Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients

Mutual of Omaha is our top pick for cancer patients

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While a family history of cancer won’t prevent you from getting life insurance coverage, being diagnosed with cancer can make it difficult to qualify. Depending on the type of cancer you have and how long you’ve been in remission, your diagnosis may raise your rates or preclude you from getting a traditional life insurance policy. However, you may be eligible for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, which does not take your health into consideration and offers smaller coverage amounts.

Because rates and available policy types can vary depending on your health situation, it’s important for cancer patients to work directly with an insurance agent to compare plans and premiums. To narrow down your options, we’ve rounded up the best life insurance companies for cancer patients based on coverage, financial strength, customer satisfaction, and other factors, so you can choose the plan that’s best for you.

Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients

Why Trust Us
91
Companies reviewed
55
Features considered
5,005
Data points analyzed
We collected over 5,000 data points from 91 life insurance companies to measure financial stability, customer satisfaction, product and feature variety, and the overall buying experience. We then evaluated each company based on 55 metrics to develop unbiased, comprehensive reviews.

Best Overall : Mutual of Omaha

Investopedia's Rating
4.4

  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations. A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Guaranteed issue and simplified issue policies available

  • Online application for guaranteed issue policies

  • A variety of living benefits riders available

  • A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best

Cons
  • No traditional whole life policies

Why We Chose It

Mutual of Omaha has several options for cancer patients, depending on what you can qualify for. If you have a high-risk form of cancer, you can get a guaranteed issue whole life policy up to $25,000 instantly online. Guaranteed issue life insurance does not consider your health when approving your application. This is one reason it placed first in our review of the best burial insurance companies. Note that the guaranteed issue policy has a graded death benefit, which means your beneficiaries will receive a return of premiums (plus 10%) if you die of natural causes during the first two years. 

If you’ve been in remission for a few years, you may qualify for one of  Mutual of Omaha’s term or universal life insurance policies, but it’s likely that an attending physician’s statement (APS) and medical exam will be required. If you have a low-risk form of cancer, such as basal cell skin cancer or superficial squamous cell cancer, you may even qualify for a preferred plus rate class. 

With most plans besides the guaranteed issue whole life policy, Mutual of Omaha offers a variety of riders. And some plans include a terminal illness, chronic illness, and critical illness rider at no additional cost. Plus, you can customize your life insurance policy with a variety of other optional riders. 

Mutual of Omaha is a reputable insurance company with an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best and an above average ranking in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. But if you’re looking for a traditional whole life policy, you’ll need to look elsewhere. 

Best for Guaranteed Issue : TruStage

Investopedia's Rating
3.1

  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations. A
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Online quote and application for all policies, including whole life

  • No medical exam required for any policy

  • Instant decision with coverage that may begin immediately

Cons
  • Very expensive term coverage

  • Low face amounts

  • No customization options

Why We Chose It

TruStage is another good option for guaranteed issue coverage, along with Mutual of Omaha, since you can purchase online and get same-day approval with some policies. However, the limit for guaranteed issue coverage is capped at $20,000 and premiums may be more expensive. TruStage also offers a simplified issue whole life policy (also without a medical exam) with coverage up to $100,000. It’s one of few companies to offer online quotes and applications for such a policy. However, if you’ve been treated or diagnosed with cancer  in the past five years (besides some skin cancers), you may need to purchase the guaranteed issue policy instead. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that TruStage doesn’t offer living benefits with its policies, meaning you can’t access the death benefit if you need care due to a chronic, critical, or terminal illness. That said, TruStage makes it quick and easy to buy a policy. And CMFG, the company that underwrites TruStage policies, has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating with AM Best and fewer complaints than expected with the NAIC over the past few years.

Best for No-Exam : SBLI Life Insurance

Investopedia's Rating
4.2

  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations. A-
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Up to $750,000 in coverage with no medical exam for eligible applicants

  • Very good pricing for term coverage

  • Terminal illness rider included with all policies

Cons
  • No chronic or critical illness riders

  • No universal life insurance policies

Why We Chose It

If you’re between 18 and 60 and have been in remission for several years, depending on the type of cancer you had, you may be able to qualify for term or whole life coverage with accelerated underwriting from SBLI. If you do, you’ll have access to affordable coverage with higher limits and a no-cost terminal illness rider. SBLI also offers final expense coverage (with a graded death benefit for the first three years) that is capped at $35,000. 

You can’t get a quote for whole life coverage without talking to an agent, but you can buy term coverage entirely online. The main drawback is that SBLI doesn’t offer additional living benefit riders besides the terminal illness rider. If you want the protection of a critical or chronic illness rider and are in remission, consider coverage from Mutual of Omaha.

But if affordability is your main concern, we found that SBLI offers great value for applicants in good health. What’s more, the insurer has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating with AM Best, which indicates an excellent ability to pay claims. SBLI also had fewer complaints with the NAIC over the last three years than expected given the company’s size.

Best Final Expense : Transamerica

Investopedia's Rating
4.2

  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations. A
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Offers both immediate and graded final expense policies

  • Coverage limits up to $50,000 with no medical exam

  • Accelerated death benefit rider included

Cons
  • Poor customer satisfaction ranking with J.D. Power

  • More complaints with the NAIC than expected

Why We Chose It

Transamerica offers two final expense products that you may qualify for if you’ve been in remission for at least two years, depending on the type of cancer you had. The Easy Pay Solution comes with a graded death benefit for the first two years, has a limit of $25,000, and is more costly. The Immediate Solution is more affordable, offers coverage up to $50,000, and begins immediately, but may be harder to qualify for. It also comes with an accelerated death benefit rider that you can use to access a portion of the death benefit after you’re diagnosed with certain conditions or confined to a nursing home facility. But if you can only qualify for a policy with a graded death benefit, be sure to compare quotes. 

There are also some customer satisfaction concerns with Transamerica—the company received a poor rating in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study and also received more complaints with the NAIC than expected over the last three years, given its size. Transamerica is financially strong, however, with an A (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best.

Compare the Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients

Overall Rating Best For
AM Best Rating
AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “D.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.
Term Life Sample Cost
Policy Types
Accepts Credit Cards
Reset All
Mutual of Omaha
4.4
Best Overall A+ $28.38/month Final Expense, Indexed Universal (IUL), Term, Universal (UL) Yes Get A Quote
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TruStage
3.1
Best for Guaranteed Issue A N/A Term, Whole Yes Get A Quote
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SBLI Life Insurance
4.2
Best for No-Exam A- $24.23/month Final Expense, Term, Whole Yes Get A Quote
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Transamerica
4.2
Best Final Expense A $32.09/month Final Expense, Indexed Universal (IUL), Term, Whole Yes Get A Quote
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*Quotes above are examples of what a 40-year-old in excellent health might pay for a 30-year $250,000 policyGet life insurance quotes from multiple companies to find your best rate.

Final Verdict

The type of cancer you have (or had) and your current health will be determining factors in the type of coverage you’re eligible for and how much you’ll pay. If you need a guaranteed issue policy, get quotes from Mutual of Omaha, Trustage, and SBLI. If you have low-risk cancer or have been cancer-free for years, Transamerica offers additional options. Be sure to compare quotes from multiple companies once you’ve narrowed down your options to the policies that meet your needs. 

FAQ

Can you get life insurance if you’ve had cancer?

Yes. No matter where you are in your cancer treatment, many people have options for life insurance. If you’re currently undergoing cancer treatment or if you haven’t been in remission very long, your options will be more limited—you may only qualify for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, which comes with lower coverage limits and higher premiums. 

However, if you’ve been cancer-free for at least a couple of years, you may qualify for simplified or traditional underwriting. This will allow you to access a term, whole, or universal life insurance policy with higher limits. Just bear in mind that your previous cancer diagnosis may still raise your rates. 

How long after having cancer can you get life insurance?

That depends on the life insurance carrier and the type of cancer you had. Basal cell carcinoma may not affect your rates at all. On the other hand, some forms of cancer can preclude you from getting life insurance from some companies for ten years (or more). It’s important to work with an insurance agent to identify the companies that can cover you based on your current health. 

What is the best life insurance for cancer patients?

For patients currently undergoing treatment, a guaranteed issue life insurance policy will be the best bet. You can get this type of policy regardless of your health status, but it comes with higher premiums and lower coverage amounts. And some companies only make these policies available to people at least 45 years old. If you’ve been in remission for some time, you’re better off looking for a company that can offer traditional or accelerated underwriting for better affordability and higher coverage.

You may also qualify for a simplified issue policy, which only requires you to answer a handful of health questions—it’s typically less expensive than a guaranteed acceptance policy but more expensive than a policy issue with traditional or accelerated underwriting.

How We Chose the Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients

To compile our list of the best life insurance companies for cancer patients, we looked to our research on the best life insurance companies, which compared more than 50 data points on 91 life insurance companies. This data includes ratings for financial strength, customer satisfaction, and customer complaints, as well as information about years in business, cost, online tools, no-exam options, policy types and features, and available riders. 

Our review process gave preference to companies with superior financial stability, few customer complaints, and a robust suite of products and resources. In particular, we valued online quoting and application tools, transparent pricing, and no-exam policy options. 

For cancer patients, we paid particular attention to companies offering final expense and guaranteed issue life insurance. We compared individual offerings between companies by delving deeper into product specifics, including cost, graded death benefit periods, included riders, and product-specific application processes. 

Article Sources
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  1. J.D. Power. “2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study.”