There is no lack of bad advice and lame life insurance underwriting when it comes to any of the three types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. At the core of the confusion seems to be multiple instances of anything.
Several years ago something of a skin cancer life insurance underwriting bombshell hit when companies that had traditionally not rated basal cell carcinoma at all began rating policies at standard if there were multiple (more than one) instances. So we went from a situation where if a person in otherwise perfect health had three instances of basal cell carcinoma in their medical history, they were approved by almost anyone at preferred plus rates. After a study came out that claimed there was a link between multiple basal cell carcinoma events and potential malignant melanoma, the pendulum swung and a number of companies started giving best case standard approvals. They would still go best rate class for one instance, but two or more was now standard.
The pendulum has since swung back on that issue and there are enough companies out there that offer best rate class unless the instances of basal cell is egregiously high. This means shopping cases carefully and not taking underwriting for granted is critical for my clients.
Then there is the question in melanoma life insurance underwriting of the number of non cancerous moles, those displaying melanocytic or dysplastic nevi. What used to be call just an atypical mole now has a boatload of names that all mean the same thing. Again the number of instances of dysplastic nevi, like the number of basal cell carcinoma has swayed underwriting. It wasn’t that long ago that underwriters reviewing a case of malignant melanoma were just interested in the melanoma’s stage and grade. Now before offering trial quotes they want to know about all instances of dysplastic nevus, any family history of dysplastic nevus and if the client has been diagnosed with dysplastic nevus syndrome.
While I considered the multiple basal cell life insurance underwriting borderline bogus, there seems to be more solid data linking multiple dysplastic nevi to an increased risk of malignant melanoma.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that life insurance after melanoma isn’t always as bad for underwriting as most people understand it to be. Especially in the case of insitu malignant melanoma we have been able to get good offers within just a few months of the removal. The urban underwriting legend would have a person waiting 5 years to get affordable life insurance.
Bottom line. Skin cancer life insurance underwriting is an ever evolving situation. An agent who understands those changes is critical to getting rates that are affordable. If you’ve had skin cancer and trouble finding life insurance give me a call.