You may qualify for a traditional term life insurance or permanent life insurance policy if you’ve been in remission for a few years or more. The number of years you’ve been in remission depends on each company’s policy rules
Have you been in remission for three or more years? You can qualify for term life insurance with PolicyMe.
We offer some of the best term policy rates in Canada (up to 20% more affordable).
Best life insurance companies for cancer
The best life insurance companies for cancer patients are Canada Protection Plan, Assumption Life and CIBC Life Insurance.
We review companies that offer guaranteed issue policies, which is a type of life insurance that doesn't require without a medical questionnaire or exam.
But don't forget: these policies are pricey, have smaller payouts and are only for very specific life situations. Each option offers different coverage amounts.
1. Canada Protection Plan: Guaranteed Acceptance Life
Canada Protection Plan offers a life insurance policy called Guaranteed Acceptance Life. No matter your current health condition, you will be accepted.
Coverage: Up to $50K
Eligibility: Ages 18–75
Includes terminal illness benefit; if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, this pays up to 75% of the death benefit (maximum $250K) to the policy owner
Includes transportation benefit; this helps with the cost of transportation if you (the policyholder) pass away more than 200km from your principal residence
Optional accidental death benefit of up to 5x your death benefit; eligibility depends on age. But note that this will increase your monthly premiums
In the fifth policy year, it will start to accumulate a cash value; if you cancel your policy, you (the policy owner) will get any cash value back
Two-year waiting period and if you pass away before then by non-accidental means, your beneficiaries only get a refund of premiums
2. Assumption Life: Bronze Protection Life Insurance
Assumption Life offers term life and permanent life insurance options with fewer medical requirements. Their guaranteed issue life insurance is called Bronze Protection. Below are more details about it.
Coverage: Up to $50K
Eligibility: Ages 18–80
Includes living benefit of 50% of coverage amount if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness
Includes transportation benefit of up to $2K if you pass away 200km away from your home
Includes accidental death benefit
After the fifth policy year, you can get cash values
No death benefit if you pass away in the first two years of the policy
Coverage for ages 71–80 is less (between $2,500 and $25,000)
3. CIBC: Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance
CIBC’s Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance product is not as robust as other companies but it can be a good last resort option. You can still get some coverage with it to help cover funeral and other expenses after your passing.
Coverage: Increments of $5K, up to $25K
Eligibility: Canadian resident aged 40–74
Locked in premiums if your smoker status stays the same
Lower rates for non-smokers
You can get coverage for your spouse as well
Accidental death coverage of up to 5x your coverage, if you pass away before age 80 (maximum $125K)
Optional living benefit if after two years you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness and have two years or less to live. You can receive up to 50% of your coverage amount
30-day review period where you can cancel your policy and get a full refund
If you pass away before two years, no death benefit; only your premiums will be returned
After your policy becomes active, you cannot add a spouse to it
You can’t change the coverage amount of your policy; if you want to increase coverage, you need to buy a new policy
Cancer life insurance quotes
To get a life insurance quote for cancer patients, many companies have an online tool you can use to get an estimate.
But you can be eligible for a few different types of policies depending on your unique situation and type of cancer; so it might be a good idea to contact an insurance advisor at the company.
They can give you a quote and help answer your questions in more detail.
But tread carefully: many life insurance advisors are commissioned and incentivized to sell customers more coverage than they might require.
If you’ve been cancer-free for three years, you can get a life insurance quote with PolicyMe in just a few clicks. No commitment necessary.
Know that you absolutely do have options for keeping your family financially secure if you pass.
Keep in mind that guaranteed issue life insurance is much more expensive than traditional types of coverage. And the payout amounts are much smaller, too.
You can get life insurance quotes online to start shopping around for rates. You can also ask a life insurance advisor, but many of them are commissioned.
If you’re a cancer survivor, you can shop around for other options like term life insurance, which is considerably more affordable and for much bigger payouts.
Caution: there is a two-year waiting period for most life insurance. If you pass away before then, your beneficiaries just get your premiums paid back, not the full payout.
FAQ: best life insurance for cancer patients and survivors Canada
Can I get whole life insurance if I have cancer?
No, if you have cancer, you cannot get traditional whole life insurance. However, you can get a guaranteed issue life insurance policy which can last your whole life, but coverage amounts will be much smaller than a typical life insurance policy.
Can cancer patients get life insurance?
Yes, cancer patients can get life insurance in Canada.
But some companies will deny you for certain policies if you have cancer, which is considered a critical illness. So, your best option is a guaranteed issue policy which does not require any medical screening.
Can you get life insurance for Stage 4 cancer?
Yes, if you have stage 4 cancer, you can get guaranteed issue life insurance.
Note that most policies will only give your beneficiaries the full death benefit after two years of the policy being signed. So, if you pass away before then, your loved ones will only receive a return on the premiums you already paid.
How much is life insurance if you have cancer?
If you have cancer, term life insurance will cost you more than it will for a healthy person. This is because you will likely need to get a guaranteed issue life insurance policy which is more expensive than traditional policies.
Shop around with different insurers who offer guaranteed issue life insurance to see your pricing options.
How long after cancer can you get life insurance?
You can get life insurance while you have cancer or you can wait until you’ve been in remission for a few years. Each company has different policies so while some may require you to be in remission for at least three years to qualify, others might require ten.
If you are worried about leaving your family financially insecure in the event of your passing, it’s best to consider life insurance options sooner than later.