Life insurance is an essential part of a financial plan, but it can be challenging to obtain life insurance for people with diabetes.
As we know, diabetes, if not controlled and managed over time, can, lead to more serious health issues such as kidney failure, stroke, or even heart attack. The potential for these issues creates a greater risk for the insurance company.
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
Estimates show that more than 27 million people in the United States have diabetes, and another 86 million individuals in the U.S. are pre-diabetic.
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 Diabetics
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 it is frequently referred to as juvenile diabetes. Only about 5% of those who have diabetes who are afflicted with Type 1.
While there is no cure for Type 1 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 should affect your premiums.
Type 2 Diabetics
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 properly use insulin, often 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 cannot keep up, and it won’t be able to make enough of the insulin 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, some problems can 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 and the person’s kidneys, heart, or 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 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 and how you are managing or controlling the situation.
This information will help them make a more thorough determination about your overall health and 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. It will ask 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 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 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, the life insurance underwriters will also need to know more in-depth information regarding your overall health and more details about your condition and any medications you take to manage or control the condition.
Therefore, you may receive 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 for diabetes.
- If so, what type of medication have you 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
A medical examination will be required for anyone looking to get the best rates on a diabetic life insurance policy. 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 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 depend on several different criteria, including the type and the amount of the coverage you purchase. common factors include you
- Overall health
- Family 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 with any other person who qualifies under the Standard health class.
If the underwriters deem that you are not in good or average health, you may be placed into a Substandard policy class. In this case, the premium 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 you apply for, there may be some health-related questions to answer 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 quick and can be approved in days instead of weeks on these policies.
However, it is important to note 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 searching for a life insurance policy usually have the best results by working with an agency with access to multiple insurers. Many people may not realize that, even though insurance companies have specific criteria for applicant approval, it is not identical.
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 using the same personal and health information, 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.