How to Get Life Insurance if You Have Diabetes
When you have diabetes, life insurance is critical for your financial plan.
Without life insurance, your loved ones would need to replace the loss of your income, plan for your estate, and cover your final expenses.
Most people with diabetes can get approved for all types of life insurance, whether term life insurance, whole life insurance, universal life insurance, or guaranteed issue policies.
Table of Contents
- How to Get Life Insurance if You Have Diabetes
Life Insurance for Diabetics
You may have thought that getting life insurance with diabetes was impossible or too expensive to afford.
The fact is that several life insurance companies specialize in diabetes underwriting, and the best company for you will depend on:
- The type of diabetes you have
- Your age when diagnosed & the duration of time you’ve had diabetes
- Diabetic control history – how well do you control your diabetes?
- Compliance – Do you meet with your endocrinologist regularly?
- Medications and dosages – What do you take, how much, and how often?
- Diabetes complications – Neuropathy, retinopathy, insulin shock, coma.
- Other health issues – especially heart attacks and kidney-related conditions.
Now, you may have to pay more than someone without a high-risk medical condition, but that’s where we can help you.
We specialize in life insurance underwriting and know how to get you approved no matter what type of endocrine history you have.
Life Insurance for Diabetics – Type 1
Type one diabetes mellitus is a chronic auto-immune condition that causes the pancreas to produce little to no insulin.
Life insurance for type 1 diabetes tends to be more expensive than for type 2 diabetes.
The reason is due to the progressive nature of diabetes and the more significant risk type 1 diabetes represents to the insurance company.
With type 1 diabetes, life insurance companies look for reasonable overall control and compliance with your medical treatment plan.
Three of the best life insurers for type 1 diabetes are:
- AIG-American General
- John Hancock
How do we know which life insurance company will be best for your medical history?
We don’t. That’s why we use a quick quote process.
A quick quote allows us to summarize your medical history and get underwriting feedback in about three days from all companies specializing in life insurance for people with diabetes.
We use a quick quote for every one of our clients with diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes Life Insurance Pricing
Life insurance is going to be expensive.
Underwriters will add a table rating expense to your policy.
The price of your policy will be 50 – 275% higher than for someone who does not have type 1 diabetes.
It’s reasonable to expect the following table rating expense get added to your policy, based on your age:
- 18-34 = 161% – 275%
- 35-49 = 113% – 225%
- 50-65 = 75% – 175%
- Age 66+ = 50%-125%
Our service will ensure you get the best possible rate available to minimize the table rating expense.
Life Insurance for Diabetics – Type 2
You may wonder if you can get life insurance with type 2 diabetes, and the answer is a resounding YES!
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot use insulin properly or does not produce enough insulin.
Several factors contribute to a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, including:
- Being overweight or obese
- Lack of exercise
- Older than age 45
- Family history of diabetes
- Gestational diabetes during pregnancy
- Having prediabetes or metabolic syndrome
More life insurance companies are available for type 2 diabetes vs. type 1.
You can manage diabetes through diet, exercise, medication, and a healthy lifestyle.
Type 2 Diabetes Life Insurance Pricing
For type 2 diabetics, it’s about control over your condition once diagnosed.
Life insurance companies want to see:
- Improvements to your glucose control
- Weight loss
- Increased exercise
- Cholesterol management
- Blood pressure control
- Understanding your condition
You may have to wait 3-6 months after a type 2 diagnosis to get life insurance.
That’s usually the amount of time underwriters require before considering your application.
As more time passes and your diabetic control improves, we may be able to rewrite your coverage in the future for a better rate.
It’s possible to obtain “standard plus” rates for those with A1C levels of 7 or less.
Some companies like John Hancock offer additional incentives through their Aspire program for well-controlled diabetes.
If your A1c is 10.0 or greater, most companies will decline you for lack of diabetic control.
Your only options at that time will be guaranteed issue or accidental death policies.
Life Insurance for Gestational Diabetes
As if pregnancy isn’t hard enough on your body, your doctor just told you that you have gestational diabetes!
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed when glucose intolerance is discovered during pregnancy.
The future risk of developing type 2 diabetes may be as high as 50% or greater in the next 10-20 years.
If you are looking for life insurance while pregnant, it will be difficult until you’ve had the baby.
After pregnancy, you will want to ensure glucose levels have returned to normal before applying.
If you had to take insulin during pregnancy, most companies would underwrite you as though you have type 2 diabetes. However, that can improve in the future if insulin is no longer required and glucose levels are under control.
Diabetes Control History
Better control means better life insurance rates.
Some companies like John Hancock offer incentive programs like their Aspire rewards program for well-controlled type 2 diabetes.
Life insurance underwriters look at:
In terms of life insurance pricing, your A1c levels are most critical:
- Less Than 7.0 = Optimal Control
- 7.1 – 8.5 = Average Control
- 8.6 – 10.0 = Poor Control
- Greater Than ten = No Control
Estimated Average Glucose – eAG
The American Diabetes Association has been promoting the estimated Average Glucose – eAG reading.
It provides a similar understanding of long-term control as the HbA1c reading but is less confusing.
The eAG numbers closely resemble blood glucose readings.
Estimated Average Glucose (eAG) is a newer term used by medical professionals to indicate your level of diabetes control.
Easier to understand than HbA1c readings, the American Diabetes Association is pushing medical professionals to use eAG readings.
Fasting Blood Glucose
Fasting blood glucose gives a snapshot of current diabetes control.
Levels greater than 125 mg/dl indicate diabetes.
Fasting blood glucose between 110 – 125 mg/dl is considered impaired fasting glucose.
Fructosamine provides underwriters with an indication of blood sugar control over three weeks.
Less than 1.9 mg/dl is considered good, and less than 1.7 mg/dl is considered 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.
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 much more for life insurance if your records indicate poor control and lack of follow-up with your endocrinologist.
Underwriters want to know:
- Are you taking your medications as prescribed to you?
- Do you visit your doctor regularly 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 dosage of drugs to maintain control?
Do you take medications for high blood pressure or high cholesterol?
If your management 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
Underwriters look at other conditions to determine if the diseases are caused by diabetes or if they 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.
It typically leads to more expensive life insurance rates.
Kidney health problems are of great concern to underwriters.
Suppose you have a history of lab results with protein in the urine. In that case, underwriters will look more closely for potential kidney health issues.
Retinopathy & Neuropathy – Severe problems either will increase life insurance rates or cause a decline.
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?
Diabetes Underwriting Questions
Life insurance underwriters will want to know the following about your medical history:
- Do you have type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes?
- How old were you when diagnosed?
- What kind of treatment do you receive to control diabetes?
- What is your history of control? HbA1c, Fasting Blood Glucose, Protein, Microalbumin/Creatinine.
- What are your average blood pressure and cholesterol readings?
- Do you follow your doctor’s orders?
- Do you visit your doctor regularly?
- Have you had any diabetes-related complications?
- 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 – the number one news source for insurance agents asked me to write about diabetes.
The best life insurance for diabetics will depend on your exact circumstances, but the following are the most common questions we receive.
For most people with diabetes, term life insurance offers the most amount of coverage at the lowest possible rate.
Can people with diabetes get life insurance?
Yes! You can get life insurance with diabetes if you choose the right life insurance company.
Affordable life insurance for diabetics is available whether you have type 1, 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 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 due to my A1c test. 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 physician for a complete evaluation.
If it turns out that you have diabetes, it will take some time for your doctor to gain control and begin medications.
We usually recommend starting working with you about three months after diagnosis.
If one company offers me a rated policy, will all companies provide the same rate class?
Each life insurance company has its own set of guidelines, and some companies do a better job underwriting than other companies.
Let us know what company 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.
Many of our clients come to us after working with another agent.
You may feel that your existing life insurance 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 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 are massive concerns.
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 whole life insurance policy for diabetics may be the best option.
Compare the opportunities we offer to companies like Colonial Penn or AARP life insurance policies.
It often makes sense to shop for a traditional life insurance policy first.
We can 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.
It may be worth considering if you do not want to give a blood and urine sample.
Keep in mind that no exam life insurance policies still involve underwriting.
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 people with diabetes will help you save money on your life insurance.
Some companies specialize in diabetes life insurance underwriting.
They 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, estimated average glucose, and other lab results.
Diabetic Underwriting Tip # 2 – Compliance
Following your endocrinologist’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
We need to know about your entire diabetic history.
Remember that we work for you and want to help you find the best rate based on your diabetic history.
We need to know about your history of diabetic control, any complications you may have had, and improvements to your health.
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.
Your underwriting outcome will improve when your records show you understand your condition and take positive steps 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 helping you should know what questions to ask about your diabetic history.
Whether it’s non-medical life insurance for people with diabetes or fully underwritten life insurance for diabetics, we’ll show you the best life insurance options available.
Please take a few minutes to complete your quote request today.
By Michael Horbal – Updated on 01/27/2023