What about skin cancer and insurance – what do I need to know?

January 31, 2019

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in NZ and Australia – look at these statisticsCheck out this short video – could this be you?

So will that stop you from getting insurance?  Well surprisingly not really, depending on the type of insurance applied for.  Although any type of cancer raises a red flag when applying for insurance, skin cancer is different.  It depends on each individual’s cancer severity.  

Types of Skin Cancer

So, what is the worst type of skin cancer – here are the types explained.  Like with all cancers, the grading & staging is critical to whether insurance can or cannot be offered – if you would like to know more, here is a video to view.

What will the insurer want to know?

To decide whether or not they can offer you any type of insurance, here are some of the questions they will want answers to:

  • When were you first diagnosed with skin cancer? 

  • What type of skin cancer were you diagnosed with, e.g. basal cell, squamous cell or melanoma?

  • How many reoccurrences have you had, or spots previously removed? 

  • What type of treatment did you receive, and when was it completed?

  • Did the cancer spread, or matastasise

  • Was the skin caner that was removed with clean margins? 

  • Do you have annual follow-ups with your doctor or dermatologist?


Providing a copy of your Cancer Specialist’s notes, as well as the Histology Report will speed up the process.

What can I expect?

In general, if you have a basal, or squamous cell cancer, you may qualify for normal premiums.  For more severe cases like melanomas (as pictured above), that require more treatment, you can expect to pay a higher premium that will last for a few years.  Alternatively, the insurer may postpone offering cover for a period of time, or offer a specified cancer Exclusion.

What if I can’t get cover?

Firstly, if you work for a large employer and they offer staff insurance through a Group Scheme, you will be able to get unrestricted insurance covers up to the limited amounts.

Alternatively, some insurers offer life insurance cover where no claims will be paid until the policy has been in-force for 2 or 3 years old.  The amount is up to $50,000 so this is another option you should consider.  Some cover may be better than none at all!


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