People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can get life insurance coverage, although the policies they will qualify for and how easy it is to get their coverage approved will depend on their type of diabetes, the age they were diagnosed, and how effectively it is monitored.
A person diagnosed at a later age with type 2 diabetes who is able to strictly control it with diet and exercise will likely qualify for the best life insurance rates. If you are insulin-dependent or have had complications from diabetes, you can still purchase life insurance, but your coverage options may be more limited. Here’s how to get life insurance for diabetics.
How the Type of Diabetes You Have Affects Life Insurance
You can buy life insurance if you have diabetes. However, your coverage options may be limited and a policy will likely cost more because insurers will consider you a higher risk. In addition to other health factors, the type of diabetes you have will have a significant impact on how life insurance companies assess your claim, as each type of diabetes affects your health differently.
Life Insurance for Type 1 Diabetics
People with type 1 diabetes are considered to be at higher risk than those with type 2 and may have more difficulty getting life insurance. Life insurers consider type 1 diabetes to be less manageable, especially since it often requires insulin to control it.
Life insurance companies consider the age of diagnosis when assessing risk because a diagnosis later in life means your body and your health will be impacted during fewer years. However, type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in children or teenagers, which means you would be considered a higher risk when applying for life insurance.
Life Insurance for Type 2 Diabetics
As it is usually diagnosed in adulthood, type 2 diabetes is considered a lower risk by life insurance companies. This is especially the case if you are able to manage it with lifestyle adjustments or oral medications and have had no complications. As long as you’re healthy and haven’t had any complications, type 2 diabetes shouldn’t stop you from getting a policy, although it will affect your life insurance rating and increase the amount you will pay.
Life Insurance with Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes can occur in pregnant women due to hormonal changes in the body and is often a temporary condition that goes away soon after delivery. However, this is not always the case and some women will develop type 2 diabetes. Life insurance companies will therefore classify you as a higher risk, which means you will pay more than a woman without gestational diabetes.
If you are already pregnant and have gestational diabetes, you may want to wait several months after giving birth before purchasing a life insurance policy. The condition may disappear after pregnancy, in which case you will have an easier time qualifying for life insurance and will likely receive lower quotes.
Why is it Difficult for Diabetics to get Life Insurance?
Life insurance is harder to purchase and more expensive for people with pre-existing health conditions. Insurers assess applicants based on their expected mortality, which is influenced by your current state of health and the likelihood of developing additional critical conditions. Since diabetes often accompanies other health problems, such as obesity, and is a risk factor for other medical conditions, it can be difficult to find a life insurance policy with good rates as a diabetic.
What Health Factors Affect the Cost of Life Insurance for Diabetics?
When you have diabetes and apply for a life insurance policy, the insurer will determine whether they offer coverage and the rates for which you qualify based on your current medical condition, medical history, family history, and your lifestyle. For people with diabetes, life insurance companies will want to determine if your condition is under control, how it has impacted your body, and how likely it is to negatively impact your health in the future.
You have a better chance of locking in a policy and a lower premium if you can show that you are taking steps to treat your diabetes.
For different types of diabetes there are a variety of treatment plans that are available to those afflicted. But in general, eating a healthy diet, exercising, taking oral medications, and seeing a doctor regularly are all good signs that you are trying to control your condition.
What Types of Insurance are Available for People with Diabetes?
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance policies are the cheapest as they are in effect for a predetermined period of time, such as 10 or 20 years, and have no cash value. Most term policies offer the option of turning into a permanent policy without additional underwriting, which means that later diabetic complications would not be taken into account if your situation changed. If you are approved for a term life insurance policy, consider longer coverage periods.
Whole Life Insurance
Premiums for whole life insurance are significantly higher than with term life. However, if you are approved, your premium will be fixed for life. Whole life insurance lasts for your lifetime as long as you stick to the premiums, so you don’t have to worry about reapplying or having a medical exam if your condition changes.
Life Insurance Without Medical Exam
If your diabetes is advanced or uncontrolled, or if you have a history of high and low blood sugar (more common with type 1 diabetes), you can apply for a simplified issue policy. This type of coverage does not require any medical examination but does require a health questionnaire.
Another option for people with more serious health complications is a guaranteed issue policy. It has no health requirements, so even people with severe diabetes can get the coverage they need.
No-medical-exam term life policies typically don’t exceed $500,000 in coverage, while no exam whole life policies typically offer maximum coverage of $50,000.
Group Life Insurance
If your employer offers group life insurance, it’s worth taking advantage of it. This type of life insurance covers all employees as a group, but none of the employees are required to disclose their medical history. Death benefits are generally low for group life insurance, often a year’s salary or a lump sum. If you can buy more without having to prove insurability, maximize that coverage.
What Happens if You are Rejected for Life Insurance Coverage?
If you are rejected for fully underwritten, no-medical life insurance policies because of your diabetes, you can still purchase a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. But it should be your last resort if you need coverage, as guaranteed issue whole life insurance is the most expensive form of coverage.
The policies generally have a maximum death benefit of around $25,000 and come with a two to three-year waiting period; if you were to pass during this period, not from an accident, your beneficiaries will not receive the full death benefit. So, for example, if you died of diabetes-related complications one year after purchasing your policy, your family would only receive the sum of the premiums paid plus a small amount of interest.
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