It is natural to assume that finding reasonably priced life insurance after prostate cancer would be difficult. After all, it is the second most common cancer in men (after skin tumors). It's also the second most deadly, after lung cancer.
Luckily, if you caught it early, you have a good shot at getting normal rates. This article deals with adenocarcinoma. Rarer forms of prostate cancer, such as lymphoma and sarcoma, are typically addressed as Individual Consideration.
How to Save Money on Life Insurance After Prostate Cancer
Life insurance after prostate cancer doesn't need to be expensive. Follow these tips to save money on your next policy.
Term Will Cost Less Than Permanent
Term is cheaper. There are no two ways about it. Term life insurance is not guaranteed to pay out. Permanent is.
Even though it's cheaper, term life insurance might not be right for your family. Click here for information on which type is better for different situations.
Talk To An Independent Agent
There are two types of life insurance agents. Captive agents and independent agents.
Captive agents can only sell the products of one company. Therefore they have to fit the client to one of their products. Yet regardless of which product you choose, underwriting guidelines will always be the same.
Independent agents can sell the products of many companies. Which means they can find the right product for the client rather than shoehorn the client into a product. Access to many companies gives access to many different underwriting guidelines. Some of which will be more favorable to your unique situation than others.
Whatever type of agent you end up working with, talking with an independent agent gives you a better shot at saving time and money.
Give Your Agent All The Information Upfront
It's awkward to share personal details with a complete stranger. Especially in an impersonal way such as a phone call or email.
Holding back information will only result in frustration. Surprise ratings, lengthy application processes, you name it. Even if you put all your medical history on the application, your offer from the insurance company will come back different than your quote.
So just be upfront. Your insurance agent won't judge you. He or she has seen everything under the sun. Mentioning you are a prostate cancer survivor only helps pinpoint the best company.
Wait At Least A Year After Your Recovery
Underwriters are cautious with cancers. Extremely cautious. Sometimes it seemingly pops up out of nowhere after a successful treatment.
You will either receive a table rating or (more likely) a postpone if you don't wait. If you can't wait those 12 months, consider a short term guaranteed issue policy or accidental death insurance. This will provide immediate coverage until those 12 months are up and then we can help you shop for traditional life insurance.
How Does Prostate Cancer After Life Insurance Affect Your Rates?
There are a few components that underwriters concern themselves with. When you apply for life insurance after prostate cancer, the determine factors will be as follows:
- PSA Value
- Gleason Score
- Your Current Age
The good news is that if you have just the right combination of those, you can get life insurance with no rating. A policy issued as if the cancer never happened.
Assessing the Stage
The stages of prostate cancer rank from 1 to 4. 4 being the worst. The stage is just a industry term to standardize the terminology for the size and spread of the tumor. Your odds of beating the cancer (as well as getting better prices on life insurance) increase as the number decreases. So someone who beat a stage 1 prostate cancer will have lower rates than someone who beat stage 3.
Assessing the PSA Value
PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is a marker unique to prostate cancer. The higher levels of PSA in your body indicate a higher chance of cancer. The weird thing is that you can be cancer-free and still have low amount of PSA in your body. It could just be a benign condition.
PSA above 4ng/ml (nanogram per mililiter) at any age is abnormal. Although if you are under 50, the underwriters prefer to see lower than 2.5 ng/ml.
For your life insurance application, you will need to supply the underwriter with your current PSA levels. The results of the most recent test are fine in most cases.
The Gleason Score is specific to prostate cancer. It is a way to assess the tumor. Scores range from 1 to 10 based on the size of the cells and how far apart they are.The lower the better. For standard rates, you would need a Gleason Score of 6 or lower.
There are several treatment options available. The treatment you and your doctor decided on will affect your rates. Radiation and a procedure called Radical Prosectomy are the most common treatments. Luckily, life insurance companies also consider those the best for rates.
Sometimes doctors will actively monitor the situation. This is common in men over 60. Many insurance companies are alright with this and will still issue life insurance with a low table rating.
Your Current Age
The younger you are the better your changes of a standard rate class. If you are under 60 and have beaten prostate cancer, you could qualify for standard rates.
Gentlemen of age 60 or greater will probably be looking at a table rating. Although each company has different underwriting guidelines. Talk to your agent to find out what company will most favorably underwrite you.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance With Prostate Cancer (Or After)
Guaranteed issue life insurance can also be a good option. Especially if you haven't yet been cancer free for 12 months. Alternatively, if you are still battling cancer, guaranteed issue life insurance might be your your only option.
There are a couple problems with guaranteed issue life insurance. First, it frequently comes with graded benefits. Second, it is usually more expensive.
On the other hand a guaranteed issue policy can offer peace of mind. Even if your survivors only get 60% of the benefit, it's still a help for any medical expenses.
It's best to prepare your medical information ahead of time. When you know what the underwriter will ask, preparation is easy. It will save you time and frustration of digging through your medical records to piece together info.
Gather the following when applying for life insurance after prostate cancer:
- Date of diagnoses
- Date declared cancer-free
- Stage of cancer
- Gleason score
- Treatment method
- Current medications
- Date and result of your most recent PSA test
- Any other health conditions
Keep in mind that your application will take some time. Underwriters request medical records for any major health event. They are particularly careful with cancers.
How Abrams Insurance Solutions Can Help
We focus on helping people with pre-existing health conditions find the best rates for life insurance. To that end, we have built relationships with 70+ life insurance companies. We want to make sure you can find one of the best rated companies to cover you at a price you won't flinch at.
We keep track of who underwrites conditions like prostate cancer at the best rates. We find the company that best matches the person because we are independent agents.
The Bottom Line
We work for our clients, not insurance companies. If we get an offer back that we think is unfair, we will work to find a better one. Our experience with medical history helps us find great rates quickly.
If you have any questions, please give us a call at 858-703-6178. All calls are 100% confidential. There is also never any obligation to buy.
For more information on finding life insurance with other pre-existing conditions, go here.