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Life Insurance for Diabetics – Will I Qualify?

Jan 12, 2023 | Insurance, Life Insurance

Many people with health conditions struggle to find life insurance that fits their budgets and unique needs. People with diabetes make up a large portion of those people. 

Since finding suitable life insurance for diabetics presents such a challenge, you may want to forgo the struggle completely. But life insurance is a necessary expenditure, especially if you have diabetes or other health conditions. 

Your life insurance options depend on the type of diabetes you have, your medical history, and the current state of your health. You may even enjoy some of the same choices as people who don’t have diabetes. Whatever the case, your decision to get life insurance demonstrates smart planning for your loved ones’ future. 

Why Do You Need Life Insurance?

Life insurance for diabetics offers a crucial safety net should you pass away unexpectedly. Your family needs the financial security to afford funeral costs and supplement income after you’re gone. Without an insurance payout, they could struggle to stay afloat financially, especially with children, dependents, or family members who cannot work.

Although searching for life insurance for diabetics introduces a difficult undertaking, you can still find options that fit your budget. You can discover insurance providers that will meet your needs or even exceed them with a little guidance and know-how.

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What Is Diabetes?

Two and a half million Canadians have diabetes. As a chronic condition, diabetes affects the way your body transforms food into energy. It alters how the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin. Each type of diabetes may require slightly different treatments.  

Type 1 Diabetes

Considered an auto-immune disorder, type 1 diabetes causes the pancreas to produce an inadequate amount of insulin. While it often surfaces during adolescence or childhood, it may appear in adults as well. 

Type 1 diabetes can occur as a result of certain illnesses or genetic factors. With no cure available, doctors treat type 1 diabetes with diet and lifestyle changes or insulin management. Each treatment ensures that enough insulin stays in your bloodstream to process glucose.  

Insurance companies often charge higher life insurance premiums for people with type 1 diabetes, even with a doctor’s note or lab results. 

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes diminishes your body’s ability to turn glucose into an energy source. Like type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to keep up with the amount of glucose in your bloodstream.

However, type 2 differs in that your body’s cells respond negatively to insulin. Associated risk factors include obesity or a lack of regular exercise. Lifestyle and diet changes and exercise generally help you manage type 2 diabetes. If they don’t work, your doctor may prescribe insulin therapies or other medications to mitigate the condition. 

People with type 2 diabetes who manage their conditions can often qualify for standard insurance pricing without higher rates.

Gestational Diabetes

Mothers may develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. This type of diabetes affects the way your body uses glucose. Like type 1 and type 2 diabetes, you can manage the condition with a healthy diet, exercise, and medications prescribed by your healthcare provider. 

Unlike the other types, gestational diabetes will usually go away after you give birth. However, gestational diabetes puts you at higher risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. You will need to check routinely for blood sugar changes after delivery. 

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How Does Diabetes Affect Life Insurance Rates?

Life insurance policies for diabetics depend on a variety of factors. Which type of diabetes do you have? What kind of policy best suits that type? When you answer those questions, you will see a clearer picture of available options. 

Since diabetes puts extra strain on your internal organs, the risk of organ failure and related death increases as you age. Therefore, an insurance provider undertakes more risks with diabetics than with people without chronic conditions.

Type 1 vs Type 2 Diabetes and How They Affect Insurance Rates

While your monthly premium depends on several different factors, you can get an idea of how much you could pay depending on the type of diabetes you have. If you have type 2 diabetes, you might pay only 25% to 50% more than the standard rate. However, type 1 diabetes can incur a 50% to 100% increase. These percentages fluctuate depending on your current age, your age at the time of diagnosis, and other health conditions. 

People with type 2 diabetes generally have a better chance at a traditional policy with lower premiums. Since type 2 diabetes usually occurs in adults over 40, their bodies haven’t dealt with the lifelong stress caused by type 1. Therefore, they have fewer risk factors associated with their condition. 

If you have type 1 diabetes, consider a no-medical policy, especially if insurance companies rejected your applications for underwritten policies. Even though you will pay a higher monthly premium, you will enjoy a speedier application process with no medical examination.   

Read below for more information about how your risk factors determine your available options for life insurance.  

What Insurance Companies Want to Know

An insurance company may ask the following questions before approving your application for life insurance:

  • What type of diabetes do you have? Type 1 diabetics will more likely have the condition for a longer period than type 2. This means that type 1 diabetics may pay more for a monthly premium. 
  • How old were you at the time of diagnosis? Diagnosis at a young age typically means a bigger risk factor. Organs such as the kidneys and heart deal with greater levels of stress for a longer time. If you received your diagnosis at an older age, you might qualify for lower premiums. 
  • What treatment methods do you currently use? Insurance providers will factor in your current treatments. If exercise and diet alone keep you healthy, you will have more options. 
  • How effective are your treatment methods? If your treatments kept you stable for years on end, then you stand less of a chance of your health declining. 
  • What does your Attending Physician’s Report say? If you have a relatively clean bill of health from your healthcare provider, insurance providers will more than likely accept your application.
  • What other health conditions do you have? Are they associated with diabetes? If you have other health conditions, then you have higher risk factors. 
  • Do you keep track of your blood glucose levels? When you keep track of your blood glucose levels, you likely manage your condition well enough to keep it under control. Blood glucose levels can also provide insurance companies with a timeline of stability.

The insurance provider will consider these factors and more as they calculate how much your monthly insurance premium will be.

If your medical history and exam provide an overall positive timeline with few medically significant events, you can qualify for affordable rates regardless of the type of diabetes you have. You can also find competitive rates by comparing life insurance providers

Which Types of Life Insurance Are Best for Diabetics?

Insurance companies provide two kinds of life insurance for diabetics: no-medical and underwritten. Let’s explore which type of policy is best suited for diabetics.

  • No-medical policies usually don’t require a medical examination. The application process often takes less time than an underwritten policy. However, no-medical policies usually cost more and may provide a lesser payout.
  • Underwritten policies typically require a medical examination and a full review of your medical history. If you struggle to keep your condition stable, you may experience an in-depth application process or a rejection altogether. 

No-Medical Policies

Application processes for life insurance usually require a full medical history report and exam, among other things. You may find this process arduous. Going through it multiple times only to receive another rejection can feel exhausting and hopeless. While they often have higher monthly premiums, no-medical policies offer more inclusive underwriting, so they’re easier to obtain. You should consider a no-medical policy if you:

  • Struggle to keep your insulin in check consistently
  • Experienced a recent major medical event due to diabetes
  • Experienced a series of medical events over time due to diabetes
  • Have complications or other conditions associated with diabetes
  • Have a longstanding type 1 diagnosis
  • Received multiple rejections for traditional policies

Traditional or Underwritten Policies

Traditional life insurance policies, also called underwritten policies, offer a chance at lower monthly rates after an in-depth application process. The process often includes a health screening, medical history review, and inclusion of all factors that contribute to your diabetes diagnosis. 

Many people prefer traditional policies since they will pay less per month. Depending on the screening results, you may qualify for similar policies as people without diabetes. Shop for traditional policies if you:

  • Don’t require insulin to maintain healthy blood glucose levels
  • Take oral medicines
  • Have a prescription for a medication that hasn’t increased within the past year
  • Use diet and exercise as your primary treatment method
  • Have not had a diagnosis for other conditions related to diabetes
  • Have type 2 diabetes
  • Received your diagnosis over the age of 50
  • Have a track record of successfully managing your condition with minimal medical intervention

How to Lower Your Premiums Over Time 

While the lists above provide comprehensive details of available policies, they are by no means the sole factors that affect your ratings. Regardless of your current policy, you can still improve your options in the future. When you implement certain lifestyle changes over a year’s time, you can improve your ratings and qualify for less expensive premiums. You might even qualify for a standard premium if you:

  • Keep track of your blood sugar and ensure it stays at healthy levels. This helps you prevent or better manage any conditions associated with diabetes.
  • Maintain low blood pressure. You’ll prevent your heart from overworking, which decreases the risk of a heart attack or stroke. 
  • Track and lower your cholesterol level. While some types of cholesterol benefit your health, other types collect in your circulatory system. This puts you at risk for heart disease. 
  • Carefully manage your weight. Obesity increases your risk of diabetic complications and contributes to your body’s insulin resistance. 
  • Stop engaging in high-risk habits such as smoking or drinking. When you smoke or consume lots of alcohol, your blood sugar levels surge and become more challenging to manage.
  • Exercise regularly and partake in healthy eating habits. When you move your body each day, it becomes receptive to insulin. As a result, you may not need insulin after some time. Similarly, your diet plays a crucial role in managing blood sugar levels. Discuss a meal plan with your doctor that works for you. 
  • Visit your healthcare provider regularly while following their advice. When you consistently get a good or improved prognosis from doctors, your risk factors decrease. 

If you want lower premiums or more policy options, speak with your doctor about how you can safely implement these solutions into your daily life. After a year or two of steady improvements, your choices will multiply as your health improves.

Weight, lifestyle, and other habits affect your health and premiums. Work with your doctor to keep track of your insulin and blood glucose levels. Record how healthy lifestyle changes made a positive impact on your diabetes. When you maintain healthy habits over a certain amount of time, your condition seems less risky to insurance companies. 

Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your options and risks. You might discover that you can improve your case of diabetes through consistent diet and exercise alone. 

Record the reasons behind application rejections or expensive premiums if possible. Share the specifics with your healthcare provider, and develop a long-term plan from there. Find realistic goals to achieve within one or two years. You might find your options have increased by then.

FAQs About Life Insurance for Diabetics

Many people have difficulty navigating the complex topic of life insurance for diabetics. Find answers to more specific questions listed below. 

No. If you currently have coverage and recently received a diagnosis, your insurance provider can’t drop your coverage. They also can’t charge you more than your current premium. If you want to switch providers, however, your new insurance company may charge a higher premium each month.

Even if you have numerous application rejections, you can still find an insurance provider to work with you. Most application rejections come from strict traditional or underwritten policies. Try to obtain no-medical life insurance instead. No-medical policies offer more leniency than traditional ones. If you take steps to improve your prognosis, you may qualify for traditional policies in the future.

While some insurance providers require a completed questionnaire, many don’t. If you want to avoid filling out a questionnaire, seek insurance companies that take statements from your doctor. You can also opt for a noninvasive no-medical policy.

If you currently have a no-medical policy, switching to a traditional policy can mean a less expensive monthly premium. Qualifying for a traditional policy requires similar actions as lowering your premiums.

Record and understand the factors that disqualify you from a traditional policy. Speak with your doctor about managing these factors. Make a healthy plan to improve your approach to the diagnosis. Record your progress over a year or two. More options may open up as your lifestyle and habits improve.

If you are a senior with a recent diabetes diagnosis, you should be able to find life insurance with relative ease. You will likely have no problem finding a traditional life insurance policy that fits your budget. 

Even if you have a longstanding diagnosis, you may have a wider variety of options than someone younger. Seniors typically have better, more routine management of their diabetes, which translates into fewer risk factors for insurance providers.

The amount of coverage you qualify for depends largely on the type of policy. Some insurance providers have a greater awareness of the pervasiveness of diabetes in Canada. Therefore, they underwrite more favourable policies for their diabetic policyholders. 

Such providers may offer a bigger payout to you and your family. Your payout could range between $25,000 and one million dollars. Do your research while shopping for the best provider to meet your needs.

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Discover a Wealth of Life Insurance Options At Your Fingertips

While no one wants to think about passing away prematurely, you can ensure that your loved ones have financial stability by investing in life insurance. If you have trouble finding the perfect fit for life insurance, Alliance Income can help. 

We have the tools to make your application process easier. Even if you can’t find exactly what you want now, you may find it in the future. Don’t give up on life insurance for diabetics. You can get the peace of mind you and your family deserve today. 

Although life insurance options for diabetics may seem limited, many insurance providers move toward a better understanding of this condition and how people manage it. Use our easy online tools to narrow down your search to the options you need. It’s never been easier to find the best rate for life insurance. Fill out our brief quote form to begin your journey to a wealth of new choices. We’ll put the power back in your hands with great quotes at your fingertips.


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