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Getting life insurance with diabetes

Over the past 20 years, our team has helped thousands of people with diabetes to get affordable life cover. If you’ve got diabetes and you’ve applied for life insurance in the past then you might know how frustrating it can be.

Life insurance is the very best way to protect your family, and your home financially if anything happens to you.

According to recent figures from Diabetes UK, 1 in 10 people in the UK over 40 years of age has type 2 diabetes. The total number of people living with all types of diabetes has now reached 4.7 million. It is expected that 5.5 million people will be diagnosed with diabetes by 2030.

Don’t let diabetes put you off getting life insurance to protect your family… there are people who can help.

For more information about diabetes, visit FACTS ABOUT DIABETES IN THE UK

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How to get life insurance with diabetes

Here are some of the main things to consider if you’re looking for life insurance for your family and you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. It’s important that you pay the right price for diabetes insurance coverage so make sure you speak to an expert.

Getting the best cover at the lowest cost can be difficult if you don’t know where to look so here are some tips to help you pay less.

More about LIFE INSURANCE

Can diabetics get life insurance?

YES – you can get life insurance to protect your family if you have diabetes. Life cover is available for people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in most instances.

Life insurance is now more accessible and affordable than ever before for people with diabetes, and many other pre-existing medical conditions. There are some insurers that are better than others for people with diabetes so it’s just a case of knowing where to look.

Other useful life insurance pages for diabetes:

One of the most important things about getting life insurance for diabetics is your Hba1c levels or blood sugar readings. Many insurers use this reading to assess how well controlled your diabetes is and what category you are in.

Best life insurance rates for diabetics

The best way to save money on life insurance if you have diabetes is to speak to an expert. You could end up paying more than you should simply because you’ve applied to the wrong company, and that’s not fair.

Here are some examples of recent life insurance customers with diabetes

Mr. L. (date applied: 09/03/21)
Age: 27
Diabetes: Type 1 (Insulin-dependent)
Reading: 48 Mmol
Height/Weight: 5’11″/13.4st
Smoker: No
Cover: £115,000 family protection (level term)
Term: 35 years
Premium: £19.35

Miss H. (date applied: 10/03/21)
Age: 34
Diabetes: Type 2
Reading: 7.0 (Hba1c)
Height/Weight: 5’8″/15.6st
Smoker: No
Cover: £250,000 family protection (level term)
Term: 35 years
Premium: £23.19

These are just a couple of examples of customers we have helped recently to get life insurance with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Premiums will vary depending on your age, circumstances, and the amount of cover you need for your family.

Life insurance questions about diabetes

Here are some of the most common questions that you’ll be asked when you apply for life insurance with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

  • Do you have type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, glucose intolerance, or diabetes insipidus?
  • Are you awaiting any hospital referrals, scans, tests, or investigations for your diabetes?
  • Have you had any of the following – kidney problems, or protein in the urine, angina, heart attack, stroke, TIA, blocked or narrowed arteries, an ECG, chest pain that required hospital treatment, or eye problems as a result of your condition?
  • Has your diabetes ever caused tingling, numbness, loss of sensation in fingers or toes, eye problems, foot ulcers, hypoglycemic attack, or protein in the urine?
  • When were you diagnosed with diabetes?
  • In the past 5 years, how many hypoglycaemic or hyperglycaemic attacks?

These are just a few examples of the most common questions you might be asked, and these questions can vary depending on your insurer. Don’t be too concerned if you don’t know the answers to some of these questions, as this information can be obtained from your doctor or GP.

Does life insurance cover diabetes?

Standard life insurance will not exclude diabetes. If you die because of diabetes or anything connected to it, such as cardiovascular problems then you should receive a payout.

Note: you should make sure that you disclose your medical history when you apply for life cover or you might not be covered in the future. Failing to disclose information that can impact your premium is called ‘non-disclosure’ and it can be a major issue.

If you take out life insurance and then you get diagnosed with diabetes after your coverage is already in place then you will be covered. You don’t need to let your insurer know about medical conditions that you get diagnosed with after you take a policy.

There are some types of guaranteed life insurance products that may exclude anything you already suffer from. If you are not looking for this type of life coverage then please beware and make sure that you check your documents or ask your adviser.

Can you get mortgage life insurance with diabetes?

Lots of people still think that you can’t get a mortgage unless you have life coverage, which isn’t the case any longer. There are certain countries across the world where this still happens but fortunately not in the UK.

There are however certain situations where you might be asked or even required to have some kind of insurance cover. For example, if you are under a debt management scheme or if you have other debtors then there could be a request to have insurance in place.

It is not a legal requirement for a mortgage lender to insist on life cover so if you are asked to do this then you should question it.

Clearly, it’s strongly advisable to get a policy in place, especially if you’ve got dependents or if you have a family to protect so please consider all your options. If you’re not sure what to do then you should speak to an expert to get some advice.

Can a diabetic get term life insurance?

Term or level term life insurance is the technical way of saying ‘family protection’ which is simply a policy that’s specifically for protecting your loved ones.

YES – you should be able to get term life insurance with diabetes. There might be some circumstances where if you have more severe symptoms, it could be more complicated. The main reasons why it can be more difficult to get life coverage with diabetes are:

  • High Hba1c (Mmol) readings
  • BMI levels
  • Complications (e.g. Retinopathy, Neuropathy, or Nephropathy)

You should check with your expert to see what the best options are.

Prediabetes life insurance

Prediabetes life insurance is currently not considered to be an issue unless or until you have been diagnosed with diabetes.

There’s not currently a question on a life insurance application that specifically asks about prediabetes, so you shouldn’t need to disclose it. Generally, your doctor or GP will tell you about prediabetes to help you to manage your health and diet to prevent you from becoming diabetic.

Life insurance rates for prediabetics are very competitive as long as there are no other health issues. Some common health-related problems linked to prediabetes:

  • High BMI
  • Raised cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood sugar levels

Read more about PREDIABETES

High BMI life insurance

Obesity levels and being overweight are very closely linked to the symptoms or causes relating to having Type 2 diabetes. Commonly type 2 diabetics are seen as people with weight problems or issues from a poor diet and lack of exercise.

While it’s true that this is a common link, it’s not always the only or even main reason why someone might develop type 2 diabetes.

Having a high BMI can have an impact on life cover so it’s always something that you’ll be asked about.

Read more about HIGH BMI LIFE INSURANCE

How does my Hba1c (Mmol) reading affect life insurance?

Hba1c is a common term for people with diabetes and usually, you’ll know what your approximate readings are. Hba1c is the medical term used for glycated hemoglobin.

For more information, check out our GUIDE TO BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS

Does diabetes increase the cost of life insurance?

If you’ve got diabetes and you need life cover, then you might pay more for cover than you would if you didn’t have diabetes. On average, people with diabetes might pay slightly higher premiums than someone without the condition.

There are some reasons for this which will be based on risk and claims, which will be calculated by each insurance company. You might think that this is unfair, and in some cases, you would be right, which is why we do what we do.

Some insurance providers are significantly better than others when it comes to pricing for people with certain medical conditions. When it comes to diabetes, it’s clear that there are several insurers who are more flexible than others, but this does change fairly regularly.

Is it difficult for diabetics to get life insurance?

This is a great question that we get asked all the time and it does vary from one person to another depending on your medical history. It can also be different depending on which insurance company you apply to so it’s not always going to be the same.

Life insurance companies are getting better and quicker at processing applications for life coverage with diabetes. Previously you might have been asked to provide medical evidence or information, whereas now this isn’t always the case.

Some of the main things that you could be asked to do when you apply for life cover with diabetes are:

  • Medical report or GP report
  • Nurse screening
  • Hba1c readings (blood tests)

If you are asked to provide further information then this should not cost you anything or take any of your time. Your insurance adviser should be able to sort this all out for you.

No medical exam life insurance for diabetics

You might be put off applying for life insurance and critical illness cover for diabetics because of medical exams. Historically it’s been more than likely that you’d need to provide a medical report or have a nurse screening if you disclose diabetes.

Currently, insurers are trying to move away from the need for further medical evidence because it’s costly and time-consuming.

Over the past several years it has become increasingly possible to get life cover with all kinds of medical conditions without needing a medical exam. Technology is playing a major part in moving away from GP reports and nurse screenings, especially linked to issues such as the recent pandemic.

Pro’s (no medical exams)

  • Quicker decisions
  • Immediate cover
  • Less intrusive

Con’s (no medical exams)

  • Potentially higher premiums
  • Less choice
  • Potential for non-disclosure

Cheaper life insurance for diabetics

It is very likely that you could reduce your life insurance premiums if you’ve got diabetes. There are some things that you can do to help reduce the cost of your cover in the future, and some can be pretty simple.

This can be especially important for someone with type 2 diabetes where lifestyle plays a big part. Here are some changes you can make to help cut the cost of life insurance for a diabetic:

  • Reduce your blood sugar levels: You might have recently had some problems managing your diabetes. This is a common thing and there are lots of reasons why your readings could have increased recently. Some of the things that you can do to lower your readings are improving your diet, take medication regularly, and exercise regularly
  • Lower BMI / lose weight: We often speak to people with diabetes, especially type 2, who have above average BMI. Dropping a few pounds (lbs) sounds crazy, but it can have a big impact on the cost of cover for you
  • Quit smoking: If you smoke and you’ve got diabetes, then you could be seen as a bigger risk for insurers. Smoking rates are naturally higher for life insurance anyway, but this is even more relevant when combined with medical conditions like diabetes. There are massive advantages to giving up smoking such as better health, cheaper cover, and cut the cost of smoking
  • Blood pressure/Cholesterol readings: One of the common effects of diabetes is cardiovascular risks, which can include higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Many of our customers take medication to manage these, such as statins or Ramipril. In this instance, if you can reduce your readings then you could reduce your premiums
  • Reduce your alcoholic drinks: Some of the major causes for type 2 diabetes in adults are alcohol levels, poor diet, and lack of exercise. By reducing the amount of alcohol you drink, you could be improving your diabetes levels and get cheaper cover

Does diabetes affect life insurance?

Some of the main things that can have an impact on an application for life coverage with diabetes include:

  • Type of diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes)
  • Your latest blood sugar reading (Hba1c / Mmol)
  • Medication or treatment (e.g. Metformin, Insulin, or diet)
  • The date you were diagnosed
  • Other medical issues (e.g. BMI, smoking, and diabetes problems)

You might be asked to provide some medical evidence to back up your application, don’t worry, this is normal. If you are asked to provide a GP report, your insurance company will do that for you and they’ll pay for that information.

Does diabetes affect life expectancy?

People who have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes often worry about their life expectancy.

We don’t like to think about our own mortality but when you have a medical condition like diabetes, it makes you think about things a bit more than most.

According to the report, Diabetes in the UK 2010 from the charity Diabetes UK, currently a person with type 2 diabetes was expected to live up to 10 years less than general life expectancy.

Someone with type 1 diabetes traditionally would have a shorter life expectancy of around 20 years less than the general population.

According to the Office for National Statistics, general life expectancy would be:

  • Males are 77 years
  • Females are 81 years

What if I’ve been declined life insurance because of diabetes in the past?

We often speak to people who’ve been declined life cover in the past because of their diabetes. It’s very likely that we can get you the cover that you need even if you’ve been declined cover previously.

Life insurance companies don’t usually cross-reference applications with other companies, so there won’t be a record of this. Also, each company has its own criteria so just because one provider has said no, doesn’t mean that others will have the same opinion.

More information about DECLINED LIFE INSURANCE

Do I have to inform insurance of diabetes?

One of the most important things is to be open, honest, and clear about your medical history. You might think that you could get cover cheaper, or even not want to talk about your diabetes, which is perfectly understandable.

Unfortunately, if you fail to disclose information about being diabetic or any other medical information, it can seriously affect any future claim. If you are clearly withholding personal information that impacts your ability to get cover, then your policy could be void and any claim declined.

It’s just not worth the risk and ultimately, it’s only going to impact the people that you love and you’re trying to protect. We can help you to manage the cost of your cover to fit with your budget so we’ll help to keep it affordable.

Can diabetics get critical illness cover?

In recent years things have changed around this particular type of policy and you now can get critical illness cover in some circumstances with diabetes.

You can also check out our comprehensive GUIDE TO DIABETES CRITICAL ILLNESS COVER

Can diabetics get income protection?

It is also now possible for someone with diabetes to get income protection insurance which is a very new addition. For more information, you can contact one of our experts.

More about INCOME PROTECTION

What are the best life insurance companies for diabetics?

It’s possible to get life insurance coverage with diabetes from most insurers these days, however, the cost can vary dramatically. The number of diabetics is increasing so there’s also an ever-increasing need for insurers to offer competitive rates for diabetes, as well as innovative new products.

It’s incredibly difficult to say which insurance companies are best for you because everyone is different. You should be able to get a competitive quote from some of the well-known insurers depending on your situation and your health.

This is where our expertise really comes in handy… we’ll find the best cover for you!

Does Coronavirus (COVID-19) affect Life Insurance for people with diabetes?

It is also usually not an issue to get life insurance for someone with diabetes regardless of whether we are in a state of national emergency such as during Coronavirus. These were unprecedented times in 2020 which caused a huge impact on the diabetes community due to the additional cardiovascular risks on these people.

From a life insurance point of view, there are no issues with getting cover for people with diabetes as long as they are not exposed to risks or displaying symptoms. This is a highly unusual situation and questions such as:

  • Are you currently self-isolating?
  • Do you currently have any symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
  • Have you been exposed to the risk of contracting Coronavirus?
  • Do you know anyone with symptoms who you have been in contact with?

While this is a one-off and isolated event, we wanted to mention it as it may have longer-lasting effects on life insurance and this is a common question we get asked about.

Medical conditions linked to diabetes

There are a number of health and lifestyle conditions that are closely linked to diabetes or can be caused by diabetes if not well controlled

If diabetes is not well managed then you might find that there are other problems that can develop.

Common questions about diabetes

Here are some of the most common questions that people ask about living with diabetes and managing diabetes

What are the classic signs of diabetes?
The most common symptoms are similar for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, that includes:

  • More thirsty than usual
  • Urinating more frequently
  • Higher levels of hunger
  • Weight loss (unexplained)
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Becoming irritable
  • Blurred vision
  • Sores (slow- healing)

What causes type 2 diabetes?
The primary cause of developing type 2 diabetes which is the result of two linked issues. These 2 problems are the cells in your muscles and fat becoming resistant to insulin (a hormone made by the pancreas). The result of this is that your cells don’t interact as they should do with insulin, which means that they don’t take in sufficient sugar levels. Finally, your pancreas is unable to produce the required amount of insulin to manage your blood sugar levels.

How can I lower my sugar levels quickly?
The effects of high blood sugar levels can be extremely dangerous, which is known as ‘hyperglycemia’ or ‘high blood glucose’. The fastest and most effective way to reduce your sugar levels is to take on fast-acting insulin. Another less common and less well-known method is exercise.

Useful information for people with diabetes

Here are some useful resources for people with diabetes

Diabetes UK – Charity
Link: https://www.diabetes.org.uk

NHS Choices – diabetes overview
Link: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diabetes/

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease
Link: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes

Types of diabetes insurance

Having diabetes can have an impact on several different types of insurance as well as life insurance. Here are some of the other types of insurance products that we can help you with: