Applying for life insurance with a pre-existing medical condition such as breast cancer doesn't necessarily mean that an insurer will automatically deny you coverage. Today, many life insurance companies will look at a variety of factors when considering an application from a breast cancer survivor.
What has changed?
While the quest to find a cure for breast cancer continues, treatments have certainly advanced over the past decade. According to the American Cancer Society, every day researchers around the globe are working hard to find better ways to prevent, detect, and treat breast cancer, as well as improving the quality of life for patients and survivors. Because of the advances in treatment, many life insurance companies now have underwriting guidelines that make it possible for breast cancer survivors to secure life insurance.
Prepping for the application process
Before you begin your search for the best life insurance company for you, it's important to be prepared for the application process. Because the insurer will need specifics about your condition, you'll need to gather important health information that may include:
- A summary of your illness — This typically includes the date of the diagnosis, as well as the type of cancer you were diagnosed with (including the stage and grade) and how it was treated.
- A summary of your current health — Be sure to include some positive and proactive points regarding your condition, such as being a non-smoker or non-drinker, healthy eating habits, and if you exercise regularly.
- A physicians list — You'll want to include both doctors and other medical professionals who have and are continuing to treat you.
- Your treatment plan — Provide a list of past treatments and any treatments that may be planned for the future. This may include the start and stop dates of your chemotherapy.
- Any medications you are currently taking — Some pharmacies will provide you with a convenient print out.
While this is not a comprehensive list, it may be able to help you facilitate the life insurance application process. It's important to note that every life insurance company has its own underwriting guidelines when it comes to deciding whether or not to offer you coverage.
Finding the best life insurance company for you
According to the Susan G. Komen website, there are certain things breast cancer survivors should keep in mind when working with a life insurance provider. Some of them are:
- Work with an agent/life insurance company that is licensed by the state insurance department. You'll also want to check the financial stability of the insurer that you are considering. You can read more about evaluating a life insurance company on the Protective Learning Center.
- Fully understand the policies and procedures of the life insurance company when considering coverage.
- Be sure to ask questions about anything that may be unclear to you.
- Ask questions about pre-existing conditions and any possible waiting periods.
- Thoroughly review your application for any errors. Any incorrect information that amounts to a material misrepresentation could result in a denial of benefits or the termination of your policy.
The key takeaway here is to know that it isn't impossible to find life insurance as a breast cancer survivor. Today, there are many life insurance companies that can help you select the right type of life insurance policy based on your individual needs.