If you have a medical condition, we can help - call us at Have a medical condition? Call us: 057 93 20836

Cancer Insurance is Possible (even if you can’t get serious illness cover)


cancer life insurance when you can't get serious illness cover

Quick quiz time.

Name the four types of life insurance you can buy.





Time’s up.

  1. Life insurance
  2. Mortgage Protection
  3. Income Protection
  4. Serious Illness Cover

You got all four? Well done you (seems you’re not just a pretty face)

But what if I told you there was a fifth?

Cancer life insurance – it’s like the George Best of the life insurance world.


Cancer is a bad bastard, we all hate it, we all know someone who has been affected by it and we’re all at risk of it.

Just last week, I had to bring my goolies for an ultrasound, and I was bricking it. No matter how brave you are, when the technician squeezes that freezing cold gel on the family jewels and they pop up on screen, you mumble a silent prayer to whatever god you believe in that everything will be ok. Thankfully it was all clear.

The one thing that gave me comfort was that I’m insured out the wazoo (thanks to my wife) so I’d be ok financially if something sinister had been found.

Anyway, back to cancer life insurance:

You can look at cancer life insurance in two ways:

1. If your budget can’t stretch to full serious illness cover, you should look at cancer only cover.

For some age groups, the cost of cancer only cover is half that of full serious illness cover.

2. If you have some health issues and can’t get serious illness cover, you can still get insurance against the Big C.

If you have had heart issues, a stroke, have multiple sclerosis, diabetes or are obese, you’re not going to get full serious illness cover but you can get cancer only cover.

What is insurance for cancer?

/imagine you buy a serious illness policy which covers you for a rake of illnesses. You then take a scissors to that policy and cut away all the illnesses until you’re just left with the cancer part.

That’s what cancer cover is.

It covers you for cancer like a normal specified serious illness policy…but at a much lower cost than full cover.

It offers a full payout for invasive cancer (cancer that has spread beyond the layer of tissue in which it developed and is growing into surrounding, healthy tissues) but also offers a partial payout for less severe cancers such as :

  • Cancer in situ – with surgery
  • Early stage bladder cancer
  • Low level prostate cancer (Gleason score of 2-6)

So let’s say you take out €100,000 cancer cover and get an invasive cancer – the insurer will pay you the full €100,000 tax free.

If your cancer is less severe cancers, and falls into the partial payment category the insurer will pay you €15,000.

What isn’t covered?

As with all insurance policies, knowing what isn’t covered is just as important as knowing  what is.

For example, Ireland’s most common  cancer is non-malignant melanoma skin cancer. Because it’s usually relatively easy to treat and non-life threatening, this type of cancer is not covered under the terms of the plan.

However, malignant melanoma skin cancer, a more severe form of skin cancer is covered.

How common is cancer in Ireland?

Every 3 minutes in Ireland someone gets a cancer diagnosis.

Every hour someone dies from cancer.

Incidence of cancer is growing and by 2020, 1 in 2 of us will get a cancer diagnosis in our lifetime

Why do you need cancer cover?

As well as being the toughest fight you will face, cancer is expensive.

A report  by the National Cancer Registry Ireland (2010) highlighted the severe financial implications of  cancer on Irish families. These include:

  • Increased medical costs such as consultant  fees and expensive medications.
  • Out of pocket expenses such as increased travel to and from hospital appointments.
  • Increased heating and utility bills due to the extra time spent at home recovering from surgery.
  • Actual reduction in earnings due to patients (and their family members) having to take time off work. This is particularly relevant for those that are self employed.

While we all understand the medical horrors of cancer, the effect it has on your financial situation is sometimes forgotten. The report highlighted the increased financial stress and strain experienced by households where someone has been diagnosed with cancer.

All of this adds unnecessary worry, at a time when you should be focusing on your treatment and recovery.

How much does cancer cover cost?

The good news is that cancer cover is affordable.

Premiums for a 35 year old  buying €50,000 worth of cancer cover start at just €20 per month

Someone with well controlled diabetes could buy the same cover for €30.

Over to you..

Survival rates for cancer are improving with over 60% surviving for more than five years. Sadly,  survival costs money especially if your cancer has advanced to a stage where you’re no longer able to work. Cancer only cover is an affordable way of protecting yourself today from what could happen in your future.

Remember 1 in 2 will be affected by 2020.

I’m no Paddy Power but even I know those odds aren’t great for any of us.

If you’d like to know more or get a personalised quote, give me a buzz on 05793 20836 or complete the quick outline form below. ⬇

Nick McGowan
lion.ie | making life insurance easier


Life Insurance Specified Illness Cover
Give us a quick outline of how we can help and we'll be right back to you.

Life Insurance for Young Families

Having a baby is great (not literally having it of course, us menfolk have to deal with the horrors of manflu, how unfair would the lord above have been to lumber us with pregnancy too).

But those days after baby arrives, they suck...

Don’t know where to start?

Have a nose through our free guides

View our guides

Life Insurance Quotes - Free and Easy!

We’re an online life insurance broker. We compare life insurance quotes for mortgage protection, life insurance, specified illness cover and income protection from all 6 leading life insurance companies in Ireland, instantly and anonymously.

Watch our video