May 30, 2017
Summer’s here, and so are its long warm days at the beach. But did you know that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 20 percent of Americans will have some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. So what does this mean for obtaining life insurance?
Skin Cancer Survival Rates
While skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in the U.S., both squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas respond well to treatment if they’re detected early. When melanoma is detected before it spreads to the lymph nodes, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent. More advanced melanomas that have spread to lymph nodes have correspondingly lower survival rates.
How Skin Cancer Impacts Your Insurability
Just like with any other form of cancer, an insurer will assess the severity of the cancer, what type of treatment you had, and how well you’re adhering to your post-treatment plan. If you had stage I skin cancer, responded well to treatment, and are attending all your follow-up appointments with your dermatologist and oncologist, then most insurance companies will require you to be cancer-free for between 12 and 24 months before you can apply for coverage. For more advanced cancer, insurers require you to be cancer-free for between two and 10 years depending on the severity of your condition. Lastly, it’s important to understand that if your cancer metastasized—i.e. spread to your lymph nodes or surrounding tissues—you won’t qualify for life insurance unless you pay a flat extra fee in addition to regular monthly premiums.
Finding the Right Insurer Is Key
Life insurance companies all have their own policies regarding skin cancer, which makes it difficult to find the best option. That’s why you’re best advised to talk to an independent life insurance agency like Liberty Financial Group, whose experienced agents will assess your situation and provide you with objective information about your best options. Unlike other life insurance agents who only sell products from a single carrier, independent agents are dedicated to finding the policy that offers you the best coverage for the lowest premiums. In addition, if you haven’t been cancer-free for long enough to qualify for insurance, an independent life insurance agent will advise you on your best course of action so you can ensure you qualify when the appropriate amount of time has passed (unless, of course, the cancer returns).
Ultimately, the best way to be insurable is to do what you can to protect yourself from developing skin cancer. Limit your exposure to UV rays from the sun and tanning beds, don’t smoke, and keep your immune system as strong as possible. And of course, if you’re concerned you might be developing skin cancer, seek medical attention immediately. The earlier you’re diagnosed, the better your chances of survival.
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