Life insurance is a way of protecting your family financially in the event of your death, but if you have a cancer diagnosis, a family history of cancer, or you’re a cancer survivor, finding a policy can be quite difficult. However, cancer patients and survivors will be happy to learn they do have options for life insurance.
A number of companies will sell life insurance policies to cancer patients, although many have limitations. The best life insurance policies for cancer patients policies have a simple application process and reasonable premiums.
Best Overall : Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha offers the most well-rounded life insurance policy options for cancer patients and survivors.
Available for applicants ages 45 to 85
Rates don’t increase as you age
In in New York state, policies only available for people ages 50 to 75
Can’t purchase coverage on your own; must work with an agent
Waiting period might be long
Mutual of Omaha offers several life insurance policies for cancer patients and survivors. In business since 1909 and with an AM Best rating of A+, cancer patients can feel confident they’ll be taken care of by Mutual of Omaha.
With Mutual of Omaha, cancer patients are eligible for whole life insurance policies with no medical exam required. Coverage is approved automatically, and these policies are available for people ages 45 to 85, or 50 to 75 if you live in New York.
For a guaranteed whole life policy, you can choose death benefits from $5,000 up to $25,000. Your premium ultimately reflects the amount of coverage you buy as well as your answers to a simple health questionnaire. Premiums may also vary by location.
Like most guaranteed whole life policies, Mutual of Omaha’s has a graded death benefit. This means that the death benefit won’t be paid if the person insured dies during the first two years of policy owner—instead, the beneficiaries will receive the premiums paid into the policy plus 10%.
Read our full Mutual of Omaha review.
Best for Early Stage Cancer : AARP
AARP doesn’t deny coverage based on pre-existing health conditions, including cancer, and doesn’t require a medical exam or health questionnaire to secure coverage.
No medical exam options
AARP caters to older adults
Easy online quotes and applications
Only AARP members qualify
Not available for State of Washington or New Jersey residents
The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) has a reliable reputation for helping adults over the age of 50 take care of themselves and their families. Through a partnership with New York Life, the AARP does just that with life insurance.
The AARP offers a small selection of life insurance policies to adults over 50 who are AARP members, including one that’s a great choice for early-stage cancer patients: the Easy Acceptance Whole Life Insurance program.
This no medical exam option requires you to answer just one health question and provided you’re not terminally ill (which early-stage cancer patients typically are not), you’re guaranteed approval for a whole life policy.
Once you’re approved, your premium won’t change throughout the duration of your policy, even after the age of 95, thanks to the AARP’s “Paid-Up” program. One drawback is that only a portion of the death benefit is paid out if policyholders die of natural causes within two years of policy implementation. This means that if you choose this policy based on the fact that you have early-stage cancer, but your cancer quickly becomes dire, your family may not receive full benefits.
The Easy Acceptance Whole Life plan features coverage of up to $25,000. You may be able to customize your policy and receive higher death benefits by working with a New York Life agent. If you go into remission or your cancer is cured, you can qualify for other AARP life insurance products, such as level benefit or permanent life insurance.
Read our full AARP Life Insurance review.
Best No-Exam Option : Globe Life
Many cancer patients are restricted to no-exam life insurance options, which generally skyrockets premiums. Globe Life is our top no-exam pick for cancer patients because the premiums remain affordable.
Apply quickly and get quotes online
Extremely affordable premiums starting at less than $4 per month
No medical exam required
30-day money-back guarantee
No guarantee for coverage
May have to fill out a health questionnaire for approval
If you need life insurance very quickly, Globe Life might be the right provider for you. Because the company doesn’t require medical exams, the approval process is easy and you might even secure coverage on the day you apply. You can choose from term life insurance, senior life insurance, and family life insurance without a medical exam.
Additionally, Globe Life offers more affordable premiums than other no-exam options, starting at less than $4 per month for adults ages 35 to 39. Premiums increase as you get older, and your exact premium depends on the amount of coverage you purchase.
Globe Life offers coverage limits ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, along with a limited selection of rider options, including a terminal illness accelerated benefit.
A huge perk of Globe Life insurance is the company’s 30-day money-back guarantee. This is not something many life insurance companies offer. If for any reason, you are unhappy with your policy from Globe Life, you can receive a full refund with no questions asked.
Note that Globe Life does not offer guaranteed issue whole life policies. Also, just because the policies don’t require exams, doesn’t mean they are guaranteed issue. You may still be denied a Globe Life policy based on whether you smoke, what your family medical history is, or other factors.
Read our full Globe Life insurance review.
Best for Guaranteed Issue : AIG Direct
Generally, guaranteed coverage is the best route for cancer patients when it comes to life insurance and AIG Direct offers guaranteed coverage with living benefits.
No medical exam or health questionnaire required
Free chronic illness and terminal riders on policies
18 different term lengths available
Can’t get a quote on your own; must work with an agent
Limited no-exam policy options
AIG Direct is one of the largest life insurance providers and it has flexible life insurance options for cancer patients. AIG’s guaranteed issue life insurance policies are a phenomenal option for cancer patients, due in large part to the two free-living benefits riders.
Anyone who purchases a guaranteed issue life insurance policy from AIG Direct will receive a chronic illness and terminal illness rider, both of which offer additional peace of mind to cancer patients. You may be able to add other Quality of Life (QoL) benefits to your policy, too.
Anyone ages 50 to 85 can purchase this plan. The policy benefit ranges from $5,000 to $25,000, but note that there is a reduced death benefit if the policyholder dies of natural causes during the first two years of the policy (110% of the premiums paid up to the point of death).
AIG sells several other life insurance products, but cancer patients may not qualify for them. If you purchase an AIG guaranteed issue policy and later go into remission or become cured, you may want to explore other AIG options with an agent.
Read our full AIG Direct Life Insurance review.
Best for Cancer Survivors : John Hancock Financial
High coverage options, online quotes, rider options, and healthy living incentives make John Hancock life insurance an attractive option for cancer patients in remission or those who have been cured.
Term and universal life insurance options
High coverage amounts
Get a quote and purchase a policy online
No whole life insurance options
Guaranteed acceptance policies limited to $20,000
Cancer patients qualify for more life insurance options once their cancer goes into remission. If you’re considered fully cured (no signs of cancer at all and your doctors say it will not return), you have even more options.
John Hancock’s life insurance policies reflect what’s possible for cancer survivors, with high-coverage term and universal life insurance options with affordable premiums. To save even more, you can enroll in the John Hancock Vitality program, which incentivizes healthy living by offering a savings of up to 15% on your policy. The Vitality program also includes discounts on healthy foods, a free subscription to a meditation app, travel deals, and more.
John Hancock term life insurance is available in terms of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. Coverage for term life insurance plans ranges from $750,000 to $65 million—significantly higher than other coverage limits cancer patients and survivors qualify for. If you want to purchase online, you can only select from $25,000 to $3 million. For higher coverage limits, you’ll have to work with an agent.
John Hancock also offers guaranteed issue coverage, but the coverage limit sits at just $20,000. If you’re cured or in remission, you probably don’t need to opt for a guaranteed issue policy.
Read our full John Hancock Life Insurance review.
Best for Family History of Cancer : Haven Life
Haven Life offers affordable coverage and high coverage limits even for people with high-risk cancer in their family lineage.
High coverage limits (up to $3 million)
Simplified issue, no-exam policies available
Living benefits rider included in policies
No whole life policy option
Policies only available up to 64 years old
Haven Life offers term and simplified life insurance policies that are simple to apply for through the streamlined, online process. Both options offer generous coverage—$100,000 and $3 million over 10, 15, 20, 30 years for term policies and $5,000 to $500,000 over 5, 10, or 15 years for simplified policies.
Despite the high coverage limits, Haven Life insurance premiums start at just under $14 and $16 per month for term and simplified plans, respectively.
Underwritten by MassMutual, Haven Life’s parent company, Haven Life policies have level premiums and an accelerated death benefits rider. There’s also a free, no-obligation look period, meaning you can terminate the policy with no penalties within a certain time frame (usually 10 days).
You may have to undergo a medical exam for the Haven Term plan, while the Haven Simple plan allows you to forego the exam. Still, no medical exam does not mean a guaranteed issue, so keep that in mind if you have pre-existing health conditions or habits such as smoking.
Securing life insurance as a cancer patient or survivor can be tough, as many companies may require you to pay higher premiums or deny coverage altogether due to the risk factor. However, as you can see from this guide to the best life insurance for cancer patients, you do have options.
Our research reveals that Mutual of Omaha offers the most well-rounded options for cancer patients, after factoring in premium costs, coverage limits, no-exam options, guaranteed-issue options, riders, and living benefits. However, the best life insurance policy for you ultimately depends on your exact needs, your financial situation, and other non-cancer-related health factors.
Compare the Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients
|Company||Medical Exam Required?||Available Policies||Policy Limit||AM Best Rating|
|Mutual of Omaha Best Overall||No||Guaranteed issue life||$25,000||A+|
|AARP Best for Early Stage Cancer||No||Whole life||$25,000||A++|
|Globe Life Best No-Exam Option||No||Term, senior, and family life||$100,000||A|
|AIG Direct Best for Guaranteed Issue||No||Guaranteed issue life||$25,000||A|
|John Hancock Financial Best for Cancer Survivors||No||Term and simplified issue life||$65 million||A+|
|Haven Life Best for Family History of Cancer||No||Term and simplified issue life||$3 million||A++|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Life Insurance for Cancer Patients?
Life insurance for cancer patients isn’t a special type of life insurance. Cancer patients can get the same type of life insurance as everyone else, but it might be harder to get approved or find favorable policies with reasonable premiums. The best life insurance policies for cancer patients will provide the type of coverage you need and make sense for your financial situation.
How Much Does Life Insurance Cost for Cancer Patients?
Unfortunately, most cancer patients will pay expensive premiums for life insurance because a cancer diagnosis means you’re a higher risk to the insurer. There’s no one cost for life insurance for cancer patients because every patient’s policy will differ based on factors such as age, gender, pre-existing conditions, family history, type of cancer, and prognosis. Your term, policy, and coverage limit also affect your final cost, as do options such as critical illness riders.
What Types of Life Insurance Can Cancer Patients Get?
Most life insurance companies will approve cancer patients for guaranteed life insurance, also called burial insurance, which is a type of whole life insurance. This type of insurance covers your entire lifespan from the point of approval and purchase of the policy. Cancer patients can also get no-exam policies, although this type of life insurance has higher premiums and lower death benefits.
How Long Do I Need to Be In Remission to Buy Life Insurance?
You don’t need to be in remission to buy life insurance, although being in remission might make it easier for you to get approved for the type of life insurance policy you want. The National Cancer Institute says cancer patients are generally considered to be survivors after five years of remission, at which point most insurance companies will approve any policy for you. However, it’s important to know the difference between “cure” and “remission” and be upfront with your health scenario when talking to life insurance agents.
To determine the best life insurance companies for cancer patients, we began with a list of 20 popular life insurance carriers and looked for benefits for cancer patients. After excluding carriers that don’t offer no-exam or guaranteed issue policies, we looked at coverage limits, age limits, monthly premiums, ease of access, and policy availability by state.
All of our top choices feature an AM Best rating of at least an A, as well as no-exam options and at least one other benefit for cancer patients, such as chronic illness and terminal illness riders, and level premiums, in addition to availability in the majority of U.S. states.