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Life Insurance for Diabetics Guide 2024

Life insurance pays out a cash lump sum to support your family if you die, and standard life insurance will always cover pre-existing conditions like diabetes. Life insurance for diabetics is often readily available through most UK insurance companies, or some specialist insurers for more complicated applications.

Life insurance premiums can be higher for people with diabetes, which is why it is important to shop around to find the best and cheapest quotes. Some insurers will have more experience with diabetes and will be able to offer you better coverage and lower prices.

In our latest guide to life insurance for diabetics, we cover how life insurance works for people with different types of diabetes (e.g. type 1, type 2, gestational etc.). Lots of people with diabetes are put off applying for life insurance because they think it won’t be available or affordable, when in reality it can be quite simple if you get proper advice.

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60-Second Summary – Life Insurance for Diabetics Guide 2024

Most people with diabetes will be able to get life insurance to protect their home and their family. There are lots of options available, so you should consider the type of cover that you need and how much you can afford to spend.

Applying for life insurance for diabetics can be frustrating if you don’t apply to the right insurance companies, as you may end up paying more than you should. This is why it is key to do some research to understand which companies might work best for you.

  • Getting life insurance with type 1 and type 2 diabetes is simpler than it has been in the past, but it can still be more expensive if you don’t get the right cover.
  • Not all life insurance companies offer cover for people with diabetes, and some will charge more than others for the same cover.
  • Your premiums will be based on your current Hba1c readings and any diabetic complications (e.g. Retinopathy, Neuropathy, or Nephropathy).
  • The biggest tip to save money is to apply to the right company at the right time (i.e. when your readings are good, and you’ve got no complications).
  • Having diabetes won’t change how your life insurance policy works, and you will receive the same level of protection as anyone else would.

Life insurance for diabetics will be available from most life insurance companies in the UK. However, certain insurance companies will be able to offer better prices. It’s always worth comparing multiple quotes to see which policies are currently the cheapest.

The cheapest option won’t always be the best one though, so you should also consider the level of cover that is available and if this is enough to properly protect your family or mortgage.

Life insurance provides financial security and peace of mind that your family won’t struggle with important costs in the event of your death. Most people buy life insurance to cover the cost of their funeral, as well as to repay outstanding debts like mortgages.

This simple video from Diabetes UK provides a quick 2-minute guide about what diabetes is and how it affects the body.

What Is Diabetes? | 2 Minute Guide | Diabetes UK

Can I get life insurance for diabetics type 1?

Most of the mainstream life insurance companies can offer life insurance to type 1 diabetics, so there may be more options for you than you thought. You will also often find that premiums for type 1 diabetes life insurance can vary more than other types of diabetes, so applying to the right insurer is even more important.

Some insurers don’t offer life insurance for type 1 diabetics under the age of 30, so it can be more difficult to get for younger applicants. It is also common for life insurance applications for type 1 diabetes to require medical evidence from your GP or diabetic nurse.

Can I get life insurance for diabetics type 2?

Most of the UK’s well-known insurance companies (e.g. Legal & General, Aviva, Vitality) will offer life cover to people with type 2 diabetes. The price can vary based on the insurer that you choose, which means that it’s vital to compare multiple quotes to find the best price.

According to Diabetes UK, around 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Because of this, type 2 is by far the most common disclosure for diabetic life insurance in the UK.

The type of diabetes that you have will affect the prices and policies that are available for you. You should be able to get life cover in most cases, particularly if you have good control of your symptoms and your Hba1c (blood sugar) readings aren’t too high.

There can even be options for people with poor control of symptoms if you speak to a specialist insurance company. Life insurance for diabetics has improved in recent years, so it should be simpler to get cover now than it was in the past.

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes will be the most common disclosures for life insurance, but you may have another form of diabetes (e.g. gestational diabetes).

Gestational diabetes won’t usually affect life insurance unless diabetes continues after your pregnancy or there are other health issues. Pre-diabetes will also be considered when you apply for life insurance, but insurers generally won’t consider this as being as serious.

Life insurance premiums for latent autoimmune diabetes tend to be higher than type 2 diabetes and can be similar to type 1 diabetes pricing. You may also need to provide medical evidence to support your application, which your insurer will request for you.

Key factors for diabetes life insurance:

  • 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 because of your condition?
  • Has your diabetes ever caused tingling, numbness, loss of sensation in fingers or toes, eye problems, foot ulcers, hypoglycaemic attack, or protein in the urine?
  • When were you diagnosed with diabetes?
  • In the past 5 years, how many hypoglycaemic or hyperglycaemic attacks?

Does diabetes affect life insurance?

Your life insurance policy won’t be any different because you have diabetes, and you will still get the same benefits and level of cover as anyone else. This is true regardless of the type of diabetes that you have (e.g. type 1 or type 2).

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Standard life insurance should always cover diabetes and any other pre-existing conditions that you have. The only issue would be if you didn’t declare that you have diabetes when applying for your policy, which can make your cover invalid.

You would also be covered for any complications of diabetes or any related conditions that might develop in the future.

Does life insurance pay out for diabetes?

Your life insurance policy would pay out a cash lump sum to your loved ones if you died because of complications of diabetes (e.g. kidney disease). Your family can also claim if you died for any other reasons, such as an unrelated illness or an accident.

Your policy could pay out £100,000’s or even £1,000,000’s, which is a life changing amount of money for most people. This provides peace of mind that your loved ones can continue with their usual lifestyle with no additional financial strain to worry about.

There isn’t a specific best type of life insurance for diabetics, as the type of policy that you need will depend on your circumstances and what you need to protect. The main options for diabetic life insurance are:

  • Family life insuranceThis is also known as ‘level term’ cover, as the amount of cover that you have remains the same throughout your policy.
  • Mortgage life insurance  – This is also known as ‘decreasing or decreasing term life insurance’. The amount of cover decreases over time, as you repay your mortgage.
  • Whole life insuranceWhole life insurance provides comprehensive cover and has no set end date, unlike ‘term’ life insurance policies which cover you for a set number of years.
  • Over 50s life insuranceThis is a form of whole life insurance which has been designed specifically for people aged 50 and over.
  • Business life insuranceCertain life insurance policies work to protect key members of a business, to minimise any financial impact caused by their death.
  • Family income benefitThis is a cheaper type of life insurance, as it pays out an ‘income’ over several years rather than one large cash lump sum.

Which are the best life insurance companies for diabetics?

Certain life insurance companies like Royal London have created specific policies and processes that are designed to work well for people with diabetes. Specialist products like these are often the best option for people with more severe diabetes symptoms or complications.

There will usually be a range of companies that can offer life cover to people with less severe diabetes (i.e. ‘good’ Hba1c and no complications). This means that the ‘best’ life insurance company for you will be fully based on your own situation.

It’s a good idea to compare policies and prices from a few insurers and get proper advice, to help you understand which insurance company will work best for you.

Life Insurance provider reviews

The price of life insurance for diabetics will be based on your health and lifestyle at the time when you apply. Various factors like your age and smoker status will have an effect, as well as things directly related to diabetes (e.g. Hba1c readings or complications).

It’s also important to point out that some insurers are far cheaper for diabetes life insurance than others, simply because of how they assess these applications.

Below are examples of real customers with diabetes that our team of experts have helped to find suitable life cover. These examples aim to help you understand the range of different scenarios and how much the price of life cover can vary for each person who applies.

Case Study 1: Mrs S.

Details of applicantMrs S. was born in 1968 and is a non-smoker.
Diabetes details and informationMrs S. has type 1 diabetes which was diagnosed in 2011 with a current Hba1c reading of 68mmol.
She has no complications, and her diabetes is treated with insulin.
Other health informationHeight: 5’8” / Weight: 16st7
Cover requirementsMrs S. wanted £70,000 of cover to protect her family over the next 5 years.
Monthly premiums (£s)£30.58 per month
Guaranteed (fixed) premiums
Standard insurance company (LV)

Case Study 2: Mr A.

Details of applicantMr A. was born in 1985 and is a non-smoker but has smoked in the past.
Diabetes details and informationMr A. has type 2 diabetes which was diagnosed in 2010 with a current Hba1c reading of 63mmol.
Mr A. also has retinopathy as a result of diabetes.
Other health informationHeight: 5’10” / Weight: 159kg
Cover requirementsMr A. wanted £235,000 of decreasing life insurance to protect his mortgage over the next 30 years.
He had a maximum budget of £20-£30 per month.
Monthly premiums (£s)£26.77 per month
Guaranteed (fixed) premiums
Standard insurance company (AIG)

Case Study 3: Miss D.

Details of applicantMiss D. was born in 1992 and is a non-smoker.
Diabetes details and informationMiss D. has type 1 diabetes which was diagnosed in 2006 with a current Hba1c reading of 65mmol.
She had cataracts 10 years ago and was hospitalised due to diabetes in 2017.
Other health informationHeight: 5’1” / Weight: 16st
Cover requirementsMiss D. wanted £100,000 of cover to protect her family over the next 30 years.
Monthly premiums (£s)£15.14 per month
Guaranteed (fixed) premiums
Specialist insurance policy (Royal London)

Can I find cheap life insurance for diabetics?

There are few ways to lower the cost of life insurance for diabetics if you are worried about the potential cost of your cover:

  • Reduce the amount that you drink or smoke: Lifestyle changes like this would help anyone reduce the cost of life insurance, so this isn’t specific to people with diabetes.
  • Reduce your blood sugar levels: Some of the things that you can do to lower your readings are improving your diet, take medication regularly, and exercise regularly.
  • Lower your BMI: If you have a high BMI, losing weight can help you to lower the cost of your life insurance policy.
  • Improve your cholesterol or blood pressure: Diabetes can increase the risk of cardiovascular issues like high cholesterol or high blood pressure. If you can manage your levels for both, it should help with the cost of your cover.

Critical illness insurance is a popular policy to add onto life insurance, and it can sometimes be bought separately as well.

It used to be pretty much impossible to get critical illness cover if you had diabetes. This thankfully isn’t the case now and it can be available in some circumstances. An insurance expert will be able to tell you which insurers are most likely to offer the policy you need at a fair price.

You can read our full Diabetes Critical Illness Insurance guide for more information about how to find the best critical illness cover policies.

Do I need to tell my life insurance if I get diabetes?

You wouldn’t need to tell your insurance company if you are diagnosed with diabetes after buying a life insurance policy. You will always be covered for any future medical conditions that are diagnosed, so it isn’t necessary to let the insurer know about a new diagnosis.

Is diabetes a critical condition?

Some policies will pay out for a diabetes diagnosis, though they probably won’t pay out the full cover amount. You could receive a partial pay out (15%-25% of your cover amount) if you’re diagnosed with:

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

Remember though, not all policies will cover you for diabetes. We would recommend checking your policy documents carefully, so you don’t waste any time on an unsuccessful claim.

How do I supply my Hba1c readings to my insurer?

If your Hba1c levels change improve during your policy term, you may be able to reduce the cost of your cover.

Certain providers such as Royal London will drop the price of your cover by up to 40% if your diabetes is improving, and they will request an annual Hba1c reading as part of your policy. Your insurance provider or insurance advisor will contact you about this and walk you through the process.

It can be difficult to work out which insurance policy is right for you, which is why you should always do your research and consider all of your options. Many people find it useful to use price comparison sites to get an initial idea of costs, but this won’t always be accurate for people with medical conditions.

Another option is to speak to a diabetes life insurance expert who can answer your questions and help you throughout the application process. This can be a good option if you’re not sure where to start, or if you have struggled to get cover in the past.

Useful resources

Diabetes UK

We are Diabetes UK and it's our mission to tackle diabetes, day in and day out, until it can do no harm.

Were changing policies and attitudes through our hard-hitting campaigns. We're changing lives with our ground-breaking research.

We won't rest until we find a cure... Read more

Contact Diabetes UK

Helpline: 0345 123 3499
Live Chat Form: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/forms/get-in-touch

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Can I get life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

Yes, you will be able to get life insurance with almost any pre-existing medical condition, as long as it is not terminal. If traditional life insurance is not available due to the severity of your symptoms, then there are other guaranteed and specialist life insurance options, such as:

  • Accidental death
  • Over 50s life insurance
  • Guaranteed life insurance

Some of the most common examples of life insurance with pre-existing conditions are:

  • Overweight or High BMI life insurance
  • Diabetes life insurance (e.g. Type 2 or Type 1 diabetes)
  • Cancer life insurance
  • Heart attack or heart disease life insurance
  • Mental health life insurance
  • Multiple Sclerosis life insurance
  • Autoimmune disorders life insurance
  • HIV life insurance

There are literally thousands of types and variations of pre-exisiting medical conditions and so your situation is likely to be different to someone else. Life insurance with pre-existing conditions will take a number of elements in to account:

  • Severity and type of symptoms
  • Dates of diagnosis, episodes or attacks, and treatments
  • Any ongoing treatment and medications

Your life insurance premiums will be based on your own individual circumstances and how much cover you need. You should be able to adjust the levels of cover to suit your budget and it’s just as important to make sure that you at least have some cover in place.

What does Martin Lewis say about life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

MoneySavingExpert.com suggests that life insurance will ‘cost a lot more’ with a pre-existing medical condition. This is not true and it really does depend on your own individual circumstances so don’t be put off by this as they are not experts in this area.

It is true that some circumstances where the pre-existing medical condition is serious or severe, premiums can be higher to reflect the additional mortality risks. Ultimately, your life insurance premiums are unfortunately based on how likely you are to claim or if you have a higher chance of death within the policy term.

Martin Lewis doesn’t provide any real substance to his comment about pre-existing conditions life insurance and that’s not good enough. You should speak to a medical life insurance specialist to get a fully underwritten quote before you make any final decisions about whether or not you can afford to protect your family.

How much is life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

Most traditional life insurance providers will accept applications for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Often, you will have a number of potential options from several different insurance providers so you can usually save money as well by shopping around.

Historically you might have had less offers when you apply for life insurance with pre-existing conditions, but fortunately that is changing. Most of the more well-known high street life insurance brands are now offering more competitive rates and more flexible underwriting.

Top tips to save money on life insurance with pre-existing conditions:

  • Speak to pre-existing medical conditions specialist (these companies will understand the market better and should know which insurers will be cheapest for you)
  • Shop around and get different quotes (same as everything else, by shopping around you’ll get a better idea of what a good price is and what different companies offer)
  • Apply at the best time (timing can be important when applying for life insurance with pre-existing conditions, usually when symptoms are stable and not before or after treatment)

There are also other things to take into consideration, such as if you’re a smoker or if your weight is higher than normal. Can you do anything to improve your situation that might help to reduce your life insurance premiums.

Best life insurance for pre-existing conditions?

The best life insurance for pre-existing conditions will be different for each individual, based on their circumstances and the details of their health or medical history. There are certainly some insurance providers who are better for people with pre-existing medical conditions than others, such as:

  • The Exeter (better for people with more severe symptoms and serious health problems)
  • Legal & General (can sometimes be good for certain pre-existing medical conditions, especially mild to moderate symptoms)
  • Royal London (offers a number of specialist products and policies for certain pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes and mental health)
  • Scottish Widows (sometimes good for moderate medical conditions and offers flexible underwriting for certain conditions)
  • The Guardian (also offers flexible underwriting towards some pre-existing medical conditions)
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