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Understanding Diabetes and Life Insurance

More people than ever have diabetes, with more than 4.9 million people now having the condition in the UK. On top of this, 13.6 million people are now at increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, you’re more at risk of type 2 diabetes if you have a close family member who has diabetes.

Roughly 850,000 people are currently living with type 2 diabetes but are yet to be diagnosed, which means that number is set to rise further. Research has consistently shown that for some people, combined lifestyle interventions – including diet, physical activity and sustained weight loss – can be effective in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 50%.

The disease affects not just adults but is increasingly prevalent among children, with more than 3000 children diagnosed each year.

Having diabetes means you have to control everything around you slightly better, by managing your blood sugar levels, following a controlled diet and regularly exercising.

One thing that we can do to take the pressure off is help you find a life insurance policy suitable for your circumstances, giving you peace of mind that your family will be financially supported should anything happen to you.

The Insurance Surgery is the UK’s No.1 Specialist Life Insurance Broker for those with medical conditions or dangerous occupations. We have over 20 years of experience finding life insurance for those people who have struggled elsewhere or have a condition such as diabetes.

Understanding exactly how underwriting for those with diabetes works is the first stage in finding your ideal life insurance policy. Here, we talk through what to expect during an application for life insurance if you have diabetes:

Can diabetics get life insurance?

Yes, most insurers can offer life insurance to people with diabetes. If you have been recently diagnosed, or declined elsewhere, we can help.

During the application, you should tell us details about your diabetes and let us know if you have any other pre-existing medical conditions along with diabetes.

The following factors are the main considerations for underwriting Diabetes Life Insurance applications. Having this information to hand during your application process will make it a much smoother process:
  • Type of Diabetes
  • Your HbA1c / Mmol (blood sugar) readings
  • Medication you are taking (i.e. Diet, tablets or Insulin)
  • Your age when you were diagnosed with diabetes
  • Any diabetes-related complications
  • Your Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Any other medical issues you may have
It’s important to be honest when providing this information, to ensure there are no issues down the line.

At The Insurance Surgery, we have a wide array of providers on our roster. After getting quotes from each of these, we can then give you the best guidance, go through your options and help you choose the best life insurance cover for your budget.

How does diabetes life insurance work?

Getting life insurance for diabetes can be made much easier if you use a specialist broker to help you find a provider that covers your circumstances. We can find a diabetic specialist insurer on your behalf and can send through your HBA1C readings and arrange a GP report for them.

When underwriting your Diabetes Life Insurance application, these are the following factors your insurer will consider:

The type of diabetes you have:
  • Life insurance for type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a pre-existing medical condition that many have from being a child. Getting life insurance with type 1 diabetes can be slightly expensive since there are many health risks associated with it, and type 1 diabetes life insurance rates can be quite high. This is due to the ‘risk’ you have to the insurance provider. Type 1 diabetics can go on to have cardiovascular risks such as a heart attack or a stroke.
  • Life insurance for type 2 diabetes
Getting life insurance with type 2 diabetes can be difficult if you do not approach the correct provider. Since type 2 diabetes is linked to your lifestyle, the premiums can be high as you may be at risk of further illness as you get older and your insurer may ask your GP for a medical report.

If you have found the premiums to be too expensive, some aspects of your lifestyle can be changed to bring them down, such as weight loss or quitting smoking.

Your Medication

With either type of diabetes, you will be asked about any medication you take including diet, tablets or insulin. The insurer will ask if you are on any medication to properly assess your medical condition.

Your Body Mass Index (BMI)

A normal BMI will indicate to the insurer that you present a lower risk of any future problems developing – or something similar.

Your HbA1c / Mmol (blood sugar) level

In order to get life insurance for a diabetic person, the HbA1C readings play a major role. Insurers will know the severity of your condition through this test. A reading of 7.5 and below indicates that your condition is under control, and there are high chances of your application getting accepted. We can however help people with a higher HbA1C reading, up to about 10 or 11 max.

Your age when you were diagnosed with diabetes

The age of your diagnosis of diabetes makes a major impact on diabetes and life insurance. If you are diagnosed at a younger age, then there are more chances of diabetes affecting your health.

You have a higher chance of getting life insurance if you get diabetes in the later stages of your life. Getting life insurance if you are over 50 with diabetes is easier and simpler, depending on your control and HbA1c. At The Insurance Surgery, we can help you find a life insurance policy specifically for seniors with diabetes.

Other diabetes-associated complications

As mentioned above, there are high risks of cardiovascular diseases with diabetes. You may also be asked about specific diabetes related complications such as retinopathy and tingling in the hands and feet. You must be honest with the insurer and inform us if you have any diabetes-related complications.

Any other medical issues

If you have any medical issues other than diabetes, it can make getting a policy harder, however we can go through your options with you. It’s important to tell us as much information as possible.

How to get the best life insurance for diabetic people?

There are several types of life insurance available, and we can help you choose what is the best option for you.

Term life insurance

A term life insurance policy, which can be either level, decreasing or increasing, provides a death benefit should you die during the term of the policy. Your family members will receive a fixed payout if you die. If your diabetes is under control, getting term life insurance is a good option.

This insurance policy covers a long period of time, from 5 years minimum up to your 90th birthday. The premium is higher in this case, but your chances of getting guaranteed life insurance for diabetics increase. Your insurer may ask you to get a medical exam done to check your eligibility.

Whole of life insurance

For those who have lifelong financial needs, getting whole life insurance is a good option. However, the premiums will be much higher than term insurance as it is guaranteed to pay out.

Can you get gestational diabetes life insurance or pre-diabetes life insurance?

If you have gestational diabetes or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, it is possible to get a life insurance policy. You can get life insurance if you are pregnant and have gestational diabetes, however it is highly rated and expensive. It is a much better idea to wait until your baby arrives and your blood sugar levels go back to normal.

It is possible to get pre-diabetes life insurance if you go to the right insurer. Pre-diabetes and life insurance and type 2 diabetes life insurance work very similarly. You may be asked to undergo a series of medical examinations before your application is accepted.

How can you get cheaper life insurance rates for diabetics?

There are ways to reduce your premiums if you’re looking for life insurance as a diabetic:
  • Lose weight/Lower BMI: Your diabetes isn’t the only factor the insurer will look at. If you are overweight or obese, living a healthy lifestyle and losing weight can reduce your premium costs.

  • Reduce alcohol intake: Alcoholics are at a greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes. If you are a frequent drinker, then cutting down on your intake can give you a cheaper premium.

  • Lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels: If you show healthy blood pressure and cholesterol readings, then your insurer will be assured that you are serious about your health and may reduce your insurance costs. These readings are important because one of the common side effects of diabetes is cardiovascular risks.

  • Do it early: Applying for life insurance when you’re younger can also reduce your premiums.

  • Quit smoking: Smoking increases your chances of getting type 2 diabetes, and your insurer will see you as a bigger risk if you are a smoker and a diabetic. Therefore, if you stop smoking, then you have much better chances of getting cheaper premiums as non-smokers rates in general are much cheaper.

Why do I need life insurance?

Most people with financial responsibility should consider some Life Insurance to make sure that their family and loved ones are protected. Some of the key financial commitments that trigger a need for Life Insurance are:
  • Children (e.g. school fees, clothing, expenditure etc.)
  • Mortgage(s)
  • Other debts
  • Rent
  • Business costs
  • Cost of living
  • Funeral costs
  • IHT liability / Legacy planning

Our team of expert advisers will help to guide you through the difficult decisions relating to your Life Insurance needs to make sure that you have the best cover for you.

Declined life insurance elsewhere?

If you have been declined life insurance because of diabetes somewhere else, then don’t worry, we could still find a life insurance policy for you. Getting life insurance for a diabetic person is not as complicated as you think.

Here’s a quick guide to what you can do if you’ve been rejected:
  • Go through a specialist life insurance broker
  • Reapply after your waiting period is over

If you’re looking for life insurance and have a pre-existing medical condition, we can help. We can get you the best life insurance quotes for diabetes. Simply fill in our online quote form and start the process today.