Income protection for a cancer survivor

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Hi folks.

Last year I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, and thankfully after a regimen of R-CHOP am now in remission. I've been working for a year now, and have decided to change the company I work for - they don't have an income protection policy in place, and so I'm trying to get my own one. I'm yet to find an insurer who will underwrite me including Hodgkins - i.e, nobody will pay out if I relapse.

Obviously that's a bit anxiety inducing, and exactly what I need the policy for!! I wonder if anyone has had any experience of successfully getting cover when you've lived through cancer? Thanks so much in advance :-) 


  • Hello  ,


    Thanks for getting in touch. I’m sorry to hear the difficulties you’ve had finding cover and the stress it's caused.

    We can’t recommend specific insurance companies to approach but I have included some information below which you may find helpful.

    I know you mentioned the new company you’ll be moving to don’t offer cover, but do you have any active cover in place through your current employer? If so, it would be worth checking to see if they have any continuation option on that cover.

    Unfortunately, a cancer diagnosis, or any other serious medical condition, is likely to make getting income protection cover much harder.  The application will normally require a more rigorous underwriting process, requiring medical reports and sometimes an examination. But this depends on the type of cancer, the stage it reached and the length of time since diagnosis.

    It’s important to remember that insurance companies look at ‘risk’ when assessing an application and will consider the likelihood of a claim during the term of the policy. If the insurance company believes that this risk is higher than average, they might accept the application but increase the premiums.

    If the insurance company sees the risk as being too high, they might decline immediate cover but agree to review the application at a later date or may even refuse to offer any cover at all.

    Sometimes, an insurer might agree to offer income protection cover, but with an exclusion for a pre-existing medical condition, this sounds like what you may have been already offered. Before agreeing to an exclusion, think about the implications of not having cover for that illness. Its also important to understand if this exclusion is for the length of the policy or for a certain time period.

     If cover is refused, it may be worth speaking to an Independent Financial Adviser who will be able to search the whole of the insurance market. Maybe check with family and friends to see if they can recommend an adviser.

    Alternatively, visit to find details of advisers in the area.

    When choosing a financial adviser, always check that they, and the company they work for, are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to provide financial advice.

    This information can be found on the FCA register:

    Please be aware that, if an unregulated firm (or individual) is used, there may be no protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong.

     I hope this helps you but if you need any more help please do let me know or call the Macmillan Support Line (freephone) on 0808 808 0000.


    You can respond by replying via this email or alternatively you can also talk to us via our webchat service.



    Kind regards.



    Will Quinn

    Financial Guide

    0808 808 0000