What is the general guideline when it comes to applying for disability insurance when you have a history of cancer?
Generally, companies would like you to be completely cancer free for at least 5 years.
It also depends on the kind of cancer. I once had a client who had a childhood bone cancer and was recovered for 20 years and the traditional companies would not offer him any benefit. On the flip side, I had a client with a mild skin cancer and another with thyroid cancer who was able to obtain coverage after being 3 years cancer free.
What about if you don’t have cancer when you apply and later get cancer? If you have no history of cancer and apply for coverage, most likely you will be able to get a policy, even if you have a strong family history. (Strong family histories of cancer may negatively affect your life insurance rates). Once you have your policy in force, you are covered for any future cancer claim. More importantly, if you have the ability to increase your policy in the future without medical questions, you may do so even after a cancer claim.
Just like any medical condition, the best time to purchase a policy is when you are healthy and before you actually need it.