doctors and specialists, and assess your risk.

Though some life insurance providers now offer expedited approval, the feature is generally only available to those without serious medical problems.

The only no exam life insurance option a person with kidney cancer would be available for is a guaranteed issue policy.

However, it’s not to say the application process is the same for all providers. Some life insurance companies make applying for coverage much easier than others.

In our opinion, these are the ones which offer online applications in place of traditional paper applications.

Not only are online applications easier to fill out, they’re also quicker to fill out. Anything you can do to cut down on the time spent applying, especially if you are applying to several providers, is a good thing.

Your Possible Life Insurance Results

Finding life insurance with kidney cancer isn’t a walk in the park.

Like all other types of cancer, life insurance providers judge its survivors toughly.

The key element in whether or not you’ll qualify, as well as what rating class you’ll fall into, is what stage your cancer was in when you were diagnosed.

Those who were in “stage zero” or “stage one” have the best chance of receiving traditional coverage. In fact, you’ll likely even be able to qualify for standard or normal rates.

Stage two” kidney cancer survivors will have a tougher time qualifying for kidney cancer, but still have a decent chance, especially if it’s been five years or more since treatment without any further signs or symptoms.

Unfortunately, those who survived “stage three” or “stage four” kidney cancer won’t receive traditional life insurance coverage.

This doesn’t mean there’s no hope, though. Those who are denied from traditional coverage still have plenty of life insurance alternatives to choose from.

One of these is a guaranteed life insurance policy. Though it covers less and costs more, it’s still a good choice for those denied from traditional coverage.

Find the Best Life Insurance, Every Time

Start doing your research today if you hope to qualify for life insurance after kidney cancer.

Not all life insurance providers judge medical issues the same. You have the ability to find the provider who is most likely to cover kidney cancer survivors.

And we can help you.

Another tip is to gather your medical information. Go in for an updated medical exam, if necessary.

You must answer several questions about your medical history and history with kidney cancer – so why not have the information close at hand?

Let us help you test the waters and try to see which providers offer. It’s free, and doesn’t even require a formal application.

Not only is this the best way of increasing your chances of qualifying for coverage, but it will also help you find the best rates possible.

If you aren’t approved for traditional coverage, the life insurance alternatives discussed above are well worth more research.


Jason Fisher

Jason Fisher is the founder and CEO of, LLC. and a multi-state licensed life insurance agent who has helped over a million Americans seek out affordable coverage, compare quotes, or get their family and businesses covered.