Call me naive, but there are almost daily occurrences of me seeing less mortality risk in a life insurance underwriting situation than the majority of underwriters. I get that they are paid to see everything through conservative lenses, but there are times when, to their credit, they see the offsetting facts in the risk. More often I see it and have to throw it against the wall until someone gets tired of it and allows it to stick.
Such is the case with a particular melanoma skin cancer situation. Believe me I understand that melanoma is never a disease to be taken lightly. I recently had two friends die, and die quickly when melanoma wasn’t caught early and metastasized to just about everything internal. But the situation I think needs a fresh look is a person who is diagnosed with a stage 0 insitu melanoma that is successfully removed and the margins are clear. They have no family history of skin cancer and no personal history of abnormal skin lesions and specifically no previous occurrence of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma or lesions with dysplastic nevi. It’s a single instance, and while that doesn’t preclude some future occurrence, these clients have something of a shelter built around them in that they will likely be seeing a dermatologist at least semi annually for quite some time. They will be self screening a not letting even the smallest spots go without being professionally viewed and in most cases they will do this for the rest of their lives because “melanoma is never a disease to be taken lightly”. Anything that happens will be caught early and dispatched to the biopsy receptacle of low stage and grade cancers.
So, armed with this model citizen example I decided that, while standard plus rates were available all day long, a case this clean should get a preferred look. I mean you can get standard plus to standard rate life insurance for stage 1 melanoma, or stage 0 melanoma with previous pre cancerous lesions or family history, so, well, all I’m saying is that I saw enough of a difference to shop this not so mythical occurrence and ask for preferred. Out of seventeen life insurance underwriters that responded, 12 were at standard for my super, squeaky clean case, 3 were at standard plus and 2 (drum roll) said they would go preferred if indeed the case was that clean.
Bottom line. My Dad used to tell me you’ll never know unless you ask. Bright guy. I miss him. While the majority of stage 0 and stage 1 melanoma will still end up in the standard to standard plus life insurance approval range, because they are a squeak short of super clean, there are preferred rates out there. If you have questions about melanoma life insurance underwriting, or believe you have some other squeaky clean example of an impairment, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.