Are you a diabetic looking for the most affordable life insurance policy you can find? Whether you are a diabetic male or a diabetic female, if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it is important to be wise in your life insurance shopping.

Doing the proper research and going with the right company, can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollar and can mean the difference between an approval or denial of coverage.

Diabetes is a rapidly growing disease that affects about 6% of the population. It is a commonly presented health condition for insurance applicants, but is still a complicated factor for underwriters to analyze.

That’s why it is imperative that you educate yourself on the insurance buying process and how having diabetes affects it so you can get approved at the best rate class with the lowest possible premium. It is important to understand how life insurance companies view applicants with diabetes, what they look for, and which companies are best for your unique situation.

What is Diabetes?

When you eat food, your body turns it into glucose, or sugar, which is the main source of fuel your body uses for energy. Insulin is the hormone that the body produces in order to convert the sugar into the form of energy it can actually use.
When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t produce insulin or it uses the insulin inefficiently, which causes sugar to build up in your blood. In essence, glucose floats around in your blood instead of going into your cells.

There are three types of diabetes:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 type 1 diabetics regardless, while other carriers may offer a type 1 diabetic a standard rate with good blood sugar control

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 applicant. Insurance companies carefully evaluate whether that risk is worth insuring or not.

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 if you have type 2 diabetes, onset after age 60, with excellent control and no other health complications.

Some Specific Questions that an Underwriter Will Ask

  • What type of diabetes do you have?
  • What age were you when diagnosed and how long have you had it?
  • Do you see your doctor for regular checkups?
  • Is your diabetes under control? This is checked with the A1C test.
  • Do you have any complications from diabetes? This could be kidney damage, vision issues, heart disease, neuropathy?
  • How is your overall health? The insurance company will evaluate your height and weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and any other health issues that you have and medication that you take.
  • Do you smoke?

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.

How We Can Help You Find Life Insurance With Diabetes

If you or a loved one is diabetic and shopping for an insurance policy, it is important to work with a knowledgeable agent who is familiar with the ins and outs of diabetes and how underwriters of various companies view it. When you do this, you increase the likelihood that you will get approved for coverage at the best rate possible.

We are an independent life insurance broker that can connect you with independent agents who work with dozens of carriers to find the best coverage for you.

If you or a loved one has diabetes and you need life insurance coverage, be sure to compare rates from several companies to make sure you get the best deal. Get started here by filling out a short form with your general information and view rates from competing companies.

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