One of the most common reasons people do not apply for life insurance is the worry that a pre-existing condition, such as a brain tumor may disqualify them from coverage. That could not be further from the truth. There are many options available from guaranteed issue life insurance to group life insurance. These policies are designed to fit your specific needs and help you as you navigate through your fight with the disease.
When our clients reach out to us after being diagnosed with cancer, a concern that they have is how they will be able to support their family financially. They are often worried that it may be too late to apply for life insurance and that they won’t qualify. A common question we get is “Can I get life insurance if I have a brain tumor?”
Yes! Whether your brain tumor is benign or malignant, you can still qualify for an insurance policy with fair rates.
Brain Cancer and Brain Tumors Overview
A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of brain cells. Distinct areas of the brain are responsible for different nervous system functions. Brain tumors can grow in any part of the skull or brain, including its protective lining, the underside of the brain (skull base), the brainstem, the sinuses, and the nasal cavity, as well as several other locations. There are more than 120 distinct forms of brain tumors, depending on the tissue from which they originate.
Difference between Brain Cancer and Brain Tumors
Brain cancers are always tumors, although not all brain tumors are cancerous. Benign brain tumors are those that are not cancerous.
Benign brain tumors develop slowly, have defined borders, and rarely metastasize. Even benign tumors can be toxic. They are capable of damaging and compressing portions of the brain, resulting in serious malfunction. Brain tumors that develop in a crucial region of the brain can be fatal. Very rarely, benign tumors might transform into malignant ones. Meningioma, vestibular schwannoma, and pituitary adenoma are all examples of normally benign tumors.
Malignant brain tumors are cancerous. Typically, tumors develop quickly and penetrate adjacent healthy brain areas. Brain cancer can be fatal due to the alterations it causes to the brain’s essential components. Malignant tumors that arise in or around the brain include olfactory neuroblastoma, chondrosarcoma, and medulloblastoma, among others.
Primary vs. Metastatic Brain Tumors
Tumors that originate in the brain are called primary brain tumors. Meningioma and glioma are two examples of cancers that typically start in the brain. These tumors can very rarely separate and spread to different regions of the brain and spinal cord.
Malignant tumors (secondary tumors) develop as cancer elsewhere in the body and then spread to the brain and are referred to as secondary brain tumors or metastatic brain tumors. About four times as many people develop metastatic brain tumors as original brain tumors. They may spread quickly and encroach on surrounding brain tissue.
For more in depth information on life insurance with cancer in general, check out Life Insurance for Cancer Patients and Survivors .
Can you get life insurance if you have Brain Cancer or a Brain Tumor?
Yes you can get life insurance if you have brain cancer or a brain tumor. You can get approved for a standard rate if you previously underwent total removal of a benign brain tumor. However, there is usually a wait period after your surgery in order to qualify for standard rate insurance.
If your tumor is cancerous, your choices may be limited. Regardless, getting life insurance can protect you and your family and keep you financially secure. For less serious cancers, some policies are preferable, but for more serious tumors, others are. Your case will be evaluated on an individual basis by your life insurance provider. This is why it is important that you contact a life insurance specialist, since each case is unique. The following are some things to keep in mind:
- If your condition has remained stable for more than ten years following your cancer diagnosis, you can be eligible for traditional life insurance at market rates. This is the same as having had no significant health issues.
- You have a good chance of obtaining traditional life insurance and a rated policy if you received a cancer diagnosis five to ten years ago and have remained stable since then.
- You might be eligible to apply for rated traditional or simplified life insurance if you received your cancer diagnosis between two and five years ago and have remained stable since then.
- A simplified or guaranteed issue life insurance coverage is available to you if you were diagnosed with cancer less than two years ago.
What Is Required When Applying for Life Insurance Following a Brain Tumor?
The following are some of the things your insurer will need/ask when determining what life insurance you can qualify for:
- The precise diagnosis
- Date of diagnosis
- If a complete excision/removal has been performed
- The symptoms you have experienced
- What is your cancer’s current stage?
- Do you have a history of cancer in your family?
- Do you have any other medical conditions such as diabetes or obesity?
Life Insurance for Brain Cancer
It is possible to purchase life insurance following a diagnosis of brain cancer. If you need to protect your family with life insurance, you often have several options. The vast majority of term and whole life insurance policies are unavailable for current brain cancer patients. You will likely be denied coverage if you apply. Instead, consider purchasing a guaranteed insurance policy or a group life insurance policy that can be guaranteed issuance.
Guaranteed Life Insurance
Because there is no questionnaire with guaranteed issue life insurance, there will be no questions. However, with guaranteed issue life insurance, there is a two-year waiting period and reduced coverage rates. If you have cancer but have a decent prognosis and do not anticipate dying within the next two years, a guaranteed issue policy is suitable. If your situation deteriorates and you die during the two-year period, the claim is denied but all the premiums paid to that point are returned to your beneficiary.
Group Life Insurance
Group life insurance is a type of life insurance that provides coverage to numerous people under one policy. It is often given as term insurance, which means that the coverage is just short, but it is less expensive than other types of life insurance. Group term life insurance is often supplied by the top life insurance providers in the form of a regularly renewing policy. There are four types of group life insurance currently in operation: employee basic life, employee optional life, dependent basic life and dependent optional life.
Employee Basic Life pays a pre-specified amount if an employee dies. This money is distributed among the contract employee’s dependents. Employer premiums affect these rates annually. Coverage is mainly based on salary. Coverage comes in $10,000 increments. The maximum is usually capped at $250,000.
Employee Optional Life lets workers supplement their employer’s life insurance. Employees can add their own policies to the group life insurance given by their employers to provide greater coverage for their loved ones. The employee must pay for any policy additions. Coverage comes in $10,000 increments. The maximum is usually capped at $250,000.
Dependent Basic Life is like employee basic life in that a pre-specified amount is paid for coverage. It protects the employee if a dependent dies. It’s solely for employees’ spouses and children. Coverage is $5,000 or $10,000 per spouse and $2,500 or $1,000 each child.
Dependent Optional Life supplements employees’ employer-provided life insurance. Employees can add their personal policies to the group life insurance supplied by their companies to get greater coverage in the event of a loved one’s death. The employee must pay for any policy additions. Coverage comes in $10,000 increments. The maximum is usually capped at $250,000.
Traditional life insurance
If you’ve been in remission for more than five years, traditional life insurance may still be an option. Term life insurance provides low-cost coverage for 10 to 30 years. A medical exam may be required to calculate your term life insurance premiums. If you want to avoid the medical exam, consider no medical life insurance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Life Insurance with Brain Cancer
If you have remained stable since your cancer diagnosis more than ten years ago, you may be eligible for typical life insurance at traditional rates.
You have a decent chance of obtaining standard life insurance and a rated policy if you were diagnosed with cancer 5 to 10 years ago and have been stable since then. However, you can still enjoy high coverage limitations and the absence of waiting periods.
If you were diagnosed with cancer two to five years ago and have been stable since then, you may be eligible for rated standard or simplified life insurance. There is no medical exam and only a brief questionnaire is required. Additionally, it has higher premiums and less coverage than standard insurance.
If you were diagnosed with cancer Less than two years ago, you can obtain a simplified or guaranteed life insurance coverage. Guaranteed life insurance does not require a medical exam or a medical questionnaire, but it has the highest premiums and the least amount of coverage of the available options. In addition, there is a two-year waiting period. If the insured dies during the first two years of the policy’s issuance, no claim is paid and the beneficiary receives a refund of the premiums.
Yes, having a life insurance policy in place before you receive a cancer diagnosis might be an important source of support as you fight the disease. If you build up cash value on a whole life insurance or universal life insurance policy, you can use it to pay for the cost of treatment.
It’s tough to predict how much you’ll spend for life insurance without fully understanding your condition. Most of us expect to spend more for life insurance than it actually costs, but it all depends on what you require. Your premiums will be determined by factors such as:
An insurance company will inquire about items like:
- What form of cancer do you have, and where are you in the treatment process?
- Do you have any other health conditions, such as diabetes or obesity?
- Do you have a cancer family history?
- How long has it been since you were diagnosed with cancer?
Finding the right life insurance policy for you
Even if you have been diagnosed with brain cancer there’s a life insurance product or package for your situation. A life insurance specialist can help you create the best plan and package for your needs.
At Protect Your Wealth, we work with and compare policies and quotes from the best life insurance companies in Canada to ensure the best solution for you and your needs. We provide expert life insurance solutions, including no medical life insurance, critical illness insurance, term life insurance, and permanent life insurance to build the best package to give you the protection you need.
Contact Protect Your Wealth or call us at 1-877-654-6119 to talk to an advisor today! We’re proudly based out of Hamilton, and service clients anywhere in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia, including areas such as Guelph, Toronto, Kamloops, and Medicine Hat.