If you’re currently looking for life insurance with diabetes, we don’t envy you because there are a lot of decisions to make and it is easy to get confused by the many options in the market. However, it is a necessary expense these days which is why we are providing as much help as we possibly can with the various guides we have supplied.
Ultimately, finding life insurance for diabetics is harder than a healthy person because there is a higher risk involved for the provider. This being said, it isn’t completely impossible and you will be in a stronger position compared to some more serious health issues such as heart failure or cancer.
Below, we have an extensive guide on obtaining life insurance with diabetes, including what the underwriters need to know, the different types of diabetes, the classification scale for life insurance, and some tips to finding the best policy for you.
Diabetic Life Insurance Guide
Life Insurance, Underwriters and Diabetes
Let’s cut to the chase and answer your most pressing question. Can I get life insurance if I have diabetes? The answer is yes, you can find life insurance with diabetes. In fact, you should have a few options to choose from.
You can go the old school route and take an exam. Fully underwritten life insurance is still the best route to take if you have diabetes and want to get the best rates on coverage.
Now if you have an aversion to a medical exam, consider no medical exam life insurance where you simply answer some health questions and submit to a background check.
If you haven’t heard this term previously, underwriting describes a process within the application process. In order to determine how risky you would be to insure, insurance companies use ‘underwriters’ who essentially obtain information from and about you, including any pre-existing conditions, to decide whether you will be covered and what premiums you will pay.
With diabetes, this will start with a medical examination (if you have chosen to go down this route). If you have removed the medical examination from the application process by choosing no exam life insurance, this isn’t something you need to worry about. However, they might still ask some health questions to gauge how much you should pay each month.
After the exam, the company will ask what type of diabetes you have as well as how well your body has responded to treatment so far.
In the United States, over nine in every ten cases of diabetes are type 2 diabetes. This health problem is now more common than ever before which is why most insurers now accommodate diabetics if possible. As we will see a little later, type 2 diabetes actually comes in different forms because some can be controlled with diet and exercise while others require insulin or some other form of oral medication.
Diabetic Life Insurance Application Questions
To help with your application, we have some general questions that carriers will ask. Before we launch into the bulk of this guide, this will help you to have a basic understanding of what the providers are looking for moving forward.
- How long have you been diagnosed with diabetes?
- Can you provide current blood sugar/glucose readings?
- Do you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes?
- Do you currently take any medication for the health problem?
- Do you have any other risk factors?
Additional Underwriting Information
With these main questions, they will also review various other pieces of information including your
- smoking status,
- marital status,
- overall health, and
- family history.
As we have already discussed, ordinary life insurance requires a medical exam while other policy types do not so it might be worth talking to your agent to discuss your options. Of course, a medical examination will lead to cheaper premiums but you also run the risk of being rejected. Further, some people also just prefer to stay away from medical examinations altogether.
Life Insurance Medical Exam
For the medical examination, you will have an appointment with a paramedical who will take readings for blood pressure and heart rate. Next, they will take samples of your urine and blood to then be analyzed to see whether you provide any other risks to the company. As soon as they have obtained every single detail they require, the underwriters will then review the information and decide whether you will receive coverage, how much it will cost, and any other caveats such as a graded death benefit.
Types of Diabetes
As we have already said, there are different types of diabetes and this is important with life insurance because they present different risks, they suggest lifestyle habits, and they warn of severity. Below, we have information on each type as well as dependant factors in that type such as the way in which you control the diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes w/ No Medication
Seeing as though type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1, this seems a sensible place to start. Furthermore, this section will be for those who are currently controlling their diabetes with diet and exercise. Rather than taking insulin or any other medication, this is a more controlled version of the health issue.
If you were unaware, this is often the starting point for diabetes where medication isn’t required if you catch it early enough. In a world where fast food is cheaper and more efficient than fruit and vegetables, sadly this problem is becoming more prominent but the lucky few are catching the problem early before medication is necessary.
At this stage, life insurance with diabetes is absolutely achievable because you are actually eating well and exercising regularly which makes you healthier overall. As long as you let a nurse pay you a visit to take a medical examination, you should fall into the “standard” or “standard plus” classification which isn’t quite the best but it will allow you to find some affordable policies. Not only will you pay less by choosing to take an exam, you will also have an opportunity to receive higher face amount coverage so this is good news all around.
No Exam Life Insurance for Diabetics
If you prefer to avoid a medical examination, there are some companies that will insure you including Sagicor, American National, and Assurity. However, you need to be aware that the premiums will be higher for no exam life insurance because the providers aren’t getting the full picture on your health.
On the whole, you can expect to pay anywhere between 10%-50% more than the best rates but this is much lower than it once was. Many years ago, life insurance for diabetics was fairly rare so today you will find some good options in comparison.
Type 2 Diabetes w/ Medication
As we progress, this is where you will take oral medication but aren’t quite in need of insulin. If this is the case, the coverage you receive will depend on numerous risk factors and a significant amount will rely upon the results to your A1C test. For the most part, this is the trusted diabetes management test and shows your blood glucose levels over a period of around three months.
If you are to get ‘Standard’ rates, you will need good results on your A1C levels. Furthermore, you should have a healthy lifestyle which means your not a smoker, not overweight, and you have no other signs of diabetes such as circulatory or kidney issues. If you don’t get the results desired, you will still be able to obtain life insurance but the coverage will be more expensive.
At this point, we should note that each company tends to vary when it comes to this particular section which is important to keep in mind. While some companies focus on your weight, others will concentrate on nerve damage. Again, it will also depend on whether or not you choose to have a medical examination. Ultimately, you will benefit from not being severe enough to require insulin but you won’t be as strong in the market as people who are managing the condition with simple diet and exercise.
If you do have other health problems, whole life insurance with no medical examination is always going to be an option. As long as you aren’t insulin-dependent, there shouldn’t be a graded death benefit which means that the death benefit will be available from the very first day. In the past, even people who smoke or are overweight have obtained life insurance because they aren’t insulin-dependent so there is no need to panic.
Type 2 Diabetes w/ Insulin
If you are reliant upon insulin, unfortunately the options are thin on the ground because medical examinations will normally bring up several risk factors. As soon as this happens, the life insurance company will give up offering you a policy and you are back to square one. With term life insurance, it normally all comes down to the medical exam and they generally look for A1C levels of below 7.0. Even after this, the rates themselves can be double the standard rate and more.
Once again, there are options if you don’t quite qualify for term life insurance. Currently, whole life insurance with no medical examination would be the most appealing to your situation and this comes in two types. Firstly, there may be a graded death benefit which means that you will need to surpass a certain date before the full death benefit becomes available. For example, it might be two years and only a percentage would go to the beneficiary if you died before this. On the other hand, an immediate death benefit could be an option and this removes the graded system and has the death benefit available from day one.
Type 1 Diabetes
Finally, finding you have type 1 diabetes can be a devastating blow because there is still no known cure. In 2017, technology is more advanced than ever before and cures are constantly being developed for many other health problems. With no cure for type 1 diabetes, this suggests just how advanced and dangerous the health issue can be. From the perspective of life insurance companies, this doesn’t put you in a great position.
If you are only looking for a temporary policy, there are currently two main offerings of term life insurance and they come from United Home Life and American National. Of course, there won’t be a medical examination which will increase the price somewhat but they are short-term options from 10 to 30 years. From the two, you might find American National to be more expensive because they will look into your medical records whereas United Home Life do not. On the flip side, the latter only offers coverage of $50,000 whilst American National will allow you to push for $250,000.
If you need a permanent life insurance policy, this is also an option and you will have a wider pool from which to choose. As long as you don’t have any other major health problems, the coverage will stay with you until you pass away (assuming that you pay all of the required premiums). Generally, you are likely to see the best options with the largest and best rated companies because they take more risks than the smaller companies. At first, you may hear that only graded benefit plans are available but this isn’t necessarily the case and an agent will help you to find the right policy to meet your needs.
Diabetic Life Insurance Rates
As we have touched upon all the way through this guide, you will pay more money for life insurance than those with a clean bill of health and this is because of the increased risk for the provider. However, we should explain how the system works so you have a better understanding of the classifications. Rather than being a random process, life insurance companies will use a class system depending on the variables in your application. Earlier, we saw ‘Standard’ rates as an option and this is from the scale below.
Preferred Plus – For you to qualify for this class, you will need to be in the best health possible. As you present the lowest risk to the provider, you will pay cheaper premiums than any other classification.
Preferred – Next, this also requires a healthy individual and the premiums are still low. Although the people in this group aren’t considered to be in ‘excellent’ health, there are no major concerns.
Standard Plus & Standard – For this group, there are some concerns regarding health and this could be related to weight or many other variables. All things considered, this group would be for those who are an average height, weight, and health.
Substandard – Finally, this is below average and generally applies to someone with an adverse health condition. For the insurer, they present a higher level of risk and therefore the premiums are higher in order to compensate for this. Typically, companies will have different levels of Substandard and the rate that applies will depend on the severity of health issues and risk this provides.
With life insurance for diabetics, the best hope is for the ‘Standard’ category and this is available for type 2 diabetes that is under control. If this is the case, you will pay respectable premiums and obtain a good amount of coverage. If you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 with less control, Standard might be a little out of reach and you may slip into the Substandard category. Here, you will pay slightly more for your premiums but you will still fall onto the normal scale.
Recently, we did a guide to life insurance as a smoker and this automatically removes one from the classification system above. Therefore, remaining on this scale with diabetes should be considered as a good thing.
Sadly, you might not qualify for even the Substandard group but this doesn’t mean that you can’t get life insurance at all. As we have already seen, ‘guaranteed issue’ insurance is available for near enough everyone regardless of health. In these situations, your diabetes will simply contribute to the decision regarding premiums.
Top Tips to Get the Cheapest Rates
To end this guide, we have some fantastic tips that will allow you to really assess the market and find the best rates regardless of your diabetes. Instead of believing all the misconceptions in the market, simply follow this advice and you will be in a good position moving forward.
Shop the Market – If you have read one of our guides before, you will know that this is something we say frequently and we don’t just say it for fun. When looking for a new washing machine, you check prices in a variety of different stores to find the best deal. When looking for somewhere to buy your food for the week on a limited budget, you decide on the cheapest option. When buying life insurance, this shouldn’t be any different.
In fact, you should be more inclined to shop around because there are more variables. Not only are you focused on price, you need to compare the various benefits, duration, extras, whether there is a medical examination, graded death benefit, etc.
Choose an Agent – Once again, this is something we recommend because agents spend every single working day surrounded by others in the insurance market. If anyone knows where to find life insurance for diabetics, it will be these agents. However, you need to be careful when choosing because some work on behalf of one particular company. Instead, you need someone who has access to numerous companies.
Look After Yourself – If you are reading this as a precaution, first of all we congratulate you because you are taking the right action to prevent paying too much money. With this in mind, we recommend regular check-ups with the doctor so they can diagnose any problems early. With type 2 diabetes, they will let you know what to do if you are bordering on a problem. Let’s not forget, insurance is cheaper when you are able to control diabetes with diet and exercise so listen to your body and ensure you pick up on problems early.
Buy Insurance Now – Additionally, we also recommend buying life insurance right now if you have people who depend on you or your income (i.e. partner or children). As you get older, life insurance gets more expensive whether you have diabetes or not. By obtaining life insurance right now, you are assuring yourself the best rates possible.
Easy Application – Finally, we recommend choosing a reputable life insurance company. If you’re working with an agent, this won’t be anything you need to worry about but some people choose to risk a company who aren’t financially secure just because they offer a cheap policy. Ideally you want a company with at least a ‘B+’ rating according to A.M. Best.
Diabetic Life Insurance Conclusion
With all of this information, you should now have everything you need to know. If you have diabetes, life insurance isn’t beyond your reach. As opposed to rejecting everyone with a medical problem, life insurance companies are actually very helpful and want you to protect loved ones. As long as you pay attention to everything we have provided, you will get yourself a policy that matches your needs and doesn’t break the bank!