Having life insurance is an essential part of most any financial plan.
This important coverage can offer the cushion that individuals need to ensure that loved ones have an ongoing income, funds to pay off debt, or the resources available for any other need that they may have so that they do not need to dip into savings or other assets.
For anyone who has an adverse health condition, like diabetes, applying for life insurance can be difficult and time consuming.
This is because the life insurance underwriters can see this condition as a risk – primarily because diabetes, if not controlled and managed over time, can, unfortunately, lead to more serious health issues such as kidney failure, stroke, or even heart attack.
Working with a company or an agency that has access to numerous life insurers can be extremely helpful in moving you through the life insurance application process – and it can also save you countless hours of time and frustration. That’s where we can help.
How Diabetes Can Affect Your Life Insurance Coverage Application
It is estimated that more than 27 million people in the United States have diabetes, and another 86 million individuals in the U.S. have pre-diabetes. What this means is that the individuals’ blood glucose is not normal.
There are two specific types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2. While diabetes is a serious health condition, you can typically get life insurance coverage when you have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes – provided that your condition is managed and under control.
Type 1 Diabetes
When a person has Type 1 diabetes, their body is unable to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that our bodies require for obtaining glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream to go into the body’s cells.
Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed at an early age – which is why is may also be referred to as juvenile diabetes. There are only about 5% of those who have diabetes who are afflicted with Type 1.
While there is no cure for Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, it can be controlled or managed through insulin therapy or other forms of treatment, in conjunction with a proper diet and exercise.
What makes getting life insurance for a type 1 diabetic difficult is that many insurance companies do not understand how it can or should affect your premiums.
Type 2 Diabetes
Most of the people who have diabetes have Type 2 of this condition. If a person has Type 2 diabetes, their body also does not use insulin in the proper manner. This is what is referred to as insulin resistance.
Initially, when a person has Type 2 diabetes, the individual’s pancreas will manufacture additional insulin to make up for it. However, over time, it is not able to keep up, and it won’t be able to make enough of the insulin in order to keep their blood glucose (blood sugar) at its normal level.
When blood glucose starts to build up in the blood rather than going into the body’s cells, there are some problems that can start to occur. One is that the individual’s cells begin to be starved for energy.
Then, over time, a high level of blood glucose can begin to harm the person’s eyesight, as well as the person’s kidneys, their heart, and / or their nerves. It can be possible to control blood glucose through diet and exercise.
However, it may also be necessary to take either an oral medication or even to take injections of insulin in order for the body to meet its target blood glucose levels. Over time, Type 2 diabetes does tend to progress further.
The good news is that if your looking for life insurance with type 2 diabetes and have your condition under control you can get very affordable rates.
Because both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can have such an effect on the body, the underwriters for diabetics life insurance policies will want to know as much as possible about your condition, as well as the way in which you are managing and/or controlling the situation.
This will help them to make a more thorough determination about your overall health, and then to assign a risk category to your policy.
What the Underwriters Want to Know If You Have Diabetes
Life insurance applications require that you complete a health questionnaire for coverage. On this, you will be asked about basic personal information, such as your:
- Name and contact details, including your state of residence (as this can be a factor in the price of your insurance coverage)
- Height and weight (i.e., your weight as it pertains to your height)
- Smoking status (as well as any type of tobacco usage, including chewing of tobacco products)
- Marital status and children
- Occupation and income (including any dangers that may exist in your occupation, such as working with tools and / or heavy equipment)
- Hobbies (especially any that could be particularly dangerous or risky such as rock climbing or sky diving)
- Foreign travel frequency
- Any other life insurance that is in force (as well as the amount of that coverage)
Due to having diabetes, it is likely that the life insurance underwriters will also need to know more in-depth information regarding your overall health, as well as more details about your condition and any medications that you take for the management or control of that condition.
Therefore, you may also be asked some condition-specific questions such as some or all of the following:
- Date of initial diagnosis
- Which type of diabetes were you diagnosed with (i.e., Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes)?
- Have you experienced any complications due to your diabetic condition?
- Medications and prescriptions being taken for diabetes
- If so, what type of medication haveyour been prescribed, and what is the amount of the dosage?
- Methods used to control your diabetes (medications, exercise, diet, etc.)
- Current Blood sugar levels
- Current A1C levels
- Do you see a medical specialist for your diabetic condition?
- Any testing relevant to your condition
- Any hospitalization due to your diabetic condition over the past twelve months
For anyone looking to get the best rates on a diabetic life insurance policy, a medical examination will be required. This will allow the company to make sure you are matched with the correct rates in underwriting.
If you are looking to avoid the exam, your best bet will be with a guaranteed issue or burial insurance policy. These will not get you as much coverage as an underwritten policy, but are a much faster and less stressful.
Cost of Coverage
The premium that is charged for life insurance will be dependent on several different criteria – including the type and the amount of the coverage that you purchase. It will also depend on your age, gender, and your overall health and health history.
If, after examining your application and medical exam, the underwriters deem that you are in overall good health and that you are managing your diabetes, then it may be possible to obtain a Standard health class. In this case, the premium charged for your policy would be in line any other person who qualifies under the Standard health class.
If, however, the underwriters deem that you are not is good or average health, then it is possible that your may be placed into a Substandard policy class. In this case, the premium that would be charged for your policy would be higher.
Should your application for coverage be declined, there are still options available for obtaining life insurance coverage for diabetics. One such option may be to apply for a no medical exam insurance policy.
With a no medical exam policy, there is no medical examination that is required as a part of the underwriting process. Because of that, it could be possible for people with certain types of adverse health issues to obtain coverage.
Depending on the type of no medical exam insurance policy that you apply for, there may be some health related questions to answer on the application for coverage. However, in other cases, there are only a few questions on the application.
Because there is no medical exam to review, the process is very quick – therefore, coverage can be approved quite quickly on these policies.
It is important to note, however, that because most of the applicants on a no medical exam policy are considered to be more risk to the life insurance carrier, the premium is typically higher than that of a comparable medically underwritten policy.
Getting the Best Premiums
Diabetics who are searching for a life insurance policy usually have the best results by working with an agency that has access to multiple insurers. What many people may not realize is that, even though insurance companies have certain criteria for applicant approval, it is not identical.
What this means is that an applicant who has diabetes may apply at one insurance carrier and be able to obtain a Standard policy rate. However, he or she may apply at another carrier – even with the very same personal and health information on the application – and be approved as a Substandard policy.
Therefore, it certainly pays to do some comparison shopping prior to settling on your coverage.
Diabetic Life Insurance Policies
We understand that you may be a bit apprehensive about being a diabetic and applying for a policy – especially if you’ve been rejected for or classified as high risk for a life insurance policy before. But the good news is that today, there are more and better options available than in the past.
We can help you point you in the right direction so that you and your loved ones have peace of mind. So, contact us today – we’re here to help.