How to Get Term Life Insurance With Melanoma

Finding term life insurance with melanoma can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. You might still be able to get coverage, but you will not know whether life insurance companies will issue you a term life policy until you do some research.

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Schimri Yoyo is a financial advisor with active life and health insurance licenses in seven states. Born in Haiti. Reared in Brockton, MA. Matured in Philadelphia. Schimri is a proud graduate of Arcadia University, having earned both a Masters in Special Education and an MFA in Creative Writing from the castle-riddled campus in Glenside, PA. By personality and by profession, Schimri is an educator...

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Written by Schimri Yoyo
Licensed Agent & Financial Advisor Schimri Yoyo

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: May 12, 2022

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  • Your skin cancer diagnosis is likely to impact your life insurance rates
  • The policies and rates life insurance companies offer you will depend on the severity of your melanoma diagnosis
  • If you cannot find or afford a term life insurance policy, you may want to consider a guaranteed acceptance life insurance plan

If you’ve ever been diagnosed with melanoma, you know how scary it can be. Depending on the severity of your case, you may have to undergo significant treatment. It can also be difficult to wait for your health results following your melanoma treatment.

One thing you may consider as someone with melanoma is how you can get a term life insurance policy after your diagnosis. A skin cancer diagnosis can make it challenging to find the life insurance coverage you want at a price you can afford, but you do have options.

It’s possible to buy life insurance with a melanoma history. You can find affordable life insurance with melanoma by doing comparison shopping for term life insurance rates.

Can I get term life insurance with melanoma?

You may be able to get a term life insurance policy with melanoma. But you will not know whether life insurance companies will issue you a term life policy until you start to do some research. 

Some life insurance companies will offer term and whole life policies to individuals with certain types of cancer. For example, if you caught your cancer early, have undergone treatment, and received a good prognosis, life insurance companies may be more likely to issue you a term life policy.

On the other hand, if your melanoma is considered severe, it may be difficult for you to find the life insurance coverage you want. Most life insurance companies will be hesitant to offer you a term or whole life insurance policy if your skin cancer is in an advanced stage or if you have been diagnosed with cancer more than once. 

Life insurance rates with melanoma vary by company. Use our free quote tool to get a customized life insurance quote with melanoma or any term coverage.

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How does melanoma impact life insurance?

If you had a life insurance policy before being diagnosed with melanoma, your life insurance rates should stay the same. Your cancer diagnosis will not impact your life insurance, as you purchased your life insurance policy before your diagnosis. 

However, anyone searching for life insurance coverage after a melanoma diagnosis can expect to have a difficult time finding reasonable monthly rates.

There are three types of skin cancer: 

  • Squamous cell carcinoma 
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma 

Melanoma is the most severe type of skin cancer, so insurance companies will be less likely to provide reasonable life insurance rates for someone with this diagnosis. 

It’s important to note that insurance companies will also vary what is offered to you depending on the timeline for your cancer diagnosis, treatment, and overall prognosis.

What is the process of getting life insurance with melanoma?

When you apply for life insurance with melanoma, you can expect to get a lot of questions about your diagnosis. 

An underwriter with the life insurance company you’re interested in will probably ask you the following questions about your melanoma diagnosis, your specific treatments, and your overall health history:

  • Which types of skin cancers have you had in the past?
  • Is there a history of skin cancer in your family?
  • When were you diagnosed with melanoma?
  • What stage was your melanoma?
  • Have you had any recurrences of skin cancer?
  • Has the skin cancer metastasized?
  • What treatments have you undergone?
  • Are you currently undergoing treatment for melanoma?
  • How long have you been cancer-free (if applicable)?

After the underwriter asks you questions similar to those listed above, you will receive a specific life insurance rate or risk classification. Your risk classification can significantly impact your life insurance quotes with melanoma.

How much is term life insurance with melanoma?

There’s no way to know how much you will pay for term life insurance with melanoma until you get skin cancer quotes for coverage from life insurance companies based on your unique information. Your risk classification will have a major impact on your life insurance coverage options and rates.

The table below shows the different life insurance risk classes.

Life Insurance Risk Class Qualifications
Risk Class TypeQualifications
PreferredThis class is for non-smoking individuals who are in outstanding health. Treatment for high blood pressure or high cholesterol is acceptable in this class ranking. Height and weight may be slightly over average. Lab results may also be slightly abnormal.
Preferred PlusThis class is for non-smoking individuals who are in superior health.
They have no chronic illnesses and their immediate family members did not die before the age of 60 from cancer or heart disease. Their lab results are within normal range. Weight and height profiles are also within the average range.
SmokerSmokers are often offered a specific ranking but with a smoker classification. For example, you can qualify for a Standard Smoker class. The Smoker class is not always reserved for smoking cigarettes but also can include many kinds of tobacco use. As a result, chewing tobacco and smoking cigars could increase your rates.
StandardThe Standard ranking is for non-smokers who have a normal life expectancy and average health. The individual may be receiving treatment for minor conditions. One of more of the covered's parents can have died from heart disease or cancer before the age of 60. Height and weight can be above average. Elevated lab results for blood pressure and cholesterol are accepted.
Standard PlusThe Standard Plus ranking is for non-smokers who are of average health. The height and weight of the individual may be higher than normal.
SubstandardThe Substandard class ranking is for those who need high-risk life insurance. Those with a below-average life expectancy, are obese, and/or have major health conditions, will be covered in this ranking. It is also the class ranking that will cover the sufferers of major health conditions, including diabetes and cancer.
It will also be the classification for those with abnormal lab results.
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As you can see from the table, a melanoma diagnosis is likely to put you in the substandard risk class. However, you may find that certain companies are willing to offer you reasonable term life insurance rates even if you are a substandard client.

If you can find a life insurance company willing to offer you a term life policy, many other factors ultimately determine how much you will pay each month. Some of the most common factors life insurance companies consider when issuing policies include: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Health status
  • Family health history
  • Occupation
  • Hobbies
  • Tobacco use

If you were diagnosed with melanoma and have been cancer-free for seven years, you may still pay more for coverage because of some of the factors listed above.

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Can I buy term life insurance if I’m getting chemotherapy?

It is possible to get a term or permanent life insurance policy while undergoing treatment for melanoma or other types of cancer. But you will have a much better shot at getting the kind of policy you want if you have an early stage of cancer or have been cancer-free for five or more years.

If you are currently undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, or another form of cancer treatment, or if you have been diagnosed with a late stage of cancer, you are likely to find that your options for life insurance are much more limited.

Even if you can find a term or whole life insurance policy after you’re diagnosed with melanoma, you may find that the rates are too steep for the policy to be a viable option. Again, this will depend on your specific situation. And you may have more luck if you find and compare quotes from multiple companies.

What if I can’t get a term life policy with melanoma?

If you have applied for life insurance with several life insurance companies and have continually been turned down for coverage, you may need to look for a life insurance policy that does not require a medical exam.

One option to consider is a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy. Guaranteed acceptance life insurance policies will offer coverage regardless of your medical condition. Still, the rates are likely to be fairly expensive, and you may not get the kind of coverage you want. 

If you are discouraged by your life insurance options with melanoma, you can speak to life insurance agents with different companies to see what you can do. Some life insurance companies will reconsider issuing a term life policy after you have been cancer-free for more than five years. This is especially true if you are in your 40s or 50s. 

Term Life Insurance with Melanoma: The Bottom Line

If you’ve been diagnosed with melanoma, you may still be able to purchase a term life insurance policy. Life insurance companies will ask you several questions about your cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis before reaching a decision concerning your coverage options.

If you find a term life policy you like, you can expect to pay higher-than-average rates because of your melanoma diagnosis. However, if you cannot purchase a term life policy, you may be able to find a guaranteed issue policy that works for you and your loved ones. 

Life insurance rates with melanoma vary by company. You can start comparison shopping to find skin cancer quote or any term coverage.

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