The following guidelines can facilitate cancer survivors' efforts to obtain adequate life insurance.
You can get information about brokers and companies that specialize in high-risk life insurance from:
In addition, a list of licensed brokers in your area is available from your state insurance department.
An independent agent can assist you in identifying companies and plans that best meet your needs.
You may want to consider group plans and graded policies. The advantage of a large group plan is that the insurance company does not review the health status of each individual plan member. Smaller plans may evaluate the health of group members, which can result in exclusion from the plan, denial of full benefits or paying higher premiums. Group life insurance plans are frequently available from companies that also offer group health insurance plans.
For cancer survivors who are denied a policy with full death benefits, a graded policy may be the next best option. Under a graded policy, if your death occurs within the first several years of the policy, your beneficiaries receive only your premium plus a portion of the policy's face value. Payment of the policy's full face value is made when your death occurs after the waiting period is over.
Excerpted from Charting the Journey: An Almanac of Practical Resources for Cancer Survivors by the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.