Loran Marmes

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cancer is the second leading cause of death among U.S. Americans.  However, this does not mean that you will not be able to acquire burial insurance, in fact, it will not even prevent you from getting burial insurance for cancer patients.


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Although each situation is unique to the consumer, nearly everyone diagnosed with cancer is able to purchase a burial insurance policy.

In this article, we will discuss how insurance companies view cancer, what to expect when applying for a burial insurance policy, the types of policies available, and how to locate the best burial insurance policy for cancer patients.


About Cancer and Life Insurance

burial insurance for cancer patients

If you are one of the many that believe you will have a difficult time purchasing life insurance because you’ve had cancer, we are here to let you know that you’re in luck.

Although approximately 1.8 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2020, those that actually pass from the disease have continued to decrease over the past few decades.

As a matter of fact, the cancer death rates among U.S. Americans have declined by 29% from 1991 until 2017.  This includes a 2.2% drop between 2016 and 2017, which is the largest single-year drop recorded, according to the American Cancer Society.

Even though it will be expensive and possibly difficult to purchase burial life insurance mid-treatment, most insurance providers are willing to issue policies once your treatment protocol is completed.  Where you are in your treatment will reflect which policies you are eligible for, which we will discuss later.

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with cancer and are receiving treatment for it, coverage will still be possible, but it will be more expensive and there will be a waiting period. 

Unfortunately, this is inevitable because there isn’t a life insurance provider that will offer immediate coverage in light of your medical issue.

However, if you have been in remission for greater than two years, you may qualify for immediate coverage without the waiting period.  Regardless of your situation, we are here to let you know that purchasing an affordable burial insurance policy is possible.


Burial Insurance Underwriting for the Cancer Patient

burial insurance underwriting

The most important thing to remember is that the rates and possibility of approval for burial insurance lie in the survival rate of cancer diagnosed and how easily the cancer can be treated.

For instance, Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and those with this cancer diagnosis will have a more difficult time getting approval.

However, those diagnosed with non-threatening cancer, such as squamous or basal cell carcinomas generally do not have an issue.  These types of cancers will also not affect the cost of the burial insurance policy either.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the mortality rate for men is higher than that of women, and when speaking on ethnicity, the mortality rate of cancer is highest in African American men.

Naturally, every single burial insurance provider will ask about cancer when you’re applying.  The main thing to keep in mind is that each company has its own unique guidelines when it comes to underwriting.

There are many variables involved given your particular situation, but generally, most companies rely on your answers to their health questions.

The following gives you an idea of what most burial insurance companies will ask and take into account when you apply:

What type of cancer did you or do you have?
When did you last have cancer?
How many times have you been diagnosed with cancer?
What type of treatment did you receive?
When was the last time you received treatment for your cancer?


What if You Currently Have Cancer?


If you currently have cancer, besides squamous cell or basal cell, most burial life insurance companies will decline your application.  Do not be dismayed, there are some companies that will accept you, but there will be added costs depending on the circumstances surrounding your cancer diagnosis.

If you currently have cancer there will be a two-year waiting period imposed, which is inevitable.  As mentioned previously, no provider is willing to offer you coverage day one of your policy due to your current health situation.

Guaranteed Issue life insurance is the policy most suitable for those with a current cancer diagnosis or terminal cancer.


Guaranteed Issue Burial Insurance

guaranteed issue life insurance

Guaranteed issue burial insurance provides coverage regardless of your current cancer situation.  This type of burial insurance will typically cost 15-30% more than the immediate coverage policies and is available for those ages 50 to 85.  You will receive approval without having to answer health questions.

Additionally, your beneficiary will receive the full death benefit if your death is caused by an accident during the life of your policy.  If you pass during the two-year waiting period, the insurance provider will typically distribute premiums paid in plus 10% interest.

Once you’ve made it past the two-year waiting period, you are fully covered.  Your elected beneficiary will then receive the full death benefit regardless of your cause of death.

If you are currently undergoing cancer treatment, such as radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery, guaranteed issue burial insurance will be the only policy that you qualify for.


Modified Burial Insurance


This is another type of burial insurance for those that have cancer and have received treatment in the last two year.  Unfortunately, you will still not be able to circumvent the two-year waiting period.

The modified plan works like this:

If you purchase a $20,000 death benefit and die within the first year (12 months), your beneficiaries will receive 30% of the death benefit.

If you pass away during the second year of the waiting period, your loved ones will receive 70% of the death benefit.

If you die once the two-year waiting period is completed, your beneficiaries will receive the full (100%) death benefit.

Depending on your unique situation, there are times when it’s more affordable to purchase the guaranteed issue burial insurance policy, rather than the modified burial insurance policy.


What if it’s Been More Than Two Years Since Your Cancer Was Treated?


Some life insurance companies will only ask about cancer if it has been within the last two years.  If it has been longer than two years since your cancer has been treated, then you may honestly answer that cancer health question with a “No”.

If this is your situation, you may qualify for the level death benefit with immediate coverage.


Level Death Benefit or Simplified Issue


This policy offers immediate coverage if your cancer diagnosis and treatment occurred more than two years ago.  There will be no waiting period and you will receive 100% coverage from the first day.

If you pass away at any time during the policy, your loved ones will receive the full death benefit.

This burial insurance policy includes health questions, but no medical exam.  The premium remains fixed throughout the life of your policy and will never increase.  Additionally, the death benefit is guaranteed and will never decrease.

This simplified issue or level death benefit burial insurance policy is typically more affordable than the guaranteed issue policy.


How to Find the Best Burial Insurance with Cancer


In order to find the best burial insurance policy for your particular needs, be sure to work with a reputable and experienced independent insurance agent like LJM Life Insurance that represent many burial insurance companies.

Going through cancer and treatment is difficult enough, finding affordable insurance for your burial expenses does not have to be.


Get Advice You Can Count On
To get more information about Burial Insurance for current and former cancer patients or any other challenging health condition, call us at (844) 528-8688 during normal business hours or contact us through our website.

About the Author


Loran Marmes headshotMy name is Loran Marmes and I am the owner of MyBurialInsurancePlan.com. I would like to explain why we are your best option when it comes to Life Insurance. We are an Independent Agency and we contract with all of the top-rated carriers in the country so we can offer you products and pricing tailored to your needs and budget. After a four-year tour of duty, I went into the printing business and enjoyed meeting with clients and helping them solve printing-related business issues. After years of 12-hour days in the printing business, I got my Health and Life Insurance license and decided to specialize in Life Insurance because I have seen first hand what happens to a family when the main breadwinner dies without any coverage. My intentions will always be to put your needs first so that I can deliver solutions that will accommodate your circumstances and your budget.