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When I was young growing up in Wyoming I remember being talked into a cow tipping trip one evening. I don’t know if this goes on everywhere, but in Wyoming adults really like to jack with kids by having them attempt urban, or in our case, country legends. Another was snipe hunting but I’ll save that for the appropriate post

Anyway, cow tipping is done at night when the cows are theoretically asleep, standing up. If it all works out your should be able to run at the cow hitting it in the side like a linebacker somewhere above its’ center of gravity. Because it’s asleep it has no warning and falls over. It didn’t work out so well. The cow didn’t go down, but I did. I’ve never quite given up on the notion that it ought to work though. Just the right cow at just the right time. Maybe a little side hill?

The news that came out a few days ago about an A+ life insurance company making huge moves in cancer underwriting somehow hit me as I was walking today, analogically speaking, as a successful cow tipping. This company just caught the life insurance world sleeping and turned it upside down with a huge blow of logic.

The medical community has made huge strides in cancer detection and treatment in the last few decades and the life insurance underwriting profession has been slow to accept the fact that mortality risks on some kinds of cancer have changed dramatically. Just an example. For years now watchful waitings has been almost the treatment of choice with older men who have low stage and grade prostate cancer. As manyt doctors will tell you, if it’s found at a low stage and grade in your 60’s or 70’s, the chances are almost 100% that you will die from something other than the cancer. The side effects of treating the cancer simply overwhelm any possible good it might do. And with watchful waiting if the cancer does become active you’ve still caught it at a low stage and grade and still have all the treatment options open.

With that knowledge I have shopped the idea of watchful waiting to 30+ life insurance companies every year for the last several years and every year it has come back the same. “Watchful waiting is not treatment and we won’t offer until after successful treatment”. That same response came from the company who tipped the proverbial cow, until now. Now, over age 70 prostate cancer watchful waiting, dependent on low stage and grade, can get standard rates. Wham. Down goes the cow.

With almost no exception life insurance companies have had a one year post successful treatment waiting period for breast cancer and prostate cancer. This company has changed that and said that they will approve standard IMMEDIATELY after successful treatment of low stage and grade cancers. Just to be clear, this doesn’t mean that you can sign an app on the way out of the operating room because success of treatment always some follow up test. With prostate cancer after a radical prostatectomy that successful treatment would be confirmed when you PSA is 0. With radiation treatment successful treatment is measured by a PSA below .5 and they will approve standard if the client is over age 60 immediately upon successful treatment.

With breast cancer, if a woman is over 40, a standard rate can be approved immediately upon successful treatment for certain localized breast cancer. I will expound more on that as guidelines become clearer, but this would certainly be the case with a stage 0 DCIS and I can see it being the case with anything that has not migrated beyond the breast, a situation where there is surgical treatment and no need for chemo or radiation.

It just goes on and on. It’s like when the cow got up they kept knocking it back down. With thyroid, uterine and testicular cancer standard approvals can be immediate upon successful treatment in early stage and grade cases. Cancer cases that used to call for $5 to $10 flat extras can now be approved at standard without the flat extras.

Bottom line. The life insurance industry pasture is a different looking place today. We can turn new applications into approvals that were never even thought of last year. We can replace insurance that just went in force last year with better rates. There honestly isn’t anything that isn’t exciting about this. If you have any questions or have a cancer history and are overpaying for your life insurance, call or email me directly. Let’s talk.