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It’s always important to do your research when you’re shopping for life insurance, but research is even more crucial when you have diabetes. If you’ve been diagnosed with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you’ll need to set aside more time to find affordable insurance that will act as a financial barrier of protection for your family long after you’re gone. Compare life insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above!
Life insurance companies are very careful about who they extend coverage to and who they don’t. If your diabetes is affecting your ability to live a normal and healthy life, the company will obviously see that as a red flag. If, however, you have good blood sugar control and you’re been actively treated by a physician, you may still be able to find standard insurance. Read this guide and learn how to find affordable life insurance as a diabetic.
What is diabetes?
About 29 million in the United States, or 9.3% of the population, have some form of diabetes. While nearly one in ten people in the U.S. suffer from this metabolic disease, many people don’t exactly understand what it is. People who suffer from diabetes don’t produce insulin or produce a very small amount of it. Since insulin is needed to turn sugar in the body into a source of energy, diabetes can be a serious disease if it’s not managed properly.
Types of Diabetes
There are three different types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational. Each type has different risks and a different effect on your ability to get life insurance. Here’s how each type works:
- Type 1: Type 1 Diabetes, which is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, is most common in children. What makes a Type 1 diabetic different from the others is that their pancreas doesn’t produce insulin. In order to manage the disease, a Type 1 diabetic must administer insulin on a daily basis. This is the most severe case of diabetes but not the most common.
- Type 2: Type 2 diabetes is most common in adults and 90% of diabetics have this type. A Type 2 diabetic does produce insulin, but the amount of insulin that’s produced does not lower glucose levels in the body by turning them into energy. While still dangerous, a Type 2 diabetic can keep their disease under control if they watch their glucose levels.
- Gestational: Gestational diabetes is diagnosed during pregnancy and is onset by the hormonal changes that happen in a woman while their body is growing a child. Since the changes can make cells less responsive to insulin, it can lead to increased blood sugars that the pancreas can’t handle. If managed, gestational diabetes will go away once the baby is born.
Why does diabetes affect your eligibility for life insurance?
You might be curious in knowing why a medical condition like diabetes would affect your eligibility for life insurance and your rates. While it might not seem fair, life insurance carriers are in business to profit. This is why they closely assess risk and determine what a person’s estimated life expectancy will be before they extend an offer for coverage.
Since the studies show that someone with diabetes has a lower life expectancy than someone without the disease, it’s likely you’ll pay more for insurance.
Even so, if you manage the disease and show that you can control your blood sugar, you may be able to find standard rates.
How does diabetes affect your life expectancy?
Studies show that both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have a direct effect on lowering life spans. On average, someone with diabetes will live about 8.5 years less than someone without it. Men with Type 1 diabetes see an 11-year reduction in life expectation.
Why does diabetes impact life span?
Even though the statistics foreshadow a grim future, it is possible to live a long life if you manage your disease. If the disease isn’t managed, you’re two to four times more likely to suffer from heart disease or stroke. This is why life insurance companies will look very closely at your medical records to see if you’re putting in the effort to stay healthy and to adopt healthy lifestyle habits.
Can you find standard insurance with diabetes?
Even though there are complications associated with diabetes, some companies are willing to take on the risk to insure a diabetic. You will always be considered a high-risk to the insurer, but you’re not automatically disqualified just because you’re a diabetic.
What do insurance companies want to know when underwriting an application?
All life insurance applications are underwritten closely, but you’ll be asked more questions than the average applicant if you have diabetes. Here’s some of the information that you’ll need to provide to assess risk:
- What age were you diagnosed?
- What type of diabetes do you have?
- What are your blood sugar levels?
- What types of medication are you prescribed?
- How often do you see your physician?
- Have you had any surgeries recently?
- What do you do to manage your blood sugar levels?
- How do you control your diabetes? (fasting, creatine, protein)
- Do you diet and exercise regularly?
What happens if you’re declined?
You should disclose everything honestly but it’s possible that you can be declined for traditional coverage all together. If this happens, you should consider applying for a guaranteed issue policy that doesn’t require a medical exam or full underwriting.
These policies tend to be more expensive, but if you can’t qualify for traditional life or group life through work, it’s better than not being insured.
Getting turned down for insurance can be frustrating, but if you keep looking you will find what you’re looking for. One easy way to go about seeing where you can qualify for coverage is to use an online rate comparison tool. By disclosing your medical condition and entering your personal information, you’ll be directed to quotes available only through the right companies that will consider your application even though you are diabetic. Enter your zip code in our FREE tool besoe