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Life Insurance for Diabetics

Last updated: 22/06/2023 | Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes

Living with diabetes undoubtedly brings its own unique set of challenges, and securing the right life insurance policy can be one of them. Insurance providers often charge higher premiums for diabetics, making the task of finding a reasonable cover seem daunting. However, it's crucial to understand that despite these hurdles, affordable life insurance isn't out of reach, regardless of whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

In this blog, we’ll explore how diabetes impacts life insurance, the type of information your insurer will need from you and how to find the right policy for your needs.

In This Guide:

Can I Get Life Insurance If I’m Diabetic?

Yes, absolutely. Having diabetes does not prevent you from getting life insurance. While it's true that individuals living with diabetes may face higher premiums or stricter policy conditions due to the increased health risks associated with this condition, it doesn't mean that diabetics life insurance is out of your reach.

It's essential to understand that each life insurance company has its own set of underwriting rules and risk assessments. This means that while some insurers might be more cautious and offer higher premiums, others may have more flexible terms. The insurance market caters to a diverse audience, including those living with chronic conditions such as diabetes.

Don’t get disheartened if the first insurer you approach turns you down. With the help of Money Expert, you can find multiple insurance companies willing to provide cover for diabetics.

How Does Diabetes Affect Life Insurance?

Diabetes primarily impacts life insurance in terms of policy cost and cover conditions. This is because insurance providers base their pricing and cover terms on the level of risk they're taking on with each policyholder.

Life Insurance Premiums

As a chronic condition, diabetes is often associated with potential health complications such as heart disease, kidney damage, and nerve damage, amongst others. These associated risks make individuals with diabetes statistically more likely to make a claim on their policy compared to those without such a condition. Therefore, insurers typically charge higher premiums to offset this increased risk. The exact increase in cost can depend on several factors, including the type of diabetes, the duration since diagnosis, current HbA1c levels, and the overall management of the condition.

Cover Conditions

Life insurance providers might also include specific conditions in your policy linked to your diabetes management. For instance, they might require regular medical check-ups or consistent HbA1c readings within a certain range to maintain the policy terms. Some insurers may also exclude diabetes-related complications from the policy cover.

Policy Availability

While many insurance providers offer cover to individuals with diabetes, some may be hesitant due to the perceived risks. This could limit the range of providers available to you. However, it's important to note that there are many insurers in the market who specialise in providing life insurance for individuals with chronic conditions, including diabetes.

Do I Have to Tell My Insurer If I Have Diabetes?

Yes, you are required to disclose your diabetes when applying for a life insurance policy. Full transparency about your health status, including whether you have any pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, is crucial for the process of risk assessment by the insurer.

Most life insurance applications typically include a medical questionnaire where you're asked about your current health status, medical history, and lifestyle habits. It's important to provide accurate and complete information in this questionnaire.

If you fail to disclose any medical conditions when applying for life insurance, your policy could be invalidated when it comes to making a claim. This means that your family or other loved ones may be refused payment in the event of your death, and you’ll lose all the money that you have paid into the scheme.

Insurance companies will often look for any excuse to deny you a payout, and non-disclosure of your health status and medical conditions makes this easy for them. When taking out life insurance, be as truthful as you possibly can to avoid being left out of pocket later down the line.

What Information Do I Have to Tell My Insurer Regarding My Diabetes?

If you are somebody who has been diagnosed with diabetes of either type, your insurer will require a lot of information from you about how you treat the condition. It is likely that they will ask you to take part in a medical examination before you sign up.

They will also need a great deal of information on your medical history, including your family medical history, that can be obtained through your GP.

Typical things that an insurer may ask of diabetic people include:

  • Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes
  • When you were diagnosed with diabetes
  • What medications or treatments you’re receiving to treat the condition
  • Your blood sugar levels
  • Other health information including blood pressure, BMI, smoking and drinking habits

Many insurers will still give you cover if you have been diagnosed with diabetes. There are many that won't though, as they believe the risk of a claim to be too great.

If you can provide your insurer with regular reports on how you are controlling your condition, your diabetes life insurance premiums will be considerably lower. Sending medical reports and blood sugar levels are some of the things that your insurer may ask you to send to them in order to reduce your prices.

Do Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Affect Life Insurance Differently?

Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can impact life insurance policies, but they may do so in different ways due to the distinctions in their nature and management.

Type 1 Diabetes: Also known as juvenile diabetes, this type is typically diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood. It's an autoimmune condition that results in the body's inability to produce insulin, requiring regular insulin administration. Life insurance providers may consider Type 1 diabetes as higher risk due to the lifelong insulin dependency and potential for related health complications. This can influence policy premiums and terms. However, good management of Type 1 diabetes, demonstrated by regular check-ups and controlled HbA1c levels, can positively impact these aspects.

Type 2 Diabetes: This is the most common type of diabetes, typically developing in adulthood, and is often linked to lifestyle factors like diet and physical activity. It's characterised by the body's ineffective use of insulin. Depending on its management, Type 2 diabetes can be less impactful on life insurance premiums than Type 1. However, if associated with other health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure or heart disease, it could lead to higher premiums.

Ultimately, whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, life insurance companies will look at a range of factors including the duration since diagnosis, your current HbA1c levels, whether there are any diabetes-related complications, and your overall health and lifestyle. Good management of either type of diabetes is the key to securing more favourable life insurance terms.

What Type of Life Insurance Policy Should Diabetics Get?

The best life insurance policy for a diabetic, just like anyone else, depends on your individual circumstances, needs, and goals. The key is to find a balance between affordability, the amount of cover, and the term length. Here are some types of life insurance policies that might be suitable:

Term Life Insurance: Term life insurance provides cover for a specified term, typically ranging from 10 to 30 years. If you pass away within this term, your beneficiaries will receive the death benefit. Term life cover can be a cost-effective choice for diabetics, particularly those who have good control over their condition. The premiums are generally lower than for whole life insurance, making it a more affordable option.

Whole Life Insurance: Whole life insurance provides lifelong cover and has a cash value component that grows over time. This type of policy guarantees a death benefit, provided that premiums are paid. While whole life insurance tends to be more expensive than term insurance, it might be a good fit if you're seeking a policy that can also serve as a long-term investment or estate planning tool.

Over 50s Life Insurance: If you're over 50, another option to consider is an over 50s life insurance policy. These policies guarantee acceptance for anyone aged 50-85, without the need for a medical examination. However, the payout is usually lower than traditional life insurance policies, and you may end up paying more into the policy than it will pay out.

Does Life Insurance for Diabetics Include Critical Illness Cover?

Life insurance and critical illness cover are typically separate, albeit related, forms of insurance. When you take out a life insurance policy as a diabetic, it doesn't automatically come with critical illness cover. However, many insurance providers offer the option to add on critical illness cover to your life insurance policy, often referred to as a combined policy.

Critical illness cover is designed to pay out a tax-free lump sum if you're diagnosed with a specific illness listed within the policy terms during the policy term. This could include serious conditions like certain types of cancer, heart attack, or stroke. It's worth noting that diabetes itself is generally not covered as a critical illness, as you have the condition at the time of taking out the policy.

Including critical illness cover as part of your life insurance can offer a greater safety net. If you were to develop a severe illness, the payout from the critical illness cover could be used to cover medical expenses, adapt your home, pay off your mortgage, or provide financial support during a period of recuperation.

Please Note: Not all insurance providers we work with offer all types of policies. Please do your research and compare quotes before proceeding.

How to Get Cheaper Life Insurance with Diabetes

Being a diabetic doesn’t mean you have no choice but to pay over the odds for life insurance. Many people with diabetes live long and otherwise healthy lives, and there are many ways that you can prove a healthy lifestyle to your insurer in order to drive down your premiums:

  • Lose weight: Many diabetics are also overweight, and this is seen as another risk factor in the eyes of insurers. Exercising regularly or sticking to a healthy diet can help to lower your body weight; you can then prove this to your insurer by updating them with your latest BMI.
  • Quit smoking: Smokers also face much higher life insurance premiums than non-smokers, so being diabetic and a smoker is a double whammy. Quitting smoking, however, can drastically reduce your premiums; you can prove this by submitting nicotine test results (be aware that vaping still counts as smoking in the eyes of insurers).
  • Drink less: Drinking heavily is also a hugely significant risk factor when it comes to your health. Showing your insurance provider that you’ve seriously cut back your drinking habit, or that you’ve quit altogether, can result in cheaper premiums.
  • Lower your blood pressure: Working to lower your blood pressure as well as your cholesterol can also help you to get cheaper premiums. You should regularly update your insurer with your latest blood pressure and cholesterol readings – if they’re falling, you are proving to them that you’re living a fairly healthy lifestyle, and your premiums should come down accordingly.

Finding the Right Life Insurance Policy for Diabetics

As is the case with any type of insurance, taking the time out to shop around and compare policies is one of the best ways to find the right life insurance cover for your needs. To start comparing life insurance for diabetes with Money Expert, simply request a quote and you’ll be able to begin your life insurance application journey.

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