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Life Insurance and Skin Cancer: Buyer’s Guide

May 03, 2021
Our goal is to educate and advise on life insurance options, so you can feel confident in making the right choice, whether that’s through Quotacy or somewhere else. To ensure we provide accurate and trustworthy information, our writers follow strict editorial standards.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world. 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70.

Skin cancer is about three times more common in men than in women and risk increases with age. According to WebMD, if you or any close relatives have had skin cancer, you are more likely to get the disease.

Buying Life Insurance with History of Skin Cancer

Having a history of skin cancer is a common condition we see with Quotacy clients. It’s a condition our agents are very familiar with and have had a lot of success in helping people with sleep apnea get life insurance coverage.

If you’ve had skin cancer, your best chance of getting affordable life insurance is to apply through a broker, like Quotacy. Brokers are not tied to one life insurance company and are able to shop the market.

We want you to get approved and will work hard to help you get coverage. Start the process by getting a free term life insurance quote or keep reading for more in-depth information about life insurance and skin cancer.

Underwriting Skin Cancer

When you apply for life insurance, underwriters review the complete application and all the records that go along with it. This helps them to determine how much of a risk an applicant is to insure. They then decide how much coverage and at what cost to offer the applicant, unless they decide to decline or post-pone the application.

For applicants with history of skin cancer, you can be classified anywhere between the best rating of Preferred Plus to being table rated. The table rating system typically means that your pricing for life insurance will be the Standard price plus 25% for every step down the table you are, Tables A-J or 1-10 depending on which format the insurance company uses.

In order for the life insurance company to accurately underwrite you, they will request your medical records including any pathology reports. The pathology report contains information about the size of the cancer, whether it is infiltrating into the surrounding tissue, invading the lymphatic channels or blood vessels, and whether it has spread to the lymph nodes. It also provides the aggressiveness (grade) of the cancer.

A pathology report is issued every time a piece of tissue is removed from the patient. Therefore, there may be more than one report representing tissue removed during the different phrases of diagnosis and treatment for the same cancer. The underwriters review all of these reports to ensure an accurate assessment of an applicant’s risk.

How the Type of Skin Cancer Affects Underwriting

Types of Skin Cancer

There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

About 8 of 10 skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas (BCCs). This is the most common and has the best prognosis.

According to the American Cancer Society, BCC tends to grow slowly and it’s rare for it to spread to other parts of the body. However, if not treated it can grow into nearby areas and spread into bone or tissues under the skin.

While BCC is the least risky type of skin cancer, it’s not uncommon for it to resurface. As many as half of the people who have one BCC will get a new skin cancer within 5 years.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

About 2 in 10 skin cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). SCC is more likely than BCC to spread into deeper layers of the skin. It’s also more likely to spread to other parts of the body, but this is uncommon.

Malignant Melanoma

Melanomas are much less common than BCC or SCC, but they are more likely to grow and spread if left untreated.

For applicants with a history of basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, if the cancer was localized and successfully treated, you typically are not table rated. This means even with a history of cancer, you still have a chance at getting Preferred Plus rates, which are the best.

It’s common for applicants with a history of malignant melanoma to be table rated, but it’s also possible to receive Standard rates as well. Life insurance rates are determined based on the organ the cancer originated, the stage and grade, so it would be near impossible to just guess at what an applicant’s premiums may be.

Applicants that have positive lymph nodes or metastases (cancer that has spread) are usually declined.

See what you’d pay for life insurance

Comparison shop prices on custom coverage amounts from the nation’s top carriers with Quotacy.

Getting Life Insurance Coverage with a History of Skin Cancer

Quotacy has much experience getting clients life insurance coverage, including individuals with a history of cancer. Our in-house underwriter has worked in many carrier home offices, knows how to navigate each individual’s health history, and knows which life insurance company would be the best option for your individual case.

If you are ready to buy life insurance coverage, get a term life insurance quote now and let’s start the process.

If you are looking to get an idea of the cost of life insurance if you have skin cancer, it costs nothing to run a quote and apply online. You will have a dedicated Quotacy agent shop your case with our top-rated life insurance companies to ensure you receive the best possible price.


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