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Can someone with diabetes get medical insurance?

Medical insurance for people with diabetes

People with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, often don’t consider health insurance or medical insurance. The fact is that there are options for people with diabetes to get affordable medical insurance.

You could get comprehensive medical insurance that covers a wide range of treatments and specialist care. One of the most common reasons for medical insurance is Cancer Cover which would be included for people with diabetes.
People with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, often don’t consider health insurance or medical insurance.
Most brokers don’t offer medical insurance for people with diabetes because your existing condition won’t be covered. They don’t consider the things that are still covered and great value for money!

Health insurance and diabetes

Here are some of the main questions that we get asked by our customers with diabetes when we look at medical insurance for them.

More information about HEALTH INSURANCE

What isn’t covered by medical insurance for diabetics?

All medical insurance policies will exclude a pre-existing medical condition, but this isn’t always an issue. Medical insurance is designed to complement any treatment that you are already receiving or have already received.

Diabetes care, for example, will be treated and monitored by your GP or via the NHS which is usually very comprehensive. You’ll continue to receive this care from the NHS to help to manage your diabetes so this will not be covered.

If you have further medical or health problems connected to your diabetes, then these would also be treated under your NHS care.

What is covered by medical insurance for people with diabetes?

Medical insurance can cover a vast range of medical conditions and treatments, so you can build your plan to suit you. You’ve got a number of options with most types of private medical insurance, these include:

  • Core Cover
  • Cancer Cover
  • In-patient Care
  • Out-patient Care
  • Dental Cover
  • Global Travel Cover

If you’re a diabetic and you’ve been thinking about getting medical insurance, then these are all the things you can consider. You can tailor your cover to suit your needs and what’s most important to you.

How can I apply for medical insurance with diabetes?

There’s a couple of ways to go about getting health insurance for someone with diabetes and you can choose which is best for you:

Full Medical Underwriting

You could choose to go down the route of getting your application fully underwritten by an underwriter. In this situation, your application would ask for information about your diabetes and anything else pre-existing.

The main point of this option is to make sure that your existing and previous medical conditions are taken into consideration. This means that those conditions and related conditions would be excluded from the life of the plan.

The main benefit of this is that your premiums would be adjusted to take account of the things that won’t be covered.

This is a very sensible option for people with diabetes because it is a chronic condition, so would never be covered anyway. In this situation, you’d know upfront what is and isn’t covered so good for your own peace of mind.

Moratorium Underwriting

The other option for applying for medical insurance with diabetes is moratorium underwriting. This is the quickest and easiest way of applying for health insurance because you won’t have any medical questions to answer.

If you choose to go down this route then you won’t need to supply any medical information at all. You’ll just be asked to select which type of cover you want and what you want to be included in your plan.

When your policy is live, your medical history will only be taken into account at the point of a claim. Anything that you have experienced for a period of time before the plan was activated will be excluded.

How much does medical insurance cost for diabetics?

You’ve got loads of options for taking out a suitable and affordable plan when you apply for medical insurance. In the case of someone with diabetes, as detailed above you could go through medical underwriting which could help to reduce cost.

How you build your plan and what cover you need is entirely up to you. There are lots of options available which can reduce the cost of your cover, such as:

  • Excess
  • No claims discounts
  • Switch and Save
  • Cover options

How can I get cheaper medical insurance for diabetes?

By choosing the right cover and the right insurance company, you can keep the costs down. There’s a lot of different options, types of cover, and insurance providers which can be confusing.

You’ll be able to speak to one of our experts who can get quotes from some of the UK’s biggest health insurance providers.

Other related articles:

Does my blood sugar levels (Hba1c/Mmol) affect life insurance?

How does my HbA1c reading affect Life Insurance rates?

(Author: Daniel Sharpe-Szunko)

One of the big things for insurers considering life insurance for people with diabetes is their HbA1c (Mmol) reading which is the blood sugar level. The term HbA1c is an abbreviation for Glycated Haemoglobin which develops when hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen through the body) meets glucose in the blood, which becomes glycated.

There are two types of measurements for this type of reading which is usually taken by your doctor, the readings can be given as mmol/mol or % (HbA1c).

HbA1c levels for people with diabetes are as follows:

Levels Mmol/mol Percentage (%)
Normal Under 42 Under 6.0%
Prediabetes 42 to 47 6.0% to 6.4%
Diabetes Over 48 Over 6.5%

Life insurance underwriting for people with diabetes has several levels to consider, that can have an impact on your premiums:

Levels Mmol/mol Percentage (%)
Low (good control) Under 53 Under 7.0%
Moderate (could improve) 54 to 74 7.0% to 8.9%
High (poor control) 75 to 85 9.0% to 9.9%
Very High Over 86 Over 10.0%

In more recent years there have been changes to the levels being accepted, so more and more we’re seeing insurers accepting people with readings over 10.0% (86Mmol/mol). We also understand that blood sugar levels is not an exact science, and there are situations where people could be asked by their GP to maintain higher readings, such as sportspeople.

High BMI and Overweight life insurance during COVID-19

High BMI and Overweight life insurance during COVID-19

One of the most commonly linked health problems with higher risks of serious illness from COVID-19 is high BMI and Obesity. There have been several major studies that have shown that people with a BMI of over 35 are at a 40% higher risk of death due to COVID.

There are currently some issues with life insurance underwriting in the UK and globally due to the current pandemic. Most insurance providers in the UK have restricted their limits so are currently only offering cover up to certain levels.

At iam|INSURED, we’re experts in helping people with medical conditions and health issues to get life insurance at a fair price. Our team of expert advisers speaks to literally thousands of people every month to help them to protect their families.

COVID-19 has caused insurance providers to impose extra underwriting restrictions which include BMI levels. We are constantly reviewing the situation and working with our partners which includes some UK’s top insurance brands.

High BMI (body mass index) and Obesity statistics in the UK

Obesity and high BMI are some of the most common health risks in the UK which is also the most common health disclosures in life insurance.

Facts and figures:

  • 62% of the UK population is overweight
  • 58% of women and 68% of men are overweight
  • Almost a quarter (25%) of UK adults are classed as obese
  • The UK has the highest obesity rates in Europe
  • Around 30,000 deaths in the UK are weight-related

What is classed as overweight or obese in the UK?

Weight classification in the UK is linked to Body Mass Index (BMI). Although this is not the most reliable method of calculating a person’s health, it does provide a good indication.

Example: A bodybuilder or rugby player can be healthy and athletic but have a high BMI due to their muscle mass

BMI calculator:

Current BMI categorisation in the UK according to the NHS are:

  • Underweight: Below 18.5
  • Healthy weight: 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight: 25 to 29.9
  • Obese: 30 to 39.9

How has COVID-19 affected Obesity and High BMI life insurance?

There have been a number of studies that clearly link high BMI and obesity with a serious illness or even death from COVID-19.

Previously, in life insurance in the UK, it has been possible to get cover with a BMI of over 50 from a select group of insurers.

BMI limits for life insurance before COVID-19:

  • Standard life cover: 50
  • Specialist life cover: 55

Current BMI limits for life insurance in the UK:

  • Standard life cover: 40
  • Specialist life cover: 44

What are the health risks for people who are overweight during COVID?

According to recent studies, obesity can increase the risk of death due to COVID-19 by 48%. The study which was carried out by the University of California (UNC) and the Saudi Health Council and World Bank, found that people who were obese were nearly 50% higher risk, which was “scary” a researcher said.

Another study found that people with a BMI of between 35 and 40, were at a 40% higher risk of death, and those with BMI’s of over 40 were 90% higher risk. This is compared to those who did not have a high BMI.

Other data sources found that 7.9% of critically ill patients with COVID-19 had a BMI of over 40, which was compared to 2.9% of the rest of the population.

Medical conditions linked to High BMI and Obesity:

What’s going to happen to life insurance rates for people who are overweight?

The current situation with the pandemic is constantly being reviewed by insurers and by medical experts. We are also speaking to our insurance partners on a weekly basis to find out whether anything is going to change.

The current underwriting guidance is not likely to change for the foreseeable future until the situation with COVID changes. Some insurers are suggesting that they may relax their rules after a 2nd wave or after a vaccine has been released.

What else can I do if I can’t get life insurance currently because of my weight?

There are certain insurance products that are available through iam|INSURED to help protect your family through this period. It’s our aim to provide some life cover to our customers where possible, regardless of their health.

Some of the other options include:

  • Over 50’s life cover (if applicable)
  • Guaranteed acceptance life insurance
  • Personal accident (with accidental death)

It’s important to make sure that you’ve got some cover rather than nothing and a lot of these products are cheaper than standard life insurance.

If you’re confused about getting life insurance and don’t know what to do then you can contact one of our experts free on 0800 009 6559

How are your life insurance premiums calculated

How are Life Insurance premiums calculated?

Author: Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

It’s important to understand how your life insurance premiums are calculated so you know what you’re paying for. Life cover is mainly designed to protect your family, home, and business if anything happens to you.

Ultimately if you were no longer around to support your family or your income was impacted because of an illness or accident, these policies would relieve the financial burden. Life insurance, critical illness cover, and income protection all come under the same umbrella of personal protection products.

Life insurance is the main type of cover because it’s the most common and the most affordable. This is simply because you’re much less likely to have to claim on a life insurance policy than critical illness cover or income protection.

A life policy is a contract between you (a policyholder) and an insurer. The policy becomes valid when premiums are collected (monthly or annually) after ‘acceptance terms’ are issued.

The policy is set to cover an amount (sum assured) over a period of time (term) to pay out to on death, serious illness, or accident (depending on the cover type).

What is life insurance?

A life insurance policy is simply a policy that pays out to a beneficiary (e.g. wife, children, partner, or family) in the event of death. This pay-out is usually a tax-free lump sum that can form part of your estate or this can be avoided using a Trust.

Life insurance also comes in 4 main forms which are all designed for different purposes depending on what you want to cover:

  • Level term (family protection) which is simply to protect your loved ones in the event of death
  • Decreasing term (mortgage protection) which is specifically designed to cover a mortgage (repayment mortgages only)
  • The whole of life is a more recent addition to the life insurance market which is a non-investment based guaranteed life cover
  • Family income benefit is also a newer type of cover which is specifically for your family and provides an annual income rather than a lump sum

All of these different types of life cover also cost different amounts per thousand pounds because of how they payout. The whole of life is always the highest because it is guaranteed to payout (as long as you continue to pay your premiums). Family income benefit is the cheapest because the amount of cover reduces faster than the other types of cover.

How are basic life insurance premiums calculated?

A life insurance premium is made up of several main factors before health and lifestyle are taken into account. These are the things that would be taken in to account to give a base premium, which includes:

  • Age (Note: every time you pass a birthday your premiums will increase)
  • Smoker status (Note: No nicotine or nicotine replacement products for at least 12 months to be classed as a non-smoker)
  • Sum assured (amount of cover)
  • Term (length of policy in years or to age)
  • Type of cover (e.g. level term, decreasing term, family income benefit or whole of life)

Note: Gender– In February 2012 the EU Gender Directive made it illegal to use gender to differentiate between individuals for insurance

What else is used to calculate a life insurance premium?

There are also several other elements that are used to calculate the premium that a person (policyholder) will pay for cover. The following elements are behind the scenes calculations which will also be different for each insurance provider.

Underwriting process

When an application is submitted to an insurer, it will enter one of several potential routes depending on the disclosures. Generally the more complex the disclosures (e.g. medical conditions, hazardous occupations, and dangerous activities) the more work that will be required at the back end.

The various types of underwriting processes are:

Underwriting Rules Engine (URE’s) which is where modern technology is used to apply a premium based on disclosures on an online application. Usually, an insurer will allow a system (URE) to make a decision up to a set threshold (level of risk)

Manual underwriting is simply where an application will be referred to an underwriter (a person who assesses risk) to calculate a premium. An underwriter will also have certain limits that they will be allowed to go to before the next stage

Nurse screening or telephone medical will be used to gather additional medical evidence via a professional (e.g. nurse). These tests will usually include BMI (height & weight), blood sugar levels, cotinine test (smoker test), and blood pressure

Full GP report (medical report) which will be obtained directly from your GP or Doctor to provide a full breakdown of your medical history. Medical reports are usually for more complicated medical conditions or where symptoms are more severe

Once the underwriting process has been completed by whichever process, a premium will be offered based on the information provided. Each insurer has a different set of parameters for each person’s circumstances based on their ‘underwriting philosophy’.

Mortality and Morbidity data

All life insurance offices will have a team of actuaries who are mathematical people that calculate risk. These people will constantly be looking at trends in data which helps them to make decisions for certain groups or risk categories.

Some of the most common types of morbidity are heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia and influenza, Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease, and suicide.

Also, co-morbidity is where two conditions occur simultaneously in the same person. The conditions don’t need to be directly linked to a cause, however, they may often occur together. Some examples of co-morbidity are depression, diabetes, and obesity which often occur together but are not likely to have the same cause.

There is no exact science as to how an insurer will calculate a premium for an individual, however, the insurer will use this information to calculate the risk of death. It is a fair assumption for example that a person in their 50’s is more likely to fall ill or have an existing medical condition than a younger person.’

Costs and margins

Any business will need to make sure that it is profitable and insurance is no different. There is a cost associated with running an insurance company and for processing an application. Each insurer will have its own costs and these will be different depending on the size of the provider and how they operate.

There are several main costs that will be taken into account when processing an application for life insurance. Some of the main costs will include:

Underwriting – a team of underwriters is a cost to a business so that must be taken into account

Medical evidence – medical reports from a GP or doctor will cost anywhere between £60 and several hundred pounds

NTU rates (not taken up) – every time an application is processed that is either declined or not accepted, there will be a cost associated with that

Lapse rates (canceled cases) – if a policy is canceled within a certain period of time then it may then incur a cost to the insurer

Generally bigger insurance providers are more efficient than smaller or newer insurance providers so can therefore drive lower premiums. Profit margins for life offices are difficult to project as they are forecasts based on future premium collections and potential claims.

For more information about this subject, you can contact one of our team of experts at iam|INSURED on 01244 732896.

Why have I been refused life insurance and can I still get cover?

What to do if you’ve been declined life insurance in the past

(Author – Daniel Sharpe-Szunko)

A lot of people come to us after they’ve been declined life insurance previously. Nobody likes to be turned down for anything and life insurance is no exception. It can feel demoralising or even offensive if you have a medical condition and you get told cover isn’t available.

There are several main reasons why you might have been declined for life insurance by an insurer. It’s important to remember that insurers are all different so just because you’ve been told no before, that’s not always the end of the road. Feeling annoyed or frustrated is totally understandable and it’s natural to question whether applying again is worthwhile.

Why have I been declined life insurance?

You could have been refused cover for several reasons which are unfortunately quite common. Most life insurance applications are declined because of medical conditions, occupation, or dangerous activities.

If you’ve applied for cover in the past and your application was refused, then it might be because of:

  • Insurance advisor might not have the expertise and the skills to find an appropriate or suitable insurer
  • Insurance providers have different underwriting philosophies so some may decline cover where others could accept. Your adviser should be able to identify which insurers are best for each situation and person circumstances
  • Medical disclosures might be incorrect or inaccurate so it might be that there was a simple error with submitting your application
  • Medical evidence may be requested in some instances which can expose additional elements that can cause concern. It’s important to know what might be on your medical report before applying for cover
  • The timing could be wrong so you might have applied when your medical readings were high or not as well controlled. If you’ve made changes to your lifestyle or treatment which has improved your condition then things will have changed
  • Smoking is sometimes a red flag with life insurance and especially with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular, and lung disorders. If you quit smoking more than 12 months ago then definitely try again
  • Underwriting changes could mean that cover that wasn’t available before has now become available. Underwriting philosophies can and do change so you should keep checking just in case this happens

Does being refused life insurance have any impact on future applications?

You should know that insurers do not share personal information about individuals. The only real reason why being declined cover might have an impact in the future, is if you re-apply to the same provider.

It may just be as simple as you didn’t remember which company had declined you in the past, or you didn’t know who they were. It’s a common and simple mistake so don’t worry if this happens. This happens to lots of people and is certainly not an issue so let someone find the right insurance provider for you.

What are the main medical reasons for declined life insurance?

Some of the main things that could cause a medical decline for a life insurance application are:

  • A recent diagnosis such as cancer or heart attack
  • Ongoing treatment which includes chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Combinations of conditions such as Diabetes and Heart Attack
  • Undiagnosed conditions where symptoms are identified
  • Outstanding investigations, results, or surgeries
  • Higher than normal results or readings (such as blood sugar, cholesterol, or blood pressure)

You should know that there are usually other options and solutions in a lot of these instances so don’t be put off. It might also be a case that cover may not be available now through mainstream insurers but there are other options.

Do life insurance companies share medical information?

The simple answer is no they don’t unless it is agreed by the insurance companies and the applicant. Generally, this does not happen more often than not because of the potential issues around data protection and sharing of personal data.

Do I have to pay more for life insurance because I’ve been declined?

Again the answer isn’t necessarily yes and some insurance companies might still offer cover and even be cheaper. Insurance underwriting is a complex calculation that is individual to each company and pricing will vary from one company to another.

If you’ve had a quote from a company in the past then by shopping around and applying to the right insurer, you might still be able to get cover cheaper. Your insurance adviser should help you to find which provider is the cheapest and who will accept you.

 

Facts and Stats about Ulcerative Colitis

Guide to Ulcerative Colitis

People with ulcerative colitis will have things to consider and questions to answer when applying for life insurance. We’ll explain the medical condition and then how that could impact insurance premiums.

Our aim is to provide you with a useful guide to help you make an informed decision and give you support through the application.

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative Colitis is similar to other inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) in how it affects the body and treatments. It is a lifelong (chronic) condition of the large intestine, with no known cure. Primarily this type of condition causes ulcers and inflammation around the colon and rectum areas.

Symptoms can include abdominal pain which can be extremely strong and diarrhoea with blood. People with ulcerative colitis may lead fairly normal lives with no or few symptoms but it can also be more severe, potentially life-threatening.

Inflammatory bowel diseases are a group of medical conditions and diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract. The most common conditions under IBD’s are Crohn’s disease and Colitis which can also have similar symptoms. These conditions are also classed as autoimmune diseases which is simply where the immune system does not function properly.

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

The severity of this condition can vary dramatically from one patient to another. The types of symptoms can also change as time passes which cause other potential issues. As with other IBD’s, there can be periods of few or even no symptoms (remission) and periods where symptoms are regular or acute (flare-ups).

Most common symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis:

  • Abdominal pains.
  • Blood in stools.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • High temperature.
  • Rectal pain.
  • Weight loss.

There are also potential complications which may occur as a result of ulcerative colitis which can include:

  • Dehydration
  • Eye swelling
  • Joint pain/swelling
  • Mouth sores
  • Skin problems
  • Nausea and loss of appetite

What causes Ulcerative Colitis?

The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is still a mystery to medical experts around the world. There are several theories which are similar to other inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s. It was previously thought that the cause was stress and diet but we now know that these just aggravate it.

It is strongly believed that the cause of UC is because the immune system is overactive. This is when your immune system fights off invading bacteria or viruses, unusually the immune response causes it to attack cells in the digestive tract as well.

Another possible view on the potential cause of ulcerative colitis is that it is a hereditary condition. There are a number of patients who do have a family history of UC but there are also many instances where this isn’t the case.

Complications with Ulcerative Colitis

There are a number of main issues that people with ulcerative colitis tend to experience either frequently or infrequently. These complications can vary from moderate risk to severe health problems.

Some of the main complications connected to this condition are:

  • Perforated colon
  • Liver disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Colon cancer
  • Rapidly swelling colon

What types of Ulcerative Colitis are there?

The various types are ulcerative colitis are classified based on where they are located on the body. Main types include:

  • Acute severe ulcerative colitis is a rare type of colitis that affects the colon and would cause severe pain, extreme diarrhoea, bleeding, high temperature and loss of appetite
  • Left-sided colitis which is where the inflammation would move from the rectum to the sigmoid and descending colon. Main symptoms for this include bloody stool, diarrhoea, cramp and abdominal pain and weight loss
  • Pancolitis commonly is known to impact the entire colon which can cause bloody diarrhoea (potentially severe), cramps and pains around the abdomen, tiredness and unexplained weight loss
  • Proctosigmoiditis is an inflammation of the rectum and sigmoid colon (lower section of the colon). Symptoms are bloody diarrhoea, pain and cramp of the abdomen and constipation
  • Ulcerative Proctitis causes inflammation around the anus (rectum) and bleeding around the rectum. This type of UC is known to be the mildest

List of Ulcerative Colitis Statistics (UK)

According to recent statistics published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for 2014, the most recent figures show:

  • Approximately 146,000 patients (240 per 100,000)
  • Most common age group is 15 to 25
  • Next highest age group is 55 to 65
  • Approximately half (50%) of people with UC have 1 or more relapses annually
  • 80% of patients are mild to moderate
  • 20% are severe
  • Approximately 25% of patients have 1 or more severe episodes in their lives

*statistics provided by NICE 2014 report on inflammatory bowel disease (https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs81/documents/inflammatory-bowel-disease-briefing-paper2)

Ulcerative Colitis Awareness Events

Here’s a list of some of the events that we follow every year to find out what’s happening in the world relating to ulcerative colitis. Each year these amazing events help to raise thousands of pounds for charities.

  • Crohn’s disease awareness week is a national event through Crohn’s & Colitis UK. This event usually takes place on the 1st week in December to raise awareness and funds for colitis research
  • Crohn’s and Colitis awareness month is a global event in November to increase awareness for people living with the condition
  • World IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) Day is an event held in May across the globe with most national charities involved
  • IBD awareness month is held in the United States in December by leading charities to help raise awareness. There are approximately 3 million people in the US living with Crohn’s disease or Colitis which is 1.3% of the population

Ulcerative colitis charities and support for colitis (UK)

Ulcerative Colitis Charities

There are a number of charities dedicated to helping people with Ulcerative Colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD’s). These organisations provide vital guidance, help and support for those living with this condition.

  • Crohn’s & Colitis UK

Link: https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk
Helpline: 0300 222 5700
Address: 1 Bishops Square, Hatfield, AL10 9NE

  • Guts UK

Link: https://gutscharity.org.uk
Telephone: 020 7486 0341
Address: 3 St. Andrews Place, London, NW1 4LB.

  • Catherine McEwan Foundation

Link: https://catherinemcewanfoundation.com
Telephone: 0141 648 8800
Address: Spiersbridge House, 1 Spiersbridge Way, Glasgow, G46 8NG

References:

As a team of experts who regularly help people with medical conditions like Ulcerative Colitis (UC), to get life insurance, our mission is to ensure that everyone who needs it stands the best chance of getting it and that they don’t pay over the odds for it too. Over the past 20 years, we’ve helped thousands of families to get life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection.

If you’ve got ulcerative colitis and you want to know more then read this article where we explain how it works. As the first team of experts in the UK to focus our efforts on helping people like you to get cover, we understand your needs. We’re committed to providing the best advice to our customers regardless of their health.

Facts and figures for Crohn’s Disease in the UK

Facts and figures for Crohn’s Disease in the UK

Here’s some useful information about Crohn’s Disease which will also help to explain how it affects insurance underwriting. Your medical condition is not life-threatening, however, it can have an impact on applying for life cover.

Our guides are just a bit of information that we’ve gathered over the years which can be useful if you don’t already know it.

What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is a lifelong (chronic) medical condition so once you have it then it will remain in your body for the rest of your life. The condition is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation in your digestive tract. The inflammation that this causes can also very often spread deeper into the layers of affected bowel tissue. Crohn’s disease is usually painful and potentially debilitating which can also sometimes develop into life-threatening complications.

There is currently no known cure for this condition, however, there are therapeutic treatments that can dramatically reduce symptoms. If effectively treated, Crohn’s disease can be mild and you could experience long periods of remission which means that impact on lifestyle can be minimal.

Some of the main symptoms of Crohn’s disease:

  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Blood in stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Tiredness
  • High Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mouth sores

Symptoms for people with more severe Crohn’s disease:

  • Skin, eyes, and joints can inflame
  • Liver and bile duct inflammation
  • Children may grow more slowly
  • Slower sexual development in children

There are several different levels at which a person might experience the impact of this type of condition on the body. Some people with Crohn’s disease might only have the last section of the small intestine (ileum) affected, whereas others may be confined to the colon. These are the main areas of the body that are affected by Crohn’s disease.

Symptoms of this particular condition can vary dramatically from extremely mild or none at all (remission) to extremely severe and life-threatening. These symptoms can also often build up slowly, but can also be acute and develop very suddenly.

What causes Crohn’s disease?

It is still not known what exactly causes Crohn’s disease to develop and there have been a number of theories over the years by the medical profession. Previously it was suspected that higher levels of stress and a poor diet cause the condition but it is now known that these simply aggravate it. Some of the main things that we now know about Crohn’s disease include:

  • Family History (hereditary) influences can play a part in people developing Crohn’s disease as people like this are potentially more susceptible. This is however not the main cause as most people who develop this condition have no family history or genetic links
  • Immune System is also another potential cause whereby a bacteria or virus can potentially result in developing Crohn’s disease. Our immune system is the bodies defense against foreign organisms, this can also result in the immune system attacking the digestive tract

There also a number of risk factors that can play a significant part in whether or not you are likely to develop this type of medical condition such as:

  • Age: most people who are diagnosed are usually under 30 years of age.
  • Nicotine: smokers are more likely to develop Crohn’s disease which is also the most controllable factor.
  • Ethnicity: it is known that people of a certain ethnic background are more likely to develop this condition (e.g. Caucasian, including Eastern European and Jewish descent).
  • The environment: can also play a part as people who live in built-up urban and industrial areas, combined with high-fat diets may also lead to developing this condition.

Complications connected to Crohn’s disease

There are several main areas of the body and other related medical conditions that could be impacted as a result of having Crohn’s disease. Some of these conditions can be serious and life-threatening which is why it is so important to manage your health with this type of medical condition. Complications connected to Crohn’s disease include:

  • Bowel (e.g. scarring, narrowing, and intestinal wall thickness)
  • Ulcers (digestive system, mouth, anus, and genital area)
  • Fistulas
  • Anal Fissure (a small tear in anal lining)
  • Malnutrition
  • Medication side effects
  • Colon Cancer

Crohn’s disease statistics (UK)

According to recent statistics provided by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) research:

  • 157 of every 100,000 people in the UK have this condition
  • Approximately 115,000 have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in the UK
  • 33% of patients are diagnosed before age 21
  • Smoking and genetics are suggested to be the two main causes
  • 5 years after diagnosis 15-20% of people with Crohn’s will have a disability
  • Most people with Crohn’s disease will live normal active lives

*statistics from NICE 2014 report on inflammatory bowel disease (https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs81/documents/inflammatory-bowel-disease-briefing-paper2)

What Crohn’s disease awareness events are there?

There are several events nationally and internationally, dedicated to raising awareness about Crohn’s, Colitis, and other Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. These and other events have been developed by leading health charities to increase awareness about Crohn’s. Events can be to prevent risks, improve treatment or medication, and fund research.

Crohn’s disease events include:

  • Crohn’s disease awareness week is a national event in the UK run by the charity, Crohn’s & Colitis UK. The event usually takes place in the 1st week in December and is to raise awareness and funds for Crohn’s research
  • Crohn’s and Colitis awareness month is a global event in November to increase awareness for people living with the condition
  • World IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) Day is an event held in May across the globe with most national charities involved
  • IBD awareness month is held in the United States in December by leading charities to help raise awareness. There are approximately 3 million people in the US living with Crohn’s disease or Colitis which is 1.3% of the population

Crohn’s charities and support for Crohn’s disease (UK)

There are a number of major charities dedicated to helping people with Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases. These organisations provide vital guidance, help, and support for those living with this condition.

Our team of life insurance advisers is one of the leading UK life insurance experts for people with medical conditions like Crohn’s disease. Over the past 20 years, we have helped thousands of people with Crohn’s disease and other medical conditions to get the cover they need to protect their families, homes, and business. We offer FREE advice on a wide range of different types of insurance products and services.

We’re passionate about what we do to help our customers to make sure that they get the best coverage and help them to save money. Our mission is to make sure that everyone is treated fairly regardless of their health or lifestyle. Check out our incredible Feefo customer reviews, see for yourself what our customers think about what we do.

For more information about getting life insurance, critical illness cover, or income protection with Crohn’s disease then you can give our team of experts a call on 0800 009 6559

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Useful Facts about Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes in the UK

Facts and Figures about Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

(Author: Daniel Sharpe-Szunko)

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that has two main types known as type 1 and type 2, but there are also a number of other types of diabetes as well. It is also a chronic condition which means that once you have diabetes then you will generally have it for the rest of your life.

The body normally produces glucose (sugar) which we all need for energy and insulin which is a hormone that allows the glucose to enter our bloodstream to fuel our bodies. Glucose which gives us energy is produced when our bodies break down a thing called carbohydrates which comes from the food we eat and what we drink, the glucose then gets released into our blood.

Our pancreas produces insulin which the body uses to control the amount of glucose that we have in our bloodstream. This process then allows the body to manage how much glucose getting into our cells, but for people with diabetes, this system doesn’t work properly.

Some of the main symptoms for someone with diabetes include:

  • Excessive urination, usually at night
  • More thirsty
  • Being tired and lethargic
  • Weight loss
  • Thrush or genital itch
  • Blurred vision
  • Scars and wounds don’t heal as quickly

Some people with type 2 diabetes live with these symptoms for up to 10 years before they get them checked by a medical professional.

What are the main types of Diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes as well as a number of other less common and less well-known types.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type which affects roughly 90% of people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK. People most commonly and mistakenly in a lot of cases, associate this type of diabetes with a poor diet, lack of exercise, and being overweight. But this is not necessarily the case as type 2 diabetes can develop for a number of different reasons.

Generally, type 2 diabetes will develop later in life and occurs because the body still produces insulin but the insulin can’t work properly which means that glucose levels continue to rise. Over time, higher than normal sugar levels in the body can cause potentially serious and long-lasting damage to your heart, eyes, feet, and kidneys.

Managing type 2 diabetes is usually done with diet, tablet (Metformin), or in some cases insulin injections. It has been known in recent years for people with mild type 2 diabetes to reverse the condition with a specific diet and healthy lifestyle including exercise.

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong (chronic) and serious medical condition that is currently found in approximately 8% of people with diabetes in the UK. Generally, this type of diabetes occurs more in younger people and is also known as ‘childhood diabetes’ or ‘juvenile diabetes’.

The main difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes is that in type 1, the body actually attacks the cells in your pancreas that would normally produce insulin. Whereas in type 2 the body can still produce insulin, in type 1 the body simply does not produce any insulin which can have a dramatic effect on us and our entire bodies.

Having known someone with quite severe type 1 diabetes for many years I can say from personal experience that this condition can be very scary. Treatment that has included many years on kidney dialysis, eventually receiving a full kidney transplant after several years on an NHS waiting list, and almost complete loss of sight in both eyes.

Gestational diabetes is the last of the more common types of diabetes which gets its name from how it develops in pregnant women. This type of diabetes can affect almost any woman at any stage of pregnancy regardless of your diet, lifestyle, or health. Gestational diabetes will also generally go after the pregnancy or can sometimes develop into type 2 diabetes.

Pre-diabetes is a newer type of diabetes that has been developed in the modern medical world to help people to manage their health and make sure that they don’t develop full-blown diabetes. Someone may be told by their GP or a medical professional that they have pre-diabetes and then advised on how to manage their health to stop them from getting diabetes.

Diabetes Statistics (UK)

According to the latest statistics by the leading diabetes charity, Diabetes UK, the latest figures for the UK are:

  • 3.9 million people living with diabetes (plus almost a million with undiagnosed diabetes – making the total over 4.8 million people)*
  • More than 100,000 people were diagnosed with diabetes in 2019 in the UK (projected to increase to 5.3 million by 2025)*
  • 1 in 15 people living in the UK has diabetes
  • 6 in 10 people with type 2 diabetes has no symptoms
  • People with type 2 diabetes are approximately 50% more likely to die early*
  • Risks of Heart Attack or Heart Disease is much more likely in someone with type 2 diabetes (almost 2 to 2.5 higher risk)*

*The latest figures are provided by Diabetes UK, Diabetes Prevalence 2019 report.

Does diabetes affect my being able to get Life Insurance?

People living with diabetes can be extremely healthy and should not be too greatly affected when applying for life insurance. It is increasingly likely that you’ll also be able to get accepted for life insurance without the need for further medical underwriting so can be covered immediately so you won’t need to provide evidence from your GP or Diabetic Nurse. Our experts at iam|INSURED has worked very closely with some of the UK’s biggest and best insurance companies to make sure that people with diabetes get the lowest rates available and the best cover.

A standard life insurance application will ask questions about your general health and lifestyle to gather information about you. In the case of someone with diabetes, you’ll be asked to provide specific information about your condition, such as:

  • Do you take insulin?
  • Which type of diabetes do you have?
  • When were you first diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Has your diabetes affected any other areas of your body (e.g. eyes, kidneys, nerves or limbs)?
  • Have you ever been hospitalised because of your diabetes?
  • When did you last get your blood glucose levels checked by your GP?
  • What was the latest HbA1c (or Mmol) reading?
  • Have you been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure or Raised Cholesterol?

These types of questions and some others will enable underwriters to assess your application and apply an accurate decision. Another major positive impact on premiums for people with diabetes over the past 15 years has resulted from insurers competing for policyholders with diabetes. You should also know that life insurance rates and terms for people with diabetes are constantly improving so it’s always worth reviewing existing policies as well.

Can I get Critical Illness Cover with Diabetes?

In recent years we’ve found that more and more that people with diabetes are able to get critical illness cover again thanks to changes in underwriting rules. Currently critical illness cover is only available for type 2 diabetes from the mainstream or more popular high street insurance providers. It is possible to get more specialist critical illness style products for people with type 1 diabetes which come with slightly different terms to the standard cover.

You can now get critical illness cover through the major insurance providers as long as you fit certain criteria. These criteria questions include:

  • Do you smoke?
  • Have you got type 2 diabetes?
  • Do you have any diabetes complications (e.g. Retinopathy, Neuropathy or Nephropathy)?
  • What is your height and weight (BMI)?
  • Is your diabetes well controlled and readings low (HbA1c / Mmol)?

As long as you can answer these questions positively then you should have no problem being able to get critical illness cover. These terms are constantly changing so you’ll find that this will change over a period of time which we’ll be able to keep you informed about through our blogs and news articles.

Check out our quick guide to Critical Illness Cover for Diabetes

Diabetes Awareness events

Due to the high levels of diabetes both in the UK and globally, there are a number of major events that have been dedicated to raising awareness for diabetes. These events are annual events that help to raise money for research as well as raise awareness for people living with diabetes and the risks of developing diabetes.

Diabetes events include:

World Diabetes Day is an annual event on November 14th to increase awareness around the world for diabetes. The reason that the event is held on this specific date is that it coincides with the birthday of Dr. Frederick Banting who helped to discover insulin

Diabetes Awareness Week is held in the UK usually in June and is operated by Diabetes UK which is the biggest British diabetes charity

National Diabetes Month is primarily an American event which is held by the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and the American Diabetes Association

Diabetes Charities and Support organisations (UK)

These charities and companies provide vital information, guidance, support, and services to people with diabetes, they include:

Diabetes UK

Link: https://www.diabetes.org.uk

Helpline: 0345 123 2399

Address: Wells Lawrence House, 126 Back Church Lane, London, E1 1FH

Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation

Link: https://www.drwf.org.uk

Helpline: 0239 263 7808

Address: Building 6000, Langstone Technology Park, Havant, Hampshire, PO9 1SA

Diabetes.co.uk

Forum: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/

Address: Technology House, Sir William Lyons Road, University of Warwick Scient Park, Coventry, CV4 7EZ

For more information or if you’ve got any questions about insurance for people with diabetes, call iam|INSURED on 0800 009 6559 or submit an enquiry.

Compare Critical Illness Cover with diabetes

Does critical illness cover diabetes?

One of the very common questions that we get asked by people with diabetes, is ‘what about critical illness cover?’. It’s a very valuable policy that can provide cover if you get diagnosed with a serious medical condition.

Some people also want to know, if they get diagnosed with diabetes will it be covered? If you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes and just want to know if the condition is covered then we’ll explain more in this article.

Let’s look at these questions and explain how this works…

Does critical illness cover diabetes?

You’ve not been diagnosed with diabetes and you want to know if a critical illness cover policy will payout. It’s a very common question because diabetes is one of the top pre-existing medical conditions in the UK currently, with approximately 4 million diabetics.

If you take out a new critical illness cover policy, then you’ll receive a payout if you get diagnosed with a condition defined on the list with your policy.

Some critical illness cover policies will provide cover for:

  • Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus)
  • Diabetes insipidus

These policies will often pay a percentage of the overall cover amount as they are not life-threatening and generally do not severely impact lifestyle.

You should always check your policy wording to make sure that your critical illness cover is right for you, or ask your adviser. It is quite rare that these conditions will be covered so you’ll need to choose your insurer carefully.

The other main question when it comes to critical illness cover and diabetes is…

Can I get critical illness cover with diabetes?

Generally, there are some critical illness cover options for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Here are some of the main things that we’ll consider when we talk about this type of cover:

  • What type of diabetes do you have? – generally, you can get critical illness cover if you are Type 2
  • Do you smoke? – smokers will find it more difficult to get a critical illness policy
  • Have you had any complications? – Retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy can also cause issues for getting this cover
  • What is your BMI (height and weight)? – if you are overweight, then you might also find it more difficult

Underwriting changes constantly for diabetes because of the number of people with this condition. So over time, we find that the terms will change so it’s always worth checking again every so often.

The facts about getting critical illness insurance with Diabetes

Critical illness cover is a fantastic way to protect yourself if you get diagnosed with a serious medical condition, these include things like:

  • Cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

Other conditions include:

  • Organ failures/transplants
  • Disability from an accident, illness, or injury
  • Major burns
  • Head trauma
  • Parkinson’s disease

You’ll get a tax-free lump sum if you get diagnosed with a serious illness that is covered under your policy. The cash can be used for treatment, alterations to your home, pay the mortgage or other debts, and support your family.

Several insurers are now offering Critical Illness Cover for people with type 2 diabetes. In the past, very few insurance companies offered this type of cover for people with diabetes, or it was just too expensive. Thankfully, this is changing, and if you have diabetes, taking out critical illness insurance could be an option.

Unfortunately, there still are no critical illness cover policies available for people with type 1 diabetes, however, this could change in the future. Watch this space…

What does Diabetes critical illness insurance cost?

Critical illness insurance for diabetes is certainly more affordable and reasonably priced now than it has ever been in the past. There are a number of reasons for this, including better mortality rates (as we are generally living healthier lives), greater competition, and cost-cutting measures in the insurance industry.

There have also been significant advances in the knowledge of diabetes, as well as developments in treatments. Overall, diabetes critical illness cover costs more than life insurance because you’re on average 6 times more likely to make a claim.

How does diabetes critical illness insurance work?

Critical illness insurance is generally available if your diabetes is well controlled, you’re a non-smoker, and you have no other underlying medical conditions or diabetes complications. Some policies will have exclusions such as cardiovascular conditions and anything relating to eyes, this can vary between insurers.

How much critical illness cover do I need with diabetes?

Critical illness cover is slightly different from life insurance because it is designed to provide a lump sum payment if you are diagnosed with a critical or serious illness. Most people relate this type of cover to Cancer, which is the biggest reason for the claim for critical illness cover.

Which insurance companies offer critical illness cover for people with diabetes?

It is also becoming more likely to be able to get critical illness cover for diabetes, as a growing number of insurance providers are offering a policy. If you’ve applied for critical illness cover or income protection with diabetes in the past, and your application was declined, then it will be worth contacting us to try again. Critical illness cover is an incredibly useful policy, especially for those with a pre-existing medical condition like diabetes.