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Purchasing Life Insurance After Prostate Cancer in Canada

Securing Life Insurance After Prostate Cancer in Canada
Securing Life Insurance After Prostate Cancer in Canada

Overview of Prostate Cancer in Canada

Receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis can be devastating for both patients and their families. Statistics shows that 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Thankfully, early detection and treatment advancements have led to continually improving outcomes. The 5-year survival rate now sits at 95% for prostate cancers.


Nonetheless, a prostate cancer diagnosis still has significant impacts on your health, quality of life and ability to obtain life insurance after prostate cancer in Canada. Clearly, early diagnosis and treatment lead to much improved outcomes. However, even stage 1 or 2 prostate cancers can impact life expectancy and eligibility for life insurance coverage.

Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of prostate cancer include:

  • Urinary changes – weak stream, difficulty starting/stopping, excessive night-time urination
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Discomfort in the pelvis, hips, lower back or thighs
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Painful ejaculation and/or orgasm
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips or pelvis

If you persistently experience these symptoms, see your doctor immediately for further testing. Catching prostate cancer early dramatically improves prognosis.

Who is Most at Risk of Prostate Cancer in Canada?

Several factors increase your risk of developing prostate cancer:

  • Age: The risk escalates substantially after age 50 and continues increasing into your 60s/70s. The average diagnosis age is 66.
  • Family history: Having a first-degree relative with prostate cancer doubles your risk. This suggests a potential genetic factor.
  • Ethnic background: Canadian men of African or Caribbean descent have a significantly higher lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer relative to Caucasian men.
  • Diet and lifestyle: Obesity and diets high in calcium have been associated with increased prostate cancer risk. Regular exercise helps lower risk.
  • Other medical conditions: Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease may increase susceptibility to prostate cancer.

If you possess some risk factors, have regular screening tests and physical exams, even if you don’t experience any overt symptoms. Routine PSA testing can identify prostate cancer before symptoms manifest.

How Prostate Cancer Affects Your Life Insurance Application in Canada

How Prostate Cancer Affects Your Life Insurance Application in Canada
How Prostate Cancer Affects Your Life Insurance Application in Canada

Now that we’ve covered some background on prostate cancer let’s discuss how a diagnosis affects applying for life insurance coverage in Canada.

Life Insurance is Attainable but More Expensive

The first question many prostate cancer survivors have is, “Can I still get life insurance after prostate cancer?”.

The answer is yes—life insurance is still attainable in most cases after a prostate cancer diagnosis. Canada has some of the most competitive and innovative life insurance markets globally. Life insurers are willing to take on higher-risk individuals, including cancer patients and survivors.

However, qualifying for coverage will be more challenging and require working with a specialized broker. You can expect to pay significantly higher premiums than healthy applicants based on your higher mortality risk. The increased cost is unavoidable if you want individual life insurance after prostate cancer.

How much extra you pay depends on your specific diagnosis details, treatment success, time since finishing treatment, and current health status. We’ll cover the impact of these factors more in the underwriting section next.

The key point is that while life insurance is still accessible after prostate cancer, you must be prepared for a more rigorous application process, substantially higher premiums, and potential coverage limits.

Being Declined for Life Insurance Initially is a Common

Given the higher mortality risk, don’t be shocked if some life insurance carriers decline your initial applications. Some insurers are more conservative about taking on prostate cancer survivors. Declinations are especially common in the first few years after treatment.

This highlights the importance of working with a specialist broker with access to “impaired risk” life insurers in Canada. An experienced broker will re-apply to multiple providers until one is willing to offer coverage.

Just because you are declined for life insurance initially does not mean coverage is impossible. Be patient through the process and keep diligently re-applying every year. Approval chances typically improve over time as you stay cancer-free.

How Prostate Cancer Impacts Life Insurance Eligibility and Pricing

When reviewing your application, life insurers will thoroughly assess your prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment. Here are some key factors they consider to determine your eligibility and pricing:

  • Age at diagnosis: Being diagnosed before age 50 signals a more aggressive form of prostate cancer that is less common at a younger age. This raises concerns about susceptibility to other illnesses as well. Diagnosis after age 65 is viewed more favourably.
  • Stage and grade of cancer: In general, early stage 1 or 2 prostate cancers are better. Late stage 3 or 4 diagnoses are more concerning as they indicate potential spreading. Stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer poses a significant mortality risk that may preclude individual coverage.
  • Treatments received: Insurers prefer surgical removal of the prostate over radiation or hormone therapy. More extensive treatments suggest higher risk and poorer initial prognosis. Quickly achieving remission is critical.
  • Time since treatment: Most insurers want to see you cancer-free for at least 1 year after treatment, and optimally 5+ years, before offering individual coverage. Being further out from treatment lowers the recurrence risk.
  • PSA levels: Life insurers want steady PSA levels under 0.1 ng/mL, with no significant spikes above baseline. Rising PSA warns of potential recurrence requiring additional treatments.
  • Gleason score: This indicates how likely the cancer is to spread. Scores under six are considered less aggressive. Scores 8-10 raise concerns about progression and metastasis potential.
  • Ongoing health and lifestyle: Beyond cancer, maintaining healthy blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, weight, etc., all support your coverage case. Quit all tobacco as life insurers charge enormous premiums for smokers.

Meeting life insurance underwriting criteria is undoubtedly more difficult after prostate cancer. But the reward is securing coverage to protect your assets and family. Based on these critical factors, work closely with your broker to put your best case forward.

Read more : What is Life Insurance?

Life Insurance Policy Options After Prostate Cancer in Canada

As a prostate cancer survivor, you have several individual life insurance options to consider in the Canadian insurance market:

Term Life Insurance for Prostate Cancer

Term life is the most affordable form of life insurance and provides pure death benefit protection. Policy terms usually range from 10 to 30 years.

Term life will require a complete medical exam uncovering your prostate cancer history. Expect to pay higher premiums or even face declinations if post-treatment health is poor.

Term policies must be periodically renewed after the initial term expires. Costs will rise with age and health changes. Converting to permanent insurance is possible for continued coverage.

Read more : How Does Term Life Insurance Work?

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance for Prostate Cancer

Guaranteed issue life insurance ensures that you will be approved for coverage without the need to answer any health questions or undergo medical exams. This allows higher-risk individuals to obtain some coverage for life insurance with prostate cancer.

The catch is that guaranteed issue plans limit the maximum death benefit, usually to $25,000 or $50,000. Monthly premiums are also significantly higher than term life.

For more minor death benefit needs of less than $50,000, though, guaranteed issue life insurance remains an option if declined for term insurance.

Permanent Life Insurance for Prostate Cancer

Permanent life insurance comprises whole life and universal life policies. These offer lifelong coverage as long as premiums are paid.

A portion of the premiums goes toward building cash value, which grows tax-sheltered. Policy loans against the cash value are possible if needed.

Underwriting is still required for permanent life insurance, so expect higher premiums with a prostate cancer history. However, guaranteed issue versions are available if term coverage is unobtainable.

An experienced life insurance broker will guide you in selecting the most appropriate option given your prostate cancer prognosis and coverage needs.

Read more : How does permanent life insurance work?

Expert Tips for Prostate Cancer Survivors Seeking Life Insurance

Expert Tips for Prostate Cancer Survivors Seeking Life Insurance
life buzz quote in canada new 8 1
Expert Tips for Prostate Cancer Survivors Seeking Life Insurance

Based on working extensively with prostate cancer patients, here are my top tips for securing affordable life insurance coverage:

Give It Time

Do not rush into applying for life insurance immediately after completing prostate cancer treatment. Most insurers will outright decline anyone within the first 1-2 years after treatment.

Be patient and wait at least 2-3 years before commencing the application process. 5+ years is even better. This demonstrates sustained remission and lowers the probability of recurrence.

In the interim, while waiting to qualify for individual coverage, you can use group life insurance through an employer or spouse if it is available.

Select the Right Advisor

Work with a life insurance brokerage that specializes in difficult-to-insure prostate cancer cases. They will have established relationships with “impaired risk” life insurers open to cancer survivors.

As an independent broker, we regularly succeed for clients with prostate cancer histories who have been declined coverage by other providers. An experienced broker maximizes your approval odds.

Compare Multiple Insurer Quotes

Each life insurance company has its own risk appetite and underwriting approach to prostate cancer cases in Canada. One firm may readily offer you coverage while another declines.

Always apply with multiple insurers to access a broader range of underwriting outcomes. Let your broker shop the entire market to secure the best deal.

Proactively Manage Your Health

Beyond the prostate cancer itself, optimize all other health metrics to demonstrate lower mortality risk. Maintain an ideal body weight, tightly control any other conditions like diabetes or hypertension, reduce alcohol intake, and quit smoking.

Your overall vitality is key to securing preferred ratings. Your physician can provide a supporting letter endorsing your robust health and sustained cancer remission.

Coordinate With Your Doctor

Ask your oncologist to draft a detailed letter for the life insurer summarizing your treatment history, current health status, prognosis for sustained remission, and rationale for offering insurance. This clinical perspective can alleviate underwriting concerns.

Timely sharing of all testing results and medical records is also critical to avoiding delays in the underwriting process. Make sure insurers have everything needed to thoroughly assess your case.

While applying for life insurance after prostate cancer in Canada is undoubtedly more challenging, tens of thousands of survivors have successfully secured the coverage they need through persistence and the proper specialist support. Insurers are always willing to take on riskier cases at the appropriate premiums. Be diligent, and you can find a policy suited to your health profile.

Several pre-existing conditions that may affect your Life Insurance with Pre-Existing Conditions in Canada eligibility besides Prostate Cancer are Cardiomyopathy, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Kidney Disease,… Check out these resources:

Cost of Life Insurance for Prostate Cancer Survivors in Canada

Let’s examine some sample costs to give you a realistic sense of the monthly premiums for life insurance after prostate cancer in Canada.

As a baseline, a 50-year-old male with no major health conditions may pay around $40 monthly for $500,000 of 20-year life insurance. But with prostate cancer, expect to pay substantially more.

Some pricing scenarios for $500,000 of coverage:

  • Stage 1 early-stage diagnosis at age 52, 2 years since treatment – $90 per month
  • Stage 2 diagnosis at age 63, prostatectomy, cancer-free four years – $70 per month
  • Stage 3 diagnosis at age 58, currently undergoing radiation – $180 per month
  • Stage 4 diagnosis at age 52 with metastasis – May be uninsurable

For a low $25,000 guaranteed issue policy, expect premiums around $100 per month regardless of cancer stage.

As you can see, prostate cancer life insurance in Canada ranges from about 50% to over 4X standard rates. Partnering with an experienced broker is critical to sourcing the best deal.

Read more : How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

Comparing Life Insurance Policies for Prostate Cancer Survivors

If you are shopping multiple life insurance carriers as a prostate cancer survivor, some key factors to compare include:

Maximum Benefit Amounts

Given the higher mortality risk, some insurers will limit the maximum life insurance benefit they will issue. Make sure to get quotes for your desired coverage amount.

Policy Duration

In a similar vein, carriers may offer shorter maximum terms, like 10 years. It is ideal to lock in longer terms while healthy. An impaired risk broker can source the most extended durations.

Premium Prices

Rigorously compare premium costs across insurers for identical benefit amounts. Pricing and risk tolerance vary, so shop diligently for savings.

Cash Value Options

If considering permanent life insurance, the projected cash value accumulation and potential returns are differentiators. This impacts living benefits.

Claims Processing History

Opt for life insurers with reputations for prompt claims payouts to beneficiaries. This avoids delays for your family when the benefit is needed.

As you can see, not all life insurance policies are equal. Leverage your broker’s expertise in narrowing the field to Canada’s top prostate cancer life insurance providers based on these parameters and your specific priorities.

Should You Buy Life Insurance After Prostate Cancer?

Should You Buy Life Insurance After Prostate Cancer?
Should You Buy Life Insurance After Prostate Cancer?

Determining whether to purchase life insurance after prostate cancer is a highly personal decision based on your financial obligations and risk tolerance. Here are some common scenarios that motivate prostate cancer survivors to obtain coverage:

Protecting Family Dependents

If you have young children, a non- or low-earning spouse, or elderly parents who depend on your ongoing income, life insurance is critical. It replaces lost earnings to maintain survivors’ standard of living.

Paying Off Mortgage and Debts

A life insurance benefit ensures your family does not inherit overwhelming debts like your mortgage or credit cards. Lenders often require you to carry life insurance if borrowing.

Covering Final Expenses

Consider a smaller policy to cover funeral costs, taxes, legal fees, and other end-of-life obligations. This will avoid burdening loved ones.

Funding College Savings

Life insurance proceeds can pay for children’s future college tuition if they pass away while they are young.

Transferring a Business

For business owners, life insurance facilitates a smooth ownership transition to heirs and protects against lost income.

Replacing Group Life Insurance

Once you leave an employer, associated group life insurance coverage ends. Individual life insurance fills this gap.

Life insurance remains relevant for these important financial needs, even during cancer remission. Discuss your specific situation with a specialist broker who can objectively advise if coverage is prudent.

Where Can I Purchase Life Insurance After Prostate Cancer in Canada?

You have two main options for purchasing life insurance after prostate cancer:

Directly From Insurers

Most life insurance companies in Canada allow online quotes and have contact numbers for agents who can assist prostate cancer survivors. This works best for very early stages, such as low Gleason tumours. Otherwise, direct applications often lead to declinations without a broker’s assistance.

Some top Canadian life insurers provide life insurance after prostate cancer in Canada include:

Through Independent Life Insurance Brokers

Specialist brokers experienced specifically in “impaired risk” cases like prostate cancer often offer the highest approval odds. They act as your advocate and can re-apply to multiple insurers until finding one willing to offer coverage.

Brokers also simplify the application process by advising on required medical evidence and liaising directly with underwriters. Check credentials like membership in the CLHIA.

In my professional opinion, as a veteran broker, partnering with a specialist advisor maximizes your chances of obtaining affordable life insurance after prostate cancer. The application complexities and health details require experience to navigate optimally.

Making a Life Insurance Claim After Prostate Cancer

If you unfortunately pass away from metastatic prostate cancer after having obtained life insurance coverage, making a claim involves:

  • Your designated beneficiaries informing the life insurance company of your death
  • Your beneficiaries completing the required claim forms and submitting an official death certificate
  • The insurer validating your policy was active and confirming coverage eligibility
  • The insurer issuing payment of the tax-free death benefit to your beneficiaries

To prepare, make sure your loved ones know details about your life insurance policies and have copies of all documentation. Your insurance broker can also assist beneficiaries throughout the claims process if any questions arise.

Key Takeaways on Life Insurance After Prostate Cancer in Canada

In conclusion, here are some key takeaways from this guide on obtaining life insurance after prostate cancer:

  • Work with a specialist life insurance brokerage that regularly succeeds with prostate cancer cases
  • Be patient. Wait a minimum of 2 years after treatments before applying – 5+ years is better
  • Thoroughly compare quotes across multiple top-rated life insurance companies
  • Apply annually. Eligibility often improves as you sustain cancer remission
  • Ask your physician for supporting letters endorsing your good health
  • Maintain excellent overall health and document the latest lab results
  • Expect to pay at least 50% more in premiums relative to healthy individuals
  • Some coverage options exist even for late-stage prostate cancer

While certainly more challenging, adequate life insurance after prostate cancer remains attainable with persistence and the right broker support. Let our team here at Life Buzz assist you in navigating this process seamlessly so you can protect your family. We’re here to help prostate cancer survivors throughout Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions about Life Insurance After Prostate Cancer

How soon can I apply for life insurance after prostate cancer?

Most insurers want to see that you have been cancer-free for at least one year after treatment before considering an application for coverage. Waiting at least 2-5 years is ideal to get better rates.

What are the chances of getting life insurance after prostate cancer if I was diagnosed before age 50?

A younger diagnosis age often signals a more aggressive cancer, making approval tougher. However, specialist brokers still succeed in many cases by finding the right insurer. Shop policies annually.

Do I need additional medical tests to qualify for life insurance after prostate cancer?

Insurers will thoroughly review all records and latest PSA levels from your oncologist. Further testing may be requested if any data points are unclear or missing.

What medical information will the life insurance company request when applying after prostate cancer?

Expect to provide pathology reports, operative reports, PSA values, cancer stage/grade, oncologist letters summarizing treatment and prognosis, and recent checkup results.

Will every life insurance company decline me if I apply soon after prostate cancer?

Most insurers will decline applications within 1-2 years of treatment. However, some specialized carriers offer coverage sooner than others if you have favourable health indicators.

How does my Gleason score impact getting approved for life insurance after prostate cancer?

Lower Gleason scores under 6 are considered less aggressive cancers by underwriters. Scores of 8-10 raise concerns about mortality risk and make approval more difficult.

What are my chances of getting life insurance after prostate cancer if I had radical prostatectomy surgery?

Insurers prefer surgical removal over radiation treatment if cancer is localized. Post-prostatectomy cases have a better shot at standard rates if cancer-free for 1-5+ years.

How long should I wait to apply for life insurance after prostate cancer radiation treatment?

Give it 2-5 years after radiation therapy before applying. This demonstrates sustained remission and response to treatment through stable PSA levels.

Will I get declined for life insurance after prostate cancer by all carriers?

Not necessarily. Using a specialist broker to access "impaired risk" carriers and re-applying every year gives you a strong chance. Share all updated health records.

What options exist for life insurance after prostate cancer if I was diagnosed at stage 4?

Stage 4 metastatic cases are challenging for traditional coverage but some insurers offer guaranteed issue policies up to $25,000-$50,000 that bypass underwriting.

Can I still qualify for preferred rates on life insurance after prostate cancer?

Possibly, if you are diagnosed very early at age 60+ and treated surgically. Otherwise, expect ratings from standard to high risk, depending on your profile.

How long will my premiums for life insurance after prostate cancer be higher?

Once approved, your rated premiums are locked in. Maintaining good health and preventing recurrence may qualify you for lower premiums at renewal.

What is the life insurance underwriting process like after prostate cancer?

Insurers will thoroughly assess your pathology, treatments, cancer-free period, PSA, and overall health. A final exam or medical records review may be required.

Will a heart condition affect my life insurance approval chances after prostate cancer?

Yes, expect even higher premiums. Insurers evaluate your overall health, so any other major conditions beyond cancer make underwriting more difficult.

How do I find the most affordable life insurance after prostate cancer?

Work with a specialist high-risk broker who can run quotes with multiple carriers to find you the best rate for your situation. Be patient.

What should my PSA level be to have the best shot at life insurance after prostate cancer?

Insurers want to see a steadily low PSA under 0.1 ng/mL for at least 1-5 years after treatment to offer competitive rates.

Is permanent life insurance possible to get after being diagnosed with prostate cancer?

Yes, guaranteed issued permanent policies are an option if you get declined for traditionally underwritten permanent coverage. Costs are higher.

Will getting a prostate cancer genetic test help me qualify for life insurance?

Knowing your genetic risk can guide treatment decisions but has minimal impact on life insurance eligibility currently. Focus is on actual diagnosis.

How long do I have to be cancer-free to get non-rated life insurance after prostate cancer?

Very favourable cases (age 60+ at diagnosis, early stage, prostatectomy) may get preferred rates after 5+ years cancer-free. Otherwise, expect some rating.

What if I am declined by every life insurance company after prostate cancer?

If you get declined across multiple carriers, guaranteed issue and group life insurance remain options to explore for some basic coverage.

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Written by Ben Nguyen

Ben Nguyen is an award-winning insurance expert and industry veteran with over 20 years of experience. He is the chairman and director of IDC Insurance Direct Canada Inc., one of Canada's leading online insurance brokerages.

Ben is renowned for his extensive knowledge of life, health, disability, and travel insurance products. He is the prolific author of over 1,000 educational articles published on LifeBuzz, BestInsuranceOnline, and InsuranceDirectCanada. His articles provide Canadians with advice on making smart insurance decisions.

With a Bachelor's degree in Actuarial Science and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA) designation, Ben is frequently interviewed by media as an insurance industry spokesperson.

He has received numerous honors including the Insurance Council of Canada’s Pivotal Leadership Award, the Canadian Insurance Hall of Fame induction, and the President’s Medal from the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Ben continues to shape the vision and strategy of IDC Insurance Direct as chairman. He is dedicated to advancing the insurance industry through his insightful leadership.

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