OK. I made it up just to get your attention. No, seriously. Companies are just blowing me away with the offers and approvals they are giving on low stage and grade cancers. In this case I have a company approving a policy at preferred 3 months after a melanoma was removed at preferred. Most companies won’t even give a preferred rate on skin cancer life insurance even if it is basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.
The key, and I just have to tell you how exciting it is that companies are finally getting it, is that low stage, 0 or 1 melanoma with a Clark’s level 1 is good news for the mortality of the individual who had it removed. The underwriter knows the cancer didn’t go anywhere and even if the person has another one in the future it will also be found early because the client/patient has just become a regular visitor to a dermatologist for life. That coupled with the fact that the person may spend more time in front of a mirror than ever before. They know that overlooking the early signs of something can be deadly.
So this case was in a young woman who had a stage 0 (in situ), Clark’s level 1 melanoma removed just two months before applying for life insurance. In the past the best any company would do is standard and many of those standards came after a year of waiting after the treatment was completed. That was what you could expect from a good impaired risk life insurance underwriting company. The other 99% of companies would likely postpone it for several years or simply decline it and hope it never came up again.
I don’t want to minimize the fact that melanoma is a fiercely dangerous cancer in higher grades and stages and life insurance underwriters will treat it that way either by declining or postponing an approval or by adding a substantial flat extra charge to the approved policy. I know I’ve been jumping up and down like a kid in a candy store with some of the changes over the last year in cancer life insurance underwriting, and for good reason. That should in no way be taken as my thinking underwriters have gone soft and we need to jump on it. I believe the changes that we are seeing are prudent reactions to major improvements in both early detection and improved treatment. I expect more in the coming year as the cancer scene today is so much better than it was even 10 or 20 years ago.
Bottom line. I know there are probably tens of thousands of people out there who gave up trying to get life insurance after successful treatment of low stage and grade melanoma, breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer. If the need and desire is still there it’s time to dust off that pathology report and make a call. Remember though, the right agent taking your case to the right company is the key to success. Only use an independent agent who is willing to shop it extensively. If you have any questions or have been mistreated in your attempts at getting life insurance, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.