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Life Insurance with Thyroid Cancer in Canada

Life Insurance with Thyroid Cancer in Canada
Life Insurance with Thyroid Cancer in Canada

Getting diagnosed with thyroid cancer can be a stressful and life-altering experience. As a survivor, one of your major concerns will be getting life insurance to protect your family. The good news is that with the right approach, life insurance with thyroid cancer is attainable.

This guide provides Canadian thyroid cancer survivors with expert insights on navigating the life insurance process.

Understanding Thyroid Cancer in Canada

Let’s start by understanding key thyroid cancer facts and statistics in Canada:

With the right treatment, most thyroid cancer patients in Canada can go on to live long, healthy lives. Nonetheless, getting life insurance as a survivor requires navigating some unique challenges.

Factors Impacting Eligibility for Life Insurance with Thyroid Cancer

Factors Impacting Eligibility for Life Insurance with Thyroid Cancer
Factors Impacting Eligibility for Life Insurance with Thyroid Cancer

While life insurance is attainable for most thyroid cancer survivors, insurers will take various factors into account when assessing eligibility and premiums:

Type and Stage of Thyroid Cancer

The type of thyroid cancer diagnosed and the stage at the time of diagnosis both play a role. Insurers tend to view well-differentiated and earlier-stage cancers like Stage I or II papillary thyroid cancer more favourably. More aggressive or later-stage cancers like Stage III/IV medullary thyroid cancer are at higher risk.

Time Since Finishing Treatment

Nearly all insurers mandate waiting periods of between 1-5+ years after a thyroid cancer patient finishes treatment before they will underwrite a new policy. This required waiting period allows you time to demonstrate stability and reduce the chances of recurrence. Insurers want to see regular monitoring, and tests indicate no signs of returning cancer.

Typical waiting periods are:

  • 1-2 years for early-stage papillary thyroid cancer
  • 3-4 years for later-stage papillary or follicular thyroid cancer
  • 5+ years for anaplastic thyroid cancer or recurrent/advanced disease

Some insurers make exceptions for very low-risk Stage I papillary cancers to reduce the waiting period. However, for most applicants, meeting the designated waiting period is critical.

Treatments Received

Insurers will thoroughly examine what thyroid cancer treatments you underwent, including the following:

  • Thyroidectomy surgery
  • Radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy
  • External beam radiation therapy
  • Thyroid hormone supplementation
  • Chemotherapy or clinical trials

Less invasive treatments like surgery alone may be viewed more favourably by some insurers compared to multiple treatment modalities like surgery plus RAI or radiation.

Current Health Status

Your current overall health picture will be analyzed closely. This includes a review of any other medical conditions, your medications list, frequency of doctor visits, recent test results, and any evidence of residual thyroid cancer issues.

Ongoing treatment for comorbid conditions like diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease may raise concerns about shortened longevity. Signs of cancer recurrence may lead to declination. Optimized health helps demonstrate stability.

Age and Gender

Age can be a factor, as insurance companies may view younger survivors more favourably than older applicants. Gender is also relevant, as women have a much higher lifetime risk of developing thyroid cancer.

Other Health Conditions

Any co-existing medical conditions you have beyond the thyroid cancer itself could negatively impact your eligibility for coverage and lead to higher premiums. Conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke compound the mortality risk.

The combination of criteria used by insurers means each applicant is evaluated on an individual basis. While approval is feasible for most survivors, higher premiums should be expected.

Required Waiting Periods for Life Insurance With Thyroid Cancer After Treatment

Before starting the life insurance application process, it’s imperative to complete any waiting period mandated by the insurer after finishing thyroid cancer treatment.

Typical waiting periods:

Cancer Type/StageWaiting Period
Early Stage Papillary1-2 years
Later Stage Papillary3-4 years
Follicular3-4 years
Medullary3-5 years
Anaplastic or Recurrent5+ years

Meeting the waiting period demonstrates to insurers that you have restored stability and are considered cancer-free based on regular monitoring. This maximizes the chances of obtaining approval quickly at more reasonable rates.

Attempting to apply too soon can lead to higher rates or declination. Work with your doctor to ensure appropriate time has passed.

Available Policy Options of Life Insurance For Thyroid Cancer Survivors

There are two main types of life insurance policies available for those with a history of thyroid cancer:

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance provides affordable coverage for a set period of time, typically 10, 20 or 30 years. It only pays out a death benefit if the insured person passes away during the term. Term life does not accrue cash value.

Because term life only covers the policyholder for a limited term, it offers protection at a lower cost. This makes it the most practical and budget-friendly policy option for most thyroid cancer survivors who need coverage for a set period. Be sure to closely review the pros and cons of term life insurance before choosing a policy.

Permanent Life Insurance

The two main types of permanent life insurance are whole life and universal life. As the name implies, these policies provide lifetime protection that does not expire, unlike term policies.

The trade-off is that premiums for permanent life insurance are significantly higher than for term insurance. However, permanent policies accumulate cash value over time that can be borrowed against if needed. Carefully consider the pros and cons of permanent life insurance to see if the benefits justify the higher costs for your specific needs.

For thyroid cancer survivors who want lifelong coverage, permanent life insurance is an option, albeit a more expensive one. Many survivors may be better off with a term policy for 10-30 years of protection.

How Life Insurance With Thyroid Cancer Works

It helps to understand how life insurance functions:

  • With a term life policy, you pay lower premiums since coverage expires after the term of 10-30 years.
  • With a permanent life policy, premiums are higher, but coverage does not expire if you maintain payments. A portion of the premiums go toward building cash value that you can borrow against.
  • When applying, insurers will assess your cancer history and current health to determine risk factors and calculate your premiums accordingly. Recent thyroid cancer history raises costs.
  • If you pass away from any cause while your policy is active, the death benefit is paid out tax-free to your designated beneficiaries.
  • This death benefit is designed to replace lost income, pay off debts, cover final expenses, and otherwise protect loved ones financially.

While shopping for policies, term life insurance offers the most affordable way to secure needed coverage for most thyroid cancer survivors.

The Pros and Cons of Life Insurance With Thyroid Cancer

The Pros and Cons of Life Insurance With Thyroid Cancer
life buzz quote in canada new 8 1
The Pros and Cons of Life Insurance With Thyroid Cancer

There are important advantages and disadvantages to weigh when considering life insurance following thyroid cancer:

Potential Advantages

  • Protects your family’s financial future if you pass away
  • Covers final expenses like funeral costs that can easily exceed $10,000
  • Replaces lost income for dependents to maintain their standard of living
  • Pays off remaining mortgage balance and other debts so the family retains assets
  • Funds children’s future education expenses
  • Provides peace of mind and financial security for loved ones

Read more : Family life insurance in Canada

Potential Disadvantages

  • Premiums will likely be higher than for standard healthy applicants, potentially 25-100% more
  • Insurers almost always require waiting 1-5+ years after finishing cancer treatment before applying
  • You must fully disclose your cancer diagnosis and treatment history; no omissions
  • Insurers may require new medical examinations and bloodwork for assessment
  • If your health history is unfavourable, you may be declined by some insurers initially

Overall, for most thyroid cancer survivors, the benefits of life insurance coverage greatly outweigh the potential difficulties involved in qualifying for a policy after treatment.

Estimated Cost of Life Insurance With Thyroid Cancer

Several factors affect the cost of life insurance after thyroid cancer, including:

  • Type and stage of thyroid cancer: More aggressive or advanced cancers increase premiums.
  • Time since finishing treatment: The more recent the treatment, the higher the costs.
  • Age: Younger applicants get lower rates than older ones.
  • Overall health status: Remaining medical issues lead to increased premiums.
  • Amount of coverage needed: Higher death benefits mean higher premiums.
  • Length of coverage: Longer terms have pricier premiums.

On average, thyroid cancer survivors pay approximately 25-100% more in premiums versus healthy applicants.

Those who declined initially may eventually qualify for substandard policies with higher premiums after demonstrating years of stability.

Comparing Life Insurance With Thyroid Cancer in Canada

When evaluating life insurance options, you need to compare:

  • Term life vs. permanent life – Term gives affordable coverage for 10-30 years, while permanent is costly but lifelong. Most survivors just need term.
  • Group life vs. individual policies – Employer group life ends if you leave the job. Get individual coverage to stay protected.
  • Conditionally approved vs. rated policies – Conditionally approved policies cost more initially, but the rates can improve over time. Rated policies maintain higher costs.

I recommend working with an independent broker to compare quotes across multiple insurers and identify your best options.

Read more : Term life insurance vs whole life insurance

Who Needs Life Insurance With Thyroid Cancer?

Here are some examples of individuals who need life insurance even after a thyroid cancer diagnosis:

  • Parents with young children – ensuring your kids are provided for
  • People with final expenses – funeral, bills, medical expenses
  • Sole household income earners – replacing income depended on by family
  • Homeowners with mortgages – so the family can maintain residence
  • Business partners – for buyout insurance proceeds if you pass away
  • Spouses dependent on joint income – replacing contributions to household

How much life insurance do you need? Carefully assess your financial obligations and income sources to determine how much coverage to obtain. Factor in expenses like mortgage payments, education costs, and income replacement to help calculate an appropriate amount. Typical targets are 10-20x your annual income.

Expert Tips for Obtaining Life Insurance With Thyroid Cancer

Expert Tips for Obtaining Life Insurance With Thyroid Cancer
Expert Tips for Obtaining Life Insurance With Thyroid Cancer

Follow these best practices to secure coverage:

Work with a Specialized Independent Broker

Find an independent brokerage that has experience successfully placing high-risk life insurance cases. Avoid captive agents. Make sure to verify their expertise through online reviews.

Obtain full records covering your diagnosis, treatments, pathology reports, and follow-up care. These details are all required during underwriting.

Compare Quotes from at Least 5-10 Reputable Insurers

Applying with numerous insurers ensures you get the most competitive rates. Each will evaluate your case differently. Leverage online comparison platforms.

Disclose Your Full Medical History Transparently

Do not attempt to minimize or omit anything in your cancer diagnosis or treatment history. Failing to disclose pre-existing conditions can invalidate a policy later on if you pass away.

Learn more: Disclosing Pre-Existing Conditions to Insurers

Be Patient If You Are Declined Initially

Expect that some insurers will decline your application initially. Be persistent and keep trying different insurers after demonstrating stability over time. Maintain records of improved health.

Consider a Conditionally Approved Policy If Available

If offered a conditionally approved policy, it will be more expensive at first, but rates can improve in the future with no further underwriting.

Appeal Any Denial with Updated Medical Records

You can appeal a declination with new test results, scans, or exams that demonstrate improved health since your cancer treatment. Send updated records in your appeal.

With the proper agent guidance and persistence, life insurance is attainable for nearly all Canadian thyroid cancer survivors at reasonable rates.

Common illnesses like Cardiomyopathy, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Stroke, Alzheimer’s … can affect your life insurance eligibility in Canada. Refer to these articles to learn strategies for securing favorable life insurance coverage when dealing with such pre-existing health conditions:

Walkthrough of the Application Process for Life Insurance With Thyroid Cancer

Here is an overview of what to expect when going through the application process:

Step 1: Gather Comprehensive Medical Records

Obtain all medical records pertaining to your thyroid cancer diagnosis, treatments, pathology report, surgery details, radiation therapy notes, and follow-up care documents. Insurers will require this information.

Step 2: Choose an Independent Brokerage Specializing in Impaired Risks

Do your research to find an established brokerage with a track record of getting policies approved for high-risk clients. Check their client reviews and testimonials. Meet by video call if needed.

Step 3: Compare Quotes from At Least 5 Reputable Insurers

Be sure to apply with several highly rated life insurance companies in Canada like Manulife, Sun Life, Canada Life, Assumption Life, Foresters Financial, etc. Compare quotes side-by-side to identify the best offers based on rates and terms.

Step 4: Disclose Your Complete Cancer History

Completely and truthfully disclose your cancer diagnosis date, type, stage, and all treatments, plus any related medications, scans, and appointments. Records will be verified, so transparency is mandatory. Omissions can invalidate a policy.

Step 5: Be Prepared to Undergo Additional Medical Requirements

Insurers may require new medical exams, bloodwork, or other testing to assess your current health status. Complete these promptly and keep your broker updated on the results.

Leveraging an experienced broker to guide you through the application process is invaluable for successfully qualifying for coverage after thyroid cancer.

Alternatives if Declined for Traditional Life Insurance With Thyroid Cancer

If unable to obtain traditional life insurance, here are some alternatives to explore:

  • No Medical Exam Policies – These simplified issue life insurance policies only involve basic health questions upfront and no medical exam requirement.
  • Group Life Insurance – Determine if any professional/alumni groups you belong to offer group life insurance policies for members without medical underwriting.
  • Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance – With guaranteed issue life insurance, approval is guaranteed regardless of your health. However, the maximum benefit amounts are usually only $25,000 or less.
  • Re-applying Annually – Re-applying every year allows you to demonstrate ongoing stability and improved health, which may lead to eventual approval.
  • Review State Regulations – Research your state’s regulations, as some limit insurers’ ability to decline applicants who are cancer survivors.

Do not get discouraged if you initially refuse traditionally underwritten coverage. Alternative options and persistence make approval achievable.

Conclusion – Life Insurance with Thyroid Cancer is Attainable for Most Survivors

The road to obtaining life insurance after thyroid cancer has challenges, but coverage is feasible for the majority of survivors. By following proper waiting periods, leveraging experienced brokers, disclosing history fully, comparing multiple insurers’ offers, and staying persistent, needed coverage at reasonable rates can be secured.

Life insurance remains one of the best ways to protect your family’s financial future in the event of your passing. With the right support and diligence, Canadian thyroid cancer survivors can gain approval for policies tailored to their needs and budget. Do not take “no” as a final answer.

At LifeBuzz, we make navigating life insurance simple by providing free quotes, expert resources, and the latest news and data-driven insights on coverage. To learn more and get started protecting your loved ones, visit us anytime at

Frequently Asked Questions about Life Insurance With Thyroid Cancer

How expensive is life insurance with thyroid cancer compared to a regular policy?

Life insurance with thyroid cancer typically costs 25-100% more than a policy for someone without health conditions, owing to the higher mortality risk.

What are the chances of getting approved for life insurance with thyroid cancer?

With an experienced broker's help meeting waiting periods, disclosure requirements, and finding receptive insurers, approval odds for life insurance with thyroid cancer are good.

Is term life insurance available for people with thyroid cancer?

Yes, term life insurance policies are commonly available for 10-30 years for those with thyroid cancer once they meet the waiting period after treatment.

How long should I wait to apply for life insurance with thyroid cancer after finishing treatment?

Insurers typically require 1-5 years after treatment before applying for life insurance with thyroid cancer, to ensure you are cancer-free.

Which life insurance companies offer policies to survivors of thyroid cancer?

Major Canadian insurers like Manulife, Sun Life, Canada Life, and RBC Insurance will often offer life insurance with thyroid cancer if you meet medical criteria.

Can I get life insurance with thyroid cancer if I have other health problems, too?

Yes, but having other conditions like heart disease or diabetes in addition to thyroid cancer makes getting approved for life insurance with thyroid cancer much harder.

Should I apply for term or permanent life insurance with thyroid cancer?

For most cost savings, term life insurance is recommended for thyroid cancer survivors who just need temporary coverage of 10-30 years. Permanent insurance is pricier.

What benefits help enhance life insurance policies with thyroid cancer?

Living benefits/critical illness riders provide funds if diagnosed with another disease. Waiver of premium riders covers payments if you become ill again.

How do I determine the right amount of life insurance to get with thyroid cancer?

Analyze financial obligations like mortgage, income replacement, final expenses, and education costs. Aim for a death benefit of 10-20x annual income.

What medical underwriting steps are required when applying for life insurance with thyroid cancer?

Be prepared to provide full medical records, undergo new exams/tests, have your doctors submit related documentation, and authorize insurers to access all records.

How long does it take to get approved for life insurance with thyroid cancer?

Expect it to take 2-8 weeks for life insurance with thyroid cancer, as insurers must thoroughly review medical records before approving coverage.

What if I'm declined for life insurance with thyroid cancer - what are my options?

Alternatives if declined include simplified issue policies, group life through a professional association, guaranteed issue life insurance, or re-applying annually.

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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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