According to Cancer Research UK, every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer. With this in mind, any one of us could be at risk of this devastating disease.

In addition to the physical and emotional toll, there may also be financial implications, including medical bills, travel costs to and from treatment and lost income from time away from work due to treatment and recovery.

For many, life insurance can provide peace of mind for themselves and their loved ones during difficult times. We'll look at how cancer can affect life insurance, and what options you have for buying cover.

Is cancer covered by life insurance?

A life insurance policy pays out a lump sum to your family or loved ones if you pass away - including from a terminal cancer. This money can be used to help your family stay financially secure during this difficult time.

As well as life insurance, there are some policies that payout if you are diagnosed with cancer, even if you are expected to survive. These include critical illness cover and income protection.

It’s important to note that not all life insurance policies cover cancer or other critical illnesses. Some policies may have exclusions for certain types of cancer or only cover less advanced cases. It’s crucial to carefully read and understand the policy terms and conditions before signing up for a life insurance policy.

Additionally, it’s important to disclose any pre-existing medical conditions or family history of cancer when applying for life insurance. Failure to do so could result in the insurer denying a claim in the future.

If you have previously had a serious medical condition, like any form of cancer, a heart attack or a stroke, then this may impact the quotes you receive. Because of this, it is usually best to speak to an adviser so that they can search the whole market and find you the most appropriate cover.

You can speak to one of our advisers on

01392 436 193 (Mon – Fri: 9am – 5.30pm)

Which type of cover should I buy?

When it comes to life insurance cover, there are several types of policies to consider. The right policy for you will depend on your circumstances, medical history, and budget.

Whole life insurance

Whole life insurance provides cover for the entirety of your life, rather than a set term. As long as you continue to pay your premiums, your loved ones will receive a payout when you pass away. Whole life policies help provide peace of mind, knowing that your loved ones will be financially secure after your death.

Term life insurance

Term life insurance provides cover for a set period of time, such as 10, 20 or 30+ years. If you pass away during the term of the policy, your family will receive a payout. There are 3 types of term life cover:

  • Level term - provides a fixed payout amount throughout the policy. The cost of premiums also remains the same during this time.
  • Increasing term - the payout value increases over time to account for inflation and other factors. This means that premiums may also increase over time.
  • Decreasing term -the payout amount decreases over time. Usually in line with a repayment mortgage or other debt that is being paid off. The premiums for this type of plan are fixed, but are usually cheaper than level term life insurance premiums.

Please note: The insurance products offered by Cavendish Online have no cash-in value at any time. If you stop paying your premiums your cover will stop, your policy will end, and you will receive no benefit. If you have not claimed before the end of your chosen policy term, the policy will end, and no benefit will be paid.

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Critical illness cover                                  

Critical illness cover pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a critical illness, such as cancer. This payout can be used to cover medical expenses, lost income, or any other expenses related to your illness. This type of cover is often sold as an add-on to life insurance policies. Adding on critical illness cover will usually increase your premiums as the plan will cover you for a variety of illnesses, including cancer, heart attacks and strokes.

Income protection

Income protection insurance provides regular payments to replace lost income if you are unable to work due to illness or injury. This can include cancer diagnosis and treatment. In doing so, it helps to prevent you and your family from falling into financial hardship during a difficult time.

Can I get cancer insurance if I've had cancer?

If you’ve had cancer in the past, it can be difficult to take out life insurance. Some insurers may deny you cover, while others may charge higher premiums or exclusions for certain types of cancer.

In some cases, cancer survivors can obtain policies catering to those with pre-existing medical conditions, such as guaranteed life insurance. These policies may come at a higher cost, but can provide valuable peace of mind for those needing protection.

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How does cancer affect life insurance premiums?

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, it may affect your ability to get cover, or increase the cost of your premiums. Insurance providers typically consider several factors when determining premiums, including age, health status, lifestyle choices, and family medical history.

Insurance companies may ask you questions regarding:

  • The type of cancer you were diagnosed with

  • When was the initial diagnosis?

  • Do you have a family history of cancer?

  • When were you cleared of cancer?

  • What medication did you take or still take?

If you have a history of cancer, insurance providers may consider you a higher risk. In which case, they’ll require additional medical underwriting before offering cover.

This could result in higher premiums or exclusions for certain types of cancer, for example, breast cancer. However, it is important to shop around and compare providers, as some may have more lenient underwriting criteria than others.

When shopping around with any pre-existing medical condition, it may be best to speak to an adviser who has access to the whole market, so they can conduct research and help you find the best option available.

You can speak to one of our advisers on 01392 436 193 (Mon - Fri: 9am - 5.30pm)

What happens if I can't pay my premiums?

If you are unable to pay your premiums, there are usually a few options available.

For example, if you are struggling to pay your premiums because you’re currently off work ill, and your plan includes waiver of premium, your insurer will cover your premiums for you and you won’t lose the cover.

Alternatively, they may be able to grant you some sort of payment holiday or repayment plan.  

It’s important to speak to your insurer before making any decisions about your policy. They will be able to provide more information and advice on what options are available.

Life insurance from leading brands

  • Zurich
  • Legal And General
  • Aviva
  • AIG
  • Beagle Street
  • LVE
  • Royal London
  • Vitality Life
  • Virgin Money
  • Budget Insurance
  • Scottish Widows

Do I need to tell insurers about a previous cancer diagnosis?

It is essential to disclose any pre-existing medical conditions, including a previous cancer diagnosis. Failure to do so could result in the insurer denying a claim in the future.

Even if you have fully recovered from cancer, insurers still may consider it a pre-existing condition. In such cases, they may ask for additional medical underwriting before accepting you. This could involve a nurse screening or a report from your doctor. Learn more about underwriting.

It is always best to be upfront and honest with insurers. As a result, you can ensure you receive appropriate cover and avoid any potential issues with claims in the future.

Where to get advice?

If you're still unsure about whether you're eligible for life insurance, get in touch with our expert advisers. They'll be on hand to answer any questions you may have and help you find the right policy for your needs. Don’t leave anything to chance, get in touch today!

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Give our advisers a call today.

Our team of friendly and professional advisers are on hand to help with any questions you may have regarding Life Insurance.

The advisers can also make recommendations tailored to your current situation and will research the market on your behalf, ensuring you secure the cover you need and supporting you every step of the way. 

01392 43 61 93(Monday to Friday, 9am - 5.30pm)

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