Guide to Life Insurance After Skin Cancer History

By James Tobin, CFP®

Last Updated on

 

Critical Takeaways

  • Impact on  Underwriting Class: Possibly Significant 
  • Preferred Rates Possible,Table Ratings Common  
  • Rate impact based on nature and frequency of occurrence, any complications, prescription drugs 

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Expert Review Of  Available  Options For  Life Insurance ​

After Skin Cancer

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Reviewed by

Jim Tobin, CFP®

Why you can have confidence in this review

At Life Insurance Help Desk, we value our editorial independence. We keep our reviews strictly factual so you can use them to make informed decisions. Life insurance carriers referred to on this site do not approve reviews. 

Can I Be Approved For Life Insurance After Skin Cancer?

While every applicant seeking life insurance after skin cancer has a high chance of being approved for an insurance policy, keep in mind that you won’t have the same choice offered to healthy, young applicants. Additionally, the premium rates may also vary, based on the current status of your condition, the treatments you’ve undergone, and your general state of health.

Every policy type has its own set of underwriting standards. Therefore, we’ve divided this review into 3 sections. Readers can jump to the relevant section directly by clicking on the applicable button here.

Best Price

Strict Underwriting

Exam - Yes

Good Price

Strict Underwriting

Exam - No

More Expensive

Easy Underwriting

Exam - No

What Information Will  Life Insurance Companies Want To Know?

Insurance companies require you to submit details of the symptoms you’ve experienced, prescription medications used, treatments underwent, history of surgeries, and follow-up. To learn more about how skin cancer applications are underwritten, please refer to  the life insurance underwriting guide.

Will I Need To Take An Exam For Skin Cancer Life Insurance?

A paramedical examination may need to be undergone if you need the best possible premium rates. Applicants suffering from squamous cell or basal cell skin cancers who have their condition under control may be able to opt for a no-exam policy. But since melanoma cases are generally considered to be more severe, you’ll have to undergo an examination to obtain traditional term life insurance.

Your urine and blood samples will be collected during the exam, which will be administered at a time and place of your choosing by a nurse.

However, applicants whose needs are best served by guaranteed issue or simplified issue insurance policies need not undergo a medical exam. Check out How Term Life Insurance Works to learn more.

How Much Will My Life Insurance Cost And How Exactly Are My Rates Affected By My History Of Skin Cancer?

Premium rates depend on what underwriting category you’re assigned by your insurance carrier. A skin cancer application generally receives a standard rating, though it might fall even further. We’ve discussed this issue further in our pricing samples and rating guides pages. You can also find information regarding sample premium pricing for guaranteed issue and simplified issue policies in the links here.

How Accurate Are The Quotes I Get From Your Quote Tool? 

Our website tool provides reliable and accurate premium quotes, provided you input the right information. Most people fail to get their rate class right in the first place, which causes the web tool to generate a faulty result that differs significantly from the actual price. For people who are rather inexperienced about all this, we recommend picking a range for the best results. You can also submit your details on our customized quote form for a call from us regarding your application.

How Can I Improve My Underwriting Rating And Lower My Life Insurance Cost?

If you want the best possible rates, there’s no better way than selecting an independent agent who has inside access to companies that are likelier to review your application favorably and give you the best deals.

You can check out the section below "Why to use Independent Agent when Shopping for Life Insurance after Skin Cancer" to understand why an independent agent’s services are a must-have.

Additionally, you can also land lower premiums by quitting smoking and limiting your alcohol consumption. Exercise and proper diet will go a long way in your favor as well.

Maintain proper documentation of your efforts to complying with the doctor’s advice for your condition. Record the medications you’re on as well. A physician’s letter that acknowledges your compliance and efforts will also improve your chances of getting lower premiums. Doing these things can help you boost your insurance rating and health significantly.

What Are The Best Life Insurance Companies For Skin Cancer?

Many insurance applicants are unaware of the fact that different life insurance firms have different risk appetites for certain diseases. You can observe this in their underwriting standards and pricing policies. When it comes to life insurance with skin cancer, your chances are high if you apply for a policy from Banner, AIG, or Prudential.

But you can work this to your advantage if you work with experienced independent agents who know the ins and outs of the industry. Our case study below is a perfect illustration of this fact.

What Is The Application Process For Life Insurance after Skin Cancer?

Insurance application procedures for almost every condition is mostly the same – you have to pick your terms, your carrier, submit to an exam, sign your documents, and submit them. If you need more information, we’ve covered this topic in greater detail here


Although skin cancer applicants can indeed qualify for standard or preferred rate categories, it’s mostly dependent on how well their case has been presented in the insurance application. An independent experienced agent with a history of getting skin cancer applications successfully approved can boost your chances tremendously.

With skin cancers like squamous cell skin cancer, life insurance companies will require a great deal of information before they make a decision over whether to approve the application of not. The process is similar to how insurance companies process applications of people with a history of strokes, heart attacks, or dangerous lifestyle habits such as scuba diving or marijuana usage.

You can purchase term life policies for periods ranging anywhere between 5 to 30 years. Most applicants prefer a 20-year term. Minimum face values start at $50,000. The insurance policy may either be terminated entirely after the term or renewed annually, albeit at increased rates.

Possible Underwriting Ratings After Skin Cancer

A life insurance application is typically subject to extensive review before a decision is made. The way you tell your story can affect the result to a great extent, which is why you may see two people who have the same background being quoted significantly different offers by the same insurance company. Patient compliance history and time elapsed since the diagnosis are arguably two of the biggest factors affecting your chances.

Best Case Scenario – Basal cell cancer patients are usually given a standard rating. But people with multiple recurrences may be downgraded. Squamous cell cancer patients may also qualify for standard ratings or better if the tumors have been surgically removed and the followup has been done diligently. A reasonable amount of time should also have passed since the cancer was removed. Check our quote tool to receive a standard quote.

Mid Case – People whose squamous cell cancers had moved to an advanced stage before it was removed may be quoted mid substandard rates. Melanoma patients may also qualify for these rates if the cancer was detected and removed in its early stages. Multiply the standard premium rate given here by 2 (in Table 4/D) or 1.5 (in Table 2/B). More information regarding table ratings can be found here.

Severe Cases – Individuals in mid or later stage melanoma may be quoted severe substandard premium rates.

Application declined – If the cancer has reached a severe stage, traditional coverage options may no longer be offered to you. However, you can still apply for term policies with small face values, which are known as simplified issue or guaranteed issue policies. Contact us if you can no longer apply for traditional policies.

Term Life Insurance Pricing After Skin Cancer


Remember that ‘affordable’ doesn’t always mean ‘low cost’ or ‘inexpensive’. You’ll find the term ‘affordable’ repeated many times in our reviews. That’s because life insurance with skin cancer is never really cheap. At this stage, your priorities are to find the best possible deals for your condition since different insurance companies employ different standards for certain risks. This process isn’t simply a matter of using an insurance quote tool and purchasing the cheapest option – this point will be better explained with the help of an illustration given below. .

Case Study: Life Insurance After Skin Cancer 

Please see the case study below . it will show why it is in your interest to have as many options as possible available when shopping for life insurance after skin cancer  or any other impairment.

Female Age: 29

$1000000 20 Year Term

Tobacco: No

History of Squamous cell skin cancer - removed  23 months ago with no recurrence.

No Other Health Concerns

This looks like a best case scenario that would be either standard or Table 2/B or 4/D depending on the insurers appetite for a skin cancer risk.. Let's take a look at the rates.

  • Standard
  • Table 2/B 
  • Table 4/D

Life Insurance Company

Monthly Payment

$ 60.03

$ 60.37

$ 62.30

$70.65

$81.83

The table here displays data regarding insurance premiums from some of the biggest insurance companies in the market today. In the standard category, Lincoln is around 35% costlier than Banner.

At this point, people simply believe that Banner is best for them. As a matter of fact, if the companies assign you the same underwriting category, Banner is right for you.

However, people with skin cancer or other serious illnesses have a complicated task ahead of them.

Since insurance companies have different underwriting standards for certain conditions, you’ll now need to figure out whether the company offering the cheapest option would be willing to assign you a standard rating.

You’ll see that although Prudential is the most expensive option in the standard category range, it might also be willing to assign you a standard rating. More often than not, price-competitive companies tend to assign skin cancer patients to substandard or severe substandard categories, where the rates are much higher than Prudential’s standard rating premiums.

Why You Should Use An Independent Agent When Shopping For Life Insurance After Skin Cancer.

We’ve covered how the way you present your application influences your insurance rating to a great extent. We’ve also seen how different insurance firms set different underwriting standards for the same condition and how two people in the same circumstances could be quoted completely different premiums.

So where does an agent come in? An experienced independent agent is likely to represent 50+ insurance companies, thus allowing you to source quotes from a variety of companies. Additionally, an agent will also know which companies will approve your application, which ones will give you the most favorable terms, and so on. They’ll get right down to it and save you time, money, and resources in the process.

While you can certainly do it on your own, why waste weeks of your time trying to zero in on the right insurance provider when you could get it done immediately? Insurance agents will also know important do’s and don’ts; something not everyone will be aware of. When you consider these factors, using an independent agent for life insurance after skin cancer is an absolute no-brainer.

Your Next Step

Now that you know the information you will need to receive the most accurate quote possible for life insurance with skin cancer,  it's time to gather the information and speak to an independent Agent (raising my hand). Simply give us a call or shoot an email over and we can get you started. We are committed to totally transparent pricing (we'll even share our computer screen with you if you'd like), and making the application process as painless as possible.

Thank you again for choosing the Life insurance Help Desk to  research your options for life insurance with a history of skin cancer.If you have any questions, please give us a call or contact us by email.

Bonus: The most common mistakes people make buying life insurance and how to avoid them

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Fast Facts About Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common of the cancers and  luckily, the most treatable. Nonetheless, there are about 100000 cases of melanoma (the most common form) a year diagnosed in the United States and close to 9000 deaths.  

Prior to the early twentieth century a tanned skin was not thought to be attractive. Tanned skin was relegated to field workers. This  started to change when Coco Chanel returned from the French Riviera vacation with a tan and fans loved it.

Until the early twentieth century a tanned skin was  not thought to be attractive. Tanned skin was generally reserved for field laborers. Perception of the tanned look began to change when Coco Chanel returned from a French Riviera vacation looking bronzed and her fans began to follow suit.

Some of the better known people who have suffered with skin cancer are: Actress Brooke Shields, Newsman Anderson Cooper, Actress Diane Keaton, Football Star Troy Aikman, and Musician Bob Marley

Sadly, left untreated , Marley would die from Melanoma.

Life insurance with skin cancer
life insurance with skin cancer

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