Can You Buy Life Insurance As A Diabetic? YES!

Written by Jeff Root

Life insurance for diabetics is offered by nearly 100 different life insurance carriers. Each company has different underwriting guidelines, premium rate tables, and overall policy terms.

Can I Get Life Insurance As A Diabetic?

Statistics show there are 18.8 million people in the United States diagnosed with diabetes. In fact, estimates indicate there are another 7 million United States citizens that have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes.

That’s a rather large category of people that will all need to secure affordable life insurance for diabetics. Fortunately, there are nearly 100 different life insurance companies that recognize this trend and do offer life insurance for diabetics.

One of the most important considerations for a life insurance underwriter is whether your diabetes has been under control for at least 6 to 12 months. It does not matter whether you are insulin dependent (Type 1) or rely on oral medications (Type 2). If you are actively taking care of your diabetes with diet, exercise, regular doctor visits, and medication compliance, you will be in a better position to secure affordable life insurance.

Another important factor underwriters take into consideration is whether the applicant has any additional health risks like obesity or smoking. Smokers typically pay more than double the life insurance premium of a non-smoker. So it’s important to be tobacco-free for at least one year before applying as a non-smoker.

Life insurers have a general rule of thumb when reviewing diabetic applications. The underwriter wants to know if you maintain blood sugar control with an A1C of 7.0 or less. An A1C of 7.0 and below shows exceptional blood sugar control. If your A1C is above 10.0, then your diabetes is considered uncontrolled. This can be a challenge for diabetics trying to purchase an affordable life insurance policy.  

The underwriter will also want to know if you have any complications from diabetes such as:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Neuropathy

Life insurers want to know about any complications from diabetes because it usually indicates uncontrolled diabetes. The underwriter will expect you to provide information as to the severity of your diabetic complications and the medications you are taking as a result. You’ll also want to disclose whether you’ve had any surgeries. The longer it’s been since the surgery was performed, the more favorable your application will look. If you have had any heart surgery then it’s best to wait one year before applying.

If your diabetes is uncontrolled then you will find it challenging to secure a traditional life insurance policy. However, you can still apply for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy for high-risk individuals. By doing so, you’ll skip the entire medical underwriting process. Of course, your premiums will be higher than a traditional plan but you will have the peace of mind knowing life insurance is secured. Once you are able to better control your diabetes and other health conditions, then your insurance agent may recommend you re-apply for a traditional life insurance policy.

What Will They Ask On My Life Insurance Application?

It’s best for you to be fully prepared to answer all the life insurance medical application questions. This will make the application process so much easier. In addition to the information we mentioned above, you’ll also be asked questions about your disease similar to the list below:

  • What type of diabetes do you have (Type 1 or Type 2)?
  • At what age were you diagnosed with diabetes?
  • What are your most recent glucose/blood sugar level readings?
  • Do you possess any additional health risk factors?
  • What, if any, medications have you been prescribed for your condition?

In addition to health questions, the underwriters will also ask for basic information, like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Height and weight
  • Smoking status/tobacco usage
  • Marital status
  • Occupation and income
  • Overall health and medical history
  • Family health and medical history
  • Keep a current list of all medications and the dosage for each one

With traditional life insurance policies, most companies require a medical examination in order to determine risk before you can receive coverage. Most companies will send a nurse directly to your house for this process.

Typically, a medical exam for life insurance includes a blood and urine sample, as well as checks into your medical and prescription history. Once all of the proper data has been gathered, it is sent out to underwriters who will then determine your risk classification for the insurer. From there, you receive life insurance rates based on your level of risk to the life insurance company.

Occasionally, there may be a need for additional medical exams such as an EKG if the underwriters feel it may reveal more health related complications. These additional tests can lengthen the underwriting process.

Some may not qualify for a traditional medically underwritten exam, do not think all hope is lost. There are options out there, no medical exam life insurance is available to those with health issues.

Why A Diabetic May Need Life Insurance

Affordable life insurance for diabetics is best purchased sooner rather than later. It’s important to apply for affordable life insurance today while you are still the youngest you’ll ever be. If you wait until you are older or after you develop additional health issues, it may become even more challenging and expensive to lock-in a life insurance policy.

It’s important for a diabetic to secure life insurance same as any individual. It’s important to have a financial plan in place for your loved ones to deal with your burial costs, medical bills, and any other outstanding debts.

Chances are you do not want to leave a financial burden for your family in the event of your death.

If not, then it’s important for you to get a life insurance plan immediately. It’s the most caring gesture you can make for your family.

Another benefit to traditional life insurance policies is the inclusion of an “accelerated death benefit” The accelerated death benefit may be written into the original policy or purchased as a rider to the policy. This death benefit means you can receive a portion of your policy’s face amount while you are still alive.

Example: If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness then you will be able to secure a portion of your life insurance policy’s face amount to live off of while dealing with your illness. This is important! Many people say they don’t need life insurance because they have no family. In this case, you can see how life insurance for a diabetic is beneficial whether you have a family or not.

Best Type Of Life Insurance For Diabetics

Consider your needs first when shopping for affordable life insurance for diabetics. The best life insurance plan is going to fit within your budget and protects you financially. The two main types to choose from are permanent and term life insurance.

What is the difference between permanent and term life insurance?

  • Permanent life insurance: Permanent life options such as whole or universal life insurance are also available for diabetics, but they will be the most expensive option for diabetics. A permanent life insurance policy will usually grow cash value which can significantly increase the premium.
  • Term life insurance: Pays death benefits only, and can be an ideal form of life insurance for the purpose of income replacement. Term insurance is purchased for periods of time such as 10, 20, or 30 years. You can also get a term policy that covers you to a specific age, such as 65 years old. Premiums are guaranteed for the life of the term, and the death benefit is paid to the beneficiary as a non-taxable lump sum.

If you need life insurance fast and may not pass the medical underwriting of a traditional plan, you can certainly apply for guaranteed-issue life insurance. Keep in mind a guaranteed-issue life insurance policy will cost more than a term life or permanent life. This is because you are skipping medical underwriting and the life insurer assumes you’ll be a high risk insured.

With so many options for life insurance for diabetics, we decided to make up this table and to show the companies that with the best life insurance for diabetics.

Company JD Power Rating Moody’s Rating Reviews
John Hancock 763 A+ 4.3
Protective 774 A+ 4.1
Transamerica 780 A 4.0
Lincoln Financial 781 A+ 3.9
Prudential 777 A+ 3.7
AIG 751 A 4.2
MetLife 812 A 4.3
Mutual of Omaha 789 A+ 3.9

Transamerica, Phoenix, and 5 Star Life Insurance Company are a few of the life insurers that offer quick approval (5 minutes to 3 days) for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics that also smoke tobacco.

For non-tobacco users, a life insurance plan for diabetics from Transamerica, Sagicor, Phoenix, 5 Star Life Insurance Company, Royal Neighbors of America, American National, Americo, and North American Company are available.

Tips To Get The Best Rates As A Diabetic

All diabetics pay slightly more for life insurance than their non-diabetic peers. To help you save as much in premium as possible, there are other factors you can control which will keep the life insurance premium low.

Stop smoking! Tobacco smokers automatically pay double the life insurance rates that non-smokers pay. That is a big markup in cost you want to avoid. If you are looking to reduce premiums, you need to kick the habit and be smoke-free for a minimum of one year.

Take care of your overall health! Diabetics dealing with health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or obesity will pay more than their peers. This is because you already have diabetes while also dealing with other chronic diseases. All of this adds up to a great concern for the life insurance company and a higher premium for you.

Shop Multiple Life Insurance Companies! Each life insurer has different underwriting guidelines and premium tables. So you always want to work with your life insurance agent to find the insurer that fits your situation best. There are dozens of insurance companies that will be pleased to insure a diabetic.

You never know what tomorrow will bring which means that you shouldn’t wait any longer to get the life insurance protection your family deserves.

If you are looking for life insurance coverage as a diabetic, click the button below to begin the quick and easy process.

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