Life Insurance and Skin Cancer. Guide to Coverage.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States.  The deadliest type of skin cancer, melanoma, is often the result of prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light over a sustained period of years.

Statistics compiled by the Skin Cancer Foundation reveal that each year approximately 5 million people undergo treatment for skin cancer in the U.S.  These studies further predict that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.

By the time they reach 65, between 40 and 50 percent of Americans will have either basal cell carcinoma (BCC) or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) at least once.  As the American Cancer Society® explains, there are two principal types: Keratinocyte (basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma) or melanomas.

Basal cell and squamous cell are the overwhelmingly most common types of skin cancer. These cancers start in cells called keratinocytes, the most numerous cells in the skin.

In contrast, melanomas originate from melanocytes, which are cells that produce the brown pigment. This is the type of pigment that gives your skin it’s color.  Melanocytes can also form moles.


Melanoma in situ life insurance

Offering life insurance with a history melanoma is a concern for life insurance underwriters as it is the most deadly type of skin cancer.  However, that doesn’t mean you can not get coverage.  We have secured coverage for many melanoma survivors.

Here are some of the possible outcomes for life insurance rates with a history of melanoma.

Best case: Standard rates with history of melanoma

Typical case: Standard with a flat extra rate

Worst case: Decline due to severity of melanoma

Basal cell carcinoma life insurance

Offering life insurance with a history of basal carcinoma is much easier to get than if you had melanoma.  Basal skin cancer typically does not spread and is looked at as a better risk to life insurance companies.

Here are some of the possible outcomes for basal cell carcinoma life insurance rates.

Best case: Preferred or preferred best rates

Squamous cell carcinoma life insurance

Squamous cell carcinoma life insurance underwriting will be similar to basal cell underwriting.  With a history of this type of skin cancer it will be easier to get coverage than if you had a history of melanoma.

Here are some of the possible outcomes for Squamous cell carcinoma life insurance rates.

Best case: Preferred rates with history of basal cell carcinoma

Ratings for all types of skin cancer history will depend on stage and time since the end of treatment. As always individuals will be underwritten on a case by case basis.

Underwriting Questions

  • Date you were first diagnosed with skin cancer?
  • What stage was/is your Skin cancer?
  • How was the Skin cancer treated?
  • Are you currently being treated for Skin cancer?
  • Has the cancer metastasized (spread) beyond the skin?

Types of Life Insurance After Skin Cancer

If you are in remissions and have had skin cancer in the past then you could be eligible for a term life insurance policy or a permanent life insurance policy such as a whole life or universal life plan.

Qualifying for a whole life or term life insurance policy with skin cancer will be determined by meeting the underwriting guidelines and your individual health.

If you can not meet the life insurance underwriting guidelines then you can always look a a graded death benefit plan which is a guaranteed issue policy.

Graded Death Benefit

If you are currently undergoing treatment for skin cancer and need life insurance, a graded death benefit plan is your only option. You can read more about guaranteed issue polices here.

A graded death benefit plan will offer up to $25,000 in life insurance and there are no health questions on the application and no exam needed. Their is a two year waiting period before the death benefit will payout in full.  It’s not much but it can make sure you at least leave a nice sum of money behind for burial expenses.

Help from Local Life Agents

Local Life Agents advises every current and prospective client, including those who have (or have received treatment for or recovered from) skin cancer.

Your completion and submission of the enclosed questionnaire will allow our professionals to thoroughly identify, analyze and offer life insurance policies that best reflect your expectations and financial concerns.

We give you the power to choose, so you can make an informed and intelligent decision – with all the key facts at your disposal – when you buy life insurance.