Being diagnosed with prostate cancer can make getting life insurance seem like an impossible task.
However, depending upon your specific situation, it is still possible to find good quality coverage with a highly rated insurer.
American Cancer Society studies have shown that prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer that affects American men today – and it is estimated that approximately one in six men will become diagnosed with this condition at some time during their life.
The good news is that as medical treatment becomes more advanced, and the survival rates continue to improve, the best life insurance companies will typically update their underwriting guidelines, making it at least somewhat easier for applicants to qualify for coverage.
If you are in remission and/or your cancer is being successfully treated, a life insurance company may accept you for a policy with an additional premium surcharge – a flat extra amount of premium cost.
However, after a certain period of time has passed – especially if you have become cancer free – this surcharge will be removed. And, in certain instances, under ideal circumstances, you may even be able to qualify for a “standard” premium rating on your policy.
Many would think that having been diagnosed with prostate cancer would make it nearly impossible to get approved for term life insurance coverage.
In case that’s what you believe, let me be the first one to tell you that is a myth. Men that have been treated and/or diagnosed can, in fact, get approved for a life insurance policy.
Recently, I encountered a 70 year old male who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer approximately 4 years ago. 6 months later he had a prostatectomy to have the cancer removed. Since then he has had no metastasis and everything seems to be in the clear.
He was looking to obtain a 15 year, $150,000 term life policy. It was time to do my homework.
What the Life Insurance Underwriters Will Need to Know
When moving through the life insurance application and approval process, the insurance company’s underwriters may request specific information in addition to that which is already included on the initial application. This may include reports from your doctor, blood and/or urine testing, or even a third party medical examination.
Likewise, should you be approved, there are several factors that are likely to affect the amount of premium that you will be charged. These criteria include:
- The stage and the extent of the cancer’s progression
- Your age at the time of diagnosis
- The type of treatment that you are currently receiving (if any)
- When treatment was completed (if applicable)
- Results of any follow-up medical testing
It is important to keep in mind that the less the underwriters know about your situation, the more likely they are to assume that you are a high risk case – substantially increasing your chances of being denied for coverage.
Therefore, in addition to following your doctor’s treatment plan, be sure that you are ready with any and all additional information that the insurance company requests. This will give the underwriters a much more complete picture of your health history, as well as your prognosis going forward. In addition, having this information up front can also help in reducing underwriting delays during the overall application process.
Increasing Your Chance of Getting Approved
In order to increase your chance of approval for coverage, there are several steps that you can take. First, it is a good idea to consider working with a life insurance agent who has experience in locating coverage for those who are cancer survivors.
Oftentimes, agents will specialize in working with clients who have health conditions that may make it more tricky to qualify for a policy. These representatives will typically know which insurance companies are more apt to provide the best rates for their clients’ particular circumstances.
Life Insurance with Prostate Cancer Questionnaire
If you are interested in purchasing life insurance and have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, it’s important to uncover all the circumstances behind it. Below is a sample questionnaire that you’ll need to answer to make sure we get you with the best life insurance company.
1. a. Please provide diagnosis. b. Please provide date of last treatment.
2. What was the stage of the cancer diagnosed? This information should be contained in the pathology report.
A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, D1, D2, Recurrent.
3. What was the prostate cancer’s Gleason score? What was the prostate cancer’s grade?
4. a. What was the PSA prior to treatment? b. What was the latest PSA?
5. How has the prostate cancer been treated?
- Observation only.
- Radiation therapy.
- Transurethral prostatectomy.
- Hormone therapy.
- Radical prostatectomy.
- Biological therapy.
- Castration (chemical)
6. Has the proposed insured taken any medications to treat the cancer in the past and/or is he or she currently taking any medications?
- Name of medication(s), prescription(s) or otherwise.
- Dates they were taken or prescribed.
- Quantity, including dosage, taken.
- Frequency taken, by day.
7. Has there been any evidence of any recurrence: yes or no?
8. Does the proposed insured have any medical conditions? If yes, please describe.
The insurance company is going to look at all of these factors to determine how much of a risk you are to insure. The higher risk you are, the lower your chances of being accepted, as well as the more you’ll pay for coverage if you are accepted. There are also dozens of other aspects that are going to impact your chances of being accepted for life insurance.
Prostate cancer can keep a lot of people from getting the coverage that they deserve. Everyone deserves to have quality life insurance, and our agents can help you get it. Your health shouldn’t stop you from getting insurance protection that can give your family the resources they need if you were to pass away.
Aside from getting a quality plan, you’ll need to ensure that you get enough coverage for your family members. Not having enough coverage can be just as detrimental as not having a policy at all.