Facing a cancer diagnosis is one of the most emotional and trying times you can face in your life. During this time, careful planning is required for all aspects of your life. Among the worries of trying to eat better, following up with specialists, and staying on track with treatments, many cancer patients struggle with the thought of getting insured. With a cancer diagnosis comes the heartbreaking possibility of having to be prepared for the worst outcome.
Although this topic may be bleak, the Canadian Cancer Society’s most recent report on cancer statistics shows that people diagnosed with cancer today have a higher survival rate than those diagnosed a decade ago. But as with anything in life, cancer is erratic, making the need to shop for insurance all the more important.
If you don’t already have a plan and are currently facing a particularly severe diagnosis, it’s normal to worry about approval. This week, we’ve devised some helpful approaches to take when considering life insurance while battling cancer.
Keep Your Records Organized and Ready
Whatever records you acquire over the period of your diagnosis should be kept organized and easily accessible. These files and documents should encompass records of your doctor visits, pathology reports, perceptions, and treatment plans. When meeting with insurance companies you need to be prepared to answer any questions they may have and present them with relevant information.
Come in prepared to cover the topics outlined in your records to make buying process smoother. By giving your insurer as complete a package of your medical records as you can, you’re sure to have fewer delays and issues. Always be upfront with your illness and leave nothing behind to be discovered later. Your insurer needs as much information as possible and by keeping something hidden you’re only making yourself seem more of a high-risk candidate.
Follow everything your doctor says as closely as possible and have it recorded. This shows that even though you may have a higher-risk illness, you can still be responsible and are taking the right steps laid out for you. Insurers want to see that you are following-up with physicians and are actively pursuing your treatments. Don’t allow your underwriter to assume you are a risky individual by coming to a meeting underprepared without appropriate documentation.
Be Prepared to Shop the Market
The first and simplest piece of advice here is to never stop at one or two providers. The reality is, there are a wealth of brokerages and companies that can offer you different plans and coverage amounts that will work with your illness. The key is to not get discouraged from your diagnosis. Do not allow yourself to believe that coverage for you is impossible because that is simply not true.
Check with brokerages and meet with advisors who can recommend plans that will help you. We at Instant Life Insurance work with over 20 different Canadian providers, all of which have different plans to fit different needs. Before you settle on any one plan, make sure you have spent some time shopping around and seeing what your options are.
The Reality of Premiums and the Wait for Approval
If you are applying for coverage while facing cancer, you’re more than likely going to be presented with many high premium plans. Focus your financial efforts on your savings and be prepared to pay more for an insurance plan because, in the end, it will be worth it. It’s definitely easier said than done, but don’t freak out and start making extravagant end-of-life plans.
Don’t be tempted to pursue “bucket list” fantasies because they can be expensive. Instead, focus on your family. Spend time with the ones you love as they are what is truly important, not new over-the-top experiences. Keep your savings intact and spend your energy on your family and friends, this way you’ll be ready for possible high premiums and create lasting memories.
Finally, the wait to see if you are approved can be strenuous, more so than you need when facing a cancer diagnosis. Take your mind off of the wait by simply staying healthy. Focus your efforts on eating better and fitting whichever exercises you can into your daily schedule. Always stay on top of your medical appointments and make time to stay social and have some outings.
Even if you end up getting disapproved, the many medical checkups, treatments, and consultations you’ve gone through can be valuable for your next application. One company may value how many crucial steps you are taking to get healthy more than another.