As a cancer survivor, you know a thing or two about paving your own path. You are not the type of person who gives up easily. This is how you approached beating this ugly disease. It is also the approach you should use when shopping for life insurance coverage.
Don’t even bother shopping for life insurance. You are never going to find a company that will insure you. Having cancer means you can never buy coverage. Have you heard one or more of these statements in the past? If so, you are not alone. Many people believe these points to be true – some may even be friends and family.
Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. There is no denying that buying life insurance as a cancer survivor will be a challenge. However, there are things you can do to increase your chance of success.
1. Gather all medical records related to your treatment. This includes everything from your initial pathology report to treatments to physician checkups. Your underwriter will likely request more information, but at least you have a good base for moving forward. Not to mention the fact that it can help speed up the application process.
2. Listen to what your doctor has to say. You need to find a doctor you trust and then stick with his or her treatment schedule down to every last detail. Most life insurance companies want to see that you are following up with a doctor on a regular basis. Of course, they also want to know what your doctor is saying during every appointment.
3. Shop around. This is a tip that is important or all life insurance consumers, but is particularly essential for those with a history of cancer. One company may turn you down while other feels that the disease is in your past and you should be offered coverage.
4. Do you have access to group life insurance? For example, you may be able to purchase group coverage through your employer. This may not be ideal, since you don’t get to choose the company or details of the policy, but at least you are getting something. The primary benefit is that pre-existing conditions usually don’t come into play. Instead, you can apply and receive coverage without having to worry about the past.
5. Consider all your options, including a “graded” policy. With this, your death benefit increases as you get older. During the first few years, the death benefit may only be equal to the premiums you have paid. However, as you get older the amount of the benefit will continue to increase. This protects the insurance company while still allowing you to buy a policy.
Classes to Determine your Premium
Most life insurance companies classify applicants into one of four categories:
- Super Preferred (also called preferred plus by some)
As a cancer survivor, you typically won’t qualify for super preferred or even preferred status. That being said, if you can work your way into the “standard category” you have a good chance of receiving quality coverage at an affordable rate.