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Life Insurance After Cancer in Ireland

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Complete this questionnaire and I’ll send you a quote taking your cancer history into account.

Can you get mortgage protection if you have had cancer?

Cancer is a bastard.

Everyone knows someone who had it – but everything changes if it’s you.

Treatment will make you sick, but it’s all worth it when you beat it.

I’m so happy that you’re recovering – no doubt it’s been a hellish few years of doctors, treatment and feeling shit.

You can finally move on with your life.

So why does it feel like your bank or insurer is trying to punish you by making it really hard to get Life Insurance to protect your family or Mortgage Protection for a home you can call your own?

Having gone through cancer is scary enough without all that tricky insurance stuff to deal with too.

It might feel like another battle, but don’t worry: we’re on your side.

We specialise in helping people just like you get insurance.

Some insurers are worth approaching if you have had a history of cancer, while others are best avoided because they are quick to refuse, which makes it more difficult for you to get cover with another insurer.

We work with all five insurers, so we know the pros and cons of each. This means we can get you cover at the lowest possible price with the least amount of hassle.

Here are the most common types of cancer we advise on:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Skin Cancer / Melanoma / Basal Cell Carcinoma
  • Bowel / Colon Cancer
  • Hodgkin’s / Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Bladder Cancer

Can you get life insurance if you are in remission from cancer?

If you or a loved one has a history of cancer, you’ll be relieved to hear that it is still possible to buy a life insurance policy.

Yes, it is possible to get life insurance after a cancer diagnosis. However, the availability and terms of coverage will depend on the specific details of your diagnosis, treatment, and current health status.

If you have been in complete remission or off active treatment for more than 7 years, you will get the normal price for your cover thanks to the Mortgage Protection Code for Cancer Survivors.

Making an application for life insurance after cancer:

The most important information the life insurance company will look for is:

  • When were you diagnosed with cancer?
  • What type of cancer was it?
  • What was the grade and stage of the cancer?
  • How was it treated?
  • When did your treatment end?

In all cases, the insurer will request a detailed Private Medical Report from your GP.

How soon after treatment ends can you get mortgage protection?

It depends on how advanced the cancer is.

There will be a postponement period of several years after treatment has ended for more advanced cancers.

This means life insurance will not be available until this postponement period is over.

Unfortunately, none of the insurers will offer cover if you are currently undergoing treatment or waiting for treatment to begin.

How do insurers assess severity?

The TNM staging system is the most common way that doctors stage cancer.

TNM stands for:

  • Tumour size
  • Node describes whether there has been a spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Metastasis is whether cancer has spread to a different area of the body

Your scans and tests give some information about the stage of your cancer. But your doctor might not be able to tell you the exact stage until you have surgery.

Doctors may also use a number staging system if your specific cancer doesn’t have TNM staging.

If you can find out the number staging, that will help me in my discussions with my underwriters.

How long must you wait after cancer to get life insurance?

This depends on the type of cancer. Each type has a different postponement period – here’s a general guide:

Life insurance after breast cancer

  • Stage 0 – once treatment ends
  • Stage 1 – two-three years after the treatment end date
  • Stage 2 – three-five years after the treatment end date
  • Stage 3 – five years+ after the treatment end date
  • Stage 4 – cover isn’t possible

Life insurance after melanoma/skin cancer

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops in the cells that produce pigment (melanocytes) in the skin. Melanomas typically appear as dark, irregularly shaped moles or spots on the skin. They are typically black or brown, but can also be pink, red, white, or blue.

If it hasn’t spread to other parts of the body, the insurers should be able to consider cover within three months of when your treatment ends. For all other cases, there’s generally a six-month to two years waiting period depending on the staging of the cancer.

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

This is the most common form of skin cancer in Ireland, with a cure rate above 95%.  Most BCCs grow very slowly, so rarely spread to other body parts. Once the BCC has been removed, cover will be possible quite soon after treatment has ended.

Life insurance after testicular cancer:

If there has been no spread, you may be able to get cover six months after your treatment ends.

For most other testicular cancers, a postponement period of between one and two years will apply.

Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin lymphoma:

Stages 1 and 2 – generally, a postponement period from three to ten years post-treatment will apply.

Stages 3 and 4 – cover will generally be declined.

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

The most common form of childhood/teenage leukaemia is ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukaemia), so generally, the postpone period has already passed when someone applies as an adult.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL)

CLL is a slow-growing tumour, so the insurers are most interested in your age when you apply.

If you are over 50, cover may be possible.

Like other cancers, the underwriters will need to know the stage of cancer (Binet or Rai).

And the final important factor is how long since you were diagnosed; again, the longer since diagnosis, the better.

If you have been recently diagnosed, cover is unlikely.

How much does life insurance after cancer cost?

There’s no getting around the fact that life insurance after cancer is more expensive.

If you can get cover, the insurer will increase your premium significantly compared to someone with no history of health issues.

Normally this increase will be temporary for a period of between one to ten years.

If you’d like me to get you an indicative quote, please complete this questionnaire (as above, I’ll need the TNM staging)

Why it’s important to choose the right insurer when in remission

Here’s a recent case study:

I want to inquire with you about life assurance. My Fiance and I have been approved for a mortgage with AIB, we are due to sign the contracts on a house next week. We had a call with Irish life last regarding life assurance and they said they will postpone cover for me because I had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2015. I have been in remission now since November 2015, 8 years thankfully, but it would seem they have a 10 year wait period. I have read through your website and read reviews and you seem to be the man to talk to in such a situation! I have Death in Service cover at work that will cover 3 times my salary and AIB confirmed this morning they will waive cover if I have 2 additional rejections. Obviously we would prefer to get cover in place, but failing that at least the waiver is available.

We managed to get our client covered at the normal price!

And here’s a recent testimonial:
cancer survivor life insurance testimonial

Over to you…

Don’t give up.

If an insurer has postponed or declined to offer you cover after cancer, speak with a specialist life insurance advisor who can approach all the remaining insurers on your behalf.

But make sure you pick one who knows what he’s doing. Otherwise, you may do more harm than good.


I can sort this out for you quickly smart – get in touch by completing this short questionnaire or calling me personally on (01) 693 3382

In 24 hours,  I’ll be able to confirm whether it’s worth making a formal application to one of my insurers.

Further reading : Irish Independent Article

Nick McGowan | making life insurance easier

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