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Life Insurance with Colon Cancer in Canada

Life Insurance with Colon Cancer in Canada
Life Insurance with Colon Cancer in Canada

Receiving a diagnosis of colon cancer can be devastating for Canadian patients and their families. Beyond the significant health implications, it also carries major financial consequences. Securing life insurance is crucial but can seem daunting when you have a history of colon cancer.

This article examines the path to obtaining life insurance with colon cancer in Canada.

Overview of Colon Cancer

Colon cancer begins in the cells of the colon or rectum. It often starts as small, noncancerous clumps of cells called polyps that slowly grow into cancer over time.

Symptoms include bowel habit changes, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, and anemia.

It is diagnosed through colonoscopy, biopsy, CT scan, MRI, and blood tests. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted drug therapies. Early detection and prompt treatment are critical for positive outcomes.

Life Insurance Challenges for Canadian Colon Cancer Patients

Canadians with a personal history of colon cancer face several vital obstacles when looking to obtain life insurance coverage:

  • Higher Premium Costs: Due to increased mortality risk, monthly premiums will be higher for healthy individuals.
  • Potential Waiting Periods: Insurers often require 1-5 cancer-free years after treatment before approving coverage.
  • Need to Disclose Details: Must fully disclose the diagnosis, treatment, pathology records, and current status. Omitting information can jeopardize eligibility.
  • Underwriting Scrutiny: Medical history is closely examined, which can lead to difficulty qualifying if higher risk factors are present.
  • Possibility of Decline: Based on prognosis, some applicants may be declined for traditional life insurance policies.

Navigating these challenges takes persistence, preparation, and guidance from specialized insurance advisors.

Available Life Insurance Policy Options with Colon Cancer in Canada

Available Life Insurance Policy Options with Colon Cancer in Canada
Available Life Insurance Policy Options with Colon Cancer in Canada

Colon cancer survivors in Canada have several types of life insurance policies to consider:

Term Life Insurance

  • Provides coverage for a duration of 10, 20 or 30 years.
  • It is the most affordable option with the lowest monthly premiums.
  • Qualifying is most attainable for colon cancer survivors.
  • Can lock in coverage during cancer-free period.

Read more: How Does Term Life Insurance Work?

Permanent Life Insurance

  • Lifelong coverage, regardless of health changes, once issued.
  • Includes whole life, universal life, and participating life policies.
  • Higher premiums but offers guaranteed death benefits.
  • Require more stringent underwriting.

Read more: How does permanent life insurance work?

Final Expense Insurance

  • Guaranteed acceptance regardless of health history.
  • Limited coverage amounts usually only $10,000 – $25,000.
  • Primarily pays funeral costs and final medical bills.
  • This is for terminal patients who cannot obtain other coverage.

For most colon cancer survivors, term life insurance provides the optimal balance of affordable rates and sufficient coverage.

Read more: term life insurance vs Permanent Life Insurance ?

Pros and Cons of Getting Life Insurance with Colon Cancer History


  • Provides a financial safety net for family members in case of premature death
  • Can lock in life insurance eligibility when health status is stable post-treatment
  • A variety of policy options are available depending on health and financial needs
  • Chance to obtain coverage even several years post-treatment
  • Premiums may be high, but can still be affordable term insurance


  • Much higher premium costs compared to healthy applicants
  • Stricter application and underwriting process
  • Need to provide complete, transparent medical history
  • Possibility of being declined for traditional policies
  • Coverage may be lower than requested depending on the prognosis
  • Requires waiting several years after treatment to qualify

While more challenging than for healthy applicants, the benefits of securing life insurance outweigh the difficulties for many colon cancer survivors.

Comparing Life Insurance Companies and Policies

When shopping for life insurance after colon cancer, compare these factors across different providers:

  • Premium Costs: Get quotes from at least five insurers to compare rates.
  • Underwriting Approach: Some companies are more flexible about pre-existing conditions.
  • Policy Options: Availability of term, whole life, universal life, and final expense policies.
  • Ratings: Only consider insurers rated A or higher for financial stability.
  • Customer Service Reputation: Look for providers known for excellent service when submitting claims.

For policy features, prioritize waiver of premium provisions, conversion options, guaranteed renewability, and living benefits if available. Working with an experienced independent broker simplifies the comparison process.

Read more: What is life insurance with Pre-Existing Conditions ?

How to Improve Your Chances of Qualifying For Life Insurance with Colon Cancer History in Canada

How to Improve Your Chances of Qualifying For Life Insurance with Colon Cancer History in Canada
life buzz quote in canada new 8 1
How to Improve Your Chances of Qualifying For Life Insurance with Colon Cancer History in Canada

Here are some tips to help improve your chances of obtaining life insurance coverage in Canada after surviving colon cancer:

  • Maintain consistent follow-up monitoring, testing, and cancer screening after completing treatment. This demonstrates you are adhering to health management best practices.
  • Commit to a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, a balanced diet, weight management, and smoking cessation if needed. This can help stabilize and improve your overall health.
  • Allow sufficient time, ideally 2-5 cancer-free years, to pass after finishing treatment before applying for coverage. More time elapsed is better.
  • Gather all relevant medical records, test results, and oncologist letters affirming your current status to support your application. Thorough documentation is critical.
  • If needed, have your oncologist draft a letter highlighting your cancer treatment success and sustained remission. This provides credible third-party assurance.
  • Work with an independent broker who understands underwriting and has access to a range of life insurance providers in Canada.
  • Be prepared to fully disclose all details of your cancer diagnosis, treatment, pathology reports, and current status. Honesty is essential.
  • Do not give up if your initial application is declined. Reapply periodically as more time passes.

Sample Case Studies of Canadian Colon Cancer Survivors

Sarah’s Story: Early Stage Diagnosis

Sarah, a 44-year-old woman living in Toronto, was diagnosed with early-stage colon cancer. She underwent successful laparoscopic surgery to remove the tumour, along with six months of chemotherapy as a precaution.

Now age 50 and cancer-free for over five years, Sarah applied for life insurance through an experienced broker to secure her family’s finances. The broker helped compile Sarah’s medical records, which demonstrated her sustained remission. Her oncologist also drafted a letter praising Sarah’s commitment to screening and check-ups. After a thorough review, she qualified for a 20-year, $750,000 term life policy at just 25% higher premiums than typical rates.

Read more: Family Life Insurance

Mark’s Story: Advanced Diagnosis

Mark, a 60-year-old man from Vancouver, was initially diagnosed and treated for Stage 3 colon cancer. Unfortunately, 1.5 years later, the cancer returned as Stage 4 metastatic colon cancer in his liver and lungs.

Despite extensive treatment, Mark’s prognosis remained very poor. He was declined when applying for both term and whole life insurance policies from several top Canadian providers. As a last option, Mark secured a $15,000 final expense insurance policy to provide a small amount of money to his family after he passed.

Key Takeaways

  • Early-stage diagnosis leads to better life insurance outcomes.
  • Advanced or recurrent cancer makes qualifying very difficult.
  • Applying during extended remission improves eligibility.
  • An expert broker can help navigate options.

Canadian Colon Cancer Life Insurance Underwriting

Life insurance underwriting is the process where an applicant’s health and risk factors are assessed by the insurer to make coverage and pricing decisions. For colon cancer patients, underwriting can be more stringent and complex.

Here are critical aspects of the underwriting process for colon cancer survivors in Canada:

  • Disclosing full details of diagnosis, including stage, tumour histology, and biomarker status.
  • Providing all treatment records – surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, medications.
  • Submitting pathology reports from biopsies, surgery, and all relevant testing.
  • Sharing follow-up care details – scans, bloodwork, colonoscopy results.
  • Completing insurer-specific cancer health questionnaires.
  • Potentially undergoing new medical exams and tests depending on application size.
  • Supplying oncologist letters affirming treatment conclusion and current status.
  • Explaining any lingering side effects or complications after treatment.
  • Justifying applying for coverage after the minimum waiting period has passed.

Navigating underwriting requires coordination with healthcare providers to gather all required medical documentation. An experienced independent broker can help guide you through the process.

Cost of Life Insurance in Canada for Colon Cancer Survivors

Cost of Life Insurance in Canada for Colon Cancer Survivors
Cost of Life Insurance in Canada for Colon Cancer Survivors

Due to increased mortality risk, colon cancer survivors in Canada can expect to pay higher premiums versus healthy individuals when applying for life insurance.

According to insurance industry data, typical premium increases for survivors include:

  • Early-stage diagnosis: can be 25% – 50% higher than standard rates
  • Late-stage diagnosis: can be 100% – 300% (or more) higher than standard
  • Expect a minimum of 5-year waiting period before qualifying
  • An individual’s condition and life expectancy determine rate

Sample Monthly Premiums for $500,000 Term Life Policy

Health StatusSample Monthly Premium
Healthy Individual$85
Early-Stage Survivor$100 – $125
Late-Stage Survivor$250 – $300+

You can compare and find the most competitive rates by obtaining quotes from multiple insurers. When you work with an independent broker, you’ll receive expert guidance to help you uncover affordable coverage options tailored to your needs.

When applying for life insurance coverage, diseases like Cerebral Palsy, Liver Cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cirrhosis, and Brain Cancer may complicate your qualification and raise rates. While each condition is assessed differently, significant health problems often lead to eligibility challenges. Review these valuable guides to learn how pre-existing conditions affect life insurance in Canada:

Applying for Life Insurance with Colon Cancer in Canada

When applying for life insurance after surviving colon cancer, keep these tips in mind:

  • Work with a broker skilled in underwriting cancer survivors – they can help guide you through the process and determine when to apply.
  • Be prepared to provide access to all medical records – omitting information can lead to later denial of the claim.
  • Answer health questions completely and accurately – even small details matter.
  • Choose an established life insurance company with experience insuring cancer survivors.
  • Be patient if not approved initially – reapply periodically as more time elapses after treatment.
  • Compare quotes from at least eight different Canadian providers – rates can vary.
  • Consider both term and permanent life policies or a combination of both.

With commitment and expert help, obtaining coverage is very possible for Canadian colon cancer survivors.

Where to Buy Life Insurance with Colon Cancer

Colon cancer survivors in Canada have several options to explore when looking to purchase life insurance coverage:

  • Independent Insurance Brokers: Brokers can shop among multiple insurers to find you the best policy and rate. Most recommend independent brokers who work with higher-risk cases.
  • Insurer Directly: Some life insurance companies in Canada: Desjardins Life Insurance, BMO Life Insurance, Canada Protection Plan CPP Life Insurance allow applying directly through their website or over the phone. But this limits you to one carrier.
  • Financial Advisor Referral: Your financial advisor may recommend or refer you to specific insurance providers they partner with.
  • Online Insurance Aggregators: Comparison websites allow you to get quotes from multiple insurers quickly.

Independent brokers and financial advisors can provide the most personalized service and application guidance. However, online aggregators offer a fast way to make initial comparisons.

How to Make a Claim on Life Insurance with Colon Cancer

To make a life insurance claim in Canada after death from colon cancer:

  • Contact the life insurance company promptly to start the claims process.
  • Provide a certified death certificate showing the cause of death.
  • Submit the claimant’s proof of identity and policy ownership documentation.
  • The insurer will send claim forms to be completed by the designated beneficiary.
  • Provide any additional medical records or assignment of benefits forms requested.
  • The insurer will pay out the death benefit to the assigned beneficiary when a claim is approved.
  • If denied, the claimant can resubmit or appeal the decision if appropriate.

Having an experienced life insurance broker assist with the claims process can make it faster and easier for the beneficiary during an already challenging time.


The road to securing life insurance after being diagnosed with colon cancer has challenges, but reaching your destination is absolutely achievable. Focus on restoring your health first and foremost. When the time comes to apply, take a methodical approach to gathering medical records, enlist an expert advisor, and remain transparent throughout the process. Approach each step with patience and perseverance, knowing there are options if one path is initially blocked. With the proper guidance and timing, Canadian colon cancer survivors can obtain the life insurance coverage they need to protect their financial futures.

Need personalized guidance on obtaining life insurance after colon cancer? The experts at Life Buzz can help. Get in touch today for a free consultation and insurance needs assessment. We’ll match you with top-rated insurers tailored to your unique situation. Don’t delay – contact LifeBuzz now to start the journey to financial security.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Life Insurance with Colon Cancer

How does having stage 1 colon cancer affect eligibility for life insurance with colon cancer?

For stage 1 colon cancer, a waiting period of 1-2 years is common before qualifying for life insurance with colon cancer, and premiums may be 25-50% higher than standard rates. More time since treatment improves eligibility.

What are the chances of being approved for life insurance with colon cancer if I was diagnosed over ten years ago?

If it has been over ten years since your colon cancer diagnosis and treatment, and you remain cancer-free, your chances of being approved for life insurance with colon cancer at close to standard rates are very good.

How long should I wait to apply for life insurance with colon cancer after finishing chemotherapy?

It is recommended to wait a minimum of 2 years after finishing chemotherapy for colon cancer before applying for life insurance with colon cancer to allow time for your health to stabilize.

Can stage 3 colon cancer survivors qualify for life insurance with colon cancer?

Yes, stage 3 colon cancer survivors can qualify for life insurance with colon cancer, though premiums maybe 100-200% higher than standard rates, and permanent policies may be more difficult to obtain.

What are my life insurance with colon cancer options if I have metastatic colon cancer?

If you have metastatic colon cancer, your options for life insurance with colon cancer will be very limited, typically a guaranteed issue policy with a maximum of $25,000 coverage.

Is it possible to find no medical exam life insurance with colon cancer?

No medical exam life insurance options are very limited for someone with a colon cancer history, as full underwriting is typically required. Maximum coverage for no-exam policies tends to be too low.

How long after colon cancer surgery should I wait to apply for life insurance with colon cancer?

It's recommended to wait at least one year after surgery for colon cancer before applying for life insurance with colon cancer to allow for full recovery. Waiting two years improves your eligibility and rates.

Can I qualify for life insurance with colon cancer if I have an ileostomy bag?

Yes, you can potentially qualify for life insurance with colon cancer after an ileostomy, though premiums may be somewhat higher. Underwriters evaluate complete recovery and stability.

Will a genetic test for colon cancer impact my ability to qualify for life insurance with colon cancer later?

Testing positive for a colon cancer gene mutation could negatively impact eligibility and premiums if applying for life insurance with colon cancer later. Speak to your advisor first.

What stage 4 colon cancer life insurance with colon cancer options exists beyond guaranteed issue policies?

For stage 4 colon cancer, guaranteed issue life insurance with colon cancer is typically the only option beyond any group insurance available from an employer. Traditional policies are very difficult to obtain.

How can I get the best rates on life insurance with colon cancer after being cancer-free for five years?

Waiting until at least five years cancer-free, maintaining excellent health, providing full records, comparing quotes from multiple top insurers, and working with an expert broker can help get the best rates on life insurance with colon cancer.

Where can I shop for the cheapest life insurance with colon cancer?

To find the most affordable life insurance with colon cancer, get quotes from several highly-rated insurers and compare. An independent broker has access to more insurers to get you the cheapest rates.

Can I convert term life insurance with colon cancer to permanent coverage later?

If your term life policy has a conversion option, you can likely convert to permanent life insurance with colon cancer later without medical underwriting, even if diagnosed after the initial policy purchase.

How much extra will I pay for life insurance with colon cancer compared to a healthy person?

Compared to healthy individuals, early-stage colon cancer survival may pay 25-50% more, while late-stage diagnoses could increase premiums by 100-300% or more, depending on life expectancy.

Should I disclose a family history of colon cancer when applying for life insurance with colon cancer?

Yes, you need to fully disclose any family colon cancer history when applying for life insurance with colon cancer, as insurers will incorporate your genetic risk into underwriting.

What is the life insurance with colon cancer application process like in Canada?

In Canada, applying for life insurance with colon cancer involves disclosing your diagnosis details, treatment records, and current status. You'll complete specific cancer questionnaires and undergo data collection by underwriters.

Should I apply for life insurance with colon cancer through an independent agent or insurer directly?

Experts strongly recommend using an independent agent to apply for life insurance with colon cancer. They can best navigate underwriting complexities and get you quotes from the top insurers.

What is the average wait time to receive life insurance with colon cancer payout after death?

After submitting all required documents, the average wait time to receive life insurance with colon cancer payout after death is typically 30-90 days, depending on the insurer and the complexity of the claim.

Can I adjust my life insurance with colon cancer if the cancer returns?

If your colon cancer returns, your existing life insurance with colon cancer will not be adjusted. The full death benefit would still be paid. New policies may become difficult to obtain if the cancer recurs.

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  1. Securing Life Insurance After Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis –
  2. 2024 Guide on Life Insurance for Colon Cancer Survivors –
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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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