If you are currently dealing with cancer or have dealt with cancer in the past, one of the questions that you may be wondering is, can I get life insurance?

This is an extremely common question, yet it is one that is very difficult to answer. This is because there are so many different types and severities of diagnoses. Finding a life insurance quote after a cancer diagnosis can be difficult but not impossible. Your chances of receiving life insurance will largely depend on if you are currently undergoing treatment or how long ago your treatment was completed. Your chances also depend greatly on the history, type, stage, treatment and grade of the cancer.

Life insurance companies will ultimately look at the curability, severity and treatment of your cancer. Certain types of cancer are considered to be very low risk and a history of these may not affect premiums or insurance at all. History of other types of higher risk cancers may receive a substandard rating (meaning you might pay more) or possibly even a decline.

One option for those currently undergoing treatment or with a history of severe cancer is a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. Guaranteed life insurance is a type of life insurance in which the applicant will not undergo any medical underwriting. Because of this lack of underwriting, this means that anyone, even those currently undergoing treatment, will be able to get life insurance. These policies do not come without any drawbacks. Since the insurance company is not asking any medical questions, they are taking on a substantially higher risk and therefore they often issue these at higher premiums and for lower face amounts. That being said, they are often an excellent option for those with no other means of obtaining life insurance.

Another strategy for obtaining life insurance for those who normally cannot is to get it through your employer. Some employers do offer life insurance to their employees. These plans can be offered to employees in terms of flat amounts (such as $50,000 or $100,000) or they can be offered as a multiple of your current salary (such as 1x or 2x current salary). Often employee life insurance will not have underwriting questions and will issue it to every employee that chooses to sign up. This makes it an excellent option to consider when shopping for life insurance. One of the drawbacks of this type of insurance is that the coverage often stops when the employee stops working for the employer. This can make it difficult for those who stop working because of illness. Although this is not always the case, it is something that everyone should consider when signing up for life insurance through an employer.

Life insurance is a very important aspect of one’s overall financial plan. A properly designed life insurance policy can help with issues such as end of life expenses, supplemental income to family members, estate planning, debt repayment, charitable giving, college planning and many more.

Mike Dreyer, Dreyer and Associates, Appleton