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Life Insurance After Skin Cancer

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Having a diagnosis of skin cancer can bring about a number of different challenges – finding life insurance after cancer is no exception.

While many applicants who are considered to be in good health can typically obtain a policy fairly easily, those who have skin cancer will most likely be required to work with a high risk insurance specialist in order to find the right coverage – or, in some cases, to find coverage at all.

Applying with the right insurance carrier can not only make a big difference in being approved versus being declined, it may also prove to be beneficial in terms of what you pay in premium. This is because not all life insurance companies will underwrite applicants in the same way.

Although there are no guarantees, having an experienced high risk agent on your side can help to improve your odds, especially when dealing with cancer. That’s what we do.

Buying Life Insurance After Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is among the more common kinds of cancer diagnoses across the Nation each year, and as much as 20% of the population will experience some form of skin cancer in their life. More cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year than the cumulative total of breast, colon, lung and prostate.

Although many other types of cancer cannot be seen with the naked eye, skin cancer can be quite visible, as it consists of the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. This is caused by un-repaired DNA damage to the skin cells, most often due to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds.

The most serious form of skin cancer is melanoma. This is a cancer which begins in a certain type of skin cell and then spreads to other parts of the body if not caught early. When applying for life insurance, having a skin cancer diagnosis can have a significant effect on your premium. This is because your health will be considered an additional risk to the insurance carrier.

What the Insurance Company Needs to Know

If you’re applying for life insurance with skin cancer, the underwriters will need to obtain in-depth information about your health condition in order to determine an appropriate premium to charge for your coverage.

You may be asked some or all of the following questions regarding your skin cancer:

  • What was the date of your skin cancer diagnosis?
  • What was the type of skin caner diagnosis you received? (i.e., Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Malignant Melanoma)
  • Where was your skin cancer located?
  • Did the cancer metastasize (spread) beyond the skin? (If yes, please provide additional details)
  • Has there been any evidence of recurrence?
  • For malignant melanoma only, what stage was the cancer?
  • Are you currently taking any prescription medications relating to the skin cancer? (If yes, please indicate which medication(s) and the dosage)
  • Do you have any other health issues of any kind?

Applicants for most any type of life insurance are also required to complete an application for coverage. This will give the insurance company the information they need regarding the individual’s basic data, such as their:

  1. Name
  2. Gender
  3. Date of Birth
  4. Height
  5. Weight
  6. Tobacco Usage
  7. Type of Coverage
  8. Coverage Amount
  9. Family History
  10. Existing Life Insurance In-Force

The insurance company may also want to review your medical records from your primary care physician and any specialist you’ve seen for your skin cancer. This information can help them to make a more clear determination regarding your overall health condition.

What Are the Best Outcomes for Coverage?

If you’ve had a skin cancer diagnosis in the past and you need life insurance coverage, the outcome on your application will be dependent on a number of different factors. These can include the following:

  • Your age at diagnosis
  • The type and stage of cancer you dealt with
  • Your family history of melanoma
  • The success of your treatment
  • Any prior history of tobacco use
  • The regularity of your checkups with your dermatologist and other medical specialists
  • How well you have managed your condition

First, how old you were at the original diagnosis plays a larger role in underwriting for life insurance for skin cancer patients because the probability of it returning later in life drastically increases for younger folks. Children and young adults with a history of skin cancer are harder to insure than middle aged or elderly folks.

The next biggest factor is the type of skin cancer you had. Basal cell carcinoma is underwritten differently than squamous cell carcinoma, which, in turn, is different than melanoma. Just the type of cancer and stage of cancer at diagnosis can push an applicant from Standard Plus all the way down to Sub-Standard or even a decline.

If you have a family history of cancer, especially skin cancer, or have used tobacco in the past (or currently), expect nothing better than Standard rates, at best. These two factors will remove any discounted rates above Standard.

Last, underwriters are looking to see you’ve kept up to date with all examinations during and after treatment. Having a continued history of negative recurrence looks great in the eyes of the insurance company. If, however, you have no continued record of check ups, it could have an impact on your rating directly, or generate a postponement until it’s completed.

How to Take the Next Step

Although having skin cancer may present some additional challenges when it comes to the life insurance application process, working with someone who is knowledgeable in high risk coverage may create more options available to you.

We can help you to find the right carrier early in the application process which can save you a great deal of time, and move you towards the protection you need much more quickly.

If you have any additional questions or concerns along the way, we will be happy to take you through our process. If you are ready to see what type of coverage you can qualify for today, simply fill out the instant life insurance quote form in the sidebar to get started.


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.