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Can You Get Critical Illness Cover after Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Ireland, after skin cancer:

  • According to the Marie Keating Foundation, around 3,700 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Ireland each year.
  • 1 in 10 women in Ireland develops breast cancer during their lifetime.

So it’s no surprise that a lot of women who have had breast cancer or who have a family history of breast cancer get in touch for advice.

Their main concern is being protected should they fall ill again, so they often wonder about their chances of serious illness cover after beating cancer.

But let’s start with how you can protect yourself if you are on this page and have never had breast cancer, and it doesn’t run in your family.

Does Insurance Cover Breast Cancer?

Yes, you can protect yourself in three ways.

  1. Serious illness cover – pays out a tax-free lump sum if you are diagnosed with breast cancer.
  2. Cancer only covers – works like serious illness above, but the premiums are lower because it only pays out for cancer.
  3. Income protection – pays you a replacement income if you can’t do your job due to any illness (including cancer)

Finally,  and I think this goes without saying, but just in case – life insurance will pay out if you pass away as a result of cancer.

Can you get Serious Illness Cover with a History of Breast Cancer?

The answer is yes; you can get serious illness coverage, but the insurer will exclude cancer. 

This means the insurer will cover you for all the illnesses on the policy (heart attack, stroke, MS, etc.), but they won’t cover you for cancer.

Serious illness cover excluding cancer illnesses covered chart

I know it seems unfair, but they’re not just targetting people who have had cancer.

People with other pre-existing conditions like MS or Diabetes are treated even more harshly.

They’re not eligible for serious illness cover, even with exclusions.

Can you get Breast Cancer Cover with a Benign Breast lump (fibroadenoma)?

A fibroadenoma is a benign breast lump.

Fibroadenomas often develop during puberty and are mostly found in young women, but they can occur in women of any age.

Once the fibroadenoma has been excised, you will get the normal price for life insurance.

Depending on the type of fibroadenoma (complex, juvenile, giant or Phyllodes tumour) you may be able to get serious illness cover for breast cancer but you are likely to pay more.

Can you get Serious Illness Cover with a Family History of Breast Cancer?

If your mother had breast cancer, most insurers will offer you critical illness coverage, but they will exclude certain cancers (likely breast and ovarian)

It’s not all doom and gloom, though – one insurer may be able to cover you for breast cancer if

  1. your mother was 35 or older when diagnosed,
  2. all your scans have been normal
  3. and only one family menber had breast cancer.

Case Study:

My client’s mother was 37, no other family members had breast cancer, and she had a regular blood test result.

Based on this, she was offered full critical illness cover, including breast cancer, but the insurer added a loading/premium increase of +50%

Is Cancer Insurance Worth Getting?

Cancer is cruel.

It stops you from working, so your income will drop.

The average income drop is €18,323 per annum.

According to the Irish Cancer Society, you will also face additional outgoings (medicines, consultants, parking) with an average additional cost of €756 per month.

This adds up to additional expenses of €9072 per year.

Adding the loss of income plus the new expenses, cancer costs €27,395 per year.

That’s why we recommend at least €30,000 in serious illness coverage so you can cover the drop in income and the additional expenses without financial worries.

the real cost of cancer

Further Reading:

Life insurance after Cancer

Over to you…

If you’re reading this and are worried about your family history of breast cancer affecting your life insurance, please call me on 05793 20836 before you do anything else.

Or complete this short form

We know the best insurer to speak with, and we’ll save you a lot of time and hassle.

Thanks for reading


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