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Ask Dave

Insurance after diagnosis

Nate asks Dave how to get insurance after a cancer scare. Dave goes over some options and offers support.

QUESTION: Nate began looking at life insurance policies after he and his wife had their daughter. During the medical screening, he learned he had cancer. After treatment the doctors declared him to be in remission, but he can’t find a life insurance company that will work with him on coverage beyond what his employer provides. Dave gives Nate some suggestions.

ANSWER: I would advise conducting a search of every “guaranteed issue” company and policy out there. The term, guaranteed issue, means they don’t do a medical check. The problem is these policies generally run 10 to 20 times more per thousand than those where you qualify medically. So, you’re not going to get a lot during this time.

Check at work, and see if you can buy more and add it to the coverage they already provide. Some employers provide a double-up option if you’re willing to pay for the additional coverage. If you can, and the price is reasonable, do it. If you have a mortgage, call the mortgage company and get mortgage life insurance. It’s gimmick insurance — and something I don’t normally recommend — but many times you can get it without medical clearance.

Once you get past that three- to five-year window where many insurance companies will work with you again, try to find a good, level term life insurance policy with coverage that’s 10 to 12 times your income, and drop all this other stuff. In the meantime, pick up anything else you can find – even if it’s those little $10,000 policies banks sometimes attach to your checking account for $20.