Skin Cancer is very common health condition, in which one in five people will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. There are three types of skin cancer diagnoses: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Malignant Melanoma.
Purchasing life insurance after skin cancer can be challenging. In most cases, applicants with skin cancer can qualify for regular life insurance rates. Of course it will depend on the severity of the skin cancer and matching the individual with the right insurance company.
Since skin cancer is so common, we are familiar the underwriting process and know how to get you the life insurance you need.
What Life Insurance Companies Need to Know
Once you have been treated and are now cancer free the insurance companies will want to know the following:
1. When were you diagnosed?
2. Do you have a family history of cancer?
3. Why type of skin cancer did you have? (basal, squamous or melanoma)
4. Where was the skin cancer located? Did you have multiple locations and removals?
5. If it was melanoma, what was your Clark’s Level and Breslow Scale?
It is very important that you keep accurate records and have follow-up visits with your Dermatologist.
Three types of Skin Cancer
Basal Cell Carcinoma
It’s the most common and frequently occurring form of skin cancer and typically does not spread. Although, if left untreated it can spread to other surrounding tissues. Basal cell is typically surgically removed and without further treatment. It most commonly looks like a sore that bleeds easily or wound that doesn’t heal. The color is typically light pink, or flesh-colored to brown skin tone.
Since basal cell typically doesn’t spread to other areas and is caught early this will have no significant impact on your life insurance rates. Therefore, preferred best rates are possible.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell is commonly found in the surface layer of the skin. It commonly found on the face, ears, neck, hands, back or arms. It can appear as a rough bump or a reddish flat scaly patch of dry skin. Even though this is a slow-growing cancer it can spread to other locations or organs. If someone has this form of skin cancer it has a 5 to 10 percent chance of reoccurring.
If you have squamous cell skin cancer it can be more difficult in the underwriting process than basal cell due to the reoccurrence. In most cases we are able to still find an affordable rate for your life insurance and have seen standard rates depending on the pathology reports.
Melanoma is the rarest and most deadly forms of skin cancer. It is a rapidly spreading form of cancer and is the leading cause of death from skin diseases. The melanoma is removed along with the surrounding skin tissues to ensure proper removal. The underwriter will determine insurance coverage based on the size and depth of the melanoma by using the Clarks level and Breslow scale. In determining your rates, you will want to know what these levels are from your pathology report.
Clarks Level is a rating system that describes how deep the tumor has grown into the layers of skin from Level 1-5. Level 1 is the least harmful with 5 being the most severe.
The Breslow Scale measures the depth of the melanoma. A physician will use a “Ocular Micrometer” to confirm the thickness of the tumor. The higher the thickness the worse the prognosis.
Obviously, the more severe your skin cancer is the more difficult and expensive it will be for your life insurance coverage. The underwriters will review your application in detail including the stage and size of cancer, the length of time since the last date of treatment and your follow-up with your physician.
Can I purchase life insurance after skin cancer?
Case Study- Male with Melanoma
Our client John (changed his name due to the privacy) is 45 year old male non-smoker client that was treated with a history of malignant melanoma skin cancer on his shoulder. John was diagnosed with superficial spreading type Clark’s Level 2 melanoma with a Breslow of .49 mm with no ulcerations. Due to the pathology report he did not need further treatment. Since John had continued to follow-up with his dermatologist every six months and did not have any new occurrences of melanoma, we were able to secure a standard health class rating for our client. Needless to say, he was pleased!
The real key in purchasing life insurance after skin cancer is working with a high risk life insurance agent. We know which insurance company is going to look at your history of skin cancer favorably.
We represent several insurance companies and we’ll shop your application with the top carriers in the industry. Only by doing this can we ensure that you will receive the best rate for your life insurance with your condition of a skin cancer.
Fill out the online form for a free quote or contact us today at 877-817-2583 and let us shop for the best life insurance rates for you!