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Life Insurance for People With Liver Cancer

Written by Cody Marchant

Liver cancer is a type of cancer that attacks the liver organ and the tissues around the liver. Cancer can begin in your liver but spread to other parts of the body if it isn’t treated properly. The issue with liver cancer is that most people don’t show symptoms early on so getting an early diagnosis is difficult.

In fact, symptoms of liver cancer typically only develop once the cancer is very severe. The most common of symptoms include vomiting and nausea, yellow skin and eyes, pain in the stomach, and weight loss.

Other symptoms might include an itching feeling inside, an enlarged liver, or the feeling of being very full even if you haven’t eaten much. Given the fact that liver cancer is typically diagnosed in the later stages rather than the earlier stages, treatment will begin almost as soon as you are given a diagnosis. Most of the time the treatment might include radiation, chemotherapy, or a liver transplant.

There are situations where part of the liver could be surgically removed. Life insurance companies judge liver cancer very harshly because the liver is such an important organ. If you have a damaged liver or a liver that is in properly functioning it can cause multiple problems throughout the rest of your body all of which influences the level of risk you pose to the insurance company.

Can I Get Life Insurance With Liver Cancer?

Yes, you can. However, the life insurance company is going to need to know when you are diagnosed with liver cancer, how severe your symptoms are, whether you underwent treatment and how successful that was before they determine which product you are eligible to purchase.

One of the biggest factors that they consider is what stage your liver cancer was in at the time that your treatment started. The earlier the stage you were in, the better chances you will have to qualify for traditional coverage.

Types of Life Insurance Available to People with Liver Cancer

Choosing the right life insurance can be a very difficult decision and yet it is a very important one. For the most part, people with liver cancer do not have many traditional life insurance options available to them unless they have fought the disease and been free of symptoms for at least 18 months, or they already have life insurance upon the onset of the disease.


Term life insurance lasts for a period of time usually between 10 and 30 years in 5 year increments. This type of life insurance is the most affordable, and can typically be purchased for people through age 85. Term life insurance can be converted to permanent life insurance in most cases, and can also be renewed annually at the end of the term.


Permanent life insurance is coverage that lasts your whole life. This comes in many different forms. Most traditional forms of permanent life insurance coverage provide cash value accumulation, while types like guaranteed issue life insurance do not include this cash value benefit. Permanent life insurance is more expensive than term life insurance, but your rates usually remain level throughout your entire life.

What if I am Denied Life Insurance Coverage?

There are situations where you might apply for a permanent policy or a longer-term policy and you are denied because of the advanced stage of your liver cancer. This does not mean that you cannot get life insurance. It simply means that you cannot get traditional forms of life insurance.

The cost of the premiums you are offered might be significantly higher if you are approved for a traditional term or whole life insurance policies but if you are not there still guaranteed life insurance policies out there.

For people who find themselves in this situation, no exam life insurance was created.

What is a No Exam Life Insurance Policy?

No exam life insurance policies require no medical exam to obtain life insurance coverage. These types of life insurance policies are designed to provide people in poor health or who are old, or who have an immediate need for life insurance coverage with quick and easy life insurance with no medical exam and no health questions that can be accepted in 24 hours or less most of the time.

These policies are typically in small face amounts of $25,000 or less, though there are a few life insurance companies that offer no exam life policies in face amounts of $100,000 or higher.

No exam life insurance is divided mainly into two separate types:

Simplified Issue Life Insurance

Simplified issue life insurance policies do not require people to take medical exams, but they do require them to answer a few health related questions to obtain coverage. Depending on the answers to these questions, you can be denied coverage.

The rates for simplified issue life insurance policies are cheaper than those for guaranteed life insurance policies as a result.

For most people with liver cancer, this option may not be available, but you should still apply in attempts to secure better life insurance rates.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Guaranteed policies are, as the name suggests, life insurance policies that are guaranteed. This means you cannot be denied coverage. Most of the time these are whole life insurance policies that have an upper limit on the amount of death benefit you can receive. These might also come in the form of a burial insurance policy or a funeral expense policy.

In any case all three of these function very similarly such that they do not ask you medical exam questions, they do not require test, and therefore your liver cancer is not something that is evaluated and held against you. Most of the time the limit for this type of coverage is $25,000 or less which means it is really just there to cover any final expenses you have.

Very few companies will allow you to add Riders to this but there are some so you could take out things like long-term care or accelerated death benefits. These policies are designed as a last resort because they will cost you more than other policies in exchange for a much lower death benefit.

How Do Death Benefits Work for No Exam Life Insurance?

This is a very important question to understand the answer to when it comes to no exam life insurance.

For both guaranteed and simplified life policies, death benefits are typically paid out in one of three ways:

  • Level Death Benefits
  • Graded Death Benefits
  • Modified Death Benefits

Level Death Benefits 

This type of death benefit is paid out right from the time the policy is put in place. 100% death benefits are paid out throughout the entire life of the policy. Usually, these are very rare in simplified issue policies, and nearly impossible to find in guaranteed issue policies.

Graded Death Benefits 

This type of death benefit is the most common amongst simplified and guaranteed issue life insurance policies. It works like this:

During the first 2-3 years of your policy (depending on company and policy), only a portion of your death benefit paid out. Typically the structure works like this:

  • 0-1 years: 15% paid out
  • 1-2 years: 35% paid out
  • 2-3 years: 65% paid out
  • 3+ years: 100% paid out

Obviously, the percentages change based on policy and life insurance company.

Each year your policy is in place, more of your death benefit is paid out until the graded period has passed.

This is used as a tool for insurance companies to weigh out the risk they are taking on by insuring such high risk clients.

Most guaranteed issue policies with a graded death benefit follow a 2 year graded death benefit policy. For those who need this type of coverage, you definitely want to talk with your agent about finding the policy that will provide your family with the highest benefit in the event of your death.

Modified Death Benefits 

This type of death benefit works similar to graded death benefits, but part of the premiums paid in are also returned during the graded period.

This type of death benefit is not very common among guaranteed and simplified issue life policies.

The modified death benefits payout works like this:

  • 0-1 years: 10% death benefit paid out + 33% of premiums paid
  • 1-2 years: 20% death benefit paid out + 66% of premiums paid
  • 2-3 years: 30% death benefit paid out + 100% of premiums paid
  • 3+ years: 100% death benefit paid out, no premiums paid

This all changes based on your life insurer and the policy you choose.

Again, this type of modified death benefit is designed to help life insurance companies mitigate risk.

What Questions Will You Be Asked?

When you apply for life insurance with or without liver cancer you have to fill out the application. Most of the time you have to fill it out the old-fashioned way if you have liver cancer rather than using any type of expedited online application. This means it could take between four and six weeks to receive an answer.

During this time an underwriter has to review the application as well as your medical exam results and verify your overall level of risk. The most basic questions they ask will pertain to your overall lifestyle and your help, and whether or not you smoke.

If you have a history of liver cancer you will be asked questions such as:

  • When was your liver cancer diagnosed?
  • What stage was your cancer at the time of your diagnosis?

What were your initial symptoms and what are your symptoms now?

  • What treatments and medications are you on and what treatments are medications did you take?
  • What is your current prognosis?

Remember that you need to be honest. There is a medical exam required when you apply for life insurance so there’s no point in trying to lie about things on the application if they will only be disclosed during your medical exam.

What Life Insurance Options Do I Have for the Different Stages of Liver Cancer?

Most people who have liver cancer will be denied traditional life insurance coverage. The key exception to this is anyone who has been diagnosed with Stage 1 liver cancer and receives treatment early on. If you were diagnosed with Stage 1 liver cancer you can still qualify for traditional coverage both term and permanent policies at a standard rate.

If you were diagnosed with Stage 2 liver cancer you’re going to have a much harder time qualifying for traditional coverage at a normal rate. Most life insurance providers will require anyone with Stage 2 liver cancer to wait a minimum of 7 to 10 years after the initial diagnosis before they can receive coverage. This is simply to prove whether or not the symptoms were treated successfully.

Anyone who has stage 3 or stage 4 cancer will not qualify for traditional covered but can take advantage of the Guaranteed Life Insurance alternative.

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost for People With Liver Cancer? 

Because of the risk associated with people who have liver cancer, traditional life insurance policy quotes are harder to obtain because each person’s health situation is quite unique.

However, guaranteed life insurance quotes are typically quite uniform across most health classes and age groups.


Here are some sample life insurance rates for males with liver cancer:

Age $5,000 $10,000 $25,000
45 $17/mo. $31/mo. $73/mo.
50 $20/mo. $37/mo. $87/mo.
55 $25/mo. $49/mo. $110/mo.
60 $31/mo. $59/mo. $143/mo.
65 $38/mo. $73/mo. $181/mo.
70 $49/mo. $96/mo. $235/mo.
75 $65/mo. $129/mo. $318/mo.


Here are some sample life insurance rates for females with liver cancer:

Age $5,000 $10,000 $25,000
45 $15/mo. $28/mo. $63/mo.
50 $17/mo. $31/mo. $72/mo.
55 $20/mo. $38/mo. $90/mo.
60 $24/mo. $45/mo. $107/mo.
65 $29/mo. $56/mo. $135/mo.
70 $36/mo. $70/mo. $171/mo.
75 $47/mo. $92/mo. $225/mo.

How Can I Find the Best Life Insurance?

Just because you have liver cancer does not mean you should lose hope. You might still qualify for affordable standard rates with traditional life insurance coverage depending on the specifics of your diagnosis.

The key is to apply regardless of and apply to multiple companies.

When applying for life insurance with liver cancer, time may be of the essence. On top of this, your coverage options may be limited, and rates will likely be higher than average. For these reasons, we always recommend working with an independent life insurance agent.

Our agents work with some of the best life insurance companies for cancer patients on the market in order to help our clients and their families get the coverage they deserve.

Give us a call today, or get started looking for life insurance quotes for people liver cancer using our no exam life insurance quoting tool.

About Growth 360, LLC
About Growth 360, LLC

We work with individuals across the nation to secure the best life insurance rates.

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