Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients

Understand your life insurance options after a cancer diagnosis

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Getting approved for life insurance after a cancer diagnosis can be challenging, but cancer patients do have options for coverage, even with pre-existing conditions. Having life insurance is beneficial for cancer patients because it offers peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are financially covered in the event of your death. Some policies can even help you pay for medical expenses.

There are dozens of life insurance companies on the market, and many carriers will sell coverage to cancer patients, with some limitations. The best policies are accessible and easy to apply for. Keep reading to see which six companies we recommend.

The Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients in 2021

Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients
Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients

Best Overall : Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

 Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha offers comprehensive life insurance for cancer patients, with affordable premiums, flexible coverage, and efficient claims handling.

  • Guaranteed coverage, regardless of your current health or pre-existing conditions

  • Available for applicants 45 to 85 years old

  • Rates never increase as you get older

  • Easy to get a quote online

  • Must work with an agent to purchase coverage

  • New York residents can only get coverage between 50 and 75 years old

Mutual of Omaha is the best overall life insurance provider for cancer patients. Cancer patients are eligible for whole life insurance, which comes with a number of benefits, including a cash value component. The only factors that will affect your coverage are age, gender, and the death benefit you choose.

Mutual of Omaha’s whole life insurance policies are guaranteed issue and are available for cancer patients 45 to 85 years old (or 50 to 75 years old if you live in New York State). Coverage is automatically approved without a medical exam or a health questionnaire.

In most states, you can choose a policy with a death benefit between $2,000 and $25,000. While your premium is affected by the amount of coverage you buy, your rate will stay the same for the duration of your policy, even as you get older. 

When you are cancer-free, you may also become eligible for term life insurance through Mutual of Omaha, which is available in 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year term lengths, with up to $100,000 in coverage. Mutual of Omaha also sells several types of universal life insurance.

Best for Low-Risk Cancer : Colonial Penn

Colonial Penn

 Colonial Penn

Individuals with low-risk cancer can typically qualify for a whole life or guaranteed issue policy, and Colonial Penn offers both, with flexible payment options and high death benefits.

  • Whole life and guaranteed issue policies available

  • Policies offer lifetime coverage with cash value

  • Choose from several different payment plans

  • Guaranteed coverage starts at less than $10 per month

  • Can’t buy coverage online

  • Large number of customer complaints

If you were recently diagnosed with a type of low-risk cancer, a life insurance policy from Colonial Penn is a great option. Individuals with low-risk cancer diagnoses can usually qualify for a simplified issue or guaranteed issue policy, which both have limited medical exam requirements and high coverage limits. 

Note that while guaranteed policies are truly guaranteed regardless of your health, simplified issue policies are not. If you have low-risk cancer, you may not qualify for simplified issue life insurance based on other factors, like your age, pre-existing medical conditions, and family history of illness. The only way to know if you’re eligible is to talk to your insurance company.

Whole life insurance policies from Colonial Penn are available for people ages 40 to 75 and require only a short health questionnaire, which you may be able to pass with low-risk cancer. You can get lifetime coverage with a maximum death benefit of $50,000 and level premiums.

The other option from Colonial Penn is guaranteed issue life insurance, which has no medical exam or health questionnaire. The coverage limits are lower and are mostly based on age and gender. You can purchase this policy between the ages of 50 and 85, and your policy starts to build cash value after the first year.

Another benefit of Colonial Penn’s life insurance policies is that they allow for flexible payments. You can pay your insurance premium monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

Best No Exam Option : Globe Life

Globe Life Final Expense Insurance

 Globe Life Final Expense Insurance

Many cancer patients’ only option for life insurance is a no-exam policy, and with affordable premiums and no waiting period, Globe Life is the provider we recommend.

  • High coverage limits available

  • Get a quote online and apply for coverage in minutes

  • Affordable premiums starting at $3.49 for adults

  • Coverage is not guaranteed

  • May need to complete a health questionnaire to get coverage

Globe Life is the best life insurance provider for cancer patients who want to purchase a policy without taking a traditional medical exam. Unlike other providers that only offer a single simplified issue life insurance policy, Globe Life offers term life insurance, senior life insurance, and family life insurance without a medical exam, giving you greater flexibility to choose a policy that fits your needs.

With any policy, you can select a coverage limit of $5,000 to $100,000. Globe Life’s premiums are very affordable, with monthly rates as low as $3.49. Because medical exams are not required, the approval process is quick, and you can probably get coverage on the day you apply. To get a quote, you’ll need to fill out the request form online. 

Another perk of Globe Life is that the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you are unhappy with your policy for any reason within the first month, Globe Life will give you a full refund—no questions asked. 

Note that Globe Life doesn’t offer guaranteed issue policies. Depending on the type and severity of the cancer you have, it’s possible that your application could get denied, especially if you are older, smoke, or have a family history of illness. We recommend speaking to an agent to make sure you qualify before submitting an application.

Best for Guaranteed Issue : AIG Direct

AIG Direct

AIG Direct

Guaranteed issue life insurance is usually the best option for cancer patients, and AIG Direct’s policies come with living benefits coverage for even more protection.

  • Medical exam and health questionnaires are never required

  • Policies include free chronic illness and terminal illness riders

  • Guaranteed level premiums for the duration of the policy

  • Choose a death benefit between $5,000 and $25,000

  • Have to request a quote through an agent

  • Policies are only available up to age 80

AIG Direct is our top recommendation for cancer patients who are looking for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. AIG’s guaranteed issue policies go above and beyond most other guaranteed issue policies on the market. Not only do AIG’s policies not require a medical exam or health questionnaire, but you get two free living benefits riders that provide additional peace of mind for cancer patients.

When you purchase guaranteed issue life insurance from AIG, your policy comes with a chronic illness rider and a terminal illness rider. The chronic illness rider returns the premiums you’ve paid into your policy if you become unable to perform at least two of the six activities of daily living, which include bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring, or if you get diagnosed with a cognitive impairment, like dementia. 

With the terminal illness rider, you can use up to 50% of your death benefit to pay for medical bills or end-of-life expenses if you get diagnosed with a terminal illness and are given a prognosis of two years or less to live by a medical professional. Most terminal illnesses, including terminal cancer, qualify for use of this rider.

Best for Patients in Remission : John Hancock

John Hancock

 John Hancock

If your cancer is in remission, consider a life insurance policy from John Hancock, which has affordable coverage and a healthy living program for even more savings.

  • Term and universal life insurance policies are available

  • Vitality program rewards you for healthy living

  • High coverage limits

  • Offers a variety of online tools and resources to help you find the right coverage

  • Must work with an agent to get a quote and buy coverage

  • Doesn’t offer whole life insurance

When your cancer goes into remission, you have more options for life insurance, but you’ll likely pay a very high rate. We recommend John Hancock to people who have survived cancer because the policies are affordable, and you might be able to avoid a huge premium. You can also enroll in the company’s Vitality program to get an even better rate.

Through John Hancock’s Vitality rewards program, you could save up to 15% on your life insurance premium by tracking your exercise on a wearable device. The program also includes discounts on certain healthy foods at the grocery store, travel and hotel deals, retail discounts, and even a free subscription to the meditation app, Headspace.

John Hancock offers term life and universal life insurance policies but doesn’t offer whole life insurance. Term life insurance is available in 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year term lengths, with coverage between $750,000 and $65 million. The company also sells universal, indexed universal, and variable universal life insurance, which include cash value, flexible premiums, and an adjustable death benefit.

If your cancer has been in remission for several years, you can probably qualify for any type of policy, but we suggest speaking with an agent to find out how many years you must be cancer-free in order to purchase coverage.

Best for High-Risk Family History : Haven Life

Haven Life

Haven Life

Haven Life’s insurance policies are among the most affordable on the market, which makes it a good option for people who have a high-risk family history of cancer, though it often means paying above-average premiums.

  • Coverage is available up to $3 million

  • Policies start at $13.45 per month

  • Simplified issue policies are available with no medical exam

  • Policies include a living benefits rider

  • Doesn’t offer whole life insurance

  • Policies are only available up to 64 years old

Having a history of cancer in your direct lineage often means paying more for life insurance. But with Haven Life, you can get affordable coverage, despite your family history. The policies start at just $13.45 per month for term life insurance, and $15.75 per month for simplified issue life insurance. Remember that you’re not guaranteed to get approved for simplified issue coverage, particularly if you have pre-existing health complications.

Besides the affordable rates, Haven Life is a solid choice for life insurance. The policies are underwritten by MassMutual, one of the most reputable life insurance companies on the market. Haven Life’s policies have level premiums, an accelerated death benefits rider, and a free, no-obligation look period.

We recommend Haven Life because the coverage is generous. Haven Term policies include coverage between $100,000 and $3 million over 10, 15, 20, 30 years, and Haven Simple policies include coverage from $5,000 to $500,000 over 5, 10, or 15 years. So if you want to buy extra coverage for added peace of mind, you can do so without paying a fortune.

To get a quote from Haven Life, fill out the online form with information like your age, state, birthday, your level of overall health, the amount of coverage you need, and your desired term length. You can also submit your application right on the website.

Final Verdict

As a cancer patient, getting life insurance is possible. However, it takes some research to find the best life insurance company for your needs. For example, Globe Life is a great no-exam option, but coverage isn’t guaranteed. AIG does offer guaranteed coverage, but the maximum coverage limit is only $25,000. You can get up to $3 million in coverage through Haven Life, but that’s only for term life insurance.

Based on our comparison, Mutual of Omaha is the best choice for cancer patients who are looking for life insurance. The company offers guaranteed coverage, regardless of your health or family history, and you can purchase a policy with up to $100,000 in coverage. When your cancer goes into remission, you can also become eligible for term life and universal life insurance.

Compare Providers

Company AM Best Rating Coverage Capacity Types of Policies Available to Cancer Patients Maximum Payout Amount for Cancer Patients
Mutual of Omaha A+ Up to $100,000 Guaranteed issue life insurance 100%
Colonial Penn A- Up to $50,000  Guaranteed issue life insurance, whole life insurance  100% 
Globe Life A Up to $100,000  Term life insurance, senior life insurance, family life insurance  100% 
AIG Direct Up to $25,000 Guaranteed issue life insurance  100% 
John Hancock A+ Up to $65M Term life insurance, universal life insurance  100% 
Haven Life A++ Up to $3M Term life insurance, simplified issue life insurance  100% 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Life Insurance for Cancer Patients? 

Life insurance for cancer patients isn’t a specific type of policy. Rather, many traditional life insurance providers will sell coverage to cancer patients, but it’s much harder for cancer patients to get approved for life insurance due to their health risks. In many cases, cancer patients are limited in the kind of life insurance they qualify for and the amount of coverage they can purchase. 

How Can I Get Life Insurance After a Cancer Diagnosis? 

Unfortunately, if you’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer, getting life insurance coverage can be very difficult. However, some insurance companies may approve a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, so we recommend contacting several insurance companies to learn about their specific underwriting requirements and which policies you may qualify for.

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost for Cancer Patients? 

Life insurance for cancer patients is usually expensive because cancer patients are considered to be high-risk. Cancer patients may have a shortened lifespan, which increases the likelihood that their insurance company will have to pay a claim. The exact cost of life insurance for cancer patients is different for everyone, and it depends on a number of factors, like age, gender, the type of cancer, the prognosis, policy type, and the coverage limit.

When Can I Buy Life Insurance as a Cancer Survivor?

According to the American Cancer Society, a cancer patient is typically considered to be a cancer survivor after five years in remission. Once your cancer has been cured, most life insurance companies will approve any policy, with limited restrictions. Cancer survivors can purchase life insurance from any company, but keep in mind that you will still pay an above-average premium because cancer is considered to be a pre-existing condition.

How We Chose the Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients

To find the best life insurance for cancer patients, we started with a list of 15 popular life insurance carriers. Then, we reviewed each company based on a variety of factors, including policies available for cancer patients, coverage limits, endorsements, age requirements, no-exam options, and accessibility. We only considered providers that offer coverage in a majority of states, and have an AM Best rating of ‘A’ or better, which indicates excellent financial stability.