Life Insurance For Diabetics In 2024

min read -
Updated: 10 June 2024
Written by Bob Phillips
On this page Open

If you have diabetes, you may be wondering about what options are available to you for securing life insurance. If so, you’ve landed in the right place. This article was designed to demystify life insurance for those living with diabetes, providing comprehensive, easy to understand information that will steer you to the best decision for your needs.

Many insurers offer term life as well as whole life insurance policies for diabetics. We’ll examine these options, and also take a look at how to qualify for life insurance if you have diabetes, along with details about coverage, and more, to help you get the best policy for your individual needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Type 2 diabetes is typically easier to obtain than Type 1

  • People with diabetes are able to get life insurance, but premiums may be higher

  • If you have diabetes, term life insurance might be your most viable option

Can You Get Life Insurance With Diabetes?

Yes, you can get life insurance if you’re living with diabetes. You should realize, though, that your choices may be somewhat limited, and your premium will be probably higher than average.

There are several key points that will impact what type of life insurance you can purchase. As a rule, insurers have stringent guidelines for applicants with diabetes, and not all providers offer coverage to individuals with this condition. There are usually added restrictions with coverage in these instances, so be prepared to answer extensive questions along with a medical exam..

Important: Life insurance for people with diabetes is available, though the coverage might be limited and potentially more expensive.

How Does Having Diabetes Affect My Life Insurance Eligibility?

If you have diabetes, much depends on which type you have, Type 1 or Type 2. In most cases, if you have Type 1 diabetes, underwriting will be considerably more extensive and rates higher than for Type 2.

This is because Type 1 diabetes is considered higher risk than Type 2. If you have Type 2 diabetes and can show an insurance provider that your condition is well managed, you will find it easier to secure life insurance at a lower premium than those with Type 1.

Generally speaking, the younger you are when you apply for life insurance, the better chance you have to qualify and the lower your rate. By the same token, the longer you’ve had diabetes, the more of a risk you’ll be to an insurance company, so the higher your rate.

Important: A life insurance policy can’t be rescinded or have the rates raised if you are diagnosed with diabetes after the policy has been issued.

Life Insurance Underwriting Process For Those With Diabetes

Once you find a life insurance provider that offers coverage to people with diabetes, you should understand that the underwriting process is going to be fairly in-depth.

The insurance company’s underwriters will make an assessment of multiple factors, including:

  • Your age
  • Your age at diagnosis
  • Your type of diabetes
  • Your gender
  • Your lifestyle
  • The severity of your condition
  • Your use of alcohol, if any
  • If your diabetes is well managed
  • Your family medical history
  • Your other health conditions, if any
  • Tobacco use, if any
  • Your weight and BMI
  • Occupation

Diabetes is a serious health condition in and of itself. But as it is accompanied by diabetes-related health problems such as hypertension, heart problems, poor circulation, vision problems such as diabetic retinopathy and more; insurance providers are keen to conduct thorough vetting before issuing coverage.

This means that you can expect an extensive questionnaire, providing your medical records, lab tests, and a complete medical exam.

What Do Life Insurance Companies Consider When You Have Diabetes?

If you have diabetes and are in the market for life insurance, you should know that there are multiple factors insurers will consider in deciding whether or not to issue coverage.

The first thing will be your application. You will probably be asked quite a few questions, including information about your diabetes including:

  • Which type of diabetes you have
  • Other health conditions
  • Lifestyle
  • Medications and treatments,
  • Familial medical history
  • Financial information
  • What you do for a living
  • Tobacco and/or drug use
  • Alcohol use
  • Attending physician’s statement
  • Medical records

Those are some of the things insurance companies will look at, there will probably be others as well. Many insurance providers cross-check things such as your driving record, criminal record if you have one, credit history and prescription medication records.

Underwriters will also check with the MIB, which is an insurance industry group that has information from any of your previous life insurance applications, info about your medical conditions, any hazardous hobbies you might have or even blots on your driving record.

Best Type Of Life Insurance If You Have Diabetes

Term Life Insurance

Term Life Insurance is one of the most economical and easiest to secure of life insurance policies available to individuals with diabetes. It insures you for a specified number of years and although more costly than standard insurance, will serve you well if you’ve been denied traditional coverage.

Group Life Insurance

Group life insurance is typically offered through an employer or another kind of group, and if available to you is almost certainly your best option for life insurance if you have diabetes. There is seldom a medical examination and everyone is accepted, regardless of health condition or lifestyle.

 

Important: Living benefit riders can also be a lifeline for individuals who have diabetes. These optional additions to your policy can allow you to access a portion of your death benefit while still alive to help cover treatment expenses.

How To Buy Life Insurance If You Have Diabetes

Here are 4 easy steps for you to follow that will simplify finding the right life insurance if you have diabetes:

Research Your Options

The first thing you’ll want to do is research insurance providers that provide coverage for people with diabetes. Many insurers offer term and whole life insurance, and you need to know the differences between these two types so that you can determine which is best suited to your needs.

1

Understand The Underwriting Process

To qualify for insurance coverage, you will have to go through a thorough underwriting process. Know that you will be required to answer a lot of questions as well as a medical examination. These things are done to assess your insurable risk factor.

2

Considering Group Coverage

If group life insurance is available to you via an employer or other type of group, it  is probably the best option for you. This type of policy typically offers coverage no matter what health conditions you may have, without an exam, even if you have diabetes.

3

Applying For Coverage

After researching and selecting an insurance provider and a policy that seems likely to suit your circumstances, move on to completing an application for coverage. This may include filling out health questionnaires along with a medical examination, access to your medical records, credit history, driving history and more.

4

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost If You Have Diabetes?

Life insurance rates are affected by many factors. For those living with diabetes, one of the key and most critical factors is the type of diabetes they have. Type 1 is considered an autoimmune disease and considerably more severe—hence more high-risk—than Type 2.

The chart below shows rates for term life insurance policy for males and females aged 45 with Type 2 diabetes.

Male Age 45 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000
10 Year Term $16.92 $29.07 $51.75
20 Year Term $24.68 $47.18 $87.53
30 Year Term $40.22 $79.89 $150.40
Female Age 45 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000
10 Year Term $16.12 $24.25 $42.06
20 Year Term $20.70 $36.55 $66.28
30 Year Term $31.10 $58.19 $107.08

How To Qualify For Life Insurance If You Have Diabetes

If you are living with diabetes and want to purchase life insurance, here are some things you should know about qualifying for coverage:

  • Manage your diabetes with lifestyle, diet, and whatever medications are prescribed by your doctor
  • Monitor your health and be vigilant for complications of diabetes
  • Using diabetes technology such as a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM)
  • Don’t attempt to falsify your blood sugar readings or medications you’re taking for your diabetes
  • If you are overweight and have a higher BMI, lose weight

Type 2 diabetics will have a good chance of getting life insurance at a fairly reasonable rate if they show an insurer during underwriting that they are compliant with medical advice and proactive about self care to manage their condition.

Can Insurance Companies Deny Coverage Because You Have Diabetes?

The answer to that question is yes, insurance companies can deny coverage because you have diabetes. This isn’t commonplace, but it can happen. One of the main reasons an applicant might be denied is if they have falsified or failed to mention a health problem on their application. Another reason may be if an underwriter determines that an applicant’s health condition is too high-risk.

Understand that people with diabetes have a higher cost for insurance than average because there are several serious health conditions that are diabetes-related. Diabetics also have increased mortality rates.

The bottom line is that it’s up to the discretion of an insurer whether or not they issue coverage to people with diabetes. Each insurer has their own set of specific guidelines.

What Will Insurers Ask About Your Condition If You Have Diabetes?

Insurance providers will have quite a few questions for applicants with diabetes.

If you are diabetic, here are some commonly asked questions that you will probably be required to answer during the underwriting process:

  • Age you were first diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes
  • Do you have any complications from diabetes?
  • Control level of your Type 1/Type 2 Diabetes
  • Recorded A1C
  • Do you use any diabetes-related technology such as a GCM?
  • Do you eat a healthy diet?
  • Do you exercise regularly?
  • Are you insulin dependent?
  • What oral medications do you take for diabetes?
  • Do you have high blood pressure?
  • Have you experienced cardiac problems?
  • Do you have any other health conditions?

Along with these standard questions for life insurance applicants with diabetes, an insurer will also probably ask about your familial history of stroke, heart attack or cancer.

Life Insurance Options If You’re Denied Coverage Due To Diabetes

What options are open to you if you were denied life insurance coverage because you have diabetes?

If this applies to you, take a deep breath and don’t worry because you still have options for life insurance coverage. You might have applied to the wrong insurance company, or applied for a policy with a company that has very stringent guidelines. Whatever the case may be, coverage is available to you.

Here are some tips and options for getting life insurance if you have been declined:

First, find out why your application was declined. It may be something as simple as a typo on your part or an agent who looked over your application and doesn’t know how to differentiate between Type 1 diabetes and Type 2, classifying you as Type 1 if you’re not. Ask to see your lab results and make sure they seem right.

Check with the MIB (Medical Information Bureau) to make sure there are no errors in your report that could have caused your application to be denied.

Be sure to apply to a company that does accept diabetics, and also ascertain that the insurer doesn’t have really tough guidelines for diabetes.

Consider a different type of life insurance rather than traditional. There are multiple sorts of life insurance. Some are literally guaranteed to be issued regardless of your health conditions. These and others that have less complicated underwriting will probably cost more, but at least you’ll have life insurance.

Tip: Guaranteed issue policies are an excellent option if other companies have denied your application for whole, universal, or term life insurance policies.

Tips For Choosing The Right Policy

Below are 3 useful tips that might help simplify your search for life insurance if you have diabetes:

  1. Understand Your Needs: In order to know how much life insurance coverage to purchase, you will have to understand how much you need. Calculate all of your debts, any future expenses such as education funds for your children, income replacement, auto and home maintenance, and more.
  2. Explore Various Policy Types: Check out different types of life insurance like Guaranteed Issue and Graded Death Benefit policies. These policies have been specially designed for people with health conditions such as diabetes, as well as other applicants who are deemed high risk. Group life insurance is one type that offers coverage no matter what your health condition may be.
  3. Use Specialized Services: Take advantage of specialized services such as Insuranceopedia, that will provide quotes from multiple insurers and help you compare rates. This will be very helpful to you in finding a suitable policy for your needs that doesn’t break the bank.
 

Information About Diabetes And Diabetics

There are three types of diabetes:

  • Type 1
  • Type 2
  • Gestational

Type 1 is an autoimmune, chronic disease in which cells in the pancreas that make insulin are unable to produce insulin.

Insulin is the hormone that helps the cells in your body use a natural sugar called glucose for energy. Glucose is obtained from the food you eat. Insulin lets the glucose pass from your blood into your cells. Extra glucose–or blood sugar–is stored in your muscle tissues and your liver. When your body needs more energy, like when you’re sleeping, exercising or between meals. This extra glucose is released.

Getting life insurance if you have Type 1 diabetes is challenging. Not every life insurer will offer coverage to Type 1 diabetics. The ones that do are likely to be more expensive than for Type 2 diabetics or average rates. Why is this so? Mainly because those with Type 1 diabetes are typically diagnosed at a younger age, making them a higher risk for developing complications of diabetes. If you are diagnosed later in life with Type 1 diabetes, your rates are apt to be more favorable.

Type 2 diabetes is different from Type 1 in that while Type 1 doesn’t produce insulin at all, whereas in Type 2 your body does produce insulin at first, but is unable to respond to it effectively.

Type 1 is an autoimmune condition. Type 2 is a chronic condition in which the cells don’t respond to insulin normally, causing excess blood sugar. This is known as insulin resistance. It is easier to secure life insurance if you have Type 2 diabetes.

If left untreated, Type 2 diabetes may lead to serious, even life-threatening complications, such as:

  • Stroke, blindness, kidney failure, blood vessel blockages and heart disease
  • Atherosclerosis, which causes clogged blood vessels
  • Macrovascular complications that affect your brain, heart, and/or blood vessels
  • Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome, a medical emergency
  • Microvascular complications of nerves, kidneys or eyes

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy, and is caused by hormones that block insulin. This type of diabetes is often  without symptoms but might include excessive thirst along with frequent urination. When the pregnancy is over, so is the diabetes in most cases.

Statistically, however, about half of people with gestational diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes later in life.

Other Health Concerns That Can Affect Your Life Insurance

When you make an application for life insurance, insurance companies will evaluate your health to decide how much risk they’ll be incurring if they insure you. Here is a list of seventeen common health conditions that may have a great impact on your life insurance coverage:

  • High Cholesterol: High cholesterol can lead to higher rates if not well managed
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: This chronic condition can bring increased premiums
  • Liver Disease: Conditions such as cirrhosis can impact your life insurance premium
  • Depression: Mental health conditions such as depression can affect coverage
  • Asthma: Depending on the severity, asthma may affect insurance premiums
  • HIV/AIDS: With progress in modern medical treatment, many insurers offer policies to HIV-positive applicants
  • Lung Disease: Chronic conditions like  COPD might raise insurance rates
  • Obesity: Higher BMI can result in increased insurance costs
  • Cancer: Dependent on type and stage, cancer may affect insurability
  • High Blood Pressure: Well controlled high blood pressure may have less impact on your insurance policy
  • Sleep Apnea: May cause increased premium rates if not well-managed
  • Kidney Disease: Chronic kidney disease can lead to increased insurance costs
  • Substance Use Disorders: A history of drug or alcohol abuse can impact insurability
  • Stroke: A history of stroke might cause increased premiums
  • Heart Disease: A condition that might cause increased rates or even denial of coverage
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia: These conditions can have an effect on insurability

FAQs

Do people with diabetes qualify for life insurance?

Yes. The difficulty in securing life insurance largely depends on which type of diabetes you have. It is considerably harder to get coverage with Type 1 diabetes than Type 2. Still, there is coverage available.

What insurance is best for those living with diabetes?

If you have diabetes and are struggling to obtain standard life insurance, you have other  options. For instance, a Guaranteed Issue life insurance policy may be a good option for a diabetic, or term life. Group life, if available, is another viable option for coverage.

Are people with diabetes classed as having a critical illness in insurance?

Yes, diabetes is typically classed as a critical illness for insurance purposes. Much depends on which type of diabetes you have, as well as your overall health.

Go back to top