Life Insurance may present itself as a giant. Toss in life insurance for diabetics and suddenly, the formidable giant has multiplied into an army of giants.
Trying to find an affordable life insurance policy as a diabetic is not an impossible task. We’re going to go over life insurance applications, examine what life insurance underwriters search for, Talk about different types of life insurance coverage, and finally how to find the cheapest life insurance quotes.
Yes, it is true that having health issues such as diabetes can make the process more challenging, but have hope. There are multitudes of opportunities for life insurance for diabetics if you know where to look.
Let’s break down what life insurance carriers are looking for. We have access to “the playbook” and got you covered. Let’s crack this book open and find the best diabetic life insurance for your budget.
Table of Contents:
- What is Diabetes?
- Can I Get Life Insurance with Diabetes?
- Why Does Diabetes Matter To Insurance Companies?
- Factors That Affect Diabetics Life Insurance Premiums
- Diabetics Life Insurance Options
- Best Providers of Life Insurance for Diabetics
What is Diabetes?
The CDC describes diabetes as a condition preventing the body from properly processing food as energy. The pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin or break down its own insulin well, creating high blood sugar levels. It can lead to other serious risk factors and is the seventh leading cause of death within the US.
Let’s break down some statistics. According to the CDC, as of 2020, 34.2 million people have diabetes (roughly 10.5% of the US population). The American Diabetes Association states 30 million people in the United States have been diagnosed, while 84 million Americans have pre-diagnosed diabetes.
- Only 26.9 million adults and children have been diagnosed, leaving a staggering 7.3 million undiagnosed diabetics in the US.
- 5 million Americans, 18 and older, were diagnosed with diabetes in 2018–210,000 of those cases were children and adolescents younger than age 20 years.
- 2% of diabetics fall in the Type 1 diabetes category, affecting approximately 1.6 million people.
- In totality, 88 million adults (18 and over) are prediabetic (34.5% of the adult US population). Of that 88 million, adults 65 and older claim over 24.2%.
Can I Get Life Insurance with Diabetes?
Short answer? Yes!
It will be a more complicated process, but it isn’t impossible. The first step is to find an insurance agent or gather quotes from multiple companies. Having your specific life insurance needs in mind as well as the specific type of diabetes will help guide you to the best policy for your budget.
Life insurance companies play a game of chance. They are taking on a risk covering you, hoping NOT to pay out a death benefit. Essentially, if you outlive your policy, especially a term life insurance policy, they get to keep all the monthly premiums you have paid through your term policy.
Now, it’s no stretch of the imagination that those that have better overall health have an easier time finding cheaper types of insurance. This doesn’t mean a life insurance agent won’t offer coverage to a diabetic. It does mean you will have to pay more than someone who presents a lower health risk.
Next, we will crack open that playbook we mentioned and break down the underwriting guidelines most companies follow when estimating the cost of life insurance.
Why Does Diabetes Matter to Insurance Companies?
Underwriters look at a multitude of aspects in your life such as hobbies, current medical records, family medical history, driving record, and a medical exam.
Diabetes comes with an increased risk of other health complications like high blood pressure, kidney disease, and heart disease. As a diabetic, you pose a greater risk to the life insurance company.
Because of the increased risks involved, life insurance companies assign you to different health classes, ranging from mild to severe. There are four tiers life insurance companies can place you in: Preferred Plus, Preferred, Standard, and SubStandard.
- Preferred Plus: This category has the lowest risk to companies and snags the best life insurance rates. Typically they are individuals with lower a1c levels and blood glucose levels. They generally maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.
- Preferred: Preferred individuals are still very healthy but aren’t in “excellent” health. While they may not get the best rates, they still snag extremely affordable coverage.
- Standard: This category holds “average” individuals, meaning they are usually average height and weight and in average health. They are assigned the standard rate.
- Substandard: Substandard individuals are the riskiest group to cover–they usually have serious medical diagnoses. This particular group can be leveled by the severity of the risks involved.
If your policy does not qualify for a Substandard classification, there are companies that will cover you. Research other types of insurance policies such as a no exam policy or guaranteed issue policy. You will be guaranteed a smaller amount of coverage at a higher rate.
Don’t be disheartened. Underwriters assess the severity and manageability of diabetes, leaving the door wide open to affordable premiums.
Factors That Affect Diabetics Life Insurance Premiums
To get an overall picture of your health, underwriters look at a lot of different factors: family history and paramedical exams to name a few.
Keep in mind, they are the same factors for EVERY applicant, regardless of any medical conditions.
Most underwriters will not only require a medical exam, but also documentation of those exams as well as any other follow-up doctors appointments required to manage your diabetes. Keep a list of all your medications with their corresponding dosage. Be sure to have the name, address, and phone numbers of your doctors on hand ready to give to the underwriter assigned to you.
As a diabetic applicant, they zone in on a few specific qualifications:
Type of Diabetes
Do you have Type One or Type Two Diabetes?
Individuals with Type 2 diabetes are easier to cover because this particular type of diabetes can be managed through diet and exercise. Around 90-95% of all diabetic cases fall under type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetic Association states: “If you have type 2 diabetes your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time it isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.”
Individuals with Type 1 diabetes are typically a younger group. Usually diagnosed as kids, because they have had diabetes for a longer length of time, they are placed in a riskier category. Why? Type 1 Diabetics respond more to insulin and oral medication, requiring more detailed medical exams and follow-up questions.
Gestational Diabetes is also another lesser-known category. It can occur during pregnancy when your body is unable to produce and use all the insulin while pregnant. Most doctors recommend a diet shift to help lower your blood sugar levels. It is a temporary diagnosis, typically resolving itself post-birth.
If you are pregnant and looking for life insurance, it’s a good idea to get coverage during your first trimester or wait until after birth. If you have gestational diabetes, underwriters will look at your past and present health history to ascertain your risk, however, you will still fall under the diabetic umbrella.
Typically, the younger you are, the lower your premiums will be. Underwriters look at the age you were diagnosed to assess your risk.
If diagnosed at a young age, you will most likely not get as cheap of a rate as someone over 45 who has just been diagnosed. If you are older and have just been diagnosed, you may still qualify for better than average rates.
Height and Weight
Just as with any other life insurance policy, height and weight play a role in the premium you pay.
As a diabetic, weight plays a larger role, so being overweight and searching for life insurance could cause premiums to be even higher.
Average Glucose or A1c Readings
Glucose or a1c levels are major factors affecting your life insurance premium rate. To ascertain your risk, underwriters look at these three averages:
- 0-6.9 a1c levels: minimally affects rates and lower risk
- 0-7.9 a1c levels: Still affordable but has a slight increase in risk
- 0 and higher a1c levels: The greatest amount of risk and consequentially, higher premium rates.
Underwriters also look at these three greatest health complications: Retinopathy, neuropathy, and proteinuria. Keeping these complications under control can significantly lower your rates.
Treatment and Control
Medical advancements have improved the quality of care and longevity of life. Previously high-risk complications or illnesses are now more manageable and are awarded lower risk. Stay active and maintain a smart diet. Individuals taking oral medications may gain better rates than insulin-dependent diabetics.
The main factor to keep in mind is management. Are you doing everything you can to manage your diabetes? Again stay active and healthy, go to the doctor regularly, and maintain the prescription regimen your doctor suggests. Any treatment is better than no treatment, especially when trying to secure the cheapest rates you can.
Diabetics Life Insurance Options
Life Insurance can be confusing. Throw in any underlying health conditions, and suddenly you’re playing checkers on a chessboard while trying to move up the board on CandyLand. Let’s break down all types of policies, insurance plans, and riders and clear up any confusion.
There are two main types of coverage–term life plans and whole life policies.
Term Life Insurance for Diabetics
Term life tends to be the cheapest and most popular choice. Due to its predetermined expiration date or 10, 20, even 30-year terms, once the clock strikes midnight so to speak, you lose coverage and have to reapply for a new policy.
Whole Life Insurance for Diabetics
Whole life plans are permanent coverage. As long as you continue to pay the premiums for the plan, you’ll have insurance coverage. Stressed about having to reapply within 1-20 years? Snag a whole life policy.
It will be more expensive but will come with a cash benefit, meaning you can draw against it if you need funds.
Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance For Type 1
If you’ve been declined for life insurance in the past, don’t assume you can’t get a quality type of insurance to protect your family.
Look for a no exam life insurance policy. These policies guarantee acceptance for coverage without being required to take a medical exam.
These plans are an excellent option for type 1 diabetics who are not in the best health. Everyone deserves to have insurance protection, and your health shouldn’t prevent you from getting it.
A major disadvantage for these policies is price. Because the insurer is taking on a higher risk, you will be charged a higher premium.
Additionally, you won’t be able to get larger amounts of coverage. Most plans offer $250,000 in coverage or less.
Sit down and calculate how much coverage your family, business partner, or any dependents will need if something tragic were to happen to you. Need help?
Our agents would love to walk you through the calculation process.
Best Providers of Life Insurance for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
To get you started on your search, we’ve made a shortlist of the best companies for applicants with diabetes.
Transamerica Life Insurance Company
Transamerica Life Insurance Company is one of the world’s leading insurance and financial services companies.
This company provides insurance and investments to over 19 million customers around the world. The firm has been in the business of offering insurance and financial advice for more than 100 years.
Today, Transamerica offers a wide variety of life insurance products, including the following types of coverage:
- Term Life Insurance – Transamerica’s term life insurance products offer some different variations to choose from. This “pure death benefit protection” product can provide policyholders with an affordable rate to obtain an ample amount of death benefit for survivors.
- Whole Life Insurance – Transamerica also offers a whole life insurance product that provides both death benefit protection, along with tax-deferred cash value build-up. Provided the premium continues to be paid, coverage will remain in force throughout the remainder of the insured’s life.
- Universal Life Insurance – Universal life insurance is also considered to be permanent life insurance protection. It, too, offers death benefit protection and cash value build-up. Universal life insurance, or UL, is considered to be more flexible, however, in that the policyholder can choose how much of their premium will go into the cash value and how much will go into the death benefit portion of the policy at any given time.
- Variable Universal Life Insurance – Variable universal life insurance is considered to be a type of permanent life insurance. This product offers both a death benefit, along with an underlying investment component that is flexible for the policyholder.
- Accidental Death – With accidental death coverage, policyholders can add additional benefit coverage to their policies should they pass away in a covered accident.
New York Life Insurance Company
New York Life Insurance Company has been in business for more than 170 years. The company has great ratings and offers a good number of life insurance products – including term life, whole life insurance, universal life insurance, and variable life insurance policies.
All of the coverage options considered standard for life insurance are provided with New York Life’s plans. NY Life Insurance Company offers these three riders:
- Cancellation rider: Returns the balance of a policy to the insured.
- Survivorship rider: Extends the coverage to a spouse or other household member.
- Conversion Policy Option: Allows the term life insurance policyholders the flexibility of converting to a whole life policy as their policy ages.
Amica Life Insurance
Known as the best life insurance company for diabetics, Amica Life Insurance has spent more than 100 years providing high-quality customer service. In addition, Amica has attained the
Ward’s 50 Top Life-Health insurance company award for safety, consistency, and superior performance for many years.
This company offers both level and renewable term life insurance and whole life insurance. The level term product is offered in coverage amounts of between $100,000 and over $1 million, with coverage periods of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years.
Amica also has an annual renewable term life insurance product that offers coverage amounts of between $250,000 and in excess of $1 million, with a term period of one year. The company is known for recently reducing its term life insurance rates and offering discounts on coverage amounts of $250,000 or more.
Regular whole life coverage is offered in amounts of $25,000 and up, with simplified issue whole life policies being offered in coverage amounts of between $5,000 and $25,000. These policies will last throughout the remainder of an insured’s life, provided the premium continues to be paid.
Amica has attained great insurance company ratings, such as an A+ (Superior) from A.M. Best, which is a leading authority on insurance company financial stability
Shopping For Life Insurance For Diabetics
Ready to take the next step? Shop numerous life insurance companies and find the right fit for you. Life insurance protects your loved ones financially long after you have passed.
We get it. Life insurance isn’t the most entertaining to do on your life list, but it is extremely important. We’re here to help you with any additional questions or concerns you may have.