When you receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer, your world may feel like it has been turned upside down. Along with concerns about your health and treatment options, you may also start to think about the financial impact this diagnosis could have on your loved ones. This is where life insurance comes in.
Life insurance is a way to provide financial protection to your family or other beneficiaries in the event of your death. If you have prostate cancer, you may wonder if it’s possible to get life insurance or if you’ll be denied coverage altogether. In this article, we’ll explore the options for life insurance with prostate cancer in Canada.
Prostate Cancer and Life Insurance
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among Canadian men. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, it is estimated that 25,500 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2023, accounting for 20% of all new cancer cases in men. While prostate cancer is treatable, it can still be a serious health concern and may impact your ability to obtain life insurance.
When you apply for life insurance, the insurance company will evaluate your health and medical history to determine your risk level. This process is known as underwriting. If you have a pre-existing condition like prostate cancer, you may be considered a higher risk and face more scrutiny during the underwriting process.
Underwriting for Life Insurance with Prostate Cancer
When underwriting a life insurance policy for someone with prostate cancer, insurance companies will typically look at the following factors:
Stage of the cancer: The stage of your prostate cancer will be a significant factor in determining your risk level. If your cancer is in an early stage, you may be considered a lower risk than if it has progressed to a more advanced stage.
Treatment history: The type of treatment you have received for your prostate cancer will also be considered. If you have undergone surgery, radiation therapy, or hormone therapy, this will affect your risk level.
Age and overall health: Your age and general health will also be taken into account. If you are older or have other health conditions, you may be considered a higher risk overall.
Based on these factors, the insurance company may offer you coverage with a higher premium or may choose to decline your application altogether.
Types of Life Insurance
There are two main types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance.
Term life insurance provides coverage for a specified period, typically 10, 20, or 30 years. If you pass away during the term, your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit. If you outlive the term, the policy will expire, and you will not receive any payout. Term life insurance is generally less expensive than permanent life insurance, making it a popular option for many people.
Permanent life insurance, on the other hand, provides coverage for your entire life. It also includes a savings component, known as cash value, which can grow over time. You can borrow against the cash value or withdraw it, although doing so may reduce the death benefit. Permanent life insurance is typically more expensive than term life insurance.
Options for Life Insurance with Prostate Cancer
If you have prostate cancer, you may still be able to obtain life insurance, but you will likely face some challenges. Here are some of the options available to you:
- Traditional Life Insurance: You can apply for traditional life insurance, which involves going through the underwriting process. Depending on the severity of your prostate cancer, you may be approved for coverage, but the premiums may be higher than for someone without cancer. You may also face exclusions or limitations in the policy.
- Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance: Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of life insurance that does not require a medical exam or underwriting process. As long as you meet the age requirements, you can be approved for coverage. However, these policies typically have lower death benefits and higher premiums than traditional life insurance policies.
- Simplified Issue Life Insurance: Simplified issue life insurance is a type of policy that requires you to answer some medical questions but does not require a medical exam. The underwriting process is simpler than traditional life insurance, which means you may be able to obtain coverage more easily. However, the premiums may be higher than for someone without cancer.
- Critical Illness Insurance: Critical illness insurance provides a lump sum payment if you are diagnosed with a covered illness, such as prostate cancer. This payment can be used to cover medical expenses or other costs associated with your diagnosis. Critical illness insurance is typically more expensive than life insurance, but it can provide valuable financial protection in the event of a serious illness.
- Group Life Insurance: Group life insurance is typically offered through an employer or other organization. The underwriting process is usually simpler than for traditional life insurance, and you may be able to obtain coverage even with a pre-existing condition like prostate cancer. However, the coverage may be limited, and you may lose the coverage if you leave the employer or organization.
If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, it’s important to think about the financial impact this could have on your loved ones. Life insurance can provide valuable protection, but it may be more difficult to obtain if you have a pre-existing condition like prostate cancer. By understanding the options available to you, you can make an informed decision about which type of life insurance is best for your situation. It’s important to work with a knowledgeable insurance agent who can help you navigate the underwriting process and find the best policy for your needs.