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I had cancer. Can I still get insurance cover?

Surviving cancer can change a lot of things in your life – but what about your insurance? If you’ve battled cancer in the past, you may be unsure of what it means for your ability to get insurance in future, or to call again on the cover you already have in place.

The good news is that cover is possible – particularly if you’re in remission and otherwise healthy. If you’d like to know how your personal circumstances may affect your insurability, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we can help you get a clearer picture. Broadly speaking, here are a few things to know.

How long ago?

What you can qualify for will depend a bit on how long ago you were diagnosed, the type of cancer you had and how severe it was. The longer you’ve been in remission, the more an insurer will consider you as it would any other application, and the more options you’ll have.

If you’ve only been in remission for a matter of months, cover is likely to be deferred for a set period of time, meaning you’ll have to wait before any level of protection is provided. On the flip side, if you’ve been in remission for years, you may not have this hurdle to overcome, but it’s possible that the specific cancer you’ve had will be excluded.

Underwriting will involve lots of questions

You can expect to answer a lot of questions about the cancer, and what treatment you’ve been through. You might also have to prove that you’ve been following any ongoing treatment plans that you’ve been given, including taking prescribed medication and keeping up with any required tests and check-ups to keep you fit and well.

If you’re in remission and have other health conditions, even if they’re unrelated, you can expect that these might also affect your application, in the same way they would if you had never had cancer.

Even if you cannot get new insurance that will pay out for conditions relating to your cancer, you may well be able to get cover for the rest of your health. We can help you work through those details with an insurer.

Claimed once – can you claim again?

Generally speaking, lump-sum covers like Trauma Insurance cease on payout. This means that, if you’ve already claimed on your Trauma Insurance in the past, you won’t be able to claim again on the same policy in the future.

An exception to this is when your policy includes a buy-back option. In this case, you can reinstate your cover under certain terms and conditions with no underwriting, but the condition you have suffered from is likely to be excluded. Trauma Multi covers also work slightly differently, in that multiple claims are possible, each for different events, before the policy ceases.

As for Income Protection, you can keep claiming on the same policy, but time may be limited for multiple claims for the same condition.

For example, if you have an income protection policy that pays out for up to two years and you claim for a year off work for cancer-related reasons the first time, you may only have a year left available to claim for other times you’re off work due to the same condition.

But you can usually claim again for the full benefit term if you’re experiencing a new condition.

Wondering what to do?

Whenever you have an insurance question, please give us a call. We can help you work through the options available and understand how each will fit your circumstances.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.