Person using insulin pump under shirt
Insurance 101

Can diabetics get life insurance?

Insurance 101

Can diabetics get life insurance?

The sweet news is yes! Here’s what to consider when applying for a policy.

People with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can get life insurance. And here comes the “but” (there’s always a “but,” isn’t there?). But the coverage available is dependent on the individual insurer, what type of diabetes a person has, and other information insurance companies might need. If you or someone you know has diabetes and is in the market for a life insurance policy, keep reading to learn how to make the most of your application.

  1. State of diabetes in the US
  2. Can you get life insurance if you have diabetes?
  3. Conclusion

State of diabetes in the US

According to the CDC, 37.3 million Americans have diabetes. That’s 11.3% of the entire population, a sizable amount. For those that don’t know, diabetes is separated into two types—Type I and Type II. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition where the body produces little or no insulin. Since it’s genetic, people with Type 1 are often diagnosed earlier in life. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is a condition where the body doesn’t use insulin properly. Of the two, Type 2 is far more common with 91.2% of people with diabetes having Type II, while only 5.6% have Type I.

Can you get life insurance if you have diabetes?

Insurance companies use a process called underwriting to help determine an applicant’s risk. Think of a detective, but for an insurance company. An underwriter helps determine risk by looking at a number of areas, which informs an applicant’s potential monthly cost. These areas can include a person’s age, occupation, lifestyle, and personal and family medical history. For diabetics, insurers may also ask other questions like...

  • When were you diagnosed?
  • Type of diabetes & severity?
  • What’s your A1c level?
  • Frequency of doctor visits
  • What’s your current diet and exercise routine?
  • What medication(s) are you taking?
  • Any other health problems?

Differences between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Comparison between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes:  Type 1: “Body can’t make insulin,” “Genetic condition diagnosed early in life,” and “Symptoms appear quickly”  Type 2: “Body can’t make enough insulin or insulin doesn’t work properly,” “Weight, ethnicity, and lifestyle affects risk,” “Symptoms can be easier to miss”
Diabetes UK, “Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes,” updated 2022.

Getting life insurance with Type 1 diabetes

People with Type 1 diabetes can get life insurance. However, since Type 1 is a genetic condition, insurance companies may see the applicant as higher risk. That may mean paying higher monthly costs, but if you have exceptional health outside of the diabetes, you may get different ratings from different insurers. It doesn’t hurt to shop around to compare prices and levels of coverage. Cheaper doesn’t always mean better.

Getting life insurance with Type 2 diabetes

Insurers may see people with Type 2 diabetes as lower risk since the condition is considered more manageable than Type 1. People with Type 2 diabetes can help manage the disease through regular exercise, diet, and medication, for example. So applicants may face lower monthly costs and higher coverage than people with Type 1 (assuming preferred levels of health and activity).

Conclusion

There are a number of types of life insurance out there but there isn’t necessarily one that’s better for diabetics over any others. For example, term life insurance for diabetics could be just as viable as whole life. The important thing is to be honest during the application process and shop around different insurers to get multiple opinions. And staying on top of your health. Excellent diet and exercise routines could perhaps go a long way in holding off the disease for those with Type 2 diabetes. Plus, it can possibly help in lowering your monthly costs (subject to the insurance company, of course).

The opinions we expressed in this post are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations.
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