Breast Cancer & Life Insurance

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Breast Cancer & Life InsuranceWe understand that being told that you have cancer, is going to be physically, mentally and emotionally draining. Our job is to work hard for you, to make sure that we find an insurer who is going to be supportive of you and what you have been through.

Things we need to know:

  • When were you diagnosed with breast cancer?
  • How many times have you had breast cancer?
  • What was the staging of the cancer?
  • What was the grading of the cancer?
  • What treatment did you have (eg chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • Are you fully recovered and free of treatment?
  • When you did last receive treatment?

Life insurance for people who have had breast cancer may be available at normal terms with some insurance providers. The terms offered for life insurance will be dependent upon the grading/staging of the cancer and the amount of time since your last treatment. 

Breast cancer that was diagnosed as low grading/staging with no recent treatment, may see your application for life insurance accepted at standard rates. Where the breast cancer was classed as high grading/staging and there have been recent treatments, it is possible that your policy will be accepted at non-standard terms (a premium increase). 

In general the longer the time frame since your diagnosis and treatment, the more favourable the terms will be for life insurance.

In order to give you an accurate idea of what your life insurance may cost, it is essential that we have the staging and grading of your cancer. Without it, insurers cannot give us a clear indication as to how much your premiums will be.

Critical illness cover pays out a cash lump sum of money, if you are diagnosed with a medical condition that is listed in the insurer’s claims set e.g. cancer, heart attack, stroke.

Critical illness cover for people who have had breast cancer may be available with an exclusion. This will be dependent upon the cancer having been low grading/staging and following a set period of time since the last treatment. This may involve a full cancer exclusion to the policy claims set or a specific breast cancer exclusion.

Where the breast cancer was of a high grading/staging or has been quite recent, standard insurers may decline to offer you cover. It may be that the insurer suggests that you postpone your application for a set period of time, before critical illness cover can be considered. At this point, you can look at specialist critical illness policies that are available. 

Income protection pays you a replacement of your monthly income, if you are unable to work due to ill health.

When you apply for income protection breast cancer will be reviewed by the insurance provider that you approach, with specific focus upon the time since last treatment and the grading/staging of the cancer. 

Breast cancer that occurred some time ago with no lasting complications may result in income protection being offered at standard terms or with a cancer exclusion to the policy claims set. 

Instances where the breast cancer has been recent or was diagnosed with as invasive, may see the insurer place a cancer exclusion on the policy and/or a premium increase. It is possible that they may postpone any offer of terms until a longer period of time has passed since your recovery. 

When terms for income protection are not suitable for you then you may wish to consider Accident, Sickness and Unemployment Cover. An accident, sickness and unemployment policy will provide short term income protection of between 12-24 months if you are unable to work due to disability, severe illness or are made involuntarily redundant. 

This type of policy is not medically underwritten and you will not need to declare your breast cancer during the application process, meaning that there will be no impact upon the policy premiums or acceptance terms. However any claim that you make will exclude anything related to breast cancer. 

Are you planning on going abroad? When you have had breast cancer, it is important that you know what your travel insurance covers you for. Please visit our dedicated travel insurance page for more details on how to arrange travel insurance after cancer here.

You can view a transcript for this CuraVision Cancer video here.

Please see our video case study of a client who was a cancer survivor, that we were able to arrange insurance for here.

What is Breast Cancer

Breast cancer typically occurs in females, of any age, but is generally diagnosed in those who are middle-aged or over and have been through the menopause; it is possible for males to get breast cancer, but this is not as common. Breast cancer is not necessarily an hereditary condition but the presence of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes do increase the likelihood of cancer developing. 

Breast cancer is usually a painless lump or swelling that is found within the breast tissue and it is recommended that women regularly check their breasts so that they are aware of any changes to the area.

Also: Non-invasive breast cancer, invasive breast cancer, invasive lobular breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, Paget’s disease, secondary/metastatic breast cancer

Linked with: Cancer, atypical ductal hyperplasia, ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast, lobular carcinoma in situ, HRT, high BMI, osteoporosis

Some potential problems experienced by individuals who have had breast cancer include:

  • Anxiety of the cancer returning
  • Changes to the appearance of the breast and/or nipples
  • Discharge from the nipples
  • Early menopause
  • Fatigue
  • Low self esteem
  • Lumps in the breast
  • Regular screening (mammograms etc)
  • Anastrozole (Arimidex)
  • Arimidex
  • Avastin
  • Bevacizumab (Avastin)
  • Caelyx
  • Capecitabine
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Cyclophosphamide monohydrate (Endoxana)
  • Docetaxel (Taxotere)
  • Double mastectomy
  • Doxorubicin hydrochloride (Doxorubin, Myocet)
  • Epirubicin hydrochloride (Pharmorubicin)
  • Everolimus (Afinitor)
  • Exemestane (Aromasin)
  • Fareston
  • Faslodex
  • Fluorouracil sodium
  • Fulvestrant (Faslodex)
  • Gemcitabine hydrochloride (Gemzar)
  • Gemzar
  • Goserelin acetate (Zoladex)
  • Herceptin
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
  • Idarubicin hydrochloride
  • Lapatinib ditosylate monohydrate (Tyverb)
  • Letrozole (Femara)
  • Lomustine
  • Mastectomy
  • Medroxyprogesterone acetate (Provera)
  • Megace
  • Megestrol acetate (Megace)
  • Melphalan (Alkeran tablets)
  • Methotrexate (Maxtrex)
  • Methotrexate sodium
  • Mitomycin (Mitomycin-C Kyowa)
  • Mitoxantrone hydrochloride (Onkotrone)
  • Navelbine
  • Norethisterone (Utovlan)
  • Paclitaxel (Taxol)
  • Paclitaxel albumin
  • Radiotherapy
  • Tamoxifen citrate
  • Toremifene citrate (Fareston)
  • Trastuzumab (Herceptin)
  • Tyverb
  • Vinblastine sulphate (Vinblastine)
  • Vincristine sulphate
  • Vinorelbine tartrate
  • Xeloda
  • Zavedos
  • Zoladex

Common Questions

Yes you can, but you need to be aware of the limits to the policy. If you currently have breast cancer you will be refused life insurance on the standard market. You will need to arrange life insurance with a specialist insurer and the policy will come with an exclusion to any claims related to the cancer.

No. Insurers are not allowed to take the results of genetic tests for cancer into consideration, when assessing your application for life insurance. Yes, you have an increased likelihood of developing breast cancer because you have an activated BRCA gene, but there is no guarantee that it means that you will in fact develop breast cancer. Insurers cannot assess your life insurance application on what might be. However it is worthwhile noting that if you have a number of immediate family members who have had breast cancer, the insurer may take this into consideration.

Client Reviews

The Special Risks Bureau has been rated 5 out of 5 based on 390 reviews.

Review by Dean on 13th October 2017

I had a cancer diagnosis a few years ago. After being declined online I approached cura to help. They took their time to understand my situation and asked very relevant questions about my condition. They gave me 2 options, 1 to pay a higher price and 1 to have my condition excluded for a lower price something I was told elsewhere could not be done. They've agreed to review this in the future too so I can hopefully get a better offer. - 5 

You can read more of our reviews here.

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Breast Cancer & Life Insurance

Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd

Author
This page was written by Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd, an award-winning insurance adviser. To read more about Kathryn please see her bio here

Breast Cancer & Life Insurance

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