Affordable life insurance for people with diabetes is available – Options available for type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.
The Main Points Addressed in this Diabetes Life Insurance Guide are:
- Does Diabetes Affect Life Insurance?
- Diabetes Life Insurance Underwriting
- Diabetes Life Insurance FAQs
Does Diabetes Affect Life Insurance?
Endocrine disorders such as diabetes will affect your life insurance, but the impact will depend on the type of diabetes you have, your diabetic control and the life insurance company you apply to.
As you’ll discover in this guide, life insurance for people with diabetes is readily available with the right life insurance companies.
Diabetes Life Insurance Underwriting
Successful diabetes life insurance underwriting depends on your history, including:
- Type of diabetes
- Your age when diagnosed & duration of diabetes
- Diabetic control history
- Compliance with medical advice
- Medications and dosages
- Other health issues (comorbidities)
Type of Diabetes
The type of diabetes you have is a major factor with life insurance underwriting.
Life insurance for type 1 diabetes tends to be more expensive than for type 2 diabetes. The reason why is due to the progressive nature of diabetes.
The impact of gestational diabetes depends on your recovery after pregnancy.
Your Age When Diagnosed & Duration of Diabetes
Your age at the time of diagnosis plus the amount of time that has passed since being diagnosed weigh heavily on life insurance underwriting for diabetics.
Assuming all other factors are equal, type 1 diabetes life insurance rates will be approximately 25 – 50% more expensive than type 2 diabetes life insurance rates.
Diabetic Control History
Better control means better life insurance rates. In fact, a new program called Aspire that rewards type 2 diabetes that is well controlled may be of interest to you.
Life insurance underwriters look at:
Your A1c, (aka HbA1c) is an indicator of diabetes control over the previous three months and is the single most crucial lab result that underwriters look at.
While each company has its guidelines, the following rules apply to A1c.
- Less Than 7.0 is considered to be Optimal Control
- 7.1 – 8.5 is considered to be Average Control
- 8.6 – 10.0 is considered to be Poor Control
- Greater Than ten is found to be Uncontrolled Diabetes
When your HbA1c is 10 or more, underwriters consider your diabetes as being out of control.
Life insurance options will be limited to guaranteed issue life insurance in most cases until control is established.
Estimated Average Glucose – eAG
The American Diabetes Association has been promoting the estimated Average Glucose – eAG reading as it provides a similar understanding of long term control as the HbA1c reading, but with less confusion as the eAG numbers closely resemble blood glucose readings.
Estimated Average Glucose or eAG is a newer term used by medical professionals to indicate your level of diabetic control. Easier to understand than HbA1c readings, the American Diabetes Association is making a push for medical professionals to use eAG readings.
Fasting Blood Glucose
Fasting blood glucose gives a snapshot of current diabetes control. Fasting blood glucose greater than 125 mg/dl is an indicator of diabetes. If the fasting blood glucose is between 110 – 125 mg/dl is considered to be impaired fasting glucose.
Fructosamine provides underwriters with an indication of blood sugar control over a three week period of time. Less than 1.9 mg/dl is considered to be good, less than 1.7 mg/dl is considered to be excellent.
Fructosamine testing is not as widely used as HbgA1c testing by life insurance companies.
Urine Microalbumin/Creatinine Ratio
The Urine Microalbumin/Creatinine ratio, aka ACR test may indicate kidney related problems. Life insurance underwriters are looking for a Urine Microalbumin/Creatinine ratio of 0 – 0.010 mg/mg. Basically, this number should be a zero on lab testing.
Compliance with Medical Advice
Following your doctor’s orders is critical for underwriting success. Underwriters hate to see medical files where the insured does not take their doctor’s orders seriously.
You will pay a lot more for life insurance if your records indicate poor control, lack of follow-up with doctors, etc.
- Are you taking your medications as prescribed to you?
- Do you visit your doctor on a regular basis for follow-ups?
Medications and Dosages
Life insurers want to know what medications and dosages you are taking.
Is your diabetes controlled with these medications?
Have you had to increase the amount of medication in order to maintain control?
If your control has improved over time and you’ve been able to reduce or eliminate medications, let us know as that may help with underwriting.
Other Health Issues – Comorbidities
Whenever other health issues are present, underwriters will look at those conditions to determine if they are caused by diabetes or create additional underwriting concerns.
Heart health issues are a primary underwriting concern.
When heart issues and diabetes are present, life insurance underwriting becomes more complicated and typically leads to more expensive life insurance rates.
Kidney health problems are of great concern to underwriters.
If you have a history of lab results with protein in the urine, underwriters will be looking more closely for potential kidney health issues.
Retinopathy & Neuropathy – Severe problems with either will increase life insurance rates or maybe cause for a decline, but the majority of retinopathy and neuropathy related issues are covered.
Insulin Shock/Diabetic Coma – If you have experienced insulin shock or a diabetic coma, the availability of life insurance depends on when it happened, what caused the insulin shock/diabetic coma, and how much time has passed since this occurred.
Life insurance underwriters will want to know the following about your medical history:
- Do you have type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes?
- How old were you when diagnosed?
- What type of treatment do you receive to control diabetes?
- What is your history of control? HbA1c, Fasting Blood Glucose, Protein, Microalbumin/Creatinine, etc.
- What are your average blood pressure and cholesterol readings?
- Do you follow your doctor’s orders?
- Do you visit your doctor on a regular basis?
- Do you have any diabetes-related complications? Neuropathy, Retinopathy.
- Do you have any other health problems?
- What are your diet and exercise habits?
Life Insurance for Diabetics Articles
One Minute Underwriting Video – New Video
29 Million Reasons to Learn about Diabetes Life Underwriting – I was asked to write about diabetes life insurance underwriting by the #1 news source for insurance agents in the U.S.
Diabetes Life Insurance FAQs
Some of the most common questions we receive are listed below for your review.
Can people with diabetes get life insurance?
Yes! You can get life insurance with diabetes as long as you go to the right life insurance company.
Affordable life insurance for diabetics is available whether you have type 1, type 2, gestational or pre-diabetes.
I was just diagnosed with diabetes, am I able to buy life insurance today?
Yes and No. The most competitive companies will make you wait for 3-6 months after diagnosis to evaluate your control.
Sometimes, the only type of life insurance available will be a guaranteed issue policy now. Rates may improve even more once you have demonstrated diabetic control for 12-24 months.
I was declined for life insurance due to my A1c test on my paramed exam…What do I do now?
The first thing to do is to request a copy of the lab results from the life insurance company. Once available, you will need to visit your doctor for a full evaluation.
If it turns out that you have diabetes, it will take some time with your doctor to gain control, begin medications, etc..before shopping for life insurance again.
We usually recommend that we start working with you about three months after diagnosis.
If one company offers me a rated policy, will all companies offer the same rate class?
Definitely not! Each life insurance company has its own set of guidelines, and some companies do a better job underwriting life insurance for diabetics than other companies.
Let us know who you applied to, and we’ll let you know if other more favorable options exist for you.
How Often Can I Re-Shop for a better life insurance deal?
You may shop for life insurance coverage as often as you like. For many of our clients, they come to us after having worked with another agent.
You may feel that the existing life insurance you have may not be the best price available, you may be right.
There is no obligation or pressure with our life insurance service. We’ll tell you during our conversation if we think it’s possible to do better than what you currently have.
What else can I do to improve my chances?
Improving your health, taking medications and following doctor’s orders are the best things that you can do. If you are not currently exercising, begin a routine under your doctor’s supervision.
Weight loss and improved fitness will help with underwriting.
If you smoke, quit. Smoking and diabetes is a massive concern as both contribute to the hardening of your arteries, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
Sometimes traditional life insurance is not available due to health problems or maybe due to the policy need being small. In those cases, a guaranteed issue whole life insurance policies for diabetics may be the best option.
Compare the opportunities we offer to companies like Colonial Penn or AARP life insurance policies. In many cases, it makes sense to first shop for a traditional life insurance policy, and then switch to guaranteed issue life insurance policies if no other options exist.
No Medical Exam Life Insurance Options for Diabetics
No medical exam life insurance products are available and may be worth considering if you are looking for convenience or do not want to give a blood and urine sample.
Keep in mind that no exam life insurance policies still involve underwriting, and to qualify for life insurance with no exam, you’ll need medical records showing a history of compliance and control.
Top 5 Life Insurance Tips for Diabetics
Our top 5 life insurance tips for diabetics are going to help you save money on your life insurance. Some companies specialize in diabetes life insurance underwriting and will offer you better rates than companies that do not understand diabetes.
Diabetic Underwriting Tip # 1 – Control
The single most important factor from an underwriting point of view is your diabetic control. The better your control, the more favorable the underwriting outcome.
Underwriters look at your HbA1c history, your estimated average glucose, and other lab results when determining your rate.
Diabetic Underwriting Tip # 2 – Compliance
Following your doctor’s orders is critical. Do you visit your physician for regularly scheduled checkups? Do you take your medication as prescribed?
Have you made improvements to your diet and exercise programs since being diagnosed?
Diabetic Underwriting Tip # 3 – Complete Medical History
It is vital for us to know about your entire diabetic history. Remember that we work for you and want to help you find the best rate available based on your diabetic history.
We need to know about your history of diabetic control, any complications you may have had, improvements to your health as well as declining health information.
If you have other medical issues now or in the past, let us know so we may help you.
Diabetic Underwriting Tip # 4 – Common Sense
In the world of life insurance underwriting, consumers who understand the severe nature of their diabetes make better candidates for life insurance companies.
You will do much better in underwriting when your medical history and records show that you understand your condition and that you are taking as many positive steps as possible to control your diabetes.
Diabetic Underwriting Tip # 5 – Underwriting Expertise
Work with an expert who understands life insurance underwriting for people with diabetes. Each company has its own set of underwriting guidelines. Some companies are better with type 2 diabetes while others are better with type 1 diabetes.
The life insurance agent was helping you should know what questions to ask you about your diabetic history to effectively shop for life insurance offers.
Whether it’s non-medical life insurance for people with diabetes or fully underwritten life insurance for diabetics, we’ll show you the options available so you may decide which company and policy are best for you.
Please take a few minutes to complete your quote request today. Thank you.