Simply put, yes. It is possible to qualify for affordable life insurance with bladder cancer history under certain circumstances. However, qualifying is not automatic.
Getting approved for life insurance after bladder cancer will depend on a number of factors; for example, the severity of your bladder cancer, if you have fully recovered, etc. This article will cover everything you need to know about getting approved for life insurance after a bladder cancer diagnosis.
Underwriting Life Insurance with Bladder Cancer
Any cancer will surely have an impact on your life insurance rates and bladder cancer is no different. Bladder cancer has it’s own specific underwriting guidelines relative to life insurance and this article will expand on what life insurance companies will want to see in order to get you the best deal.
Life insurance companies can offer you a range of health classes widely ranging from standard rates to declines. Standard rates are considered on par with the health of the general population and are the toughest to qualify for with bladder cancer.
Stages of Bladder Cancer:
Stage 0: This is the earliest stage of bladder cancer. In stage 0, the bladder cancer has not progressed past the inner lining of the bladder into the connective tissue. Stage 0 gives you the best chance of qualifying for a standard rate as long as you have been cancer-free for an extended period of time, usually 2 years or more.
Stage 1: In stage 1, the bladder cancer has spread past the inner lining of the bladder into the connective tissue but has not entered the lymphatic system yet. Substandard rates are more common once the bladder cancer has reached stage 1, assuming you have been cancer-free for at least 2 years.
Stage 2: In stage 2, the cancer has spread into the muscle wall to the bladder, but has not spread completely into the layer of fatty tissue that surrounds the bladder. Substandard rates are most likely your best-case scenario at this stage once you are cured for a prolonged period of time (2+ years).
Stage 3 and Stage 4: Once the bladder cancer has spread beyond the fatty tissue of the bladder into other organs or the lymph nodes, fully-underwritten life insurance options will be unlikely. Most life insurance companies will view stage 3/4 of bladder cancer as too risky and will most likely decline to offer you life insurance coverage.
In order to gauge what life insurance rates you will be eligible for with bladder cancer, it is important to work with a veteran life insurance agent who understands the nuances of bladder cancer, life insurance underwriting, and who has the ability to broker multiple companies. You can tell that you are with the right agent if they dig into your cancer history in order to qualify you for coverage.
The life insurance company will want detailed information about your bladder cancer history such as:
What was the date of your bladder cancer diagnosis?
What stage and grade was your bladder cancer?
How was your bladder cancer treated? (endoscopic resection, chemotherapy, radiation, or removal (radical cystectomy).
Are you cancer free currently? If yes, for how long?
Did you have any recurrences of bladder cancer?
Do you have a history of any other types of cancers?
What were the results of your recent lab work and checkups?
Did the bladder cancer metastasize (spread)?
Do you have a family history of cancer in your immediate family (siblings and parents)?
Do you currently smoke or have you ever smoked previously?
Do you have regular checkups with your doctor?
These questions will give your agent a detailed picture of your bladder cancer health history. An independent life insurance agent can use this information to compare the rates of multiple life insurance companies in order to gauge what company will give you the best deal so it is important to be as descriptive as possible.
What Rates can I Expect for Life Insurance With Bladder Cancer?
Life insurance and bladder cancer can have a wide range of outcomes. You can see your life insurance application approved up to standard rates in certain circumstances. If your bladder cancer is too serious to offer life insurance coverage, you can be declined. In some instances, the life insurance company may not outright decline you, but may postpone making a decision to a later future date.
Common Outcomes for Life Insurance and Bladder Cancer:
Preferred Best (not available): Life insurance companies have slightly different names for their top health class. You may have heard it called super preferred or preferred plus. Regardless of what it is called, people with a history of bladder cancer are ineligible for this health class.
Preferred (not available): Any preferred health class is considered a discount to the standard health class of the general population. Therefore, it is virtually impossible for someone with a history of bladder cancer to qualify for these classes due to their health history notwithstanding their current health.
Standard Plus (not available): Not every life insurance company offers this discounted health class, but a person with bladder cancer history would not qualify for it even if they do. Bladder cancer history is too risky for the life insurance company to offer a discounted rate better than the general population no matter how mild the bladder cancer was.
Standard (available): Standard rates of the general population is your best-case scenario if you have a history of bladder cancer. We see standard approvals for the healthiest of bladder cancer applicants who have a long track record of being cancer free (2+ years) and were diagnosed with a relatively mild case of bladder cancer.
Substandard (available): This is the health class that we see most commonly with cancer cases. Life insurance companies are conservative by nature. If your bladder cancer progressed beyond the early stages, you most likely will land somewhere in this range.
Decline/Postpone (available): Life insurance companies will want to see at least two cancer-free years since your last treatment before considering you for an offer. Additionally, if your bladder cancer was a more serious case, you will most likely be declined for life insurance coverage. We usually see declines for bladder cancer that has progressed to stage 3 or beyond, or metastasized (spread) into the lymph nodes.
What Are my Options if I get Declined for Life Insurance with Bladder Cancer?
If you get declined for life insurance with bladder cancer, there are alternative options for coverage. In some instances, your decline may not be permanent. If your health situation changes in the future, you can always apply again. However, these alternative solutions can offer you some coverage in the meantime.
Your first option would be to purchase an accidental death insurance policy. Accidental death covers you for accidental deaths due to trauma or bodily injury. While accidental death insurance will not cover you for medically-related deaths, it will protect you from catastrophic events, such as a car accident. Accidental deaths are among the top 5 causes of life insurance claims, especially for younger folks.
Your second option would be to purchase a final expense life insurance policy. These life insurance policies are typically designed as a simplified issue, which means limited no-exam underwriting. They are whole life policies with death benefits that range from $5,000-$25,000; in some cases, up to $40,000 of coverage.
Even if your bladder cancer is so serious that you cannot qualify for simplified issue life insurance, there are guaranteed issue life insurance policies that will ask 0 health questions. Yes, you read that correctly. No matter how poor your health may be, there is a life insurance policy out there that you can purchase.
The Final Word
Life insurance and bladder cancer can be complicated. Approvals for life insurance with bladder cancer will depend on numerous factors, such as the severity of the bladder cancer, the length of time that you have been cancer free, etc. This is an area where you need to work with a knowledgeable life insurance agent who understands the nuances of underwriting bladder cancer.
Our agency has helped individuals just like you secure affordable life insurance coverage with cancer. Our veteran life insurance agents ask the questions the insurance companies want to know and will compare the rates of multiple life insurance companies in order to get you the best deal. Even if you have been declined before, give our agency a chance to get you covered!
If you are looking for affordable life insurance with bladder cancer, do not hesitate. Please give our agency a call or fill out a quote request today.