If you are shopping around for life insurance and have been diagnosed with diabetes, we don’t envy you. It is easy to get mixed up by the numerous options in the market and we know you have a number of decisions to make.
This is why we…
Have chosen to write this article so that we might make the process of finding a great life insurance policy a little be easier! And… provide you with just a few tips which could save you a lot of time, energy and money!
Life Insurance Guide for People with Diabetes
Diabetes, Underwriters and Life Insurance
Let’s cut to the chase and answer the most important question first. Will you be able to get life insurance if you have diabetes? The answer is yes (in most cases), and you’ll probably have several options to choose from when you do!
Types of life insurance options:
For diabetics, a fully underwritten life insurance is usually going to be the best option to get the best insurance rates for coverage simply because most life insurance companies are going to have a ton of questions for you, most of which can be answered by simply taking a paramedical exam which a fully underwritten term or whole life insurance policy will require.
In order to qualify for a fully underwriter term or whole life insurance policy, you’ll first need to complete what is called a paramedical exam which will require that you provide a blood and urine sample prior to being approved for coverage.
Now if you prefer…
Not to take a medical exam, you might want to consider a simplified issue life insurance policy which won’t require a paramedical exam. However, these “types” of life insurance policies will still require you to answer several health-related medical questions and should only be reserved for “well controlled” type 2 diabetics as type 1 diabetics simply won’t qualify.
Determining how well your diabetes is being “managed”.
Regardless of what “type” of life insurance policy you decide you’d like to apply for, most life insurance companies are going to want to get a better understanding of how well you are managing your diabetes prior to them making a decision about your application.
To do this, you’ll likely find that you’ll be required to answer a series of health-related medical questions that will focus exclusively on your diabetes. These questions will typically look and sound like this:
- How long ago were you diagnosed with diabetes?
- What type of diabetes do you have – type 1 or type 2?
- When did you last have your A1C checked? And what was that value?
- Do you have any other risk factors? Such as smoking.
- What is your current height and weight?
- Do you currently take any medication for diabetes, or any other health problems?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other pre-existing medical condition like cancer, stroke, heart disease?
Additional information that is typically required that may not be related to your diabetes will include your:
- Marital status
- Overall health
- Family medical history
- Driving record
- Future travel plans
- Criminal background check
- Etc, etc..
As already mentioned, for a fully underwritten life insurance policy you will need to complete medical exam, while other types of life insurance policies such a simplified issue life insurance policy will not require this.
It might therefore be worthwhile talking to your insurance broker to discuss your options prior to applying for coverage, because while a medical examination could “potentially” result in cheaper premiums, you do run the risk of “uncovering” some other potential issue which could prevent you from qualifying for coverage. Such as:
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure or cholesterol,
- Elevated liver enzymes,
- Etc, ect…
Life Insurance Medical Exams.
Now for those who may be nervous about taking a medical exam, let’s just take a brief moment and describe what that process will look like.
First off, it’s important to understand that the cost of the medial exam will be taken care of by the insurance company regardless of whether or not you’re approved for coverage or even decide to purchase a life insurance policy. Which means that you’ll never have to pay for the cost of applying for a life insurance policy.
Second, you don’t need to go to a hospital or a clinic to take your exam, the examiner should be able to come to you (within reason). So you should be able to take your exam within the comfort of your own home or office.
Lastly, while it’s never fun to provide blood and urine samples, for the most part, the insurance medical exam will be a pretty “non-invasive” exam which should only include:
- Answering some additional health related questions,
- Providing a blood and urine sample,
- Having your height and weight recorded,
- And in some cases, having an EKG performed.
If you feel uncomfortable having a male or female practitioner, you may always request a certain “gender” to perform these “tests” so that you feel the most comfortable throughout the entire process.
Types of Diabetes and how they will be treated by the Insurance Companies.
As was mentioned before, diabetes comes in different forms. This is important for the life insurance companies, as each type represents a different risk, suggests lifestyle habits and are an indication of severity. For this reason, we want to take a moment and discuss each “type” of diabetes below and examine how each is typically “viewed” by the life insurance industry.
Type 2 Diabetes without Medication
Since type 2 diabetes is far more prevalent than type 1, let’s begin our conversation looking at type 2 diabetes and some of the factors that will come into play during your life insurance application.
In this section describes how diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise, rather than having to use insulin or any other medications. In fact, many people are not aware that diabetes often starts at a point where medications are not required, if it is diagnosed early enough.
At this stage of your diabetes, life insurance is very possible because you are actually exercising regularly and eating well, which improves your health overall. If you let a nurse visit you to take a medical exam, you should fall within the “standard plus” or “standard” classification.
Although this isn’t the very best rate class available, let’s face it, few people are able to qualify for those types of rates anyways so being able to qualify for a Standard or Standard Plus rate class would be a significant victory for anyone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
That being said however…
The vast majority of individuals who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes will be taking some type of medication to treat their condition, and as a result, will usually qualify for what is called a “table rating”.
Table rates are insurance rates that are generally reserved for “higher” risk applicants and range from Table A to Table J. Table A rates will be given to “lower” risk applicants while Table J rates will be given to your “higher” risk applicants. What “table rate” you qualify for will largely depend on:
- What “type” of medications you are using to treat your diabetes. Oral Meds vs Injectable.
- How many medications you are using to treat your diabetes.
- What your current A1C is.
- What your daily blood sugar levels are.
- Whether or not you’re currently using any tobacco or nicotine products.
- Your current height and weight.
- As well as a host of other factors.
As a general rule of thumb, we generally like to “shoot” for a Table B rating which can still provide many affordable options for those looking for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.
Diabetic Life Insurance with No Medical Exam
Now if you prefer not to undergo a medical examination, there are some insurance companies that will be willing to provide complete coverage without requiring you to take a medical exam (type 2 diabetics only).
Now in many cases, these rates may be higher than fully underwritten term or whole life insurance policies, however approvals for these types of life insurance policies can be determined in less than 48 hours (vs waiting several weeks for an approval) in many cases which can be very appealing for those who:
- Currently don’t have any life insurance in place.
- Need insurance to provide collateral for a loan.
- Or are looking to satisfy a divorce decree.
Type 1 Diabetes
Now when it comes time to help those who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes find coverage, there are two important things to understand.
1st being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes will not automatically disqualify you from being able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.
2nd being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes will make it significantly more difficult to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy which is why if you do get approved for coverage you should seriously consider taking the policy regardless of cost.
That being said…
However, you don’t want to get “ripped” off either! This is why we here at InsuranceBrokersUSA typically like to “shop” your life insurance application to several different insurance companies prior to actually applying for coverage. Now in order to do this properly, we’ll need to know some important things like:
- When were you first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?
- What medications are you using to manage your type 1 diabetes?
- What is your current A1C?
- How often do your check your blood sugar?
- How often do you see your primary care physician?
- What is your current height and weight?
- Do you use any tobacco or nicotine products?
- Do you suffer from any “symptoms” related to your type 1 diabetes?
Now we’re not…
Going to sugar coat it, finding traditional term or whole life insurance coverage as a type 1 diabetic is going to be tough, but if you’re:
- Managing your condition well,
- You don’t smoke,
- And you’re in pretty good health,
Then in “theory” you should still be eligible for a traditionally fully underwritten term or whole life insurance policy.
And the good news is…
That we here at InsuranceBrokersUSA aren’t going to be “afraid” of giving you a chance! In fact, our brokerage here at InsuranceBrokersUSA focuses primarily on helping individuals who may be currently having a difficult time finding an insurance company willing to approve their application for coverage.
So… with that said, let us leave you with the following “Tips” for securing the “best” life insurance rate for a diabetic and invite you to give us a call if you have any questions what so ever or simply want to give us an opportunity to earn your business.
Tips to Secure the Best Rates
If you have read any of our articles, you’ll know that this is something we say often. When shopping for a new appliance, you check prices in many different stores to find the best deal. When deciding where to buy food for a week on a limited budget, you look for the cheapest option. When shopping for life insurance, this should be no different.
As there are more variables, you should in fact shop around even more than normal. Not only should you focus on price, but you also need to compare duration, benefits and extras, and whether there is a graded death benefit, medical exam, etc.
Work with an “Independent” Life Insurance Agent.
This is once again something we recommend often. Agents spend their working hours surrounded by others in the insurance industry. If anyone will know where to find the best life insurance deal for diabetics, it will be the agents. Beware when you choose an agent though, as some only work on behalf of one specific company. Ideally, you need someone who deals with numerous companies.
Take Care of Yourself.
If you have read this article as a safety measure, we would like to congratulate you because you have taken the first step to prevent paying too much for insurance. We also recommend you visit your doctor regularly for check-ups so that any problems can be diagnosed early. With type 2 diabetes, a doctor can advise you what to do if your diabetes is bordering on a problem. Remember, insurance is cheaper when diabetes can still be controlled with diet and exercise. Listen to your body and make sure you detect problems early.
Buy Insurance Now.
We always recommend that people buy life insurance immediately if they have people depending on them or their income (i.e. partner or children). Life insurance gets more expensive the older you get, irrespective of whether you are a diabetic or not. By buying life insurance right now, you are ensuring that you get the best rates possible.
Always choose a reputable life insurance company. When working with an agent, you don’t need to worry about this, but some people take a risk by using a company that isn’t financially secure, simply because they offer a cheap rate. You ideally want a company with a minimum “A’ rating according to A.M. Best.
And there you have it! So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today and see what we can do for you!