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Life insurance for diabetics
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The life insurance shopping process will depend on your age, priorities, coverage needs and rating factors. Preexisting health conditions like Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can make finding the best life insurance more difficult, but rest assured that many companies write life insurance for diabetics. Bankrate explains how and why diabetes affects life insurance and highlights some companies that offer coverage for people living with diabetes.
Best life insurance for diabetics
While there is no guarantee that a company will write you a policy if you have diabetes, the best life insurance companies offer coverage to individuals with all kinds of medical histories. Bankrate evaluated dozens of life insurance companies to narrow down the best for diabetics. Some offer coverage or limits that may address specific financial concerns held by those with diabetes, while others may only offer guaranteed issue policies with no medical underwriting requirements.
Keep in mind that finding the best life insurance for you and your medical condition will depend on the severity of your condition, your other rating factors, the coverage you require and the type of policy you want. Most insurance experts recommend comparing options from multiple companies before finalizing your coverage.
|Life insurance company
|Do they offer policies to people with diabetes?*
|Is medical underwriting required?
|Depends on the product
|Mutual of Omaha
*Please note that your actual eligibility for policies from these companies may depend on certain factors related to your diabetes or could be dependent upon a medical exam. Just because a company offers policies to people with diabetes does not guarantee you will be approved for a policy.
Corebridge Financial (previously AIG Life Insurance) offers a suite of life insurance products, including guaranteed issue whole life policies, which do not require a medical exam. Depending on your diabetes type and how well it is managed, you may also qualify for universal or term life coverage from Corebridge Financial. On the downside, Corebridge Financial received one of the lowest scores for customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study. However, Corebridge Financial is fiscally solid and is rated A (Excellent) by AM Best for its financial strength, which is a critical measure of a life insurer’s historical ability to pay death benefits.
John Hancock offers life insurance specifically for applicants with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes: Aspire. The Aspire program offers perks like discounts on healthy foods and virtual meetings with diabetes experts. You may be able to get free testing supplies through John Hancock’s partnership with Onduo, a virtual diabetes clinic. Additionally, John Hancock’s Vitality program is built into Aspire and may reward your healthy activities with points you can redeem for a number of benefits. You can add the Aspire program to a term or permanent life insurance policy with John Hancock, but you may have to take a medical exam based on the product you choose.
Mutual of Omaha offers several types of life insurance, including term, whole and universal life. Guaranteed issue policies are available, which could make finding life insurance coverage easier for those with advanced diabetes. Mutual of Omaha offers coverage throughout the country and has offices in 46 states, which could make it an appealing choice for those looking to manage a policy in person.
Both term and whole life policies are available from Prudential, the fifth-largest U.S. life/annuity insurer according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I). The company also offers numerous digital life insurance resources. Prudential requires medical underwriting, so it may not be a viable option for those with more advanced diabetes, but could be a good fit for those whose diabetes is less severe.
Can people with diabetes get life insurance?
For those living with diabetes, life insurance can be more complicated. The specifics of your diagnosis and condition primarily impact how much you will pay in premiums and what type of life insurance coverage you qualify for. If your diabetes is well-managed and you are otherwise healthy, your premium may not be that much higher than it would be for someone without diabetes. Typically, the more severe your condition, the more risk you pose to the insurer and the more you pay for your coverage.
Life insurance companies determine your premium based on life expectancy. As a result, policyholders with chronic health conditions like diabetes may pay higher rates because there is a greater chance of an earlier or sudden death. In cases where diabetes is not well-managed, you may be denied coverage. In this case, you may want to consider a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, which does not require you to complete a medical exam. However, keep in mind that guaranteed life premiums are typically much more costly than other types of life policies.
What types of life insurance are available for diabetics?
Diabetics searching for life insurance are not typically limited to one policy type. Although guaranteed issue life insurance may be an attractive option for individuals living with more advanced or hard-to-manage diabetes, it is not the only way to get coverage. Other life insurance policy types may be a good fit as well, depending on an individual’s financial circumstances and goals:
- Term life: Unlike permanent coverage, which lasts an individual’s entire life as long as premiums are paid, term coverage is only active for a certain period of time. Most term policies last between 10 and 30 years. Because you could outlive the policy term, this is usually one of the more affordable ways to secure life insurance.
- Whole life: A type of permanent life insurance, whole life insurance policies include a death benefit and a cash value component that accumulates value over time. These are typically more expensive than term life because they are designed to guarantee a death benefit payout as long as the terms of the policy are met.
- Universal life: Another type of permanent life insurance, universal life insurance also includes a death benefit and a cash value component. It is one of the most flexible types of life insurance policies because the insured may adjust the death benefit or use the cash value component to pay the premium. There are three main types of universal life insurance — indexed universal, variable universal and guaranteed universal — each of which uses different investment strategies to grow the cash value.
The main difference between a diabetic and non-diabetic shopping for life insurance is cost and coverage limits. Broadly, the higher the likelihood an individual has of passing away while their policy is active, the more their insurer will likely charge for coverage. Some insurers may also limit how much coverage someone can have based on the results of their medical exam.
Is there any type of specialized life insurance for diabetics?
With the exception of the John Hancock Aspire program, life insurance companies don’t generally offer life insurance policies specifically designed for people with diabetes. However, you may be able to find a policy tailored to your unique medical needs by thoroughly exploring your options for policy types, riders and coverage limits. If your diabetes is advanced, you may need to consider policies that do not require a medical exam, such as a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.
What factors affect diabetics looking for life insurance?
Several factors play a role when it comes to underwriting life insurance for someone with diabetes. Some of these factors include:
Type of diabetes
Consumers with Type 2 diabetes might have an easier time qualifying for life insurance than those with Type 1 diabetes. Most insurance companies consider Type 1 diabetes riskier than Type 2, because Type 2 diabetes can usually be managed through healthy lifestyle changes. On the other hand, Type 1 typically requires frequent blood sugar monitoring and insulin therapy. If you have Type 1 diabetes, you will likely pay higher premiums for the same amount of coverage.
If your diabetes is well-controlled by lifestyle changes, you will probably pay lower premiums than if you have to take medication. On the flipside, if you are dependent on insulin, you will likely pay higher rates. However, if you have Type 2 diabetes, certain lifestyle changes can typically help you manage your condition. Type 2 diabetes can often be managed through eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, exercising frequently and limiting stress.
Other health and lifestyle factors
Your diabetes is only one factor in your life insurance rating. Insurers will also look at your age, lifestyle, occupation, other health conditions and more. If you have other health conditions in addition to diabetes, like high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, a history of drug abuse or are taking other medications, you may find it challenging to qualify for life insurance. A guaranteed issue policy could be the best option in such cases, although your premium will likely be higher than if you were to qualify for a policy requiring a medical exam. Guaranteed life premiums are typically higher than other plans since the insurance company is shouldering the risk of insuring someone without knowing their full medical history.
Will my existing policy be canceled if I am diagnosed with diabetes?
If you receive a diagnosis of diabetes after you have purchased a permanent life insurance policy, you do not need to worry about a termination of coverage. With permanent policies like whole life and universal life, you are covered for the rest of your life at the pre-diagnosis rate as long as your premiums are paid on time.
If you have a term policy, your coverage likely will not be affected during the policy term. Your payments will remain the same until the end of your term. At the end of your term, you might choose to let the policy lapse or convert your policy to a permanent policy before the expiration date or maximum age dictated by the policy. Converting your policy with some companies may allow you to bypass the medical exam and use your health rating from your initial application, although your age will apply as a rating factor.
If you let your policy lapse and seek a new policy, your health will be re-evaluated, and your new rates will reflect your diagnosis.