Life Insurance After Cancer in Ireland

The word “CANCER” is probably one of the most feared words in existence. Certainly, It is the last word you want to hear when sitting in your GP surgery or waiting for a loved one to share some “Important” news with you. Most of us have been impacted by cancer either directly or indirectly, evidently, this is not surprising considering that 1 in 2 people will get cancer in their lifetime.

Can You Get Life Insurance After Cancer?

The purpose of this blog is to give insights, guidance, and Hope on obtaining life insurance after cancer in Ireland. We will explore Irish cancer statistics, discuss different types of cancer, and delve into the concept of waiting periods for life insurance coverage for each cancer type.

Before delving into the specifics of life insurance after cancer, it’s helpful to understand the broader context of cancer in Ireland, According to the Irish Cancer Society, cancer is a significant health issue, with over 44,000 new cases diagnosed each year. As of 2020, there were 207,000 cancer patients or former cancer patients alive in Ireland.

The most common types of cancers in Ireland include:

1. Skin cancer

2. Prostate Cancer

3. Breast Cancer

4. Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer

5. Lung Cancer

Undoubtedly, these statistics highlight the importance of understanding the possibilities for life insurance coverage for cancer survivors.

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New Agreement for Cancer Survivors and Mortgage Protection

On 3rd April 2023, Insurance Ireland and its members announced a NEW Code of Practice to improve access to mortgage protection insurance for cancer survivors. This follows discussions with the Irish Cancer Society last summer regarding its 2021 report, highlighting that many cancer survivors do not feel that they can access the necessary life cover in order to obtain a mortgage. The code means insurers will disregard a cancer diagnosis where treatment ended more than seven years, prior to their application for mortgage protection insurance. Participating insurers commit to implementing this framework within six months.

This is a long time overdue and is excellent news for cancer survivors. However, if you do not meet the above criteria, it can still be possible to get Life Insurance.

When making an application for Mortgage Protection and life insurance after cancer, Ireland’s Life Insurance Companies will look for the following:

When were you diagnosed with cancer?

What type of cancer was it?

What was the grade and stage of the cancer?

How was it treated?

When did your treatment end?

How long are you in remission from cancer?

In general, as standard a Private Medical Report will be requested from your GP for any Mortgage Protection or Life Insurance applications with Cancer History noted.

How long must I be Cancer free to get Life Insurance?

With all cancers, there is a Minimum period known as a “waiting period”. This is the minimum time you must be cancer free before a life insurance company will consider an application from you.

The length of the waiting period will vary depending on:

  • The Type of Cancer you have had
  • The severity of your cancer
  • Your treatment journey (surgery, chemotherapy radiotherapy etc)
  • The Insurer you Select (this is why choosing the right insurer first is really important).

Different Types of Cancer and Waiting Periods for Life Insurance:

Life Insurance after Breast Cancer:

Breast cancer is a prevalent cancer type among both women and men. Waiting periods for life insurance coverage after breast cancer can vary. In some cases, insurers may require a waiting period of around 1 to 5 years following the completion of treatment before offering coverage. This waiting period allows insurers to assess the stability of the individual’s condition. The stage and grade of breast cancer at the time of diagnosis will impact the waiting/postponement period.

For example:

Stage 1 – postponed for 2-3 after the treatment has ended

Stage 2 – postponed for 3-5 after the treatment has ended

Stage 3 – postponed for 5 or more years after the treatment end has ended

Stage 4 – unfortunately cover will not be possible

Life Insurance after Prostate Cancer:

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. Generally waiting periods for life insurance coverage after prostate cancer treatment typically range from 1 to 3 years. Insurers will consider factors such as the stage and grade of cancer, treatment history, and post-treatment recovery.

Life Insurance after Lung Cancer:

Lung cancer has a significant impact on individuals in terms of both incidence and mortality. Waiting periods for life insurance coverage after lung cancer can be more prolonged, often ranging from 5 to 10 years. Insurers consider factors such as the stage of cancer, treatment type, and smoking history.

Life Insurance after Colorectal Cancer:

Colorectal cancer affects the colon or rectum and is a common cancer in Ireland. Generally waiting periods for life insurance coverage after colorectal cancer treatment typically range from 1 to 5 years. Insurers evaluate factors such as the stage of cancer, treatment details, and post-treatment recovery.

Life Insurance after Skin Cancer:

Skin cancer, including melanoma and non-melanoma types, is a prevalent cancer in Ireland due to the country’s high UV index, particularly between April to September. Generally waiting periods for life insurance coverage after skin cancer treatment can range from 6 months to 3 years, depending on the severity and treatment type.

Read more about:

  1. 1. Tax Savings – The Ultimate Guide for the Self Employed
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  3. 3. What Does Income Protection Cover and Why Do I Need It?

Case Study Example:

In 2022, Marie contacted me regarding Mortgage Protection. Marie was purchasing her first home and the house purchase had gone to contract stage with solicitors. Marie applied for mortgage protection with her lender and was quoted €200 per month due to her cancer history. (Breast Cancer, in remission 2 years)

After assessing Marie’s medical details, I knew we could do better for her. We applied to a different insurer and were able to secure a monthly premium of €125.00 per month. In addition, the insurer agreed that the price would reduce further to €50.00 per month in 3 years’ time.

Marie was delighted, she proceeded with her home purchase as planned.

Conclusion – Life Insurance after Cancer is possible!!

Although not easy, securing life insurance after cancer in Ireland is possible. Nevertheless, it is important to consult with Life Insurance Experts to get personalized guidance tailored to your specific situation. Additionally, they can provide comprehensive advice based on your individual circumstances and help you navigate the obstacles of obtaining life insurance after cancer.

What can Financial Life do for you?

At Financial Life we have a team of experienced CFP® Professionals, Qualified Financial advisors who help cancer survivors get Life Insurance and Mortgage Protection, day in, day out. Firstly, we know which Life Insurance companies will provide you with the best terms. Secondly, we deal with Irish Life, Aviva Ireland, Zurich Life, New Ireland, and Royal London Ireland and we will place you with the best company based on the medical information you provide.

Thirdly, we get special broker discounts which can reduce your premium even further.

Check out our testimonials:

Finally, If you have any questions in relation to this you can reach me personally on 01 582 3523 or email me at Aidan@financiallife.ie

Thanks for reading


Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered professional advice. It is advisable to seek expert financial advice for personalized guidance regarding life insurance.


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