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Life insurance with cancer

1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives which is pretty shocking. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer in the past then you might want to know ‘is life insurance still available after cancer?’.

Most of the people that we speak to who’ve had cancer are often concerned about life insurance but don’t know what to do about it.

Here are some of the main areas where we can help with life insurance for cancer patients:

  • Recent diagnosis and what options are available
  • Previous diagnosis (over 2 years) and paying a fair price for life cover
  • Family history of cancer
  • Cancerous cells and non-cancerous cells
  • Cover to help against the risk of cancer
  • Critical illness cover for cancer

If you want to know the answers to some questions about life insurance for someone with cancer then here’s our guide.

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Does life insurance cover cancer?

YES – life cover will cover cancer so your family and loved ones will be protected if you get diagnosed with cancer in the future.

Unsurprisingly, cancer is one of the most common reasons for claims on life insurance and it will be covered as part of your existing policy if you already have this in place. If you’re unsure about your existing policy then you can contact your insurer or we’re happy to help if you don’t know where to go.

You must make sure that you disclose any pre-existing medical conditions when you apply for life insurance. If you fail to tell your insurer about something that you’ve had in the past, such as cancer then your claim could be declined. So be honest and it won’t be a problem.

There are some policies that might not cover pre-existing medical conditions so check your policy details thoroughly. We’ll always let you know if there are any exclusions on your cover.

Does critical illness cover cancer?

Cancer is the single biggest reason for claims on critical illness cover in the UK.

You should be covered for the majority of cancers with most critical illness cover policies depending on your insurance terms. You should check the terms and conditions of your cover if you aren’t sure about what is protected.

Can I get life insurance after cancer?

For many people, it should be possible to get life insurance after a cancer diagnosis over a period of time. If you’ve applied for life cover insurance past then you might have experience of how it works.

Some of the main things that will come up will be:

  • When were you diagnosed with cancer?
  • What type of treatment did you have?
  • When did you last receive Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy?
  • What was the Grade and Stage of cancer?

These are some of the main questions that you’ll be asked and don’t worry if you don’t have all the information. Some people don’t always know the grade and stage of cancer or when they last had treatment, especially if it was several years ago.

Can I still get life insurance if I have cancer?

The best advice we can offer here is you should speak to an expert to get the best options available to you. There are often options for someone with a history of cancer that may not be available through some insurance companies.

Here’s a couple of options for life cover for cancer patients

Guaranteed life insurance for cancer patients

If you’ve recently been diagnosed or have only just completed treatment (e.g. Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy) then you’ll be slightly limited in terms of options for standard life coverage.

Can you take out life if you have cancer?

With this type of policy, you can even take out life insurance when you have cancer.

A guaranteed life cover policy will give you and your family an element of protection until 1 or 2 years has passed and more products are available.

These policies will range in cost from around £10 upwards depending on the level of cover and your age.

Life insurance after cancer

If you’ve previously been diagnosed with cancer and been through treatment 1 or 2 years ago, then you should now be able to get life cover. Most standard life insurance providers will accept applications with a history of cancer after this period.

Some insurance companies are much better than others when it comes to offering cover with a history of cancer. It’s definitely better to speak to an expert to get the best options and make sure you pay the fairest price.

Can you get life insurance if you have terminal cancer?

Unfortunately, any terminal diagnosis of any medical condition means that you will no longer be able to take life cover.

We urge anyone who is concerned about this to make sure that they take out life cover before this happens.

What about Terminal Illness Benefit with cancer?

If you have a life insurance policy already and you’ve been given a terminal diagnosis then you could claim on your ‘Terminal Illness Benefit’. You should speak to your current insurer to let them know and they can advise you how to claim.

Obviously, any terminal diagnosis is distressing and terminal illness benefit should at least enable the policyholder to sort their finances.

Does life insurance payout if you die of cancer?

Standard life insurance will always payout if you die of cancer. The only exclusion that applies to life cover is suicide in the first 12 or 24 months depending on your insurer.

There are two points to consider here though:

  • Non-disclosure: if you intentionally withheld information on your application that has a material impact on your cover, then your claim could be adjusted or even refused
  • Guaranteed life cover: some bespoke life insurance policies might exclude anything pre-existing if you take out a guaranteed acceptance plan

Life insurance for cancer in remission

The technical meaning of the term ‘remission’ is a reduction or complete disappearance of the symptoms of cancer. There are two types of cancer remission which are:

  • Partial remission: this is where some symptoms of cancer have gone but not all yet. Your tumour may still be there which means that you still have cancer, however, the tumour could be smaller
  • Complete remission: meaning that tests, examinations and scans are showing that cancer may have gone. Even though signs and symptoms have gone in this case, cancer could still be in the body

In these cases you might still be able to get life cover in remission, however, it will depend on treatment. If you’re still receiving treatment or under investigations then you might still be limited to a guaranteed life cover policy.

Can a cancer survivor get life insurance?

Yes, you will be able to get life insurance after cancer. Once you have been in complete remission or cancer-free for at least 2 years (1 year for some cancers) then you should be able to look for cover.

If you were last treated for cancer over 5 years ago then you’ll usually find that rates tend to drop significantly.

Types of cancer

There are many different types of cancer and here’s a list from Cancer Research UK


Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)

Adrenal gland tumours

Anal cancer


Barretts Oesophagus

Basal cell carcinoma

Bile duct cancer

Bladder cancer

Blood cancers

Bone cancer

Bowel cancer

Brain tumours

Breast cancer


Cancer of unknown primary (CUP)

Cancer spread to bone

Cancer spread to brain

Cancer spread to liver

Cancer spread to lung


Cervical cancer

Children’s cancers

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)

Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)

Colorectal cancer


Ear cancer

Endometrial cancer

Eye cancer


Follicular dendritic cell sarcoma


Gallbladder cancer

Gastric cancer

Gastro-oesophageal junction cancers

Germ cell tumours

Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD)


Hairy cell leukaemia

Head and neck cancer

Hodgkin lymphoma


Kaposi’s sarcoma

Kidney cancer


Large bowel and rectal neuroendocrine tumours

Laryngeal cancer


Linitis plastica of the stomach

Liver cancer

Lung cancer

Lung neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)



Malignant schwannoma

Mediastinal germ cell tumours

Melanoma skin cancer

Men’s cancer

Merkel cell skin cancer


Molar pregnancy

Mouth and oropharyngeal cancer



Nasal and paranasal sinus cancer

Nasopharyngeal cancer


Neuroendocrine tumours

Neuroendocrine tumours of the pancreas

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in children


Oesophageal cancer

Ovarian cancer


Pancreatic cancer

Penile cancer

Persistent trophoblastic disease and choriocarcinoma


Prostate cancer

Pseudomyxoma peritonei


Rare cancers

Rectal cancer



Salivary gland cancer

Secondary cancer

Signet cell cancer

Skin cancer

Small bowel cancer

Small bowel neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)

Soft tissue sarcoma

Stomach cancer

Stomach neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)


Testicular cancer

Thymus gland tumours

Thyroid cancer

Tongue cancer

Tonsil cancer

Tumours of the adrenal gland


Unknown primary cancer

Uterine cancer


Vaginal cancer

Vulval cancer


Wilms’ tumour

Womb cancer

Women’s cancers (gynaecological cancer)

*Source: Cancer Research UK

Charity partner 2021 – Teenage Cancer Trust

We’re extremely proud to support Teenage Cancer Trust and be part of the incredible work that they do to help young people with cancer. This incredible charity has been helping to support children between the age of 13 and 24 for over 28 years who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Fundraising target: £15,000

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer then you know how difficult this can be and especially for children and young adults. The amazing work that Teenage Cancer Trust does helps youngsters to manage this stress throughout diagnosis, treatment, and beyond.

Our work with Teenage Cancer Trust helps to support the charity financially, educate members, and provide support.

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