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Does Life Insurance Cover Cancer?

A life insurance plan can help your loved ones cover expenses in the event you unexpectedly pass away. If you already have a policy and receive a cancer diagnosis, you’ll likely be covered. This means your beneficiaries will receive the death benefit if you pass away due to cancer and your policy is still active. Let’s dive deeper into how life insurance works and how it relates to cancer.

How life insurance works

A life insurance policy is a type of contract between you, the policyholder, and the insurance company. If you continue to make premium payments and your policy is valid, it will pay a death benefit to your beneficiaries upon your death. Your beneficiaries can then use the funds to help cover out-of-pocket expenses so they can focus on grieving. Aflac offers term life insurance policies that last for a certain period, like 10 or 20 years, and whole life insurance, which offers lifelong coverage.

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What does life insurance cover?

In most cases, life insurance covers these types of deaths:1

  • Natural causes: Natural causes may be old age or an illness, such as cancer.
  • Accidents: Life insurance coverage might kick in after a car accident or an accidental overdose from a prescribed medication, for example.
  • Suicide: Most policies protect against suicide if it occurs after a two-year suicide clause ends.
  • War or terrorism: Insurers usually cover deaths that result from war or terrorism, although some have exclusions for these causes.

Not all insurance carriers cover all these and limitation and exclusions apply.

Is cancer covered by life insurance?

If you purchased a life insurance plan before you receive a cancer diagnosis and are up to date on your premiums, you most likely will be covered.2 Typically, life insurance covers most types of death. This means you’ll likely be protected, even if you’re diagnosed with a life-threatening condition, such as cancer.

Can I get a life insurance plan after a cancer diagnosis?

It can be difficult to lock in life insurance after a cancer diagnosis. Many insurers require you to be in remission for at least five years to get approved for a policy. Additionally, you can expect significantly higher premiums.3

Some life insurance companies may even reject your application for a policy. This is because cancer is considered a pre-existing condition or a health issue you have before you secure a life insurance policy. Many insurers will consider your age, cancer type, and stage to determine whether to approve you for coverage.2

Can I use my life insurance plan to pay for my cancer treatment costs?

Since life insurance is flexible, there are several ways you can use it to help cover costs associated with cancer treatment, such as:

Use your cash value

If you accumulate cash value on your whole life or universal life insurance policy before you receive a cancer diagnosis, you can use your policy to cover several medical costs or replace lost income. You can withdraw from the cash value, get a life insurance loan, or surrender your policy in exchange for its cash value minus surrender charges.

Use a life insurance rider

A rider is an optional add-on or provision that you can use to supplement your life insurance plan. While some riders cost extra, others are included in your premium payments. Optional riders might come in handy after a cancer diagnosis. It can allow you to collect part of your death benefit while you’re still alive.

Get a life insurance quote

Life insurance can help give you financial security in several ways if you receive a cancer diagnosis. You may use the cash value or a life insurance rider to help pay for the medical and non-medical expenses you’ll likely incur. And if you pass away, the payout can help loved ones remain financially stable. Fortunately, Aflac offers life insurance policies with easy applications and premiums that fit most budgets. You can choose a term life or whole life policy, depending on your coverage needs. Start chatting with an Aflac agent today to learn more and get a life insurance quote.

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