Looking for life insurance is never fun, but especially for diabetics. Thousands of diabetics are turned down for life insurance every year, and if you’re one of them, you can still get life insurance. There are dozens of companies that will give you an affordable life insurance plan to meet your needs. Regardless, if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you shouldn’t go without the life insurance you need for you and your loved ones.
If you think that a life insurance policy is too expensive because of your diabetes, you’ll be surprised to see just how affordable a policy can be.
We will give you the information you’ll need to be prepared to find the perfect insurance policy. It’s important that you understand what the insurance company is going to ask you and how it’s going to impact your coverage and premiums. This article is going to detail everything you need to know about the life insurance buying process and how you can make the process easier and quicker.
What is Diabetes?
There are three types of diabetes:
- Type 1 Diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. Someone who is a type 1 diabetic has a pancreas that does not produce any insulin at all so they administer insulin via a syringe or an insulin pump. Often times, children and teens are diagnosed with this form of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is evaluated differently by life insurance underwriters.
- Type 2 is the most common. Ninety percent of people diagnosed with diabetes have type 2. A type 2 diabetic’s body is still able to produce insulin, but it is ineffective or resistant to lowering glucose levels, or their body produces insulin but not enough to meet the needs.
- Gestational Diabetes occurs in pregnant women, who typically have not had any symptoms of diabetes until pregnancy. When you’re pregnant, hormonal changes can make your cells less responsive to insulin, which results in the buildup of glucose in the blood.
When you are shopping for life insurance it is important to apply intelligently because companies view the types of diabetes differently. Some companies are more stringent on policies for type 1 diabetics regardless, while other carriers may offer a type 1 diabetic a standard rate with good blood sugar control
Diabetes in the United States
Today in the U.S., it is estimated that nearly 26 million people – children and adults – have diabetes. This accounts for approximately 8.3 percent of the United States population. Of this group, 18.8 million have actually been diagnosed with the condition, while the other 7 million are estimated to have diabetes, but have not actually been diagnosed with it.
How It Affects Your Ability to Obtain Life Insurance
Diabetes is a major risk factor for other health issues such as stroke, heart disease, and many more. In actuality, uncontrolled glucose levels in the blood can affect almost every organ in your body including your eyes and your teeth.
Diabetic adults are two to four times more likely die of heart disease and stroke than an adult without diabetes. You can see why insurance companies pay close attention to whether a person is controlling their blood sugar or not.
Insurance companies are for profit businesses that carefully evaluate your risk – the longer you live, the longer you pay premiums, and there is less likelihood that your death benefit will be paid out.
If you have diabetes, which is well-known for a myriad of complications, you are considered a high risk life insurance applicant. Insurance companies carefully evaluate whether that risk is worth insuring or not.
How Much Will Life Insurance Cost?
There are many different factors upon which the cost of your life insurance will be based. In many cases, the cost of life insurance for diabetics will typically be more than that of coverage for someone who does not have this condition. One reason for this is because of the higher risk factor that a person with diabetes places on the life insurance carrier.
The premium that a policy holder will pay will also be dependent upon the following factors:
- Marital status
- Income and occupation
- Overall medical history
- Family medical / health history
- When they were diagnosed with diabetes
- Additional health / risk factors
- Type of diabetes
- Blood sugar / glucose levels
In many instances, the premium rate for those who have Type 2 diabetes will be less than those who have Type 1 diabetes. Also, those individuals who have contracted diabetes when they are older will also tend to be less than for those who contracted the condition in their younger years.
How to Find Affordable Life Insurance For Those With Diabetes
For those who have diabetes, it may seem that finding affordable life insurance is an impossible task. This is not necessarily the case. One of the best ways of going about this is to work with a company or an agency that focuses on working with higher risk individuals.
Another option is to work with a company that works with insurance carriers that offer what is known as clinical underwriting. This particular process will evaluate an applicant’s overall health history and not just particular risk factors such as diabetes when making a determination regarding coverage.
When seeking life insurance coverage, the most affordable policy will likely be found if your diabetic condition is under control. In this case, lower A1C levels can help, as well lower glucose levels. Leading a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and healthy eating habits can help you in this quest. Regular visits to your doctor and / or diabetic specialist can also help to keep your condition under control, as can taking your medication as prescribed.
How to Apply for Life Insurance for Diabetics
When applying for a life insurance policy, the life insurance underwriters will typically want to know more about your condition in order to determine the severity of your diabetes, as well as how to issue the policy. Because of this, they will usually ask more in-depth questions about your condition so as to get a more clear picture of your diabetes, as well as about your overall health condition.
Some of the questions that you may be asked on your life insurance application may include the following:
- Which type of diabetes do you have – Type 1 or Type 2?
- When were you initially diagnosed with diabetes?
- What type of treatment are you using to control your condition (i.e., diet, exercise, medication, or all of the above)?
- What is your history of controlling your diabetes (i.e., HbA1c, fasting blood glucose, protein, microalbumin/creatinine, etc.)?
- What is your average blood pressure reading?
- What is your average cholesterol reading?
- Do you regularly visit your doctor or diabetic specialist?
- Do you have any diabetes-related health complications?
- Do you have any other type of health issues?
- What type of exercise do you participate in on a regular basis (if any)?
- What type of diet do you partake in on a regular basis (if any)?
- What type of medication do you take to control your condition (if any)?
The Underwriting Exam
As a part of the underwriting procedure, you will likely be required to undergo a paramedical examination. This will typically take about 30 minutes and it includes meeting with a paramedical professional who will take a blood pressure and heart monitor reading from you. They will also obtain a blood and urine sample. These will be tested for certain health risks to the insurance carrier.
Once all of your information from the application and the paramedical exam have been obtained, the underwriters can make a more informed decision. In some cases, it may be necessary to obtain additional information from your primary care physician or your diabetic specialist. In other cases, applicants may be required to take a full physical in order to obtain the additional health related information that the life insurance underwriters are seeking.
Your Underwriting Class
After reviewing all of the information, a decision will be made regarding your coverage. While all insurance companies are not exactly the same, most will have three general categories of insureds. These include Standard, Substandard, and Preferred.
Should it be found that you are in good health other than your diabetes, it is possible that you could be offered a policy as a Standard policy holder. Standard policy holders are considered to be of average health, and as such, they are charged average premium rates.
If, however, your health is considered to be somewhat below average, but not bad enough to decline your application for coverage altogether, then it is possible that the underwriters may offer you coverage as a Substandard policy holder. This means that you will be able to get life insurance coverage, but that your premium rates will be higher than those of a Standard policy holder.
In some cases, an individual who has diabetes may be declined altogether for a traditionally underwritten life insurance policy. In cases such as these, you could try an alternate route and apply for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. With a guaranteed issue policy, there is no medical exam to contend with. Therefore, applicants are guaranteed to qualify for coverage – provided that the premium continues to be paid.
Because these types of life insurance policies are typically sold to those who present the most risk to the insurance company, the premiums that are charged are generally quite high – in some cases, two to three times higher than for a traditionally underwritten policy of the same benefit. However, for some individuals, this could be the only option for obtaining the life insurance coverage that they need.
What A Life Insurance Underwriter Looks At
When you apply for life insurance and you have diabetes, the underwriter wants to find out two basic things:
Is your blood glucose level controlled?
What other health issues do you have, if any?
Generally speaking, an applicant who has good blood sugar control with an A1C of 7.0 or less, and was diagnosed later in life, has a higher likelihood of qualifying for a standard rate.
There are a couple companies that may offer you a preferred rate on life insurance with type 2 diabetes, onset after age 60, with excellent control and no other health complications.
Controlled or Uncontrolled Diabetes – The Determining Factor With Diabetic Life Insurance
As a diabetic, you may think it’s impossible to find quality life insurance but that is not entirely so. There are many carriers who gladly work with applicants who are diabetic, but what insurance companies want to know is whether your diabetes is in control or not.
This is where the A1C test comes in. An A1C of 7 and below shows excellent control – your blood sugars have been in a somewhat normal range. If your A1C is above 7, then your diabetes is considered uncontrolled and you will have a more difficult time finding a standard rate policy. Other factors are taken into consideration such as those mentioned above.
What To Consider When Purchasing a Policy
When you have found a carrier that will offer life insurance for diabetics, you will be able to then determine the type and the amount of coverage that will be right for you. Here, there are several factors that you will need to consider. These should start with the type and the amount of life insurance coverage.
Types of Life Insurance
There are two primary types of life insurance that are available in the market place today. These are term and permanent. Term life insurance is considered to be the most basic form of coverage. This is because term life offers death benefit protection only without any cash value or savings build up. Because of this, term life insurance policies are usually more affordable than comparable permanent life insurance plans – especially for those who are younger and in relatively good health.
Term insurance, as the name implies, is sold for a set period of time, or term. This can be 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, or 30 years for example. Once the time period has elapsed, the policy will expire. If the insured still wishes to have coverage, then he or she will need to either purchase a new life insurance policy, or re-qualify (if the term policy offers that option). In some cases, a term life insurance policy will offer the option to convert over to permanent life insurance coverage without the insured having to provide evidence of insurability.
Permanent life insurance offers both death benefit protection and a cash value component. The cash in the cash value component of the policy is allowed to grow on a tax deferred basis. This means that there will be no tax due on the gain of the cash until the time it is withdrawn – if the policy holder even decides to do so at all.
The policy holder is allowed to either borrow or withdraw the cash for any reason at all – such as for paying off a debt, supplementing his or her retirement income, paying a child or a grandchild’s college tuition, or even taking a nice vacation.
These loans or withdrawals do not need to be repaid. If, however, they are not repaid and if the insured dies while there is an unpaid balance in the cash value component of the life insurance policy, then the difference will be withheld from the amount of the death benefit proceeds that are paid out to the policy’s beneficiary at the time of the insured’s death.
One of the nice benefits about permanent life insurance coverage is that, once an applicant has been approved for coverage, the policy won’t be cancelled – provided that the premium continues to be paid. In addition, the amount of the premium payment is typically guaranteed – regardless of the increasing age of the insured, and / or whether the insured contracts any type of adverse health condition in the future.
How much life Insurance do you need?
In addition to the type of coverage that you have, you will also need to consider how much in benefit that you need. When purchasing life insurance, there are many reasons why people buy this important coverage. Some obtain it in order to ensure that their loved ones will have ongoing income. Others want to pay off a large mortgage balance, and still others are worried primarily about paying off final expenses.
Before you move forward in purchasing a policy, it will be important to know just how much in coverage that you need. This is because having too little could essentially leave those that you love and leave behind in a financial hardship.
You will also need to consider who will be your policy’s beneficiary. This is the person (or the persons) who the proceeds of the policy will go to. There can be more than just one beneficiary – so be sure that you choose the person or people who will use the money to carry out the intent that it is meant for.
In this regard, you should also have a secondary beneficiary, in the case that the unexpected should happen to your primary choice (or choices). There have been times when a policy beneficiary pre-deceases an insured. Therefore, having a secondary beneficiary can ensure that someone will be able to step in and take over should the primary beneficiary be unable to do so.
How and Where to Obtain the Best Quotes
If you are seeking life insurance for diabetics and are trying to find the best premium quotes, typically the way to go about it is to work with a company or an agency that has access to more than just one insurance carrier. By doing so, you will be able to “shop” your information to multiple insurers – thus, giving you much more access to insurers that may be open to offering their life insurance coverage to those with diabetes.
Working with an expert company or agency that understands life insurance underwriting for diabetics is essential. All life insurance carriers can have their own set of underwriting guidelines for their applicants. For instance, some insurers may be better for those who have Type 1 diabetes, whereas other insurance carriers could be better for those who have Type 2. The company or agency that works with you should be able to know which questions to ask you about your condition – including about the history of your health and health condition – in order to most effectively shop for the policy and the insurance company that will be the best for you.
Finding the Best Plan
When you are ready to move forward and find the best life insurance for diabetics, we can help. We work with many of the top life insurers in the market place today. We can help you find the one that will be the best for your situation and premium budget. We help those who are considered to be high risk cases to find the coverage that they need so that they and those that they love can have the peace of mind that they deserve. Whether it’s a fully underwritten policy or a no medical exam plan, we can provide you with the options that can work the best for you and your specific needs. When you’re ready to move forward with the policy comparison process, all you need to do is fill out the form on this page.
Let us Help
Should you find that you have any additional questions along the way regarding life insurance for diabetics – or even if you just simply have a question about life insurance in general – please feel free to contact one of our experts. We can be reached directly by phone, toll-free, by calling 1-888-445-0132.
We understand that when it comes to shopping for life insurance for diabetics, it can seem like a scary proposition. There are so many variables to keep in mind – and so many questions that you may be required to answer.
You may have been turned down in the past for the life insurance coverage that you need. It may seem like there’s nowhere else to turn. But the good news is that there are insurance carriers out there who will offer you the life insurance coverage that you need at a price you can afford, giving you and those you love the chance to get back that financial peace of mind. So, contact us today – we’re here to help.