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Bowel cancer life insurance

Life insurance can protect your family if you get diagnosed with bowel cancer, and you can often get cover with bowel cancer. Cancer is the single biggest reason for claims on life insurance and health insurance policies in the UK.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cause of death among cancers in the UK, and the fourth most common.

Statistically, more than 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year and approximately 270,000 have been diagnosed. Bowel cancer is most common in people over 50 with almost 95% of cases in the 50 plus category.

For more Facts & Figures about bowel cancer visit Bowel Cancer UK

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About bowel cancer life insurance

Life insurance, critical illness cover, and income protection can all provide essential financial support to your family if you are diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Does life insurance payout for bowel cancer?

The big question when it comes to any insurance is ‘will it pay out?’, which is absolutely the right question to ask.

A life cover policy will pay out a cash lump sum to your family if you die from bowel cancer. This payment is designed to provide your family with some financial help to pay for things like:

  • Mortgage
  • Loans and other debts
  • Cost of living
  • School fees

Even though survival rates for bowel cancer are still relatively high, it is important to know that your family is protected if the worst did happen. Statistically, you are more likely to survive bowel cancer, especially where it is detected early.

Bowel cancer survival rates by stage

According to figures from Cancer Research UK, bowel cancer survival rates in England for men and women between 2013 to 2017:

StageSurvival period from diagnosisSurvival rate (%)
Stage 1(Dukes’ A)5 years90% (90 out of every 100)
Stage 2(Dukes’ B)5 years80% (80 out of every 100)
Stage 3(Dukes’ C)5 years70% (70 out of every 100)
Stage 4(Dukes’ D)5 years10% (10 out of every 100)

Note: For people where cancer has spread to the liver and can be removed, over 40% (40 out of every 100) will survive 5 years or more from diagnosis.


Will critical illness cover payout for bowel cancer?

Bowel cancer is the second most common reason for claims on critical illness cover in the UK. It is estimated that bowel/colon cancer accounts for 11% of all critical illness claims so it is important to consider this option.

If you are diagnosed with bowel cancer then you should receive a cash lump sum from your critical illness policy. This payment can be used for a number of different things such as:

  • Mortgage
  • Debts
  • Cost of living
  • Medical treatments/care
  • Alterations to your home

Is bowel cancer a critical illness?

YES – any type of cancer is usually considered to be a serious or critical illness, especially where life insurance is concerned.

You’ll often find that these types of policies will provide either a lump-sum benefit or an income if you are diagnosed with cancer. Bowel cancer is particularly relevant due to the number of people diagnosed and the levels of claims.


Does income protection payout for bowel cancer?

Income protection will provide you with a monthly income and that is usually for 12 or 24 months. If you get diagnosed with bowel cancer then you should be paid out to help support you during a period of sickness.

You’ll usually be able to cover yourself for up to 85% of your gross monthly income which can be used for:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Rent
  • Other debts
  • Utilities and bills

One of the most common claims on income protection insurance is cancer and bowel cancer is also one of the common cancer claims.


Life insurance with bowel cancer

There is a common misconception that people can’t get life insurance after they’ve been diagnosed with cancer.

Can I get life insurance after bowel cancer?

YES – most people with bowel cancer are able to get life cover to protect their families at some point. There is often a waiting period after treatment that can be 1 or 2 years depending on the grade and the stage.

You can also buy a policy that will provide you with some cover immediately after diagnosis that excludes cancer. These policies are called ‘guaranteed acceptance’ cover and will often be very affordable so can give you a good option through this period.

People with bowel cancer looking for life insurance will usually go through a manual underwriting process. This is often a simple process that can take anything from 2 weeks to a few months, depending on how complicated your application is.

Will I need a medical for bowel cancer life insurance?

It is possible that you’ll be asked to provide some additional medical information to get the best rates. This is often very straightforward for you as your insurance company should do all the chasing.

There are a couple of options for different types of medical checks which are:

  • GP report (GPR) is a medical report obtained by the insurer directly from your GP
  • Nurse screening is a nurse check-up
  • Tele-medical which is a telephone-based medical questionnaire that is usually done by a qualified nurse

Medical reports and medical evidence are very normal for anyone who has had cancer in the past. You might feel as though this is a problem and even can be a positive thing to make sure that you get the best rates, as well as guaranteed cover.

Refused life insurance because of bowel cancer

If you’ve applied for life insurance in the past and you have been declined or refused cover, don’t worry. It is common for people to be declined life insurance when they apply through a standard company.

An expert or specialist such as iam|INSURED should be able to get you cover even though you’ve been declined previously. It’s usually either a matter of timing or simply that they don’t have access to the right insurers.


Best life insurance for bowel cancer patients

There are a number of options when considering what life insurance you might need to protect you and your family. You can get most types of life insurance after bowel cancer depending on the grade/stage of cancer and when it was.

Family life insurance after bowel cancer (level term) is the most common of all types of life insurance and often the easiest. In some cases, you’ll find that some insurers may be different from others because of how they view bowel cancer.

Mortgage life insurance after bowel cancer (decreasing term) is specifically designed to protect your mortgage if you die. This type of policy is the same underwriting criteria as level term however premiums will be lower because the cover reduces.

Critical illness cover after bowel cancer is potentially more difficult and can even be unavailable in some circumstances. You should check to see what you can get and then decide whether it’s suitable for you, depending on your situation.

Income protection after bowel cancer is also slightly more difficult to get because of the claims related to cancers. You might find that standard cover may not be available but there could be other options for you.

There are also other life insurance options available after bowel cancer which include family income benefit and whole of life. You should ask a protection expert if you need more information about other products.

How much is life insurance after bowel cancer?

Your premiums for life insurance after bowel cancer can vary depending on several main points, such as:

  • Date of diagnosis: when were you originally diagnosed with bowel cancer
  • Grade/Stage: what was your grade and stage of your cancer (severity or aggression)
  • Treatment: what type of treatment did you have and when was that treatment
  • Family history: do you have a history of cancer within your family, specifically your natural parents, brothers, or sisters, before the age of 65

Some insurance providers are considerably better or cheaper than others for bowel cancer so it’s also important to know where to apply. You could save yourself a lot of time and money by applying to the right insurers.

Life insurance questions for bowel cancer patients

There is a list of standard questions that you might be asked when applying for life insurance with bowel cancer. These questions can vary slightly from one insurer to another, they can include:

  • Do you know the clinical staging or grading of your cancer?
  • Did cancer ever spread outside your colon (bowel) or rectum?
  • Has the ever cancer recurred?
  • If the cancer spread, were any lymph nodes affected or surrounding organs?
  • Have you completed all treatments (e.g. surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy)?
  • What date did your treatments end?

Medical conditions linked to bowel cancer

There are some medical conditions that have been proven to cause a higher risk of getting bowel cancer. These conditions include:

Common questions about bowel cancer

Some of the most common questions that people ask about bowel cancer or what to look out for include:

What are the first signs of bowel cancer?

Generally, the main symptoms of bowel cancer are linked to your bowel habits, which can include things like, going to the toilet more regularly, and looser or runnier stools. You might also experience abdominal pain, but not have other symptoms of piles (haemorrhoids).

What does bowel cancer stools (poo) look like?

The most common sign or red flag for bowel cancer is having an abnormal stool (poo). This can include discolouration that can be either black or dark red, which can also look like tar. This should be checked by a doctor immediately.

What is the life expectancy with bowel cancer?

For people where the cancer is isolated to the bowel with no spread, usually, this can be removed. The average number of people that will live at least 1 year after diagnosis is 70 to 80%. The average number of people that will live for more than 10 years after diagnosis is just over 50%.

Useful resources for bowel cancer

Here are some of the most useful resources that we have found for people with bowel cancer or for more information about bowel cancer:

NHS Choices – bowel cancer

Bowel cancer UK – charity

Cancer Research UK – bowel cancer

MacMillan Cancer Support – bowel cancer

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