Best Life Insurance Companies for Cancer Survivors in February 2024


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ByMandy Sleight
Edited byCasie McCoskey
ByMandy Sleight
Edited byCasie McCoskey

Updated: May 22, 2024

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It may be challenging to get life insurance after cancer, but many providers offer plans that can suit your needs as a survivor. MoneyGeek’s research found that Nationwide, Legal & General America and Mutual of Omaha are among the best life insurance companies for cancer survivors.

There are over 17 million cancer survivors in the United States. That number is expected to grow to over 22.1 million by 2030. Advancements in cancer research and treatments have made it possible for more cancer patients to live cancer-free, necessitating a need for life insurance after cancer.

For most people, term life insurance is the best choice, as it’s cheap and easy to understand. Unfortunately, not everyone can qualify with cancer in their medical history. Luckily, those looking for life insurance after cancer have several options.

MoneyGeek Logo IconBestSimplified IssueLife Insurance
2024

Best Life Insurance Companies for Cancer Survivors in 2024

Key Takeaways

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Although some companies are less flexible in approving life insurance for cancer survivors, getting coverage is still possible.

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Cancer survivors may have higher premiums based on their medical history and time since stopping cancer treatments.

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If you’re a cancer survivor who doesn’t qualify for conventional policies, consider simplified issue or guaranteed acceptance life insurance.

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HOW MONEYGEEK RANKED INSURANCE COMPANIES

To generate our ranking scores, we incorporated data from J.D. Power, AM Best, NAIC and our own MoneyGeek affordability score, which we created by manually gathering thousands of quotes across major providers.

We used our qualitative research data to determine the best life insurance companies for cancer survivors based on each company’s product offering and support features.

Best Overall: Nationwide

Nationwide

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Some skin cancer survivors can access a preferred plus rating

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Standard rating eligibility for other cancer types

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Family cancer history does not mean automatic denial

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Only term quotes available online

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Individual consideration for most cancer diagnoses

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Cancer survivors aren't eligible for Intelligent Underwriting

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Nationwide has earned second place in the J.D. Power 2021 Individual Life Insurance Study, with 813 out of 1,000 points for customer satisfaction. This insurer also has an excellent financial strength rating of A+ from AM Best, proving its reliability in paying claims. Given its reputation, longevity in the business, strong financial ratings and affordability, Nationwide earns a MoneyGeek score of 89.

Product Offering

Nationwide offers term, whole life and universal life insurance products. Applicants who are skin cancer survivors may be eligible for preferred plus rates, while those with other cancer diagnoses can qualify for standard rates.

Term life insurance is available for cancer survivors ages 18 to 70, while some applicants can get approved up to age 85 for whole life and universal life. Both term and universal life have a $100,000 coverage minimum, while whole life starts at just $10,000 for those with lesser life insurance needs.

If you're searching for life insurance for breast cancer survivors, expect to provide the grade or staging, treatment protocol, age at onset, time since the event and other details when applying for coverage. The provider will request the same information for prostate cancer and other internal cancer survivors.

Support Features

Applicants who completed cancer treatment without chemotherapy or radiation over 10 years ago may qualify for the standard plus rating. This rating also allows for one immediate family member who died before age 60 from cancer or cardiovascular disease. These rating guidelines make Nationwide one of the more affordable companies for life insurance after cancer. Nationwide offers brochures and policy details online, but you can only find quotes for term life.

Available Policy Types

  • Term
  • Whole life
  • Universal life

Runner-Up: Legal & General America

Legal & General America

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Preferred plus rating available for skin cancer survivors, except melanoma

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No longer considers family history for preferred class

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Can still qualify within one year after cancer treatment or with history of multiple cancers

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Only term quotes available online

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Current cancer patients not eligible

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Bladder, breast, prostate and thyroid cancer survivors may pay extra

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Legal & General America earns a Comdex (rating based on four insurance rating companies) score of 95 due to its excellent financial stability and ability to meet financial obligations, like paying life insurance claims. Although the carrier did not rank in the top 21 best life insurance companies for customer satisfaction according to J.D. Power, it earned a "great" Trustpilot score of 4.1 out of 5 stars from over 1,300 reviews.

Product Offering

Those considering Legal & General can choose from term or universal life insurance. The type of cancer and date of onset will determine your rating with Legal & General. A family history of cancer will not disqualify cancer survivors as long as it is not hereditary cancer.

Legal & General offers term life coverage for up to 40 years with a minimum coverage amount of $100,000. You can include short-term riders for coverage on your policy and get up to $10,000 in children's term coverage at a flat rate for multiple children. Universal life coverage starts at $50,000 with issue ages between 20 to 75.

Support Features

If there is no finding of hereditary cancer, you can get a quote online using the LGA QuickQuote tool for term life insurance. Quotes for universal life insurance must go through the company. Legal & General offers flexibility for some pre-existing conditions, including anxiety, depression, asthma, mitral valve prolapse, osteoporosis and non-melanoma skin cancers. You can use the carrier's website to learn about its life products and file a life insurance claim.

Available Policy Types

  • Term
  • Universal life

Best for No Medical Exams: Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

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Seniors can get guaranteed coverage

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May qualify for preferred or higher if cancer-free over five years

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Get term and whole life quotes online

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Cancer is a disqualifier for accelerated underwriting

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Guaranteed acceptance coverage is only for ages 45 and older

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Unable to get universal life quotes online

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Mutual of Omaha is among the most recognized names in the life insurance industry. It earns fifth place for customer satisfaction with 795 out of 1,000 points in the J.D. Power Life Insurance Study and has an A+ rating with AM Best. With affordable rates, flexible plans and excellent customer service and financial strength scores, Mutual of Omaha earns a MoneyGeek score of 91.

Product Offering

Mutual of Omaha provides term, universal and guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance for seniors. It gives individual consideration for those applying post-cancer with up to five years in remission. Remission greater than five years may qualify for preferred ratings, depending on other pre-existing health conditions.

Applicants ages 45 to 85 can apply for up to $25,000 in guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance. There are no medical exams or health questions required. The same age group can get a lower rate by answering a few health questions on the simplified issue whole life application.

Term life starts at $100,000 for ages 18 to 80, with level coverage for up to 30 years. There are several universal life products to choose from, starting at age 18 and $25,000 in coverage. Children up to age 17 can get up to $50,000 in simplified issue whole life insurance.

Support Features

You can get term and whole life insurance quotes online, but not universal life insurance. Mutual of Omaha has guides and other literature online so you can learn more about its products. The carrier has flexible underwriting guidelines, especially if you are a few years past cancer treatment and are otherwise healthy.

Policy Types Available

  • Term
  • Guaranteed acceptance whole life
  • Universal life

How Cancer Affects Your Chances of Getting Life Insurance

Cancer can affect not only your chances of getting life insurance but also how much you pay. Various factors determine your rates and acceptance, including:

  • The type of cancer
  • Age at onset
  • Stage or grading
  • Date of diagnosis
  • Treatment protocol
  • Time since going into remission
  • Family history of cancer
  • Whether it’s hereditary cancer
  • If you have had multiple types of cancer or recurrent cancer

Certain cancers are riskier than others, which can also affect eligibility and the cost of life insurance. The table below provides insight into the survivability rates for both men and women with various cancer types, illustrating the considerations for life insurance after a cancer diagnosis or for cancer survivors.

Recent Cancer 5-Year Survival Rates, SEER, National Cancer Institute
Type of Cancer
Male Survival Rate
Female Survival Rate

Prostate

96.80%

N/A

Thyroid

96.20%

98.90%

Testicular

95.00%

N/A

Melanoma of the Skin

92.40%

95.40%

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

88.10%

90.20%

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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Even if your cancer has a low survival rate, you can still apply for life insurance if you need it. Each insurer has unique eligibility guidelines and requirements for coverage, so you may be surprised at what you can qualify for when you compare life insurance companies, policy types and rates.

Best Life Insurance Policy Types for Cancer Survivors

The best life insurance for cancer survivors depends on individual circumstances and needs. Most often, term life insurance for cancer survivors is the best option. It is the most affordable life insurance and provides coverage for a set number of years. However, depending on your needs, permanent life insurance, like whole or universal life, might be the better choice.

If qualifying for traditional policies proves challenging, guaranteed life insurance for cancer patients provides an alternative. While this type of policy tends to be more expensive, it offers coverage regardless of medical history. Consider these policy types when choosing which is best for your situation.

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    Term Life Insurance

    Term life is the best overall option because it’s cheap and effective. It provides coverage for up to 40 years, depending on the carrier. Some companies have favorable rates for cancer survivors, especially those who are otherwise healthy. Identifying a carrier that offers the best life insurance for cancer survivors requires exploring those with a track record of flexible guidelines, ensuring a more accessible and affordable rate for those with a history of cancer.

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    Simplified Issue Life Insurance

    If you have a family history of cancer, especially hereditary cancer, or are not in remission for long enough, you may not qualify for term life insurance. Simplified issue life insurance doesn’t require a medical exam, though the application includes health questions. With less stringent underwriting guidelines, cancer survivors may have better luck getting coverage with simplified issue underwriting, and rates can still be affordable. However, they may not be as cheap as term life insurance.

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    Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance

    If you can’t qualify for simplified issue life insurance, the next best option is guaranteed acceptance life insurance. Though most often offered to those 45 and older, some carriers offer guaranteed acceptance coverage to adults ages 18 and older. This policy provides guaranteed coverage, so there are no health questions on the application or medical exam as part of the underwriting process. However, these policies are typically the most expensive option, so it could limit your coverage if you’re on a budget.

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MONEYGEEK DICTIONARY

A critical illness that requires immediate medical attention, such as a heart attack, stroke or cancer, can result in high medical bills. Critical illness coverage can provide a lump sum benefit to offset the medical costs associated with the diagnosis. It can also offer a death benefit to your chosen beneficiary if you pass away due to a critical illness. It can be combined with life insurance or purchased alone, though most carriers only offer it as an employee benefit, not a standalone policy.

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FAQ About Life Insurance for Cancer Survivors

Getting life insurance after cancer can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about life insurance for cancer survivors.

Who provides the best life insurance for cancer survivors?
How does being a cancer survivor affect life insurance?
Can you get life insurance if you have cancer?
Can you get life insurance if you have had cancer?
Does life insurance cover cancer?
Do I need to tell life insurance about cancer?

About Mandy Sleight


Mandy Sleight headshot

Mandy Sleight is a licensed property, casualty, life and health insurance agent with 20 years of experience in the industry. She has worked for major insurance companies like State Farm and Nationwide, and most recently as the Operations Coordinator for a startup employee benefits company.

Sleight holds a business administration and management degree from the University of Baltimore and a master's in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University. She uses her vast knowledge of insurance and personal finance to create easy-to-understand and engaging content to help readers make smarter choices with their budgets and finances.


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