Life Insurance For Diabetics: What You Need To Consider
Life insurance companies want to minimize risk as much as possible, so applicants with preexisting health conditions or more dangerous lifestyles typically have a harder time finding the right deal or getting approved.
Though having diabetes does make insurance trickier and more expensive, there are still plenty of affordable life insurance options to choose from. Some companies are more lenient with people with conditions like diabetes – all you need to do is find the best life insurance policy for your situation.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need about life insurance for diabetics.
Can You Get Life Insurance If You’re Diabetic?
It’s definitely still possible to get insured if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes.
Applying for life insurance involves an assessment of your financial and health history. Life insurance underwriters check this information to make sure the amount of coverage you request is proportional to your needs and that your beneficiaries depend on your income.
Next, your life insurance company evaluates your overall health, typically through a medical exam. Your application may be approved if you can prove that you’ve had your diabetes under control for at least 6 to 12 months. This applies even if you are dependent on an insulin pump or other insulin medication.
If you don’t have your diabetes under control and/or have additional health risks (e.g. a smoking habit, obesity, uncontrolled blood sugar or blood pressure, etc.), life insurance companies will likely deny your application.
Diabetic Life Insurance Without A Medical Exam
If you don’t want to go in for a physical, you can opt for no-exam life insurance. These policies are usually more expensive because the company is taking on more risk by eliminating the medical exam.
People with type 2 diabetes may be able to find a whole life or term life insurance policy that only requires you to fill out a questionnaire. Unfortunately, people with type 1 diabetes may have a harder time and should expect to pay more.
If a traditional term or whole life insurance isn’t an option, you can also opt for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, but this is often only recommended as a last resort. Guaranteed issue is a type of permanent life insurance, which means that you’re covered for the rest of your life as long as you keep paying premiums. It also comes with a cash value component that allows you to grow your money over time.
With this type of policy, you can’t be turned down due to your family medical history or health status, and you don’t need to take a medical exam. You may, however, be required to answer a basic health questionnaire.
This may sound like a good deal, but this type of policy is often much more expensive for relatively low life insurance coverage. Make sure you know all about the pros and cons before signing up for this plan.
No matter which policy you apply for, make sure you provide accurate information. Life insurance carriers typically have a 2-year contestability period. During this period, your policy can be revoked if an investigation finds you’ve falsified anything about your overall health history.
What Factors Do Life Insurance Companies Consider When Evaluating Diabetics?
As with any candidate for insurance, your life insurance company will need to assess your health, income, family medical history, and lifestyle. The cost of life insurance for people with diabetes is dependent on the following criteria:
Age is one of the biggest factors that influence your life insurance rates. The younger you are, the lower the risk and the cheaper the premiums.
But for diabetics, there’s an extra factor insurers will need to consider! Insurance will be more expensive for those who’ve had it since they were a child, so your life insurance company will also want to know what age you were diagnosed with diabetes.
Type Of Diabetes
Life insurance for type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes will vary because they have different levels of severity and manageability. Knowing how the different types affect your premiums will help you find the right policy.
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition wherein your body produces little to no insulin and may make you more vulnerable to heart disease and strokes. This is also called insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes because it’s often diagnosed at a younger age. This is a much less common type of diabetes compared to type 2.
With type 1 diabetes, life insurance companies consider you risky and will likely charge you higher premiums. However, if you can find a more lenient life insurance company and prove that you have your diabetes under control, you may still qualify for decent premiums and high life insurance coverage.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It’s also known as adult-onset diabetes due to its emergence later in life. It is often linked to obesity, but it can be hereditary. Diabetes statistics say type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of cases in America.
People with type 2 diabetes will have an easier time securing a more affordable life insurance policy than those with type 1. This is because type 2 diabetes is considered more manageable than type 1 and puts you in a lower health risk category.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs in women during pregnancy. Though this is a health concern, it typically isn’t serious and goes away after giving birth.
It’s important to keep in mind that if you become diabetic while pregnant and applying for life insurance policies, your condition may affect your life insurance quotes. You’ll get much better life insurance rates if you apply before getting pregnant or after your gestational diabetes goes away.
Insurance companies will have to take a look at your A1C levels to determine the severity of your diabetes. An A1C test measures your blood glucose, which is used to diagnose diabetes and monitor levels in the past 2-3 months. If you haven’t had a recent A1C test, you may be asked to take one.
Non-diabetic A1C levels typically fall between 4 to 5.%. 5.7 to 6% may indicate prediabetes or mild diabetes. If you fall in the 6.0-6.9% range and are diagnosed as diabetic, you may still receive better rates.
However, if your blood glucose levels are 7.0% or above, expect that your premiums will be raised. Any other complications caused by your diabetes may also affect your life insurance options. These include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy, and proteinuria.
Regardless of what types of diabetes a person has, underwriters will want to know how controlled the condition is. Regular checkups with the doctor and a good treatment plan will almost always ensure better life insurance quotes.
If you have a good diet and exercise regularly, have no additional complications, and keep your blood sugar levels in check, you may get more favorable rates. Those who use oral medication rather than insulin injections might also get cheaper premiums.
If you’re diabetic and have been denied before, you can still revisit insurers you’ve applied to and get insurance coverage, however, you must have found a treatment that has stabilized your condition for at least six months to a year.
Getting Affordable Diabetic Life Insurance
The first thing to remember is to never assume you’re uninsurable. For people with chronic conditions, you may just need a good treatment plan and the right insurance company.
If you’re unsure of where to start, it’s best to consult an independent life insurance agent. They can give you advice and help you find the best life insurance for diabetics. Remember to shop around for insurers instead of settling for the first one you find, then read through all the policy terms with your agent or finance professional.
Try to find insurance carriers that offer “clinical underwriting.” This means that your overall health is considered, not just specific risk factors. This gives you a big advantage if your diabetes is under control and you are otherwise healthy.
Insurance companies may offer affordable life insurance for diabetics if a person can show that they regularly visit the doctor, take maintenance medication, and live a healthy lifestyle. Just because you don’t have perfect health, that doesn’t mean there aren’t flexible insurance carriers with good rates.
Types Of Life Insurance
Regardless of the insurance policy you decide on, family and loved ones can use the payout to reduce debt, cover funeral costs, or replace your income. But the type of policy you choose directly impacts the cost of your insurance – it’s essential to know about the various policies to make a more informed decision about which to choose.
Below are the two main types of insurance:
Term Life Insurance
Term insurance pays a death benefit to your beneficiaries if you pass away within the specified amount of time that the policy is active, whether that’s a 5-year term or a 20-year term. If your policy ends, you can let it lapse, renew it, or in some cases, switch to a permanent life insurance policy.
Many people favor this type of insurance because it comes with lower premiums and is much more straightforward. It’s possible to get term life insurance for diabetics, especially with more lenient companies. However, you should expect higher premiums than the average person.
Permanent Life Insurance
This long-term life insurance coverage plan remains active for the rest of your life. Many permanent life insurance policies (e.g. whole life, universal life insurance) also allow you to accumulate cash value, which you can withdraw from when needed. Because of this cash value component, premiums are much higher than term life and can cost even more for diabetics.
Life Insurance Rate Categories
Underwriters classify applicants based on their risk level, which directly affects the cost of premiums. If you’re diabetic, it’s good to be aware of the categories you may fall into.
The lowest rates are offered to candidates that are in good/near-perfect health and don’t engage in dangerous activities. Diabetics and those with chronic health conditions, bad lifestyle habits (e.g. smoking, excessive drinking), or risky hobbies/occupations(e.g. skydiving) likely won’t qualify for these categories.
Those with decent-but-not-perfect health will get these rates. Most people will fall under these categories.
If you’re diabetic who is healthy overall and has a controlled condition, you have a good chance of qualifying for Standard/Standard Plus. This is especially true for type 2 diabetics or those diagnosed late in life.
Substandard or Table Rating
Risky clients will fall under this category. Diabetics with type 1 or unmanaged type 2 will likely be offered these rates. The substandard category ranges from one to eight, one being the cheapest and eight being the most expensive. Which subcategory you will fall under depends on the specifics of your condition.
The Bottom Line
Having diabetes may make applying for insurance more complicated, but it’s not impossible. Life insurance for diabetics can be affordable, as long as you have your condition under control.
Once you can prove your condition is stable, you can apply just like anyone else. Make sure you come prepared with all the documents you need, and underwriters will provide you with a quote after assessing your information.
If you’re unsatisfied with the terms of the offer, you can keep shopping around. Some policies might also offer a trial period wherein you can cancel for free if you aren’t happy with the service.