Thousands of people with diabetes will apply for life insurance this year. Not all of them will have a positive experience either. If you are looking into diabetic life insurance, being “in the know” will improve your chances of being approved at the lowest premium possible. How? Well, you first need to understand how life insurance companies handle applicants with diabetes in the first place. Life insurance with diabetes is more challenging but does not have to be difficult.
So, what do they look for?
How can you prepare?
What is the likely outcome?
Before we answer those questions, let’s take a good look at diabetes.
In 2010, the following numbers show the major significance of diabetes as:
- An estimated 23+ million Americans were diagnosed with diabetes.
- Another 5.5 million Americans or more are living with the disease and don’t even know it.
- 57 million have prediabetes, which means they are at risk of developing the condition.
- It is estimated that over 60 percent of those with diabetes will die of a heart attack or stroke.
What is Diabetes Exactly?
Diabetes Mellitus is the medical term for having diabetes. It is a type of metabolic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin or the cells of the body do not respond properly to the insulin produced in their body. This results in high blood sugar in the affected individual.
There are three main types of diabetes:
Type 1 – Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) or Juvenile-Onset Diabetes
- The pancreas is not capable of producing insulin.
- This type of diabetes is actually an autoimmune disease.
- The body’s immune system destroys the pancreas’ beta cells, which are needed to make insulin.
- Insulin must be injected into the body.
Type 2 – Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM) or Adult-Onset Diabetes
- This is caused by a resistance to insulin in which the body’s cells fail to use insulin correctly.
- As a result of this, the pancreas will gradually lose its ability to make insulin.
- This is the most common form of diabetes. 90-95 % of all adult diabetes cases are type 2.
Gestational – Glucose intolerance during pregnancy
- Typically temporary condition that resolves itself after the pregnancy ends.
- The high glucose levels during pregnancy may cause the actual development of type 2 diabetes.
How Does this Affect My Application for a Life Insurance Policy?
When you apply for a traditional life insurance policy, you will have to take a free medical exam (administered in your home) unless you apply for a no medical exam life insurance product.
These are more expensive but still affordable.
During any exam, you will be asked questions about your family history, medical history, lifestyle, driving record, smoking and alcohol usage. The nurse administering the exam at your home will measure your height, weight and check your pulse and blood pressure.
What Diabetic Life Insurance Companies Want to See
Companies that offer diabetic life insurance are most concerned about their applicants taking the proper precautions to keep their diabetes under control. A documented history of regular medical checkups is very important to any insurance company.
The life insurance company you apply with will be looking specifically at:
- When you were diagnosed
- What your diagnosis was
- Age at diagnosis
- Course of disease
- Response to treatment
- What have you done to control the situation since your diagnosis
- The degree of control…demonstrated by medical records, height/weight and lab test results
- What type of treatment are you using
- Any other medical conditions present
- Whether you are a tobacco user
How to Prepare for Your Diabetic Life Insurance Application
There are important measures you can take to prepare yourself before applying for any type of life insurance. Doing so will help your chances of getting approved at the best rating class possible. Use the next few tips to put yourself in the best position for coverage and refer to this article for our top tips to maximize your savings on coverage.
- Be sure to have all doctors’ name/address/phone numbers available.
- Make sure your doctor(s) has copies of all records regarding the cancer treatment, pathology reports, and follow up reports.
- Have a list of all medications and their dosages available.
- Do not skip any follow up visits with your doctor and handle all referrals.
The Cost of Obtaining The Best Life Insurance For Diabetic Applicants
- Premiums are generally lower for those who diet and exercise or keep their diabetes under control with medication. Your A1C level really does matter. Even a small improvement can be enough to earn a lower premium.
- Premiums are generally higher for those who do not follow up with a doctor regularly.
- Be sure to get a policy in force first at a premium rate you can afford. You can then focus on improving the rating class through better control or lab results.
- You can also add additional coverage later if you believe your financial situation has changed and need more life insurance.
- Trying to qualify for medically underwritten coverage is almost always the best and lowest cost option available to a person with diabetes. Guaranteed acceptance policies are the least desirable option to purchase.
Can Diabetics get life insurance?
If you have not already visited our recommendation above, you can view our top 10 tips list for obtaining the absolute best rates on diabetic life insurance. This is a good resource for understanding how to position yourself for saving money and better diabetic health for the future.
Please understand that any life insurance approval and rating class can be quite variable. Applying for life insurance with diabetes for the best rates will require a detailed history of the condition and how controlled it is.
If you are a senior citizen and/or looking at covering funeral and burial expenses, you should visit our final expense instant quote page to receive free quoting for ideal senior coverage. Select “Excellent” health unless you have have “type 1 diabetes” unless you have multiple other “serious” medical conditions. Otherwise, to get started quickly, you may opt to use the instant quote tool on this page. Be sure to select “standard” on the health tab. Unless you are a senior your rates may very well be higher than shown if diabetes has really impacted your medical history. However, it will give you a ballpark number for term life insurance. Someone who has had diabetes since childhood or is insulin dependent is likely to have higher rates than shown.
Managing oneself with a healthy lifestyle and exercise can produce a better outcome. We encourage you to make these changes if have not already.
Life insurance for diabetics really suggests the use of a specialized, independent life insurance agent/broker. Don’t get overcharged, under insured or declined. We get calls from upset people who chose the wrong agent and got declined or drastically overcharged because of picking the wrong insurance company to apply to.
Diabetes is very significant rating factor and a special risk to any life insurer. You must understand that in exchange for taking additional risk, the premiums will increase to balance the scale. Not all insurance companies underwrite (evaluate) their policy applicants the same way.
There are life insurance offers available that sound wonderful…
They don’t even ask ANY health questions, but they are very expensive. We do offer those life insurance policies as well but they are the last life insurance product to recommend.
They are considerably more expensive and have significant limitations beyond the scope of this article. Someone who has COPD combined with diabetes would more than likely require this type of “guaranteed acceptance” life insurance (no health questions or medical exam).
However, if you follow the advice we have provided on our website and more importantly, discussed the situation with your independent, specialist agent, the end result can be a positive one which includes affordability.
Getting immediate and affordable coverage that you may have been told was impossible or too expensive is obtainable in many, many cases with diabetes. You must make sure you are working with the right team of people who handle pre-existing conditions day in and day out.
If you haven’t already and would like more specifics on the best rates and outcome, you may check out our article on the top tips for the best rates available.
We place trial cases with our special carriers that are most favorable to diabetics.
The next step is to weed out the carriers that are not likely to be the answer to your problem.
The goal is to obtain you the best rate possible with the product that best meets your goals.
If you are not happy with the offers you receive, we can always try with another company. The other alternative is to put a policy in force and work on improving your rating class through better diet and exercise to improve the your lab results and reapply for a lower rate later. That of course would be your decision, but an option so you can get coverage in force sooner than later.
We hope this article has answered some of your questions about obtaining life insurance with diabetes. Let us know if you need any assistance. Feel free to call, email. We’re here to help. (800) 598-6445