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Life Insurance After Prostate Cancer | Is it Possible?

life insurance and prostate cancer

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Will my History of Prostate Cancer Stop Me from Getting Mortgage Protection?

Some guys don’t like to admit to an illness. We bury our heads in the sand, hoping it will go away.

Even after it happens and we make a full recovery, we want to forget about it.

We don’t want to talk about it.

And I get that.

So in this article, I’ll try to read your mind and answer the questions going through your head concerning life insurance after prostate cancer.

prostate cancer ireland 2021

Although a lot of men will get prostate cancer, few will die from it. It;’s more prevalent as we get older so we will die with prosate cancer more than from prostate cancer.

Can you get life insurance after prostate cancer?

As with all health issues when it comes to life insurance, the answer is it depends.

If you are in remission or your cancer has been successfully treated, a life insurance company may accept you for a policy with a loading/price increase.

After a number of years, the insurer will remove this loading.

So, because you had cancer in the past doesn’t mean you’ll never get life insurance or mortgage protection.

Let me share with you a recent case where I got my client cover:

Case study: Gleason Score 3+4 pt2b

  • 53-year-old male – diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017
  • The clinical staging of my client’s prostate cancer was a Gleason score of 3+4 pt2b.
  • He had a radical prostatectomy in Feb 2017 and needed no further treatment as the cancer was contained and removed.
  • He has yearly PSA blood tests.
  • His PSA is <0.01.

He was buying a new home, so he required mortgage protection of €160,000 over 16 years.

It was time to chat with my underwriters at the various insurers to see if any could offer cover.

If you have a pre-existing condition, the first thing we do speak to our panel of underwriters anonymously.

Discussing your medical history helps us to identify the best company to apply to.

This also means you avoid applying to companies that will end up being too expensive or worse, refuse your application.

By completing our research thoroughly, we are able to save time and obtain the best possible terms for you with the least amount of hassle.

What information do you need to apply for life insurance after prostate cancer?

The most important information you need is the staging of cancer.

The staging of prostate cancer refers to the tumour size and whether it has spread to other parts of the body.

Prostate cancer staging is classified most commonly as follows:

  1. TNM classification
  2. Gleason score

TNM classification

The TNM system gives information about the tumour, the lymph nodes involvement and whether cancer has spread (metastasised).

T: Size and depth of the tumour
N: Cancer is present in the lymph nodes or not
M: Spread (metastases) to other tissues outside the prostate

prostate cancer TNM staging

Gleason Score

Gleason scores range from 2 to 10 and indicate how likely it is that a tumour will spread.

A low Gleason score means the cancer tissue is similar to normal prostate tissue, and the tumour is less likely to spread.

A high Gleason score means the cancer tissue is very different from normal, and the tumour is more likely to spread.

The lower the Gleason score, the better your chances of getting cover soon after treatment ends.

  • Gleason 2-6:       The insurer will consider offering cover within two years of treatment. There will be a high increase in your premium.
  • Gleason 7:           The insurers won’t offer cover until two years after treatment ends
  • Gleason >7:        They won’t offer cover until four years after treatment ends.

Other information:

  • Full details of treatment (including dates)
  • Details of follow-up reviews (including dates)

In our example above, my client had provided his Gleason score (3+4 pt2b), full details of treatment (prostatectomy) and follow-ups (yearly PSA blood tests).

Although most of the insurance providers were willing to offer cover, there was a huge difference in their prices.

For this reason, we talk to all of the insurers and not just the one offering the cheapest “headline rate.”

Ultimately, I got my client cover with a 3-year loading of  €10 per mille (other insurers offered the same loading but for 5 years)

On a €160,000 policy, he paid €1600 (160x€10) per year extra for three years.

In three years, the insurer will remove the loading, and he will pay the same price as someone in perfect health.

Does a history of prostate cancer stop you from getting serious illness cover and income protection?

Both should be possible after a certain time period depending on how advanced the cancer was.

The insurers will exclude cancer as a claimable illness on your serious illness cover.

If you get salary protection, the insurers will add a cancer exclusion. This means if you can’t work in the future due to cancer, you won’t be able to claim.

Over to you…

If you’d like some help finding the best insurer for you based on your health history, please complete this questionnaire and I’ll be back over email.

If you’d like a quick chat first, please schedule a call here.

Talk soon!

Nick McGowan | making life insurance easier

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