Life insurance is one of the most foundational components of any well-crafted financial plan. It can provide tax-free income to use in any manner that you like, and it can also provide your heirs with a financial legacy. But qualifying for life insurance can be a challenge for diabetics, who must disclose this fact on their medical questionnaire. Diabetes can result in higher premiums in many cases, and those with type 1 diabetes are particularly susceptible to this. If you have type 1 or even type 2 diabetes, you may be asking, “Can I still get affordable life insurance coverage? If so, where do I go for it?”
Finding the answer may be as simple as doing a quick online search for life insurance carriers who may specialize in offering policies that are custom-tailored for diabetics. Just be aware that you will most likely have to pay higher premiums than you would otherwise. But that doesn’t mean that you should forego life insurance coverage just because of your condition. Virtually everyone who works for a living needs at least a certain minimum amount of life insurance, and this includes you.
Can people with diabetes get life insurance?
The short answer is yes, people who have diabetes can indeed get affordable life insurance coverage, provided that they do not have other major health issues and have kept their condition in check for at least the last six to 12 months. Those who are otherwise healthy and can keep their blood sugar numbers within the normal range will have little difficulty in finding quality life insurance coverage. Those who are in poorer health or do not have good blood sugar readings will most likely be rated up by the majority of life insurance carriers. This means that their monthly premiums will be higher than for those who are otherwise in good shape. And those with type 1 diabetes will usually have higher premiums than those with type 2 diabetes.
What types of life insurance are available for diabetics?
Diabetics can get the same types of life insurance coverage as those who do not have this condition. They can get either term or any type of permanent policy in any amount that they can afford. A diabetic can purchase a whole life, universal life, variable universal or indexed universal life insurance policy if they can cover the cost of the premiums.
Is there any type of specialized life insurance for diabetics?
There are at least a few life insurance companies that offer policies that are custom-tailored for people with diabetes, so those with this condition may want to take a look at one of these policies before searching elsewhere. Some higher-priced policies such as guaranteed issue life insurance have simplified underwriting for diabetics while others require more medical information. But the policies for which it is easiest to qualify will always also charge the highest premiums.
What factors affect diabetics looking for life insurance?
There are several factors that can play a role when it comes to underwriting diabetics for life insurance. Some of these factors include:
The type of diabetes
As mentioned previously, those with type 2 diabetes will have an easier time qualifying for life insurance than those with type 1 diabetes. Those in the latter category can expect to pay higher premiums for the same amount of coverage and policy type. Those who are insulin-dependent will most likely pay the highest premiums of all.
Other health concerns
Diabetics who have other major health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure that is not controlled by medication or diet or obesity will have a harder time qualifying for life insurance coverage of any kind. Those with high blood pressure will need to take action and stay on their medications. Those who are obese need to try and lower their weight through diet and exercise. Diabetics with other health conditions that are severe enough may be declined for coverage by most insurers.
There are a host of other factors that can determine whether a diabetic can qualify for life insurance. The age at which the insured was diagnosed, his or her family medical history, the medications that he or she is taking, his or her age and blood sugar level are also usually taken into account. Faithfully taking medications according to directions, controlling your diet and exercising can lessen the impact of many of these variables during the underwriting process.
Best life insurance companies for diabetics
There are many life insurance companies that offer life insurance coverage to people with diabetes. Some of them offer custom-made policies that are specifically tailored for diabetics, while others merely offer guaranteed issue policies that have 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?||Types of diabetes that they cover||Is medical underwriting required?|
|Prudential||Yes||Types 1 and 2||Yes|
|Mutual of Omaha||Yes||Types 1 and 2||No|
|Assurity Life||Yes||Types 1 and 2||Yes|
Prudential offers affordable niche policies for those who have specialized conditions, such as diabetes coupled with HIV. Both term and whole life policies are available, and there is no set minimum age of diagnosis required. Death benefit limits range from $20,000 to $20 million.
Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha offers customizable term and whole life policies with up to $250,000 of coverage. Their term policies are renewable up to age 94, thus making them a good choice for senior diabetics who need coverage in their later years.
This company is one of the few that does not have a minimum required age for diagnosis of diabetes. It offers term, whole and universal policies with death benefits up to $500,000. Those who opt for term insurance can convert their policies to a whole life policy at the end of the term.
Nationwide is one of the few companies that offers a discount on life insurance for diabetics who bundle their policies with them. It offers a complete range of life insurance products including term, whole and universal life for those with type 2 diabetes. However, they do not offer coverage for those with type 1 diabetes.
What happens if the diabetes diagnosis occurs after you have already bought life insurance?
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 purchased a permanent life insurance policy, then they are still covered for life, because permanent policies only require one initial medical exam before issuance. If a diabetic has term coverage, then he or she will have nothing to worry about until the end of the term. When the time comes to renew their coverage, they will have to report their condition on their new medical exam questionnaire. At this point, they may be either rated up so that their premiums are higher or else denied coverage altogether.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best life insurance company?
Prudential is considered to be one of the best life insurance companies for diabetics. Prudential is one of the biggest life insurers in the industry and offers a complete range of options for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Most of their policies are customizable, and there is also no set minimum age for diagnosis as there is with many other insurers.
If I buy term coverage and get diagnosed with diabetes after I have already purchased the policy, will I be able to renew my coverage at the end of the term?
The answer to this will depend largely upon the type of diabetes you have contracted and your blood sugar levels. If you have other conditions in addition to diabetes such as heart problems, then it may be difficult for you to find affordable coverage when the time comes to renew. If you can show that you are controlling your diabetes with medications, a good diet and exercise, then you will most likely be able to renew your coverage at the end of the term, although your premiums will probably be higher.
What if my health improves after being diagnosed with diabetes?
If you can show that your A1C levels have improved after your initial diagnosis, then you may be able to reduce your premiums at the end of the term if you have a term policy. Unfortunately, there is probably not much you can do to improve your premiums if you have permanent coverage. Of course, you could simply cancel your current permanent policy and buy a new one, but then you’ll also be that much older, and you may have also developed other health conditions in the meantime. You should probably consult with both your life insurance agent and your financial advisor before attempting to do this.