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Skin cancer life insurance

Life insurance can provide you and your family with financial protection before and after skin cancer. If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer or you’re concerned about what happens if it happens in the future, then there are plenty of options.

Getting life insurance can protect you after a cancer diagnosis and it is possible to get affordable cover.

According to figures from Cancer Research UK, there are just over 16,000 new cases of melanoma skin cancer every year. That means 44 people are diagnosed every day in the UK (figures from 2015-2017), making melanoma skin cancer the 5th most common type of cancer.

This type of cancer accounts for 4% of all new cancer cases in the UK (2017)

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Life insurance and skin cancer

Some of the most common questions that we get asked about getting life insurance for skin cancer and after diagnosis

Will life insurance payout for skin cancer?

YES – if you pass away from skin cancer then your life insurance should pay a cash lump sum to your family. The chances of actually dying from skin cancer are relatively low but it can be fatal in some cases, such as malignant melanomas.

Life insurance pays out to protect your family and cover things like:

  • Mortgage
  • Rent
  • Outstanding debts
  • Tax charges (Inheritance Tax)
  • Cost of living
  • School fees

Survival rates after skin cancer depend on how quickly it is detected and how much it spreads.

Melanoma skin cancer 5-year survival rates

SEER stage5-year rate of survival
SEER rates combined93%

*Statistics above produced by cancer.org January 2021

Does critical illness cover skin cancer?

Most types of skin cancer would be considered to be non-invasive and therefore not covered. Early-stage skin cancer is unlikely to be covered because it is not usually serious enough to have a major impact on lifestyle.

It is however possible that for non-melanoma skin cancers, you could be covered. Some insurers have a more extensive cancer cover and therefore offer higher levels of protection.

It may also be that you could be covered for a percentage of your full critical illness cover amount. In this scenario, you would receive a proportion of the amount that you are covered for, and still, keep the remaining cover in place.

Critical illness cover pays out a lump sum to you and your family to provide payments for:

  • Cost of living (while receiving treatment)
  • Mortgage or rent payments
  • Adjustments to the home
  • Medical treatments

You can also select a different level of cover for your life insurance to make critical illness cover more affordable.

Can I get life insurance after skin cancer treatment?

YES – the most common forms of skin cancer are relatively mild and curable so won’t cause major problems. You should be able to get affordable life insurance after skin cancer in almost all cases.

Life insurance after treatment for skin cancer will consider the grade and stage, as well as any spread. Generally, if you had skin cancer several years ago with no recurrence then you should have no issues getting cover for your family.

You’ll be asked to provide information about your cancer based on your answers to some of the following questions:

  • Which type of skin cancer were you diagnosed with (e.g. Basal Cell Carcinoma, Bowen’s disease, rodent ulcer, squamous cell carcinoma (BCC), or malignant melanoma)?
  • Was it just the skin that was affected with no spread to your lymph nodes?
  • Has cancer or tumour been removed or successfully treated?
  • Are you awaiting any scans, tests, or investigations?
  • Have any of your blood relatives had any form of skin cancer?
  • Have you seen your GP, dermatologist, hospital specialist, or none of those?
  • When did you last seek medical advice about this?
  • Are you intending to seek any other medical professionals about this?
  • Is your cancer malignant, cancerous, non-malignant, or benign?
  • Has the growth bled, become painful, changed size or colour?

It’s important to answer these questions as honestly as you can, however, it is understandable if you don’t have all of the information.

It is possible to get any unknown information from your GP and insurers are likely to request medical evidence.

Will I need a medical for skin cancer life insurance?

It is normal for insurers to request to see a medical report or to ask for a nurse screening. This is a standard requirement and especially for those with a history of cancer in most forms.

There are some advantages to sharing your medical records, such as:

  • Guaranteed terms: your life cover will be fully underwritten and therefore no question about the validity of future claims
  • Cheaper premiums: it’s possible that you could get lower premiums if your application is fully underwritten
  • Less hassle: you shouldn’t need to worry about getting any extra information from your GP as this will be provided automatically

Best life insurance for skin cancer

Life insurance can sometimes be confusing because there are several options and different policies. All you need to do is consider what you want to protect and what’s important to you.

Term life insurance with skin cancer (family protection) is the most common form of life cover, because of what it does and the cost. This type of life insurance is usually the easiest to get with skin cancer because of the underwriting process.

Mortgage life insurance with skin cancer (decreasing term) is the same type of policy as family protection, but the cover reduces at the same rate as your mortgage balance. This cover is specifically designed to protect a repayment (capital & interest) mortgage.

More about life insurance

Critical illness cover with skin cancer is also often available, especially where the cancer was low grade and removed. Generally, you’ll be able to get this type of policy after a period of 2 or 3 years from treatment, this is just to make sure that it doesn’t reoccur.

More about critical illness cover

Income protection with skin cancer is usually available after a period of time and can be affordable depending on your situation. There are lots of options for this type of cover so you can adjust the policy to suit your needs.

More about income protection

Whole of life insurance with skin cancer can also be available for somewhere cancer has been removed or treatment completed. This type of policy is a guaranteed pay-out style of cover so you just need to consider what you need it for.

Family income benefit with skin cancer is also available and can be a more cost-effective way to get life cover. You can provide an income to your family to pay bills, rent, and mortgage if you die.

Life insurance with skin cancer diagnosis

It is possible to get life cover if you’ve just been diagnosed with skin cancer.

You can get some policies that won’t ask for information about your previous medical history. These policies are guaranteed and don’t usually cover any pre-existing medical conditions.

  • Guaranteed life insurance
  • Over 50’s life insurance

Common questions about skin cancer

Here are some of the most common questions that people ask about skin cancer and what to look for.

What do the early stages of skin cancer look like?

There are several common early warning signs of skin cancer that can be fairly obvious, unlike some other types of cancer. The 7 most common warning signs of skin cancer are:

  • Bowel or bladder habits are unusual
  • Sores that don’t heal
  • Bleeding or discharge
  • Lump or thickening on the skin
  • Heartburn or problems swallowing
  • Wart or mole that changes size or becomes painful
  • Persistent cough

Does skin cancer kill you?

In some rare cases, skin cancer can form as a malignant melanoma which is extremely aggressive. In these circumstances, cancer will likely spread to other areas of the body and can be fatal if not treated properly.

What are the 4 main types of skin cancer?

The 4 main types of skin cancer are:

  • Basal cell carcinoma which is the circular cell found in the epidermis. Approximately 80% of skin cancers will develop from this type of cell. This most commonly develops from sun exposure or radiation therapy, and grows slowly but doesn’t often spread
  • Squamous cell carcinoma is the cause of approximately 20% of skin cancers. Squamous cells are flat, scale-like cells that make up the majority of the epidermis. This is most commonly caused by sunlight and can in a small number of cases spread to other areas of the body
  • Merkel cell cancer is a very aggressive, rapid-growing, and rare form of skin cancer. Also known as neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin, most commonly begins under the skin and in hair follicles.
  • Melanoma starts in melanocytes and is the most dangerous type of skin cancer.

Useful resources for skin cancer

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

NHS Choices – Non-melanoma skin cancer

NHS Choices – Melanoma skin cancer

Skin Cancer Foundation – Charity

Cancer Research UK – Skin cancer

British Skin Foundation – What is skin cancer?

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