Paper: 'Waiting period from diagnosis for mortgage insurance issued to cancer survivors'

Antoine Soetewey 2020-11-23 2 minute read

I am happy to announce that our paper entitled “Waiting period from diagnosis for mortgage insurance issued to cancer survivors” has been published in the European Actuarial Journal (Soetewey et al. 2021).

Here is a brief summary of it:

Massart (2018) testimonial illustrates the difficulties faced by patients having survived cancer to access mortgage insurance securing home loan. Data collected by national registries nevertheless suggest that excess mortality due to some types of cancer becomes moderate or even negligible after some waiting period.

In relation to the insurance laws passed in France and more recently in Belgium creating a right to be forgotten for cancer survivors, the present study aims to determine the waiting period after which standard premium rates become applicable. Compared to the French and Belgian laws, a waiting period starting at diagnosis (as recorded in national databases) is favored over a waiting period starting at the end of the therapeutic treatment protocol. This aims to avoid disputes when a claim is filed. Since diagnosis is often recorded in the official registry database, as is the case for the Belgian Cancer Registry, its date is reliable and unquestionable in case of claim.

Based on 28,994 melanoma and thyroid cancer cases recorded by the Belgian Cancer Registry, the length of the waiting period is assessed with the help of widely-accepted tools from biostatistics, including relative survival models and time-to-cure indicators. It turns out for instance that a waiting period of 4 years after diagnosis is enough for 30-year-old thyroid cancer patients. This appears to be similar to the 3-year period starting at the end of treatment protocol according to the Belgian law in such a case.

Read the full article here.

Here is a video explaining the paper and our research in general:

The paper also led to a talk organized by the French National Cancer Institute (INCa).

This paper is written jointly with Prof. Catherine Legrand and Prof. Michel Denuit—my PhD supervisors—and Dr. Geert Silversmit from the Belgian Cancer Registry.

Thanks for reading. I hope this paper will, to some extent, be helpful for your research.

As always, if you have any question related to the topic covered in this paper, please add it as a comment so other readers can benefit from the discussion.


Soetewey, Antoine, Catherine Legrand, Michel Denuit, and Geert Silversmit. 2021. “Waiting Period from Diagnosis for Mortgage Insurance Issued to Cancer Survivors.” European Actuarial Journal 11: 135–60.

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