Talk about a health issue that’s been around the block several times and every time something new pops up. Skin cancer is it!

We’ve seen great strides in underwriting melanoma with a recent approval at standard plus rates just four months out from treatment. Obviously a best case scenario! It was a stage 0, very shallow. Fortunately for this person they had gone to a dermatologist several months prior and had a mole removed that showed melanocytic nevus, benign, but enough to launch regular checkups.

But even with the low stage and grade for a company to consider underwriting Melanoma less than a year out from treatment at standard plus rates was, well, one I didn’t really see coming. A pleasant surprise and a home run for the client.

Basal cell carcinoma is another one that if you don’t shop, you’re likely to be delivering bad news after underwriting. It used to be that basal cell just really wasn’t rateable. All else being good a person with a history of basal cell carcinomas could expect best rate class approval. Then came a study several years ago that suggested that multiple basal cell occurrences put a person at greater risk of melanoma. About half of the life insurance companies changed their underwriting overnight to reflect a standard rate for anyone with a history of multiple basal cell carcinomas. A few companies just bumped it one rate class and there were still several that didn’t buy into the report as important to their mortality assumptions.

I have a client who has what’s called nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome. What I’ve been talking about above are people that occasionally have a basal cell removed and might have 3-5 over their lifetime. This particular client has had somewhere around 15 in the over the last 11 years. We shopped this for him a few years ago and because of the expectancy of a large number of basal cell carcinomas over his lifetime, we actually felt pretty good with a standard rate. At the time he put a 10 year term in force because of budget, but he’s back and wants to increase to a 30 year term (baby on the way).

I updated the file which brought the total of occurrences to over 15 and we shopped it. I don’t have all the quotes in yet and most of them are standard to table 2 rates, but one company made a tentative offer of their best rate class as long as he hasn’t had more than 20 total. No caveats. No hidden agenda. Less than 20 total is best rate class. This same company had quoted standard on this 3 years ago when there were only 10 occurrences. As the underwriting world turns.

Bottom line. The good news is that if you have been slammed for a history of melanoma, especially low stage and grade, or a history of multiple basal cell carcinomas, there’s good reason to consider shopping for life insurance. If you have any questions or would like to look for better rates, call or email me directly. Let’s talk.