Shopping for life insurance when you have had prostate cancer is a challenge. Your best bet is to find an independent life insurance agent who really knows the disease and what underwriters are looking for. This is just not a task for your hometown American Family agent. This is another one of those subjects that will send an inexperienced agent running out the door screaming “UNINSURABLE, UNINSURABLE!!!!!!!!!”
80% of prostate cancer cases are actually insurable at very fair rates. It all depends on the stage and grade of the cancer, the PSA at the time of diagnosis and the PSA post treatment.
The grading of prostate cancer is interesting. The medical folks use what is called a Gleason score. As with all cancers, the higher the grade, the more aggressive the cancer is. From an insurance standpoint it may seem like you are working with the Richter scale of earthquake measurement. You’ve possibly heard that a 7 on the Richter scale is 10 or 100 times worse than an earthquake measured at 6.
With prostate cancer a Gleason grade of 6, coupled with a PSA below 10 at diagnosis, a low stage of 1 or 2, and an undetectable PSA after a prostatectomy is very insurable at very fair rates. A Gleason of 7 with the same criteria is likely to be very high priced at least for several years and a Gleason of 8 simply won’t be covered for at least 5 years and then at a very high rate. Gleason 9 and 10 are rarely heard of and this is just a guess, but it could be that the survival rate at that grade is very low.
How best to shop for life insurance? Find that independent agent and then come armed with a post treatment pathology report. Know your PSA at diagnosis and your current PSA. Share all the information you have. The more information the agent has, the more successful they can be at shopping the case for you.
This post is somewhat dated. Life insurance underwriting is changing and evolving continually. For more updated information check out some of the key word links. If you have a specific question or topic you need information for do a search. If you don’t find the answers you need contact me and we’ll make sure you get the information that is important to you.