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Dave Ramsey: How to find insurance after cancer diagnosis

July 15, 2018

Dear Dave: I started looking at life insurance policies after my wife and I had our daughter. During the screening process, I found out I had testicular cancer. I went through treatments, and the doctors have officially declared me to be in remission. Still, I can’t find a life insurance company that will work with me. I have a small policy through my employer, that is equal to double my salary. Do you have any suggestions for finding additional coverage? — Nate

Dear Nate: It’s great news that you’re in remission. I’m really happy for you, buddy. I know your wife is thrilled, too.

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. Pile up those little odds and ends, until you get as much coverage as you can within reason.

God bless you and your family, Nate.

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