Life Insurance for Diabetics

Are you a person with diabetes looking to purchase life insurance? Learn why securing coverage can be more affordable than you think.

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life insurance for diabetics

It’s effortless to believe that life insurance is costly if you have diabetes. But, you will be glad to know, affordable life insurance for diabetics is still a possibility if you can prove that for the last 6-12 months, you have had consistent and effective treatment.

It also helps if you’re working with the right insurance company and have a less severe case and although it may cost more for a policy than someone of your age and gender without diabetes, some carriers are more lenient on diabetes than others. An independent broker like Coach B. can help identify which companies are more affordable for your specific diabetes type and treatment history.

Important Takeaways

  • Diabetes may increase the cost of your life insurance depending on age, type of diabetes and the severity
  • If it’s well managed- it’s more affordable than you might think
  • It’s best to work with a broker if your situation is complicated as they can help find the right policy for your diagnosis

Best life insurance companies for diabetics

Every life insurance company handles diabetic applicants differently. Based on the severity, type of diabetes, and treatment, a few companies may be better than others for you.

Coach B. recommends people with diabetes shopping for life insurance policies may want to start by comparing rates from four of our partner insurers, depending on the type of diabetes — Banner and Prudential for people with type 1 diabetes and AIG and Principal for type 2 diabetics. These carriers will offer more competitive rates for a broader range of diabetic situations.

Banner  

Less than 50 units daily of insulin with A1c levels below 8.0 Banner is a good option for type 1 diabetics. The best possible classification for people with type 1 diabetes is table 6 (Substandard), and the best possible category for people with type 2 diabetes will be Standard Plus. 

Prudential

If their condition is well-managed, prudential can get a table 5 (Substandard) rating with type 1. Health classifications vary for people with type 2 diabetes looking for insurance. 

AIG

Fifty or above AIG is a good option for type 2 diabetics. However, type 1 diabetics will likely do better with better ratings somewhere else.

Assurity

Assurity is not a competitive option for type 1 diabetes but an excellent choice for type 2 diabetics. However, they are the only insurer that offers Preferred (second best) rates for people with adult-onset diabetes.

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Why diabetes matters when buying life insurance?

When applying for life insurance, you’ll go through what is called the underwriting process, which assesses the risk to the insurance company of insuring you—things like looking at family health history, some of your hobbies, and of course, your driving record. You’ll also have to undergo a medical exam, and if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your insurer will more than likely also request your medical records from your doctor.

After the underwriting process, insurers will assign you a health classification, determining your premiums. Preferred Plus classes get you the best premiums, while Standard and below will increase the premiums.

what are life insurance classifications

Since diabetes does come with varying health complications, you’ll be considered higher risk than a person without diabetes and be charged increased premiums as a result. But, some underwriters will treat those with less severe, well-managed diabetes more favourably. You may very well still be eligible for above-standard health classifications with some providers.

Some factors to take into account for diabetics if you’re looking for some life insurance?

Underwriters, as with any applicant, will take a look at the same health and lifestyle factors. But several things are essential and different for people with diabetes.

1. Age

Underwriters look at both the age at which you are applying, and they also take into account at what age you were diagnosed with diabetes. 

Generally speaking, the longer one has had diabetes, the riskier you are to the insurer. If diagnosed as a child, you’ll face higher premiums than those applicants with late-onset diabetes. If you get diagnosed after the age of 50, you could still qualify for better-than-average premiums. But in general, life insurance premiums go up with age. So, if you were diagnosed after 50, your age might pose more of a risk than your diabetes diagnosis on premium rates.

2. Type of diabetes

Type 2 diabetics are more likely to have an easier time applying for life insurance. That’s because type 2 diabetes, which is about 90% of diabetic cases, is more favourable and manageable than type 1 diabetes. Plus, type 1 diabetes typically surfaces when people are younger — meaning a diagnosis at a younger age meaning, much higher premiums.

Type 1 vs. type 2

Below are examples that compare potential rate classifications for two diabetic shoppers. Both people are the same age (55), seeking the same policy type and the coverage amount, but one person has type 1 diabetes diagnosed at a younger age. In contrast, the second person has type 2 diabetes that was diagnosed at a later age.

INSURED WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES 
Age of onset10
Current age55
Possible best health classSubstandard (Table rating)
INSURED WITH TYPE 2 DIABETES 
Age of onset45
Current age55
Possible best health classStandard

The insured with type 2 diabetes will likely receive a better health classification (Standard) than the policyholder with type 1 diabetes (Substandard) due to their diabetes and age of diagnosis.

Life insurance for type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes) is less common than type 2 diabetes. Most younger people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, but not always. 

If you have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you will likely be assigned a lower health classification during underwriting. But it’s vital to compare or have a broker compare quotes from several different insurance companies. If you have no other significant health issues(for example, if you don’t smoke and maintain a healthy lifestyle), you could still secure competitive rates.

Life insurance for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes

Generally, insurance companies look at type 2 diabetes as milder than type 1. The same health risks (including heart disease and stroke) exist for type 2 diabetics and people with prediabetes, leading to type 2 diabetes. Keeping a healthy diet and exercise program can control these risks at bay.

Having type 2 diabetes will still affect your health classification, but it won’t have as much impact on your monthly premiums as type 1 diabetes.

Life insurance for gestational diabetes

Many women are diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy, and while it’s a health concern, it typically goes away soon after childbirth. However, underwriters take gestational diabetes into account the same way they will other types of diabetes. Suppose you currently have or have a history of gestational diabetes in the past five years. In that case, the best possible health classification you’ll likely receive is Standard, based on underwriting guidelines from insurance partners in 2021.

The best way to avoid paying higher premiums is to apply for life insurance before getting pregnant or within the first trimester (this also ensures you have coverage for any other pregnancy complications). 

3. Severity 

The underwriter will consider your A1c levels to judge the severity of your diabetes. A1c levels in the lower 6.0-6.9 range are more likely to be viewed favourably and minimally affect your premiums, while A1c levels above 10.0 will lead to an application decline from most insurers.

                               A1C RANGE          IMPACT ON HEALTH CLASSIFICATION
                               6.0-6.9                    Low
                               7.0-7.9                    Slight
                               8.0-9.9                    High
                               10.0+                      Application decline

Methodology: Information based on underwriting guidelines for policies from AIG, Banner, Brighthouse, Lincoln, Mutual of Omaha, Principal, Protective, Prudential, SBLI, and may vary by carrier, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Information valid as of 5/19/2021.

Underwriters will also be looking for diabetes-related complications such as diabetic retinopathy (damage to retinas), diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage), and proteinuria (excess protein in the urine). If these conditions aren’t well-managed, you could pay more for your policy or possibly be denied coverage.

4. Control and Treatment

The type of treatment you receive is critical and relevant in how an insurance company will view your condition. A person who keeps their diabetes in check with healthy diet choices is likely to get the most favourable ratings. People taking oral medication life metformin will likely get better rates than those reliant on insulin shots.

Regardless of which type of diabetes you have, when you have it, or how severe it is, you’ll almost always secure better premiums if you show signs of treatment and management. Even if you have type 1 diabetes who uses insulin, you might still have more affordable tips than a type 2 diabetic who isn’t seeking treatment.

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Sample premium rates for people with diabetes: Preferred vs Standard

People with type 2 diabetes, or those diagnosed later in life, may not qualify for Preferred premium rates but might be eligible for Standard rates with certain insurers. While the cost of life insurance will be higher for someone with the same age without diabetes, it’s not as bad as you might think.

For example, below are sample average rates for a $500,000, 20-year term policy for a male applicant with a Preferred rating compared to a Standard rating, which is more common for type 2 diabetics.

Preferred vs Standard rates

AGE OF APPLICANTPREFERREDSTANDARD
25$27.10$38.80
35$30.29$46.54
45$60.78$98.66
55$151.22$242.73
65$451.74$702.92

Rates are calculated for a male non-smoker in Union, Kentucky, obtaining a 20-year, $500,000 term life insurance policy. Quotes based on composite of policies from AIG, Banner,  Mutual of Omaha, Principal, Prudential, SBLI, and may vary by carrier, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Information valid as of 5/19/2021. 

Questions for people with diabetes applying for life insurance

During a phone interview or a paramedic exam, several questions ask about your health history. If you have diabetes, these might be some of the questions that insurers may follow up with:

  • Even been diagnosed with type 1 or 2 diabetes?
  • What were you first diagnosed with?
  • Do you check your glucose levels daily?
  • What was your last A1c reading, and what was your A1c average for the previous year?
  • Are you on insulin or other medications?
  • Any complications with your eyes, feet, or kidneys as a result of diabetes?
  • Have you had any amputations?
  • Are you on dialysis?

These questions may seem invasive, but it’s vital to be honest so your broker or agent can give you an accurate quote. Every insurance company is different, so that the questions may vary, but it’s a good idea to be prepared so your application process is smooth sailing.

Alternative life insurance options for people with diabetes

Suppose you are denied life insurance coverage or assigned a less favorable health rating because of a new diabetes diagnosis and have been undergoing ongoing treatment for a year or more. If that is the case, it’s worth working with a licensed independent insurance broker, like Coach B., to see if your treatment translates to better premiums.

One can go beyond just the standard options of term and whole life insurance, there are other ways to get the life insurance you need for your family.

Final expense life insurance

There are two final expense life insurance types: simplified issue or guaranteed issue life insurance We only recommend looking into a final expense life insurance policy as a last resort because these policies are expensive for a lower face amounts of protection.

  1. Guaranteed issue life insurance – High-risk with severe diabetes can typically still uy guaranteed issue life insurance. However, it’s much more expensive than simplified issue whole life insurance and will offer lower maximum amounts, usually below $25,000.
  2. Simplified issue life insurance – If you don’t qualify for a fully underwritten life insurance policy but are only considered moderate risk, then simplified issue insurance is a great choice. With no medical exam involved, you’ll have to go through and answer a very detailed medical questionnaire. Coverage amounts for these policies are much higher.

Group life insurance

Option is only available if their employers offer it, and it’s no where near the same as buying private life insurance. Your employer will pay most or all of the premiums for a group life policy, so you’ll lose your insurance if you change jobs or lose your job. 

Group life insurance usually won’t offer enough coverage to protect your family if something would happen. Still, it’s better than having any coverage at all, so we advise taking advantage of this benefit if it’s available. Most group life policies do not typically require underwriting, sothat will help you get some insurance even if you have a pre-existing medical condition like diabetes.

How we decide the best life insurance companies for diabetics

Life insurance companies are very different, and the best life insurance company for one person might not be with their pricing for another. At Coach B., we want everyone to find affordable and robust content easily.

Coach B. takes a broad side-the-box approach to determining the very best life insurance carriers out there for people with diabetes. We don’t get paid for any of our reviews and evaluations in developing our robust — and unbiased — analysis of carriers that will help you find the right one for your needs.

Our independent analyses comprise life insurance recommendations by experts in the field and quote data from the several life insurance companies we offer in our marketplace. Our life insurance company reviews and suggestions have helped several thousand people shop for the most affordable life insurance policy for their needs.

Third-party ratings

Coach B. also looks at ratings from some third-party agencies in our reviews. The most common come from:\.

Most of the largest life insurance companies are financially secure. While you should look at all these ratings, keep in mind some reviews may be from customers who had a particularly positive or negative experience that isn’t necessarily representative of the company. Also worth noting, much smaller insurance carriers don’t have J.D. Power ratings. However, if available, those ratings will give you an idea of customer satisfaction. 

The best-rated carriers have good marks all around to provide you peace of mind.

You can also see the size of a big company by looking at its market share it holds and the number of policyholders it has. Size is usually a good indicator of how well a company is doing. Still, shoppers shouldn’t be afraid to go with a smaller insurer, like a regional carrier or a membership carrier, if it fits their needs.

An insurance company’s ratings and reviews can point you to an insurer you can rely on for your family’s financial protection. Suppose you’re looking for life insurance but don’t know where to start. In that case, a licensed agent at Coach B. can work with you through the application process, so you’re getting coverage from the best insurer for your circumstances at the most competitive price.

Most importantly, when you’re shopping for life insurance, never assume that you’re uninsurable, even if you have a riskier health condition, like diabetes. The proper treatment paired with the right insurer will help you find an affordable life insurance policy that suits your needs.

Life insurance for diabetics FAQs

 

How Does COVID-19 affect the life insurance eligibility or application process?

With the fast ever-changing nature of the coronavirus pandemic, some carriers are modifying processes and imposing some coverage restrictions on specific health conditions or age groups. Speak to a Coach B. agent for free to see how to get the most affordable policy?

How much is life insurance for a person with diabetes?

Premiums vary depending on several factors, your life insurance company; your family health history; your age; your diabetes type, severity, and treatment; any other health conditions you have, your driving record, and your hobbies. The more risk you have in any of these categories, the more your life insurance policy will cost.

If I have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, can I get life insurance?

Yes. If you do not have severe complications, you can buy life insurance with a diabetes diagnosis, though it will cost more for a policy than someone without diabetes.

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About Coach B.

After starting his financial career with Phoenix Home Life Insurance Company back in 1992, Scott decided he wanted to provide people with an easier and more enjoyable way to buy life insurance. That was the start of Coach B. Life Insurance, whose mission is to be transparent, honest, and helpful to customers — without ever bugging or pushing them.

In the years since then, he has worked tirelessly to improve the process of shopping for insurance. His goal is to make sure that everyone who comes to Coach B. — whether they end up buying a policy or not — has the best possible experience.

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