Life Insurance for Diabete Patients - The Ultimate Guide

James Rodriguez James Rodriguez  updated on September 14, 2020

You are suffering from diabete and are wondering if it would be a good idea to take out life insurance?

If you’re looking for answers, you’ve come to the right place!

You’re not alone in this situation, about 4 million people in the UK are diabetics too.

If you want to get:

the appropriate life insurance cover for your diabete
top tips to pay attention to when applying
medical screening questions example
and indicative quotes

you will find everything you need in the below guide. Let's dive in!

Do I need life insurance if I am suffering from diabete?

Taking out a life insurance policy when you're suffering from an illness is always a wise decision.

There are two types of diabete :

  • Diabete type 1 is an autoimmune disease that causes insulin to be destroyed. It is usually detected during childhood and treated with injonctions.
  • Diabete type 2 is a metabolic disorder that causes hyperglycemia. As a result, the body is unable to produce enough insulin or uses it to metabolise glucose. This type of diabete comes later in life and is usually detected at adulthood. It may come as a result of being overweight or inactive, and will result in high blood pressure and cholesterol. This is the most widespread type of diabete, since 90% of diabetics suffer from type 2.

Although diabetes can be treated, this does not remove the condition itself and people with diabetes are statistically more likely to develop complications involving the eyes, heart, feet, kidneys and nervous system.

Can I get life insurance if I have or had diabete?

Although you might find it harder, in most of the cases, you will always be able to get life insurance if you are suffering from diabete. There are still plenty of providers on the market who will accept to cover you. 

The severity of your condition will affect the risk assumptions used by insurance companies to calculate your premium though. As a result, your monthly spending on life insurance is likely to be higher than it would be for the average individual. 

In any case, it is absolutely essential that you tell your insurer about your condition. Even if you think you could save money by keeping the information to yourself, you would actually be putting your cover in jeopardy. This fraud is called 'fronting'.

Find out more on life insurance with our ultimate guide.

Which kind of life insurance can I apply to?

There are different types of life insurance you can apply to if you are suffering from diabete.

  • Whole of life: whole of life assurance covers you for your entire life, as long as you keep paying the premiums. It's called 'assurance' not 'insurance', and the reason for this is technical. Insurance covers you for a risk that may or may not happen, like a house fire.
  • Level term: with a level term life insurance, both your premiums and the sum insured remain the same for the length of the policy. The payout is fixed.
  • Decreasing term life insurance: it reduces the sum insured. It’s usually linked with a repayment mortgage and is designed to ensure your mortgage is paid off if you die. As you pay off the amount borrowed, the sum that you need to insure reduces. Payments will stay the same throughout the length of the policy.

How can diabete affect my life insurance?

Here are the factors that will have an impact on your life insurance:

  • Type of diabete
  • Hba1c readings (within last 6 months)
  • Date diagnosed
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Height/weight (BMI)
  • Medication (eg. diet, metformin or insulin)
  • Lifestyle
  • Existing complications (retinopathy, nephropathy or neuropathy)
  • Any other pre-existing medical conditions.

Depending on your condition, certain exclusions might be added to your policy. 

How will my insurance premium be affected If I am a diabetic?

Life insurance will generally be more expensive, since insurers consider diabete to pose an added health risk and increase the chances of a claim being made before the term of the policy (if there is one). 

Life insurance premium will range from +50% (x1.5) or more for much more severe cases.
However, there is a chance that you may pay standard rates for your cover if your Hba1c readings over the past have been at an acceptable level (usually under 7), you have been diagnosed less than 5 years ago, and have exceptional health, other than the diabetes.

Will my premium increase if my diabete condition gets worse?

We would recommend a guaranteed premium policy for diabete life insurance. With that kind of guarantee, your insurer won’t be able to raise your premium, regardless of the evolution of your condition.

Is there any way to keep my premium down?

There are a number of behavioral, lifestyle and health improvements that can influence your life insurance premiums for diabete. 

Some elements that can influence and reduce your life insurance premiums are :

  • Weight loss (if BMI is high)
  • Stop smoking (non-smoker after 12 months smoke free)
  • Medication
  • Control Hba1c levels (if high, or on rare occasions low)
  • Reduce blood pressure (if high, or on rare occasions low)
  • Reduce cholesterol (if high, or on rare occasions low).

How to apply for life insurance covering diabete?

What questions am I likely to be asked when subscribing to life insurance with diabete?

As you fill in your application for life insurance, the chosen insurance firm will ask you a list of question to evaluate your condition and estimate what premium you should pay. 

You will have to answer honestly and fully to the best of your knowledge. If you omit to mention a specific illness or provide any misleading information, you will encounter issues when making future claims. 

With a medical condition, you will be requested to disclose more information. As a person suffering from diabete, you will generally have to deal with the following questions:

  • How many years ago were you first diagnosed with diabetes?
  • When was your last diabetic review at your GP surgery, diabetic clinic or hospital?
  • Apart from when first diagnosed, have you been admitted to hospital with hyperglycaemia, - hypoglycaemia, diabetic coma or any other reason related to your diabetes?
  • If yes : When was the last occasion?
  • If no : Have you ever been told that your kidneys have been affected by diabetes (nephropathy) or that you have protein in your urine?
  • If yes : -
  • If no : Have you ever had any ulcers, numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in your fingers, toes, feet or legs (neuropathy)?
  • If yes : -
  • If no : Have you ever had any visual problems as a result of your diabetes or required (or been told you require) laser treatment / surgery to your eyes?
  • If yes : Do you know the result of your last HbA1c? (This is the test performed by your GP / clinic that measures your average glucose levels over the past 3 months rather than glucose levels that you may test yourself)
  • If no : Do you know the result of your last HbA1c? (This is the test performed by your GP / clinic that measures your average glucose levels over the past 3 months rather than glucose levels that you may test yourself)
  • If yes : please select the relevant band (mmol/mol)
  • If no : -
  • If you have a family medical history with diabete:
  • How many members of your family were diagnosed with diabete ?
  • If more than 1 : At what age ?

Which documents will I need to provide?

Not all life insurance policies involve a medical examination, depending on your age and the amount of life cover you are requesting. However, with a medical history of diabete, your insurer might request a professional to undertake your medical examination. 

Indeed, in order to proceed with your request, the insurer will need proof of your condition, and will likely request that you provide medical documents and tests. 

If you are suffering from diabete, you will have to provide:

  • Medical screening
  • GP report
  • Telephone medical appointment.

Can I not get covered if I am suffering from diabete?

You can be denied your life insurance if you are a diabetic, particularly if there are aggravating conditions:

  • You are a smoker;
  • You suffer from heart conditions;
  • You have a high BMI;
  • You have a family history related to diabete;
  • You have diabete complications (eye problems for instance);
  • Your Hba1c readings over 10% (85.8 mmol/mol).

However, you should always be able to find a specialist insurer able to cover you as long as your illness is not terminal.

Does life insurance with critical illness cover is enough for my diabete?

Diabete can be considered under criticall illness application depending on the severity of your condition and what is mentioned in your policy schedule.

However, you must know that applying for life insurance with critical illness covering your medical condition is not enough to be covered. You must mentioned in any case your medical record to your insurer when applying.

Critical illness insurance is an extra that can be added to your policy, or can be combined with your standard life insurance. It pays out a tax-free lump sum if you contract a disease. The illness developed must be specified in your policy contract.

Critical illness is defined as an illness that is curable; this is different from terminal illness, where the life expectancy is really low (not more than one year). Terminal illness is usually covered by life insurance. 

The most common illnesses covered by critical illness insurance are heart attacks, stroke, non-terminal cancer etc. If you become really ill, your insurance will pay out exactly as if you’ve passed away. 

There are two types of cover and it’s important to know the difference:

  • additional cover will pay out if you’re diagnosed, and it will also pay out if you die:
  • combined cover will pay out either on diagnosis, or if you die, but it won’t pay out twice.

Check out our guide to know more about life insurance with critical illness.