Life insurance for diabetics

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For many people, life insurance forms the bedrock of financial and estate plans. An appropriate life insurance plan can provide you with living benefits, replace your lost income for loved ones if you pass away or leave a gift to a family member or charity. Since life insurance rates are often heavily influenced by your overall health, people with diabetes may assume they will not be able to find a policy.

Thankfully, this assumption is a false one. People living with diabetes can find coverage, although it may take a bit more research and planning. Bankrate’s research may help you choose companies that offer policies for diabetics. Learning about life insurance for diabetics could make your insurance search easier.

Can people with diabetes get life insurance?

The short answer is yes; people who have diabetes can get life insurance coverage. However, the specifics of your diagnosis and condition will impact how much you pay. If your diabetes is well-controlled and you are otherwise healthy, your premium may not be that much higher than it would for someone without diabetes. The more severe your condition, the more you will pay for your coverage.

What types of life insurance are available for diabetics?

There is no specific type of life insurance that is better for or more widely available to people with diabetes. Generally, diabetics can get the same types of life insurance coverage as those who do not have this condition.

However, people with diabetes will probably pay more for life insurance. You may also not be able to buy the same amount of life insurance. If your life insurance requires a medical exam, the results could also affect how much insurance you can buy. Poor medical exam results could mean a company will cap how much coverage they are willing to provide.

Is there any type of specialized life insurance for diabetics?

Most life insurance companies will sell policies to people with diabetes. Still, premiums and coverage levels may depend on the answers to your application questions and your medical exam results. If your condition is advanced, you may want to consider policies that do not require a medical exam or guaranteed issue policies.

What factors affect diabetics looking for life insurance?

Several factors can play a role when it comes to underwriting diabetics for life insurance. Some of these factors include:

Type of diabetes

People 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, so you can expect to pay higher premiums for the same amount of coverage.

Disease manageability

If your diabetes is well-controlled by lifestyle changes, you will probably pay lower premiums than if you have to take medication. If you are dependent on insulin, you will likely pay higher rates.

Other health concerns

If you have other health concerns, like high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, 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 high.

Best life insurance companies for diabetics

Many life insurance companies offer life insurance coverage to people with diabetes. Some of them offer custom-made policies specifically tailored for diabetics, while others merely offer guaranteed issue policies with no underwriting requirements. Here is a brief list of companies that diabetics can go to for coverage:

Life insurance company Do they offer policies to diabetics? Is medical underwriting required?
AIG Yes No
Mutual of Omaha Yes No
Nationwide Yes Yes
Prudential Yes Yes

AIG

AIG offers a suite of life insurance products, including guaranteed issue whole life, which means you can skip the medical exam. If your disease is well-controlled, you may also qualify for universal or term life coverage.

Mutual of Omaha

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.

Nationwide

Nationwide offers a range of life insurance products, including term, whole and universal life for those with type 2 diabetes. However, it does not provide coverage for those with type 1 diabetes.

Prudential

Both term and whole life policies are available from Prudential, and there is no set minimum age of diagnosis required. The company also offers numerous online life insurance resources.

What happens to existing policies if I am diagnosed with diabetes?

Those who receive a diagnosis of diabetes after they have purchased a life insurance policy have nothing to worry about. If a newly diagnosed diabetic has already purchased a life insurance policy, the policy will not change. For permanent policies like whole life and universal life, this means you are covered for the rest of your life at the pre-diagnoses rates.

If you have a term policy, your payments will remain the same until the end of your term, usually five, 10, 20 or 30 years. 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 will allow policyholders to bypass the medical exam and use their health rating from their initial application.

If you want to renew the policy, your health will be evaluated, and your new rates will reflect your diagnosis. If your diabetes is severe, you could be denied the ability to renew your policy and may need to look into a guaranteed issue policy.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best life insurance company?

The best life insurance company will depend on your specific rating factors, including your health, the type of policy you want, the coverage amount you are looking for and what optional riders you may want to add. Just like with home insurance and auto insurance, the best company is different for everyone. Getting quotes from several companies might help you find a carrier that fits your needs.

It is important to note that since life insurance companies can change their guidelines, the best company now might not be the best company in the future. Once you choose an insurance company, it may be important to re-shop down the road.

What if my health improves after being diagnosed with diabetes?

Improved health on a policy with a standard or rated rating and changes to mortality tables are both times it is generally best to shop your policy to understand if a better rate is available.

If you have a permanent policy with cash build-up, you can 1035 exchange those funds to your new policy and avoid any tax implications.

Why is life insurance more expensive for people with diabetes?

Like all insurance policies, life insurance premiums are based on risk. Having diabetes can put you at a greater risk for developing heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage and other conditions, so life insurance companies charge more to compensate for this risk. This is also why your premium will depend on the severity of your diabetes and how well it is controlled.

Written by
Cate Deventer
Insurance Editor
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in professional and technical writing from Indiana University East. She began writing for Bankrate in January 2021 and has nearly a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent. Cate has worked with over a dozen insurance companies and is experienced with auto, home, flood, umbrella and life insurance.
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