Updated April 29, 2021
Reading time: 8 minutes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report, over 1 in 10 Americans has diabetes. That’s 34.2 million people in the United States alone. With so many people affected by diabetes, life insurance companies have made ways for them to receive affordable coverage. The companies may have special policies or regular policies that meet the needs of people with diabetes.
However, state regulations for life insurance policies do not usually include provisions that certain risks must be covered (unless specific to that risk). What may be acceptable to one life insurance company may not be acceptable to another. You may pay higher premiums, or you could be denied coverage. But with the number of people living with diabetes, there are various life insurance policies that may be the right for you.
By using Insurify, you can explore life insurance options that fit your specific needs. When it comes to life and insurance for it, there are many different personal aspects to consider. Whether it’s health issues or the cost of life insurance, with Insurify you can compare quotes from all the different life insurance companies that best suit you.
You can get life insurance if you have diabetes, but life insurance policies may be a bit trickier to navigate than if you didn’t have a health condition. The definition of an acceptable risk differs between insurers. An insurer may find type 2 diabetes an acceptable risk but not type 1, or vice versa. But type 1 diabetes is generally considered a higher risk, and applicants may have a harder time qualifying for a policy.
Life insurance companies also take into consideration the age you were diagnosed, your lifestyle, your health history, and your current health, including your blood glucose levels. Keeping your diabetes under control is the best way to ensure that you qualify for an affordable life insurance policy. Both term and permanent life insurance products are available for people with diabetes.
Term life insurance is a type of life insurance that lasts for a specific amount of time, and if you pass away in that time frame, it pays a death benefit to your beneficiaries. If you outlive the term, the policy expires without paying out a benefit. Most term life insurance policies can be renewed at the end of the term, usually with a premium increase. Traditional term life insurance policies require a medical exam.
No-medical-exam term life insurance coverage amounts can be as much as $1 million, and this type of policy is usually available to applicants between the ages of 20 and 60. Though it is not necessary to take a medical exam, insurers may ask medical questions, request medical records, and collect information from public records, such as your prescription drug history and information gathered from the Medical Information Bureau (MIB).
Because diabetes can cause severe illnesses, such as kidney failure, neuropathy, and blindness, applicants may want to consider adding a term rider to their policy for long-term care and disability protection. Accelerated benefits along with long-term care riders allow your policy to pay out to cover long-term care while you are still living. Long-term care riders may have benefits separate from the base policy.
Policy riders for disability protection include waiver of premium and disability income benefit riders. A waiver of premium rider waives your life insurance policy ‘s premium if you become disabled. A disability income benefit rider pays out a monthly benefit if you become disabled and includes a waiver of premium provision.
Permanent life insurance, also called whole life insurance, lasts for the policyholder ‘s lifetime. The policies are typically more expensive than term life insurance policies. They provide a guaranteed death benefit and grow cash value that can be used as a living benefit. Forms of permanent life insurance can be distinguished by how they grow cash value.
Universal life insurance is permanent life insurance that grows cash value in a savings and investment account. Traditional whole life policies grow cash value in a savings account at a minimum interest rate. Universal life insurance policies have an investment feature as well as a minimum interest guarantee. These policies also have adjustable premiums, and you may increase (subject to insurability) or decrease the death benefit.
Simplified issue life insurance is a form of no-medical-exam permanent life insurance designed to be inclusive for people with health conditions. Coverage is usually lower, and premiums are typically higher than for other types of policies. Insurers require applicants to fill out a health questionnaire and may request medical records and collect information from public records.
A guaranteed issue policy is permanent life insurance designed to cover people with medical conditions. Policies are usually available to older applicants between 45 and 85. No medical exam or health questionnaire is required, and acceptance is guaranteed. Premiums are higher and death benefits lower, usually up to $25,000 for final expenses. Policyholders typically have a waiting period before benefits can be paid out.
Whether you qualify for a traditional life insurance policy, a no-medical-exam policy, or a policy designed for people with medical conditions or diabetes, your life insurance rates will not be the same as applicants of the same age and sex as you. Life insurance providers also consider your overall health, current health, and lifestyle when issuing premiums.
Applicants for life insurance policies who have medical conditions are considered high-risk, or higher-risk than applicants without medical conditions. Insurance premiums are determined during underwriting in the application process. Underwriters classify applicants into three categories: standard risk, preferred risk, and substandard risk.
The underwriting process is when risks are classified. A standard risk is an acceptable risk to an insurance company. A preferred risk is an applicant with no health issues and no history or family history of illness, and these applicants are issued lower premiums. A substandard risk is a high risk of loss, and these applicants are assigned higher life insurance rates. Applicants with diabetes are usually classified as substandard risks.
The two main types of diabetes are type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is insulin-dependent and a higher risk to insurance companies. Type 2 diabetes is an insulin-resistant type of diabetes, is controlled with oral medication, and is less of a risk to life insurance companies. Type 2 diabetics usually have an easier time getting approved for life insurance coverage and receive better rates.
Risk factors when considering applicants with diabetes also include the age you were diagnosed. People who have been living with diabetes longer or were diagnosed earlier are at higher risk to life insurance companies. Another type of diabetes that life insurance providers will cover is gestational diabetes, which develops in pregnant women due to hormonal changes.
The key to getting better rates when you are a life insurance applicant with diabetes is showing life insurance carriers that you lead a healthy lifestyle and are successfully managing your diabetes. Insurers consider your past medical history and your current health status, including your A1C levels.
A1C tests measure your blood glucose levels ( blood sugar levels ) and show how you have been managing your diabetes for the last three months. The more you can show you have your diabetes under control, the less of a risk you’ll be to the insurance company, and it shows in your life insurance premiums. Acceptable A1C levels differ between insurers, but the lower, the better.
Diabetes occurs in the body when it is unable to store and use glucose (sugar). If not controlled, diabetes can lead to serious health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney failure. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin shots to manage their diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is controlled with oral medication but could develop into insulin-dependent diabetes over time.
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood and can result in a shorter lifespan by roughly about 10 to 13 years compared to people without the condition. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed later in life, not in childhood, and life expectancy is usually decreased by about 10 years. Both conditions increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Gestational diabetes occurs due to hormonal changes in a woman’s body during pregnancy. The condition may go away after the birth of the child, but there is a chance for both mother and child to develop type 2 diabetes later in life, which leads to a shorter life expectancy.
Life insurance companies have developed policies to encompass the needs of people with diabetes. Below is a list of companies who have leading insurance policies for diabetics..
Mutual of Omaha offers guaranteed issue and simplified issue whole life insurance and term life insurance for diabetic applicants. Policies cover both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Applicants with type 1 diabetes may be eligible for a 20-year term life insurance policy. Mutual of Omaha was founded in 1909 and has a long-standing history of excellent customer services and superior financial strength.
Founded in 1875 and marketing themselves as “the rock,” Prudential offers life insurance plans for type 1 and type 2 diabetics in both term and permanent forms. They do not require a minimum age of diagnosis and have good financial strength. Prudential is one of the best overall companies for diabetics because their underwriting specializes in high-risk applicants.
John Hancock has a special policy for applicants with diabetes called John Hancock Aspire. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are accepted, and the policy rewards you for healthy habits such as taking up to 25 percent off your cost in premium payments. Founded in 1862, John Hancock has been a leading life insurance provider with superior financial strength ratings.
Protective offers life insurance policies for people with type 2 diabetes. They reward policyholders for managing their diabetes well and making healthy lifestyle choices with a discounted rate after the first year. Their premiums are affordable, and they have superior ratings with independent rating services such as A.M. best.
Colonial Penn offers guaranteed acceptance life insurance policies for applicants between 50 and 85 years old. They offer flexible payment options, and coverage amounts are designed to cover end-of-life expenses. Founded in 1968, Colonial Penn is a relatively young company based in Philadelphia and was one of the first companies to offer guaranteed acceptance life insurance.
Use Insurify to compare life insurance quotes and find the right companies with the right policies that fit your needs. You’ll save time and money by streamlining your life insurance options with a list of quotes compiled by Insurify. Research, compare and buy life insurance products all in one place.
Yes, since state regulations do not provide provisions for risks that life insurance companies must accept (unless it is specific to that risk), it is up to the insurance company to decide what risks they will and will not accept.
Both term and permanent life insurance options are available to people with diabetes. Some life insurance companies may provide specialized policies for applicants with diabetes or no-medical-exam policies.
Individuals with medical conditions typically have to pay higher premiums than those without. The key to getting an affordable life insurance policy for people with diabetes is managing your condition well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
If you are living with diabetes, you are not alone. Many people share your same issues and concerns, and your needs do not go unnoticed. Life insurance policies that accommodate the needs of people with diabetes may take a bit more time to pinpoint, but no matter which type of diabetes you have, you are not excluded from life insurance products.
Compare top-rated insurance companies with Insurify. Once you decide which type of policy and coverage is best for you, simply answer a few questions, and Insurify will generate a list of quotes that you can compare to help choose the right policy for you.