When it comes to life insurance, there are many different variables that can affect how much you will pay even after deciding between term life and permanent life insurance. As well as your age, there is another main factor that will be considered during your application – your health.
While there are some health conditions that will require you to purchase a guaranteed issue life insurance policy – which means that you will have no medical examination nor any questions regarding your health – there are other problems that aren’t so severe. Life insurance for diabetics is one such case.
When the topic of diabetes and life insurance comes up, there are many misconceptions that soon join the conversation so it can be hard to know who to believe. Today, we will be providing more details about the health problem before then showing how it will affect your application, followed by tips for obtaining the best coverage for diabetics.
What is Diabetes?
Officially called ‘diabetes mellitus’, diabetes occurs within the pancreas and is a group of metabolic diseases. When someone suffers from diabetes, it means that their pancreas cannot produce the required amount of insulin – it can also be the cells that aren’t responding to the insulin that the body is producing. Regardless of which, blood sugar spikes occur as a result. People with diabetes will also say they have sweet urine.
Different Types of Diabetes
All in all, there are three different types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes – Known as ‘Insulin-Dependant’ diabetes, this is where not enough insulin is being produced by the pancreas. Also, the immune system within the body is destroying the beta cells which are required for the pancreas to make insulin. When this problem is seen, a pump or manual injection of insulin is needed as a replacement.
Type 2 Diabetes – Here, this is non-insulin dependent, meaining that the cells in the body aren’t using the insulin as it should normally because of a resistance. Over time, the pancreas gives up making insulin altogether. Of all three types, this is the most common by far – in fact, experts believe up to 95% of all cases in adults are Type 2.
Gestational – Much rarer than the previous two options, this is an intolerance to glucose during pregnancy. Usually, this problem will fix itself after pregnancy but there is a risk of the temporary high glucose levels leading to permanent Type 2 diabetes, which is why it should never be ignored.
As of 2014, it is thought that nearly 29 million adults and children have some form of diabetes, which accounts for over 9% of the population. Perhaps what is most shocking about this statistic is the fact that seven million are completely unaware that they have the problem. Of all the people in the United States, a recent report suggested that nearly 60 million others are at risk of developing diabetes – this is called ‘pre-diabetes’. Finally, two-thirds of all who suffer from the health problem are expected to die from a stroke or heart attack from complications arising from diabetes.
Diabetic Life Insurance
With this information, you can see how serious the health issue can be, which is why it plays a vital role in those seeking life insurance with diabetes.
So the first question will often be ‘is life insurance for diabetics even possible?’ and the short answer to this would be ‘yes, of course’. However, the process will be very different depending on whether you choose to go for a medical exam or choose to go the life insurance no medical exam route.
Diabetic Life Insurance WITH a Medical Exam
If you want the best rates possible, you will need to choose from among the most diabetic friendly top rated life insurance companies. Most of these companies require a medical exam to obtain the best rates because it enables the insurer to learn as much about you and your health as possible. With the help of a physician, your medical records will be assessed as the underwriter uses this information to help determine how likely you are to pass away in the near future. With diabetes, it is important to understand that every case is unique and most life insurance providers will ask a number of questions to ascertain what coverage they can offer.
Some basic questions…
For the most part, the questions will revolve around what type of diabetes you have, when you were diagnosed, your hemoglobin A1C levels, what dosage you take, and whether your diabetes has led to any complications such as kidney problems or renal disease.
Any other issues?
After this, they will look to learn a little bit more about you in terms of your height, weight, family medical history, and whether you have any other health problems such as high blood pressure or cholesterol.
Different company? Different results.
Once you have provided this information, it will be interpreted differently depending on the company to which you are applying. If your diabetes is well-controlled and hasn’t led to any other health issues, this will see much better rates than those who have higher doses as well as more health complications all stemming from the diabetes.
Furthermore, if you have only recently learned of your diabetes, you may find that some insurers prefer to have you visit with your doctor two or three more times just to ensure that the problem is under control.
Finally, we should also note that your attitude towards diabetes is also pivotal just as we see with smokers and obese people who aren’t willing to change their lifestyle for the betterment of their health.
Diabetic Life Insurance No Medical Exam
Later, we will explain how to find the best rates with diabetes but we must first show you the process involved when you decide to go the no medical exam life insurance route. For the most part, it will be a lot harder to find companies who will insure you with diabetes if you’re looking to avoid a medical exam. Because the company is missing out on key information regarding your health problem, they don’t really know or see the full picture which presents too much of a risk.
For those that do choose to take you on with no medical examination, you will find that the rates are often higher.
Sometimes the only policies available come with a graded death benefit. Essentially, this means that you will need to wait a certain amount of time before the death benefit is active. If your situation was to worsen with a period of, say, two years, your beneficiary would not receive the death benefit if the suggested milestone hasn’t been reached. Instead, the premiums are likely to be returned with a little bit on top.
With this being said, there has been a rise in the amount of companies taking on people with diabetes without a medical exam for both term and permanent insurance plans.
In fact, we have some examples for you today and we have broken them down first into the type of diabetes you may have and then into term and permanent life insurance.
Type 1 Diabetes – Starting with the bad news, Type 1 diabetes will actually be harder than Type 2 in regards to life insurance. Sadly, there is still no cure for this health problem which places it on a par with the more serious health problems that also have no cures. However, we have a couple of suggestions just in case you are in this position right now.
Term Life Insurance – First, American National (ANICO) allows a coverage of up to $250,000 on a term for 10,15, 20, or even 30 years without having to take a medical examination. This being said, your medical records will be checked which is why it can be helpful to contact a finance professional before applying.
Second, we should also note that United Home Life offers a quicker process and you can obtain a 20-year policy as long as your health problems are limited to diabetes. Between the ages of 20-60, your coverage can reach $50,000.
Permanent Life Insurance – If you wanted a more permanent solution, you will find whole life coverage available with no medical exam or questions. Normally, you can obtain $50,000 worth of coverage assuming that you haven’t any other major health problems.
As long as you pay the premiums when they are due, the coverage will remain the same and the beneficiary will be in line to receive the death benefit when you pass away. While some insurers will offer a ‘waiting period’, some will allow the benefit to be available after the first payment so it pays to know your options. Hint: give us a call and we will point you in the right direction.
Type 2 Diabetes – Since Type 2 diabetes is far more common, insurers have systems in place to deal with the disease and you should find that your options are a little wider. Even if you don’t want a medical exam, you could still find a policy that doesn’t break the bank and we have some solutions here today.
Term Life Insurance – With Sagicor, coverage can reach just under $500,000 as long as you are between the ages of 18-65. In terms of length, you will find three main options with 10, 15, and 20 years. Although oral pills such as Metformin can be used, you mustn’t be using injectable insulin otherwise you won’t qualify for the affordable rates offered.
With Sagicor, you are likely to receive a decision within minutes as they have an electronic application system which is a superb tool because it saves you from waiting days only to find that you need to look elsewhere. As long as you qualify, you will find that Sagicor has some of the best no exam life insurance for diabetics on the market.
However, they aren’t alone because we also suggest Americo Life Insurance as they have a specialized diabetic questionnaire. Although the decision-making process is a little longer and can take a couple of weeks, they have been known to insure a good amount of diabetics which puts you in great company.
Permanent Life Insurance – For no medical exam permanent life insurance of up to $400,000, you will find a couple insurance companies willing to take you on and this will keep you covered until death which saves the higher rates in the future as well as trying to find another insurer who will start a fresh policy at an older age. Assuming that you have no underlying medical issue apart from the diabetes, you should have plenty of options with which you can compare the market.
As you can see, there are options if you have diabetes, so, whether you have had it for many years or have only just found out, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. As long as you are willing to do the research or contact a professional who knows the market inside-out, you could be covered in a matter of weeks for a price that doesn’t require you to move house and sell the car!
Preparing Your Application
In just a moment, we will have some commonly asked questions regarding diabetes, life insurance, and the entire application process. However, we have a few words about the application itself because there are steps that could prove critical to your success. Although this is especially true for term life applications, it will also apply for permanent coverage so make sure you remember these or write them down.
- First, have all the information you are likely to need ready whether you apply online, by phone, or in person. For example, this means names, addresses, and phone numbers of all the doctors you see and especially the ones that have been used in relation to your diabetes.
- Second, make sure you write down a list of all the medications you currently take as well as their dosages. As we said previously, different factors will play a different role within your application so this sort of information is vital. If you have a lower dose, this could lead to a lower premium so you need to ensure that the insurance company is aware of all the facts.
- Third, never skip an appointment because this relates back to your perception of the problem. If you aren’t willing to attend all the available appointments, this suggests that you aren’t willing to keep yourself as healthy as possible and this is important for obtaining life insurance. Also, you should attend follow-up appointments that have been created by the insurance company.
When applying for life insurance with diabetes there are some general rules that make themselves clear over time. Although your application may be a little different, there are some general occurrences and we have noted three of them here.
- First and foremost, cheaper life insurance is obtained by those who look after themselves with exercise and their own diet. Why? Because they are doing all they can to keep the diabetes under control alongside the prescribed medication.
- After this, higher premiums are generally seen for those who do not attend appointments with doctors. Why? Because this is the opposite to the previous point. If you aren’t willing to look after yourself and keep the diabetes under control, the life insurance companies won’t be willing to offer you low premiums.
- Ultimately, most people seem to be better off focusing on the price as the most important factor of insurance. In the past, we have suggested looking at the premiums as well as many other factors relating to the coverage. However, the price should be the priority before then working towards improving the rating class through newer lab results or better control.
Life Insurance with Diabetes FAQs
To finish up, we have some commonly asked questions regarding all things life insurance with relation to diabetes and this should help you with your research and various decisions.
What is considered a ‘good’ A1C level? – Typically, life insurance companies will look for anything under 7.5 as a ‘good’ level. However, life insurance for diabetics can still be obtained with an elevated A1C but this will increase the premiums. If you are looking for the lowest premium possible, you should be looking for anything under 7.
How important is medication? – With diabetes, there are normally two options for medication and this will be injections, pills, or perhaps even both. However, the best prices can be achieved by those who can control their diabetes through their diet. After this, pills will be the favorable option compared to insulin because it is seen as less severe. Despite this, affordable life insurance can still be an option for those on insulin – it might just take a little longer to find.
What if I have already been declined? – When someone with diabetes gets declined, they sometimes think that they have ruined their chances of receiving life insurance altogether but this isn’t the case. In truth, you may have been declined because the company has strict underwriting guidelines but this shouldn’t stop you. Instead, keep going and use the tips we have provided as motivation as there are companies happy to insure those with diabetes. If you are struggling alone, why not contact a professional, such as the team at insurancebrokersusa.com who know the best companies to try?
How important are appointments? – When it comes to appointments with doctors and physicians, they contribute heavily towards your application because they show that you are trying to keep the diabetes under control. With most life insurance companies, they want to see some effort from your side and this means two check-ups every single year. If you double this and visit every quarter, this is one step better because it shows that you want to be a preventative. If you are actively preventing other health problems, this is a good sign for the insurer because you immediately become a lower risk.
Are complications important? – Through the eyes of the life insurance companies, complications such as kidney disease or neuropathy show that you aren’t doing enough for your diabetes because they are preventable. When you have no complications after having diabetes for a significant period of time, the life insurance underwriter can see that you have control of the problem.
Is the age of diagnosis important? – Yes, getting diagnosed before the age of 30 suggests poor lifestyle choices amongst other things because the disease is preventable at all stages and all types. Therefore, you are likely to receive lower premiums and a better rate class if you are diagnosed later in life.
I’m currently over 50 and just been diagnosed, will I receive coverage? – Continuing from the last question, it may be surprising to hear that you will find it easier than people in their 20s when looking for life insurance with diabetes. If you have only just been diagnosed, it means that you haven’t been battling with your blood sugar for years or even decades. Therefore, you are less likely to suffer from the side effects of the disease such as kidney problems or retinopathy.
Despite popular belief, finding life insurance for diabetics isn’t an impossible task and you will be rewarded as long as you look after yourself with diet and exercise, turn up to all of the important appointments, and actively look to control the disease.
With life insurance companies, you have to understand that it is all about risk on their side. Therefore, they are likely to charge more money when you choose not to undergo a medical examination. When they receive fewer details from you, they have to charge more because you become more of a risk.
In the same way, they are likely to be more cautious when you have diabetes but most companies will not be unfair. As long as you are doing your bit in keeping the disease under control, they will do their bit by offering you a better deal. Although this sounds simple, it also makes sense so put your best foot forward today to find the best rates in the market!