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Brain tumour life insurance

Life insurance is designed to pay out for medical conditions such as brain tumours, and it’s possible to get life insurance after you have been diagnosed with a brain tumour. If you need to protect your family with life cover then there are some options available in most cases.

Life insurance is the best way to protect your loved ones if something happens to you in the future.

According to Cancer Research UK, 1 in 69 men and 1 in 65 women are diagnosed with a brain tumour or other intracranial tumours. Over 11,000 people are diagnosed with primary brain tumours in the UK each year, and 50% of those are cancerous.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer” (Brain Tumour Research)

Here we’ll look at how life insurance can protect you and your family financially before or after diagnosis of a brain tumour.

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Does life insurance payout for brain tumours?

YES – if you die from a brain tumour then a standard life insurance policy will payout to your family. This payment can be used for a number of things including:

  • Pay off your mortgage
  • Provide ongoing living expenses
  • Clear any debts
  • Pay for school fees
  • Funeral costs

Most life insurance policies are taken on a term basis so will protect you and your family for a set period (usually between 5 and 40 years).

Does critical illness cover payout for brain tumours?

Benign brain tumour currently accounts for around 3% of critical illness and serious illness cover claims in the UK.

Definition: A benign brain tumour is a non-malignant tumour or cyst on the brain, cranial nerves, or the meninges in the skull. Most policies will payout if you undergo at least 1 of the defined treatments (e.g. chemotherapy or radiotherapy) with some ongoing disability.

Critical illness cover can provide a one-off lump sum payment after you’ve been diagnosed with a serious illness, to pay for:

  • Paying mortgage or rent payments

  • Cost of living for a period of time

  • Adjustments to the home

  • Treatment to help your condition

Many people who have suffered from a brain tumour might recover to live a long and healthy life. Whereas some others might need support or care, depending on the severity of the diagnosis, and any long-lasting damage.

Each insurance provider will have its own critical illness definitions, so you should check with your insurer or advisor to make sure you have the right level of cover.

About life insurance after brain tumours

Can I get life insurance after a brain tumour?

YES – there are some options for life insurance after suffering a brain tumour. You might also already have life cover in place so it may be worth checking to make sure that the policy is still suitable.

You should be able to get cover after diagnosis of a benign brain tumour once you have completed your treatment.

Treatments for brain tumours can include:

  • Stereotactic radiosurgery or invasive surgery to remove parts/all of the tumour
  • Chemotherapy will destroy the tumour cells

You should be able to get cover after a period of time from diagnosis on the following basis:

  • Guaranteed life insurance – this type of cover will usually start from just over £10 per month and will exclude cancer as it will automatically accept with no medical questions.
  • Standard life insurance – will usually become available from 2 years after the end of primary treatment with no recurrence of the cancer

Is a brain tumour a pre-existing medical condition for life insurance?

YES – you will be asked whether you’ve had ‘cancer, cancer-in-situ, leukaemia, Hodgkin’s disease, or any other tumour?’. This is a very common question on life insurance applications and is usually one of the first that is asked.

A brain tumour can then be disclosed as:

  • Benign brain tumour
  • Malignant brain tumour
  • Brain tumour removed
  • Brain tumour surgery

These will simply help underwriters to classify which type of brain tumour you had.

Will I need a medical for life insurance after a brain tumour?

Often you’ll simply be asked to give permission to sign an Access to Medical Records Agreement (AMRA). This is very normal for any life insurance application after all types of cancer.

Once you accept to provide your medical records, the insurance provider will approach your GP to request the report.

Best life insurance with a brain tumour

There are several main types of life insurance which are all designed to provide you and your family with different types of financial protection.

Some of the main types of life insurance to consider after a brain tumour include:

Term life insurance after a brain tumour (family protection) is the most common and best-known type of life insurance. This will be the easiest type of life insurance to get after a brain tumour once you’ve completed your treatment.

Mortgage life insurance after a brain tumour (mortgage protection) will be the same in terms of underwriting and availability to family protection. You’ll find that this type of cover will usually be approximately 20% cheaper than the level term because the cover reduces your mortgage balance.

Note: This type of cover is specifically designed to protect a repayment or capital and interest mortgage.

Critical illness cover after a brain tumour is generally going to be slightly more difficult to get unless the cancer was low-grade and removed. If you are accepted for critical illness cover then you’ll need to make sure that the offer includes what you need.

How much is life insurance after a brain tumour?

It’s difficult to say exactly how much you will pay for life insurance without understanding your situation properly.

Most of us expect to pay more for life cover than it costs in reality, but it really does depend on what you need. Your premiums will depend on things like:

  • How much cover do you want?
  • What is the cover for (e.g. mortgage, family, funeral expenses etc.)?
  • How long do you want the cover for?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Your health and your lifestyle

Best life insurance companies with a brain tumour

You will probably recognise some of the big insurance brands such as Legal & General, Aviva, AIG, and Royal London. There are several other major insurance companies and all have their strengths when it comes to underwriting medical conditions.

The best insurance company for you will also be based on your age, the amount of cover, and your lifestyle.

An expert in dealing with life insurance applications with brain tumours will be able to quickly identify:

  • Which insurers will offer you cover
  • Who is the cheapest insurer for you
  • What type of cover is going to be available

Medical conditions linked to brain tumours

Several conditions and risk factors are known to increase the chances of developing brain tumours, such as:

  • Obesity (meningiomas)
  • Family history of brain tumours
  • Neurofibromatosis Type 1
  • Neurofibromatosis Type 2
  • Turner Syndrome
  • Tuberous Sclerosis (TSC)
  • Exposure to radiation

Having a brain tumour can also lead to other condition such as mental health issues (e.g. depression and anxiety).

Here are some of the most common questions that people ask about brain tumours and what happens after the diagnosis.

What’s the difference between a benign brain tumour and a malignant brain tumour?When it comes to life insurance, there is a difference in options between benign and malignant brain tumours.

Benign brain tumours are where the tumour has not spread outside of the brain and therefore are easier for life cover

Malignant brain tumours are where the tumour has spread to surrounding tissue and therefore can be slightly more complicated
How long will you live after a brain tumour?According to Cancer Research UK, approximately 15 out of every 100 people diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour will survive more than 10 years.

Survival rates vary depending on the grade and stage of the tumour.
What were the first signs of a brain tumour?There are several main symptoms that you might experience at the early stages of a brain tumour. These can include:

Seizures (similar to epilepsy)
Personality differences
Vomiting or nausea

You can also find more information about this at Cancer.net
How common are brain tumours by age?Most people develop brain tumours over the age of 20 (93%), and the highest levels occur over 85. The current average age of someone to be diagnosed is 57.

Useful brain tumour resources

Here are some useful links and resources that you might want to have a look at for more information about brain tumours.

NHS Choices – Brain tumours

NHS Choices – Benign brain tumours (non-cancerous)

The Brain Tumour Charity

Cancer Research UK – About brain tumours

Brain Tumour Research – charity

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