Life Insurance for the Terminally Ill

If you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, you may think it is too late for you to get life insurance. You are wrong. There is life insurance for the terminally ill, but the coverage is limited. Our guide will help you learn how to get life insurance coverage even if you are terminally ill.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: Apr 21, 2022

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Quick Facts

  • If you have been recently diagnosed with a terminal illness, you may be wondering if you can still get life insurance coverage
  • You can still get life insurance coverage if you have a terminal illness, but your options will be severely limited
  • If you were already insured before your diagnosis, check to see if there are any riders on your policy that could help cover costs while you are still alive

Getting the news that you are terminally ill is devastating. Your mind will likely be focusing on how you can take care of your family, loved ones, and affairs after you pass away. You’ll probably start thinking about life insurance coverage if you haven’t already. Can you get no medical exam life insurance?

You may wonder, does life insurance cover terminal illness? It should cover you. However, maybe you are a cancer survivor and got life insurance post-cancer recovery. In this case, you may have a life insurance cancer rider that excludes this type of death from being covered.

In almost all cases though, life insurance covers terminal illness. The real question is, can you get life insurance if you are terminally ill? You can, but options for life insurance for the terminally ill will be very limited. Let’s take a closer look below.

Which life insurance company for the terminally ill is for you? Read on to learn more about getting life insurance if terminally ill.

Can a terminally ill person get life insurance?

Terminally ill people can get life insurance. Depending on how sick you are, your options for life insurance coverage will vary. Can a sick person get life insurance? If you are terminally ill, you will have very few options, but you will have some.

Insurance for terminal cancer patients is narrowed down to about three good options: guaranteed issue life insurance, final expense insurance, and burial insurance.

Getting life insurance for a terminally ill parent or child will provide some relief during difficult times.

What is the guaranteed issue life insurance?

The best life insurance for breast cancer patients and people with other illnesses that could be terminal is guaranteed issue life insurance. These policies come with no medical exam, few questions, and are generally approved very quickly.

These policies tend to max out at about $25,000 of total policy and there is typically a two year waiting period for these policies to go into effect. If you pass away before the two years are over, your policy’s beneficiaries don’t receive any benefits.

Your money is not wasted, however. If you die before the policy takes effect, your beneficiaries receive the amount of money you paid in premiums plus interest on the money. Even if you pass away before your policy goes into effect, your beneficiaries still get something.

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What is burial insurance?

If guaranteed issue life insurance is not appealing, you can get a burial insurance policy. This type of coverage only covers the costs of burial. While it may not seem like much, this can be a huge help for your family and friends.

Burials can be costly, and it may put the people you care about into financial difficulties to provide you with a proper burial. This type of insurance coverage ensures your burial is paid for.

What is final expense insurance?

This type of insurance policy is very similar to burial insurance, but it also covers the costs of the funeral and other associated final expenses. Burial insurance only covers the cost of the burial.

Check out the average monthly costs of final expense insurance as you age.

Average Monthly Final Expense Life Insurance Rates by Gender: $10,000 Policy
Policyholder Age$10,000 Policy: Male Average Monthly Rates$10,000 Policy: Female Average Monthly Rates
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Individuals who are healthy can generally get up to $50,000 of final expense coverage, but if you are terminally ill, the most coverage you are likely to get in final expense insurance is $25,000.

What about riders for those who are already insured?

As discussed at the beginning of the article, a cancer rider may exclude death by cancer from paying out benefits in your life insurance policy. However, your life insurance policy may have other riders, such as accelerated death benefit riders.

Check your policy, though, because they are not all the same and the life insurance payout for terminally ill people will differ from person to person.

Living benefit life insurance riders allow you to receive some of your death benefits early, before you die. These benefits can help you pay for medical care, etc. in your final days so you can be sure you are comfortable until the end.

If you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, check to see if you have any riders like accelerated death benefits in your policy.

Are you ready to buy life insurance for the terminally ill? It’s a good idea to start comparing life insurance quotes in your are to affordable life insurance for the terminally ill.

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