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Cancer Life Insurance

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Cancer Life Insurance

The Insurance Surgery is one of the leading experts in securing Life Insurance cover for those who have recovered from Cancer. We specialise in types of life insurance for many pre-existing medical conditions.
There are over 200 types of Cancer and an estimated 2.5 million people are diagnosed with the disease in the UK. Most people can relate to the condition, whether that be through a cancer diagnosis themselves or experiencing it through a friend or family member.
Life Insurance cover after cancer can provide financial security for you and your family if you were to need it. We are often asked if you can get life insurance when you have cancer, but unfortunately it is difficult to obtain. Although life insurance for people with cancer or insurance for cancer patients is not something that many insurance providers offer at an affordable rate, they do offer insurance for cancer survivors who have finished treatment.
Get free and friendly expert advice from The UK’s No.1 Specialist Life Insurance Broker.

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Who We Work With

Our team of friendly life insurance experts will help you find the perfect policy for your individual circumstances, to protect your family and save you money. Our insurance partners include all the biggest brands and best insurers.

Life Insurance With Cancer

1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives.

It’s a pretty shocking statistic and one that many people don’t like to think about. Getting diagnosed with cancer is one of the most heart-breaking scenarios that thousands of families up and down the country face on a daily basis. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer in the past then it is good to know that, yes, you will be able to get life insurance after cancer.

Most of the people that we speak to who have had cancer often ask ‘is life insurance still available after cancer?’

Here are some of the main areas where we can help with life insurance for cancer patients:

  • Recent diagnosis and what options are available
  • Previous diagnosis (over 2 years) and finding a provider that covers you for a fair price
  • Those with a family history of cancer
  • If you have discovered cancerous cells and non-cancerous cells
  • Cover to help against the risk of cancer

Does Life Insurance Cover Cancer?

YES – life insurance does cover cancer so that you and your family are protected in the future if you were diagnosed with it in the future.

Unsurprisingly due to the statistics, cancer is one of the most common reasons for claims on life insurance. If you already have an existing policy in place, it is worth checking that you are covered. You can contact your insurer or we’re happy to help if you don’t know where to go.

When applying for a life insurance policy, you must disclose any pre-existing medical conditions that you may have. Failing to tell your insurer about your personal circumstances can result in any claims being declined.

If you have been declined life insurance elsewhere, you will already know that there are some policies that might not cover pre-existing medical conditions. We specialise in finding you a policy that does cover all of your pre-existing conditions, however sometimes there may be exclusions. We will always give you the information you need about this.

Can I Get Life Insurance After Cancer?

For most people, it should usually be possible to get life insurance after a cancer diagnosis AFTER a period of time.

Some of the main things you might be asked include:

  • When were you diagnosed with cancer?
  • What type of treatment did you have?
  • When did you last receive Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy?
  • What was the Grade and Stage of cancer?

If you do not have all of the information, do not worry. Some people don’t always know the grade or stage of the cancer, or remember when they had their last treatment. You doctor can always be asked for this information, especially if you were diagnosed and given the all clear several years ago.

How Life Insurance for Cancer Patients & Survivors Works

There are a number of key areas that are taken into account when underwriting Cancer Life Insurance:
  • Type of Cancer
  • Area / Organs Affected
  • Grade and Stage
  • Treatment received (i.e. Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy etc.)
  • Date you were diagnosed with cancer
  • Date of the last treatment for cancer
  • Time in remission
  • Medical History
The Insurance Surgery is a leading life insurance expert for pre-existing medical conditions such as Cancer insurance and our team of experts has helped to protect thousands of families and individuals. People often come to us asking what is life insurance for cancer patients?
We can look at your individual circumstances and find the right type of insurance for you and your family. Life insurance pays out if you were to pass away, and is measured through how much of a risk a provider calculates you at. Cancer life insurance can be difficult to obtain, however we are specialists and will help you find the right cover for you.
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Life Insurance for People after Cancer

Can you get life insurance if you have been cured of cancer?

Life insurance premiums can vary dramatically from one insurance provider to another. Premiums depend on how good they are with the type of Cancer you have or have had.

Most insurers view Cancer life insurance underwriting similarly in terms of when primary treatment ended (usually it must be 2 years). Life insurance underwriters will usually require some key information about your Cancer, such as:

  • Grade
  • Stage
  • Type of Cancer
  • Location of Cancer
  • Treatment (e.g. Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy, Mastectomy or Lumpectomy)
  • Time from end of treatment
  • Any current reviews/treatment

There are currently reported to be more than 200 different types of Cancer. This means it is very difficult to provide accurate estimates for life insurance without knowing more details. We can help you find breast cancer life insurance, thyroid cancer life insurance, testicular cancer life insurance and many other forms of life insurance for cancer survivors.

Cancer is the most common medical condition in the UK and the most common cause of death. It’s a major issue for insurance underwriters, especially with more people being cured and longer life expectancies.

Cancer insurance premiums also depend on whether any lymph nodes have been affected and how aggressive the Cancer is. This can potentially cause significant increases to premiums.

Applications for Cancer life insurance will usually have some sort of premium increase for several years after primary treatment has ended. This is the period when the risk is higher, which is why you may pay a higher premium. It’s called ‘per mille’ loading and is directly linked to the level of Cancer life insurance cover being applied for.

Cancer life insurance cover may also be deferred or postponed for a number of years after treatment has ended. This is to ensure that there’s no recurrence which is common with certain types of Cancer.

You may have previously had a Cancer life insurance application declined or postponed or already have cover in place. If so, it’s worth reviewing your cover based on your current circumstances. However, it is unlikely that we can get you a better premium or extra cover to what you had prior to your cancer treatment.

In some more severe or serious cases there are alternative options that we can recommend. However, we will always give impartial advice and would never recommend taking out a policy with exclusions if you have terminal cancer. We want you to have the best chance possible of getting an insurance payout for your family. Contact one of our life insurance advisers to find out more.

Most life insurance policies do include terminal illness cover, however you cannot take out a plan whilst you have cancer and then claim under the terminal illness section. This will only pay out if you already have cover in place. In that case, the insurer will pay out the full amount of the cover straight away if you are expected to live for less than 12 months.

Anyone who has suffered from Cancer will know the importance of having the right level of life insurance cover in place. You can speak to the experts at The Insurance Surgery to see what we can do to protect you and your family.

Life Insurance For Cancer In Remission

The technical meaning of the term ‘remission’ is ‘a reduction or complete disappearance of the symptoms of cancer’. Cancer remission has two types which are:

Partial remission: this is where some symptoms of cancer have gone, but not all of it just yet. This includes if a tumour has grown smaller.

Complete remission: this means that tests, examinations, and scans are showing that the cancer may have gone. However, cancer could still be in the body until you get the all clear, even if the signs and symptoms have gone.

In these cases you may still be able to get life cover in remission, however, it will depend on treatment. If you’re still receiving treatment or under investigation then you might still be limited.

Can A Cancer Survivor Get Life Insurance?

Yes, you should be able to get life insurance after cancer, it’s possible to get life insurance after surviving certain cancers. However, you must be honest about the cancer you have had in the past and about any other pre-existing medical conditions you have. Once you have been in complete remission or cancer-free for at least 2 years then you should be able to look for cover, however for early stage cancers of certain types, we can find you cover sooner.

For example, we recently managed to get a client life cover who had a stage 1a melanoma 6 months ago on risk at standard rates. This can also be the case for cancers such as thyroid, testicular and cervical.

You can also get standard rates over 2/3 years for early-stage cancers of pretty much any time. If you have recovered from a more advanced stage of cancer, usually stage 2 or above, you may have to wait 5 years however every case is different so we can look into it for you.

Types Of Cancer

Yes, you should be able to get life insurance after cancer, it’s possible to get life insurance after surviving certain cancers. However, you must be honest about the cancer you have had in the past and about any other pre-existing medical conditions you have. Once you have been in complete remission or cancer-free for at least 2 years then you should be able to look for cover, however for early stage cancers of certain types, we can find you cover sooner.

For example, we recently managed to get a client life cover who had a stage 1a melanoma 6 months ago on risk at standard rates. This can also be the case for cancers such as thyroid, testicular and cervical.

You can also get standard rates over 2/3 years for early-stage cancers of pretty much any time. If you have recovered from a more advanced stage of cancer, usually stage 2 or above, you may have to wait 5 years however every case is different so we can look into it for you.

Types of cancer

There are many different types of cancer that can develop in different places in the body. Here is a full list of different cancer from Cancer Research UK.



Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)

Adrenal gland tumours

Anal cancer



Bile duct cancer

Bladder cancer

Blood cancers

Bone cancer

Bowel cancer

Brain tumours

Breast cancer



Cancer of unknown primary (CUP)

Cancer spread to bone

Cancer spread to brain

Cancer spread to liver

Cancer spread to lung


Cervical cancer

Children’s cancers

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)

Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)

Colorectal cancer



Ear cancer

Endometrial cancer

Eye cancer



Follicular dendritic cell sarcoma



Gallbladder cancer

Gastric cancer

Gastro oesophageal junction cancers

Germ cell tumours

Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD)



Hairy cell leukaemia

Head and neck cancer

Hodgkin lymphoma



Kaposi’s sarcoma

Kidney cancer



Large bowel and rectal neuroendocrine tumours

Laryngeal cancer


Linitis plastica of the stomach

Liver cancer

Lung cancer

Lung neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)




Malignant schwannoma

Mediastinal germ cell tumours

Melanoma skin cancer

Men’s cancer

Merkel cell skin cancer


Molar pregnancy

Mouth and oropharyngeal cancer




Nasal and paranasal sinus cancer

Nasopharyngeal cancer


Neuroendocrine tumours

Neuroendocrine tumours of the pancreas

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in children



Oesophageal cancer

Other conditions

Ovarian cancer



Pancreatic cancer

Penile cancer

Persistent trophoblastic disease and choriocarcinoma


Prostate cancer

Pseudomyxoma peritonei



Rare cancers

Rectal cancer




Salivary gland cancer

Secondary cancer

Signet cell cancer

Skin cancer

Small bowel cancer

Small bowel neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)

Soft tissue sarcoma

Stomach cancer

Stomach neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)



Testicular cancer

Thymus gland tumours

Thyroid cancer

Tongue cancer

Tonsil cancer

Tumours of the adrenal gland



Unknown primary cancer

Uterine cancer



Vaginal cancer

Vulval cancer



Wilms tumour

Womb cancer

Women’s cancers (gynaecological cancer)


Cancer can affect people of all age, gender or race.

Cancer Critical Illness Cover

Does critical illness cover cancer?

Cancer is the single biggest reason for claims on critical illness cover in the UK.

There are cases where Critical Illness cover can be accepted with a history of Cancer. It depends on how long it’s been since you had any treatment and how aggressive or severe the Cancer was.

If Cancer Critical Illness cover is accepted it will generally be offered with a Cancer exclusion and premium loading. This is dependent on the risk involved. Our expert advisers have many years of insurance underwriting experience.

We will identify which providers would offer Cancer Critical Illness cover and on what basis (e.g. exclusions, premium loadings, postpone periods etc.).

For some Cancer Critical Illness cover applications there may be a period where cover is postponed or even potentially declined. This usually occurs when the Cancer has been more aggressive or treatment has been fairly recent.

Have you previously applied for Cancer Critical Illness cover and been accepted on special terms or been declined / postponed? If so it’s worth reviewing this based on your current circumstances if there has since been a period of stability.

Can I Get Income Protection If I Had Cancer?

Income protection can be secured in certain circumstances depending on type and severity of the Cancer. Almost all applications for Cancer income protection will require some additional underwriting and evidence from your GP to support your application.

There will usually be Cancer exclusions if income protection cover is accepted. There may also be a longer period required from when treatment ended.

It’s worth reviewing your cover if a previous application for Cancer income protection was declined or accepted with special terms. This is especially true if there have been no further issues or complications for a period of time.

Case Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

We answer your most frequently asked questions.

Usually, there is a period of 1 year after primary treatment (i.e. Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy etc.) that is required before most insurance providers will consider offering cover. This depends on the severity and grade.

There are some exceptions that allow us to look at cover sooner for certain types of cancers and for certain treatment. It is worth submitting an enquiry to The Insurance Surgery even if you are not sure. We will be able to assess your condition and application and advise you of your options.

It depends on the severity of your cancer and your medical circumstances. Every case is different so it’s better to speak to an advisor, who will be able to give you expert advice.

Occasionally, we are asked if someone can get life insurance with low-risk cancer. We can insure current cancers of a very specific type.

Insurance companies take certain factors into account if you’ve had cancer, including the type and the stage.

When a policy is issued, the first premiums will usually be high because that’s when the insurance company has the greatest risk. For most cancers, as time goes by the risk of the cancer coming back gets lower.

The most important factors are the severity of cancer (i.e. Grade and Stage) and the time since the end of primary treatment to determine the level of risk for underwriters.

People often ask us why are life insurance premiums high for cancer patients? Cancer Life Insurance premiums have dropped in recent years due to medical advances and increases in survival rates.

It’s important to know which insurance underwriters will offer the best terms and premiums for you and your condition. This is where The Insurance Surgery’s expertise and experience counts.

A large number of our clients have previously been declined by other insurance companies. This is generally due to their lack of experience with pre-existing medical conditions or brokers not having access to the right providers for specific needs.

The Insurance Surgery works harder than anyone else to find you the cover you deserve. We offer a completely free service to you, saving you time and meaning you don’t have to compare quotes yourself. We are the leading expert for pre-existing conditions, so you’re in great hands.

If you want further information about finding life insurance after you have been declined elsewhere, you can find it here.

We will always be 100% honest and open with you as a broker to make sure everything you need is in place. As a broker offering financial services, all our advice will be completely impartial. If you already have a life insurance policy in place, we will assess whether you have the best possible cover for your circumstances, and if not we will secure you the right life insurance policy.

We will only move you to a different provider if we can find you a better offering for a better price. Whether it’s worth us looking at this depends on what the cover is for and when it was taken out.

If your existing cover is better than any cover we can find we will tell you. We do not charge for any advice – this service is free. You can find more information about switching life insurance providers and reviewing your policy here.

Facts about Cancer

Cancer is an extremely complicated condition. There are around 200 variations (or types) that affect different areas of the body and can require different types of treatment.

Cancer Statistics (UK):

  • Breast, Prostate, Lung and Bowel Cancers together account for more than half (535) of all new Cancers in the UK
  • Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with the condition
  • Survival rate in the UK is roughly 50%
  • 38% of cases are preventable
  • 367,000 new cases per year
  • 164,000 deaths from Cancer per year

Cancer groups

Cancers are divided into groups. There are 5 main groups which are determined by the type of cell where they originate. These are:

  • Carcinoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Brain Tumour
  • Leukaemia
  • Sarcoma

Grade and Stage

These are some of the main factors that underwriters consider when assessing an application for Cancer life insurance. They determine the size of the tumour and how quickly it grows.

  • Grade: How abnormal the Cancer cells are
  • Stage: How big the area affected is and whether the Cancer has spread

Causes Of Cancer

There are hundreds of ways in which cancer can develop, but often it is down to lifestyle choices. Some causes include:

  • Smoking and tobacco

If you smoke, stopping is the best thing you can do for your health and to reduce your cancer risk.

  • Obesity and weight

Keeping a healthy weight reduces the risk of 13 different types of cancer.

  • Sun and UV

Staying safe in the sun and avoiding sunbeds reduces the risk of melanoma skin cancer.

  • Diet and healthy eating

Eating a healthy balanced diet can play an important role in reducing your risk of cancer.

  • Alcohol

The less alcohol you drink, the lower the risk of cancer.

  • Physical activity

Being more active can help to keep a healthy weight and reduce the risk of cancer.

  • HPV and infections

You can’t catch cancer, but some infections such as HPV can increase your risk of developing it.

  • Hormones

Changes in our hormone levels can affect the risk of cancer, including taking the contraceptive pill.

  • Air pollution and radon gas

Air pollution and radon gas are causes of lung cancer, but in the UK the risk is fairly low.

  • Inherited cancer genes

Some inherited faulty genes can increase your risk of cancer.

  • Workplace cancer risks

Some jobs can affect people’s risk of cancer, such as working with chemicals.

  • Age and cancer

As you get older, you could be more at risk of developing cancer.

Useful Links

The Insurance Surgery has been helping families and individuals with pre-existing conditions including all types of Cancer to obtain life insurance since 1999.
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A Leading Insurance Specialist In Obtaining Cover For People Who Have Had Cancer

The Insurance Surgery has over two decades of experience helping people with a history of Cancer obtain life insurance. We can also secure critical illness cover, income protection and any other financial products they may require under the financial conduct authority.