Life Insurance for DiabeticsRead our guide to learn about life insurance options for people that have diabetes.
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Being diagnosed with a chronic condition can be a life-changing event and many people with diabetes type 1 and 2 start to think about getting life insurance after their diagnosis.
If you have a life-threatening illness like diabetes, getting life cover can be difficult to do. However, there are options if you want to insure your life.
This guide will tell you what you need to know if you have diabetes and want to get life cover.
What Is Life Insurance?
Life insurance policies are insurance agreements between two parties: a policyholder and a life insurance provider.
The policyholder pays a monthly or annual premium for coverage and in exchange, their life insurance carrier guarantees a payout when they die.
These payouts are known as a death benefit, which is then paid out to a policyholder’s stated beneficiaries.
Term Life Insurance vs. Permanent Life Insurance
There are two main types of life cover—term and permanent life cover. The main difference between these life insurance policies are as follows:
A term life insurance policy lasts for a set period. For example, ten or twenty years.
Permanent life cover doesn’t expire and will only end once the policyholder dies.
Let’s take a closer look at both of these options.
Term Life Insurance
There are many different kinds of term life insurance that people can buy, including:
Term plans usually offer more affordable life insurance rates than permanent life plans. This is because insurance companies might not have to pay anything if the policyholder lives for longer than the policy length.
While these plans have different features and purposes, they have one thing in common: after the contract period ends, their cover will end as well.
For example, a person who gets a 30-year level term life plan will only be covered under their policy for 30 years.
If they die 31 years after they took out the contract, the life insurance policy won’t pay out.
Permanent Life Insurance for Diabetics
A permanent life insurance policy is a plan that does not have an expiration date. As long as a policyholder’s premiums are up to date, the plan will continue to cover them.
There are different types of permanent life plans a person with diabetes can buy, including:
Whole Life Insurance
Universal Life Insurance
Variable Life Insurance
Indexed Life Insurance
Can You Get Life Insurance as a Diabetic?
A person with diabetes can get life insurance. However, some insurance companies may not accept an application because of an applicant’s overall risk profile.
What Is a Risk Profile?
A risk profile is an assessment done by an insurance company. Each person that applies for a life insurance policy will be investigated and their health, driving history, and family health history will be considered.
This is done through a process called underwriting. Life insurance companies use this to calculate a person’s risk of dying prematurely based on their medical history and lifestyle choices.
Each insurance company uses different methods to calculate the risk profile of people and has different standards for the amount of risk they would like to take.
For example, one insurance company may only accept young people who are in perfect health, while another may offer life insurance to older individuals with certain chronic conditions.
The important thing to remember is that people with diabetes aren’t automatically excluded from life insurance policies. Diabetics can purchase any type of life insurance policy.
The only potential drawback is that a person with diabetes will generally pay more in premiums than a person who doesn’t have a chronic illness or condition.
Consider Final Expense Insurance
Final expense insurance is an affordable alternative to term and other types of permanent life insurance coverage.
These types of life insurance plans offer a smaller benefit amount (usually under $50,000), but don’t require that you go through a medical exam when you sign up.
While you may have to pay more each month for any type of life cover, final expense insurance can offer you some of the lowest rates around.
Contact one of our agents to discuss your options and to find out more about final expense insurance.
What Other Factors Influence the Cost of Life Insurance for Diabetics?
Before an insurance provider accepts a person onto their plan, they perform an underwriting process to assess the candidate’s risk profile.
Here are the factors that insurance companies look at when they create a risk profile for a candidate:
The type of diabetes
The length of time a person has had diabetes
Whether the person’s diabetes is under control
Whether the person has other diseases or illnesses that can complicate their diabetes or increase their risk of dying prematurely
General medical history
For example, a younger female with type 2 diabetes who watches her weight, exercises regularly, and doesn’t smoke will likely pay less than an older man without diabetes who smokes, is overweight, and leads an unhealthy lifestyle.
Questions Insurers Might Ask about Your Diabetes
If you have diabetes, applying for life cover can be stressful, and going through a medical exam or taking a medical questionnaire might have you worried.
Remember that life insurance companies won’t reject your application just because you have diabetes. They look at a range of factors before deciding to cover a person.
In general, the questions asked will be related to your medical condition and it’s important that you answer them truthfully. Here are some questions you can expect in a medical exam if you apply for life insurance.
Questions about your condition
Do you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes?
When did you get your diagnosis?
Do you keep track of your blood sugar levels?
What are your current eating and exercise habits?
Questions about your current health status
What is your A1C level right now?
What was your A1C average over the last year?
Have you had any other diabetes tests?
Questions about complicating health factors
Do you suffer from diabetes-related consequences like high blood pressure, blurry vision, blackouts, or renal problems?
Have you been diagnosed with any other major medical illnesses, such as coronary artery disease or kidney disease?
Have you ever been in a diabetic or insulin-dependent coma?
Are you a dialysis patient?
Keep in mind that you must answer these questions truthfully.
If you withhold any information about your health status in your medical exam you may jeopardize your application, or have your policy canceled altogether.
Do I Have to Tell My Insurance Company That I Have Diabetes?
If you have diabetes and don’t tell your insurance company about it, there can be serious consequences. Your life insurance company can:
1) End the contract
If your insurance provider finds out you have lied about your health status, they are not legally obligated to honor your life insurance policy.
In most cases, they will end the contract and they might return the premiums depending on the terms and conditions stated in the contract.
2) Not pay out the death benefit
It’s important to keep in mind that a life insurance policy is a contract, which means that it can be made invalid if one party lied when they entered the agreement.
Your insurance company may refuse to pay the death benefit of your contract if they find that you lied or were deceptive in your application.
3) Charge you with insurance fraud
An insurance company can lay charges with law enforcement if they find out that you lied in your application about your diabetes.
What If I Get Diabetes After I Buy Life Insurance?
While your policy won’t be affected by a diagnosis of diabetes after you sign a life insurance contract, you should keep your insurance company informed about any changes to your health.
In some cases, a contract might have a clause stating that policyholders must inform the insurance company about any significant health problems or changes that develop after you sign up.
If you do not disclose these health conditions, your life insurance company may use this as a reason to not pay out your death benefit if you die.
If you are unsure about whether you need to tell your insurance company that you have been diagnosed with diabetes:
Check your contract for a health disclosure clause.
Speak to your life insurance agent and ask them what to do.
Phone your life insurance provider and ask them what their policy is on disclosures.
Remember, it’s in your insurance company’s best interest to keep you healthy and alive for as long as possible. This is because if a policyholder lives longer, they’ll be able to pay premiums for longer.
Your life insurance company might even offer you additional coverage or offer other living benefits.
What Are Living Benefits?
Living benefits are features of a life insurance contract that people can use while they are alive.
Some examples of a living benefit include:
Accidental Death and Dismemberment Cover
Dread Disease Cover
How Does the Type of Diabetes You Have Impact Life Insurance?
Let’s take a look at the three main types of diabetes and how they can affect your life insurance application and overall premiums.
Diabetes Type 1 and Life Insurance
Type 1 diabetes is common in children, teenagers, and young adults, and accounts for around 5-10% of all diabetes cases in the world.
Type 1 is considered to be the most severe form of diabetes and requires ongoing medical oversight and care. A person with this condition has to check their blood sugar regularly and use insulin injections to maintain their blood sugar levels.
If you have type 1 diabetes, a life insurance company will want to know how long you’ve had the condition and how you manage it.
Based on your medical history, age, and lifestyle, you will still be eligible for life insurance if you have type 1 diabetes as long as you manage your condition well.
Diabetes Type 2 and Life Insurance
Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90-95% of cases in the world. It usually takes some time to develop and is seen in adults and seniors.
This condition can be managed with medication and regular sugar-level testing. However, while it is less severe than type 1 diabetes, it should still be monitored and you should take prescribed medication to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you may struggle to find a life insurance company that will accept you. This is because this form of diabetes is more difficult to manage and the risk of death is much higher than type 1 diabetes.
However, it is possible to get life insurance if you have type 2 diabetes.
Using an insurance agent can make the process a lot simpler and they can help you find a life insurance provider who will cover you.
Gestational Diabetes and Life Insurance
Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that affects some women during pregnancy.
If you apply for life cover while you have gestational diabetes, life insurance companies will treat your condition in the same way as type 1 or type 2.
It’s a better idea to apply for life cover before or after your pregnancy if you have a family history of gestational diabetes.
What If You’re Rejected for Life Insurance Coverage?
If your application is rejected by an insurance company there are a few things you can do.
1) If you aren’t using one already, speak with a life insurance agent to get their opinion on why your application wasn’t successful.
2) Find and apply to other life insurance companies in your area.
3) Look at alternative life insurance plans that have lower standards for qualifying.
4) Start leading a healthier lifestyle and actively manage your diabetes. This will help when you reapply for life cover.
See which life insurance providers offer the best service, discounts, and coverage for diabetics in 2022.
Consider Your Other Life Insurance Options
One type of permanent life cover that has lower qualification standards than other types of life cover is final expense insurance.
These are plans with smaller death benefits and low monthly payments that often don’t require a medical exam.
If you need help with finding a final expense insurance provider or want to discuss your options, speak to one of our agents today.
Where Can I Learn More about My Life Insurance Options?
If you’re interested in finding out more about life cover in general or have a specific question you want to be answered, check out Policy Scout's Life Insurance Hub.
We have articles that cover term life, universal life insurance, and other types of life insurance such as burial and final expense.