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Life Insurance for Diabetics – A Wealth of Choices

Can you get life insurance if you have diabetes? Absolutely.

Can you get the kind of insurance you want at a reasonable price? That depends.

life insurance for diabeticsInsurance for people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is a complex topic with as many variations as there are symptoms of the disease, making the search of life insurance for diabetics an arduous process. Dealing with a skilled and knowledgeable provider is essential, because each insurance company has its own standards for coverage. If you apply to the wrong one and get rejected, the rejection becomes part of your medical record for all other companies to see, which can lead to further rejections that otherwise may not have happened.

That’s just one of many tricky aspects of obtaining coverage for people with diabetes. On this page, we’ll guide you through each phase of the disease and show you exactly what kind of life insurance policies you can expect, which companies provide them, and what kind of payouts they offer to your family and loved ones.

So read on. Even though you may not qualify for the same policy as a healthy person, you probably have more options than you think.

Learn More About Insurance For Diabetics

Type 1 Diabetes

Per the American Diabetes Association: “In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body.”

While it is possible to obtain life insurance with type 1 diabetes as long as your condition is well controlled, the underwriting process is more difficult for people with Type 1 diabetes. If you are approved, you most likely will be rated in a lower health class (“substandard”) which may only mean your premiums will be higher or have a limit to how much life insurance coverage you are eligible for.

Type 2 Diabetes

Per the American Diabetes Association: “If you have Type 2 diabetes your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time it isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.”

Also known as “adult onset diabetes”, a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes is easier to get approved for life insurance coverage compared to Type 1 since Type 2 poses a lower risk to insurance companies as long as it is controlled through medication or adjustment in health behaviors, no additional complications, and monitored by a physician. As a result, Type 2 diabetics are able to more affordable rates and better health ratings than compared to their Type 1 counterparts.

Gestational Diabetes

According to Babycenter.com : “When you’re pregnant, your body naturally becomes more resistant to insulin so that more glucose is available to nourish your baby. For most moms-to-be, this isn’t a problem: When your body needs additional insulin to process excess glucose in blood, the pancreas secretes more. But if the pancreas can’t keep up with the increased demand for insulin during pregnancy, blood sugar levels rise too high because the cells aren’t using the glucose. This results in gestational diabetes.”

Since gestational diabetes is often a temporary situation involving glucose intolerance during pregnancy, many insurance companies aren’t overly concerned about a previous history of it. The biggest concern is if the diabetes continues after the pregnancy and becomes Type 2 diabetes. If there are no additional signs of diabetes post-pregnancy, then obtaining good rates on life insurance should not be an issue.

True Blue Top 8 Diabetic Friendly Life Insurance Companies Without Medical Exam

Best For:Minimum Age of DiagnosisMaximum Face ValueMedical Exam Required
Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics50$250,000No
Controlled Type 2 DiabeticsN/A$50,000No
Controlled Type 2 Diabetics50$250,000No
Type 1 or Type 2 DiabeticsN/A$50,000No
Type 1 and Type 2 DiabeticsN/A$100,000No
Controlled Type 2 Diabetics (no insulin)50$500,000No
Controlled Type 2 Diabetics (no insulin)
*Must be 40 – 60 years old.
40$500,000No

PHOE

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics30$400,000No

True Blue’s Life Insurance Companies Without Medical Exams

At True Blue, we love life insurance companies that offer affordable rates, quality policies and don’t require medical exams.

Some of the biggest mistakes we see is customers overpaying for life insurance coverage because they thought they only had one or two choices when it came to finding life insurance for diabetics, not realizing that this type of diagnosis still allows for numerous options as a consumer. Often times consumers just settle for the first option they find and look no further, buying a policy that isn’t affordable and may not be the best fit for them.

Qualifying for a no exam life insurance policy is not complicated at all. As you begin working with your True Blue personal shopper, it is important to be honest with any health or other issues so they can best review underwriting guidelines of the dozens of no exam life insurance companies out there.

One of these no medical exam life insurance companies may be just the solution you need to get approved for the coverage you need, even with a diagnosis of diabetes. We work with many different carriers that are able to provide you life insurance and get you approved quickly. Most carriers will still request medical records and ask you about your current health status. Keep in mind that no exam policies tend to be a little higher in price because the insurance company absorbs more risk without the exam and then averages out the cost across the board.

Trying to secure a small business loan? Does a divorce decree or custody order require you have life insurance, but find it hard to get approved with your Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes? Then a no medical term life insurance policy will get you the protection you need quickly without the monotonous process of a paramedical exam in your home or office.

True Blue’s Life Insurance Companies With Medical Exams

Some of the best life insurance companies offer both a no exam and a fully underwritten type policy, but the savings is as varied as the companies themselves. There are times where a fully underwritten policy that requires a medical exam makes sense over a no exam type policy. These fully underwritten policies require a paramedical exam where your vitals, a blood sample, and a urine sample are taken (covered by the insurance company) and the results are sent to the insurance company for review.

Once you purchase the policy and want to a lower rate, you can often request a new medical underwriting at the anniversary of your policy being in force (depending on the company). If the new results are better than the original, you can request the company to re-evaluate your results and see if you meet the requirements for a lower price.

True Blue Top 5 Diabetic Friendly Life Insurance Companies With Medical Exam

Best For:Minimum Age of DiagnosisMaximum Face Value
Controlled Type 2 DiabeticsAssessed on a case by case basis$500,000
Controlled Type 1 and Type 2 DiabeticsAssessed on a case by case basis$20,000,000
Controlled Type 2 DiabeticsAssessed on a case by case basis$10,000,000
Controlled Type 2 Diabetics and some Type 1 Diabetics50+ (Controlled Type 2 Diabetics can qualify for Standard Rate class)$1,000,000+
Controlled Type 2 Diabetics30Varies based on age

True Blue Questions & Answers

Can I Get Life Insurance as a Diabetic?

Absolutely! The biggest concern regarding life insurance for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is whether or not it has been able to be controlled for the past 6 to 12 months and you don’t have any other adverse conditions like heart disease, tobacco use, obesity, and high blood pressure issues. If your diabetes isn’t controlled, you may have to look at a guaranteed issue life insurance policy which often comes with much higher premiums for your coverage with a lower total death benefit.

Can I Get Diabetic Life Insurance Without a Medical Exam?

No medical exam life insurance policies are becoming more popular for Type 2 diabetics looking for coverage and while there is no medical exam required, you will still be asked questions about your condition and be required to allow your healthcare providers to provide appropriate medical documentation to the underwriter.

It is important to remember that ANY policy that doesn’t require a medical exam will be more expensive compared to a traditionally underwritten one.

Honesty and accurate information is vital to this process. If the life insurance company so chooses to investigate your overall health history during the contestability period (two years after issuance of policy) and finds there are dishonest answers on your application, they can cancel your policy. If you were to die during this period and they discovered false information (e.g. saying you are not a smoker, but actually did smoke), the insurance company can delay or deny payment of your death benefits.

Does Life Insurance for Diabetics Cost More?

Life insurance is completely based on risk. Type 1 diabetics and Type 2 insulin dependent diabetics are placed in a much higher risk category compared to others who are able to control their diabetes through health behavior modifications (e.g. better diet, regular visits to a physician, more exercise, etc…) and oral medication. Because of this increased risk, the types of policies available and the premiums surrounding these policies are often higher due to the over health rating established by the underwriting guidelines of the company. In situations regarding a diabetes diagnosis, it is vital to work with an experienced agent to assist you in finding the best coverage and price that meets your needs.

How Can I Get Affordable Diabetic Life Insurance?

Finding the best insurance for diabetics can be a challenge for the average life insurance agent; however, we have the experience in finding the best insurance companies that specialize in high risk health and other risk factors like diabetes.

The better controlled your diabetes is combined with a positive health history, the more affordable the cost for life insurance coverage of diabetes will be. At True Blue, we shop around and access dozens of life insurance companies to find the most competitive coverage for your particular health condition.

What Will The Life Insurance Underwriters Need to Know?

After the application is complete, the underwriting process begins. At the beginning of the underwriting process, there will often be an interview where the underwriter will ask you about the following:

  • Type of Diabetes
  • Age you were first diagnosed
  • Recent lab results (A1C, cholesterol, fasting glucose, proteins, creatinine, etc…)
  • Recent blood pressure results
  • Any additional health issues
  • Any diabetes related complications
  • Control methods (exercise, diet, medication) currently used
  • Current medications being used
  • A list of every doctor you have seen in the past 2 years along with their contact information
  • An up to date list of all medications currently being taken and the dosage
  • All follow ups with primary doctors and specialists have been completed and there is accurate documentation to reflect that

For most policy applications, underwriters will request medical records from your healthcare providers and begin reviewing the information to properly assign a class and rating for you.

What Is The Ideal Diabetic Candidate?

What Is The Ideal Diabetic Candidate?

For many insurance companies, the ideal diabetic candidate:

  • Was diagnosed after age 50
  • Has an A1C 7.5 or less
  • Has glucose under 135
  • Is a non-smoker
  • Has no issues with high blood pressure
  • Has had no diabetic related complications
  • Maintains an active lifestyle with proper diet

While this is what many underwriters find ideal, slight variations do not automatically deny you access to affordable coverage. For insurance companies, age of diagnosis and A1C levels are major areas they look at when they begin underwriting your policy.

How Much Life Insurance Does A Diabetic Candidate Qualify For?

How much coverage you qualify for depends greatly on the company and the type of policy you are seeking. A no medical exam life insurance policy will have more options for higher dollar coverage (one of the best options for Type 2 diabetics); however, a guaranteed issue policy may limit you to $10k in coverage. The biggest issue to contend with in this situation is how well your diabetes is controlled, how old you were when diagnosed, and exactly how underwriting will see you as a risk.

Where is the best place to get diabetic quotes?

Ideally, you would want to talk an independent agent like True Blue regarding this type of coverage simply because non-independent agents (or “captive”) for some of the bigger names aren’t as likely to have a policy that suits someone with diabetes or other high risk health classifications and are solely limited to one company’s product. Finding an independent agent who is experienced and specialized in this area is key for finding the best policy at the best price on the market without having to settle for something that is less than what you need.

Insurance And The Types Of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Life Insurance for Type 1 DiabeticsType 1 Diabetes

Life insurance companies treat Type 1 Diabetics (or any insulin dependent diabetic) a little unfairly when it comes to affordable life insurance, even to the point that many who live with this condition do so without adequate coverage because they believe it is too expensive because of their condition. While it can be challenging, it isn’t impossible to get the coverage needed. That’s why it’s important to work with experts like True Blue to help navigate the ins and outs of getting an approval.

The most important thing to realize is that life insurance for a Type 1 diabetic will be more expensive than Type 2 diabetics and non-diabetics due to how the insurance industry views Type 1 diabetes and it’s overall risk during the underwriting process. It’s a disease and the prices are set accordingly. Some companies are willing to take more risk than others and will be more flexible in their underwriting, but unless you are working with a trained expert in this area… how are you going to know which of the 100+ life insurance companies are the best for diabetics?

Your overall condition and the way you manage your health is what will make or break your chances of getting any type of coverage. Whether you follow the advice of your doctor or not in regards to proper management of this condition is entirely your choice, but the better you handle your health with Type 1 diabetes the better your chances of getting a policy that makes the most sense for you.

Type 2 Diabetes Controlled with Diet and Exercise

Life insurance for Type 2 DiabeticsType 2 Diabetes Controlled with Diet and Exercise

In our culture, where TV and video constantly beckon and fast food offers an endless variety of unhealthy options, it’s all too easy to get diabetes. Heck, even the relatively buff Tom Hanks got it.

Fortunately, the first stage of the disease is manageable without medicine. As Hanks said, “You’ve just got to lose weight and exercise a lot and change everything you eat and never ever ever ever ever have any fun whatsoever.”

But it does feel good to be slim and fit, even if getting there isn’t much fun. It’s also comforting to know that you have a wide variety of reasonably priced life insurance options.

You can often get a standard-rate policy if you have a nurse come to your home and do a medical exam. If you qualify for a medical-exam plan, your rate will be much cheaper and the policy value can be higher.

If you don’t want the exam, American National, Assurity, and Sagicor will still provide coverage. Sagicore is the fastest, and can usually get you an answer on coverage within 48 hours. American National and Assurity write to your doctor to get records, which takes four to five weeks.

For no-medical-insurance providers, premiums will cost you anywhere from 10% to 50% more than standard. But for people who are in a hurry or don’t want someone asking them questions and drawing their blood, it may be worth the difference.

Type 2 Diabetes Controlled with Oral Medication

Life Insurance for Type 2 DiabeticsType 2 Diabetes Controlled with Oral Medication

If you’re taking oral medication for diabetes, your life insurance coverage will be determined by your risk factors, with a strong emphasis on the results of your A1C test, also known as a hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, or glycohemoglobin test. This is the primary test for diabetes management, and it measures blood glucose levels over the previous three months.

To be eligible for standard rates, you need good A1C results, and you can’t be heavy, smoke, or show symptoms of diabetic damage such as kidney damage, circulatory problems, or eye problems.

You can still obtain coverage if you don’t meet that standard, though rates are generally 50% higher.

Policies vary considerably for this sector.

Some companies don’t like it if you’re heavy. Others cut you out if you have nerve damage. You have to look at the whole package with an emphasis on the A1C level,” said Gerry Scholz, national marketing director for True Blue and an agent with 25 years of experience. Table 1 below shows sample rates for no-exam term life insurance for those with diabetes who are controlling the disease through diet and exercise or pills.

Type 2 Insulin-Dependent Diabetes

Diabetic Life insuranceType 2 Insulin-Dependent Diabetes

If you depend on insulin to control your diabetes, getting term life insurance is very tough, but fortunately, it’s not your only option. If you do want term, acceptance depends on your risk factors, and at this stage, you probably have a lot of them, even if you aren’t aware of it.

Obtaining term coverage requires a medical exam, and that’s usually not a good thing for those who are insulin-dependent.

“About 90 percent of the time, you’re wasting your time if you take a medical exam,” Scholz said. “They’ll almost always find risk factors, and if they do, you’re not going to get issued.”

If you are eligible, rates are lower and you can get much more coverage. But most insurers want to see an A1C level of 7.0 or less, though a few will go as high as 8.5. The best rate is about double the cost of standard insurance. Our experience has shown that Banner and American General are the best companies to work with if you try to go this route.

Another consideration if you apply for term life: the insurance company might discover risk factors you didn’t know you had, and you could be declined. Once the results of the company’s investigation are on the record, they’re available to no-exam insurers, who can use them against you. For that reason, we recommend that you get a no-medical-exam policy first. That way you’re covered no matter what, and you can always switch to a term policy later, if you qualify.

What if you don’t qualify for term, or know you couldn’t possibly?

Don’t despair. Whole life insurance without a medical exam is still available to you. It comes in two basic flavors: “immediate death benefit” plans, which provide full benefits to your loved ones upon your death no matter how long you’ve owned the policy, and “graded benefit” plans, which offer partial payments if you’ve held the policy for less than two or three years and provide full payment if you’ve held it longer.

Gestational Diabetes

Life Insurance for Gestational DiabetesGestational Diabetes

As stated above, gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and is often a temporary issue that is resolved after the body recovers post childbirth. Gestational diabetes can convert to Type 2 diabetes on occasion, but this is the exception and not the rule.

This type of diabetes does make you a higher risk for developing Type 2 later on in life which makes it vital that you maintain healthy behaviors and follow up routinely with your healthcare providers to ensure all preventative measures are being adhered to.

What Are The Best Life Insurance Options For Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetics?

Term Life Insurance with No Exam for Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetics

$250,000 – 20 year term
cost per month
(50-year-old male in Caifornia)
Maximum Age Of IssueMaximum Face ValueUnderwriting Approval Timeline
$172.88 per month18-65$300,0001 – 10 days
$142.98 per month18-65$500,0001 – 15 days
$88.77 per month18-65$250,00010 – 30 days
$144.67 per month ($100,000 in coverage)18-65$100,0001 day

For no medical exam insurance companies, premiums will cost you anywhere from 10% to 50% more than standard. For people who are in a hurry or don’t want someone asking them questions and drawing their blood, it may be worth the difference.

Whole Life Insurance with No Exam for Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetics

There are dozens of companies offering no-exam whole life plans that provide immediate death benefits for people with diabetes who are not insulin-dependent. Availability and price are determined by your other risk factors (e.g., excessive weight, heart surgery within the previous two years, smoking, mental health treatment, or COPD) and how severe they are. Each company has its own criteria.

$10,000– Level Whole Life cost per month
(50-year-old male)
Maximum Age Of IssueMaximum Face ValueUnderwriting Approval Timeline
$28.82 per month1-80$50,0007 – 14 days
$29.16 per month45-85$40,0003 – 21 days
$31.02 per month20-80$50,0005 – 15 days

What Are The Best Life Insurance Options For Insulin Dependent Diabetics?

Graded Benefit Whole Life Insurance for Insulin-Dependent Diabetics

Graded/modified benefit policies usually have a waiting period of 24 to 36 months before the entire death benefit can be paid to a beneficiary. If a health-related death occurs before the graded benefit period ends, the policy will only pay a percentage of the death benefit. Exact benefit percentages vary from different carriers.

Accidental and non-health-related deaths pay 100% of the death benefit coverage amount to beneficiaries on day 1.

$10,000 – Graded Benefit
cost per month
(50-year-old male in California)
Maximum Age Of IssueMaximum Face ValueGraded Benefit PeriodUnderwriting Approval Timeline
$46.22 per month25-80$25,000Year 1:Return of Premium PLUS 12%

Year 2: Return of Premium PLUS 24%

2-3 days
$42.40 per month40- 80$35,000Year 1: 40% of death benefit

Year 2: 75% of death benefit

2-3 days
$46.15 per month45-80 $20,000 Year 1:Return of Premium PLUS 10%

Year 2: Return of Premium PLUS 10%

3 – 21 days

When All Else Fails… Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance

$10,000 – Guaranteed Issue
cost per month
(50-year-old male in California)
Maximum Age Of IssueMaximum Face ValueGraded Benefit PeriodUnderwriting Approval Timeline
$38.41 per month50-80$25,000Year 1:Return of Premium PLUS 10%

Year 2: Return of Premium PLUS 10%

2-3 days
$51.92 per month50- 85$25,000Year 1:Return of Premium PLUS 10%

Year 2: Return of Premium PLUS 10%

2-3 days

While not the first choice for our clients, guaranteed issue policies do provide a bit of final expense coverage and do not require a medical exam. They also offer coverage for accidental death (as opposed to death from a medical condition) from day 1 and you don’t have to answer any health-related questions to get them. It is always important to remember that you could end up paying more in premiums for these types of policies than what the overall death benefit can be.

How to Apply for Life Insurance for Diabetics

Step 1: Collect Information

As you begin the process of applying for life insurance, the underwriters will want to better understand the severity of your condition, your overall treatment plan, and what type of policy you are requesting. Because of the health risk that is presented with diabetes, underwriters ask more direct questions about your condition and overall health to make the most informed decision possible.

The more prepared you are ahead of time for the questions that the application requires, the quicker the process can be for obtaining coverage. Be prepared to answer the following:

  • Type of Diabetes
  • Age you were first diagnosed
  • Recent lab results (A1C, cholesterol, fasting glucose, proteins, creatinine, etc…)
  • Recent blood pressure results
  • Any additional health issues
  • Any diabetes related complications
  • Control methods (exercise, diet, medication) currently used
  • Current medications being used

Organization of your medical information during this stage of the process will also help the life insurance underwriters be able to quickly review the documentation they need to make a determination. Be sure to also have the following ready:

  • A list of every doctor you have seen in the past 2 years along with their contact information
  • An up to date list of all medications currently being taken and the dosage
  • All follow ups with primary doctors and specialists have been completed and there is accurate documentation to reflect that

Step 2: Complete Your Application With True Blue

After talking with one of our life insurance personal shoppers at True Blue and locating the best solution that fits your needs, submitting an application is a quick and easy step in the process.

Depending on the type of policy, a paramedical exam may be required. These types of exams usually take about 30 minutes where they take blood and urine samples, blood pressure, and cardiac monitor reading. These tests will be reviewed by underwriting to understand overall health and potential health risks so they can best assign a health class and premium. In some cases, underwriting will also request medical information for your primary physician and any other specialists you’ve visited or a full physical exam (typically requested for policies over $1M in coverage).

Another option are the no-medical exam types of policies which charge a higher premium, but doesn’t require any type of medical exam. Instead, the underwriter requests medical documentation from your healthcare providers and makes overall determination of health class and rating off the information provided. For diabetics in general, True Blue finds that these types of policies often work best for many of our clients given that high health risk diabetes presents to a more traditional type of life insurance policy.

Step 3: Determination and Delivery

After reviewing all of the information, a decision will be made regarding your coverage. While all insurance companies are not exactly the same, most will have three general categories of insureds. These include Standard, Substandard, and Preferred.

Underwriting will take all the information it has obtained and review it based on internal underwriting guidelines currently in place with the company you chose. While every company is different when it comes to underwriting, there are typically about 12 different health classes (some have more, some have less) and 3 main categories that classify overall health risk.

  • Preferred – This level is reserved for those in great health and who pose little health risk to the company.
  • Standard – This level is for the “average” person with some extra weight, drug and tobacco use history, and those with minor health issues currently being controlled. Non-insulin dependent Type 2 diabetics with history of proper control of their condition MAY be approved for this category as long as there are no other adverse health concerns, giving them a much lower premium overall.
  • Substandard – Since diabetes poses an adverse risk for most insurance companies, many diabetics will fall into the lowest category. Your age of diagnosis, methods of control, and diabetes type will determine which health class your will be assigned in this category. The lower the class and category, the more expensive the premiums.

Occasionally an individual with diabetes will be declined altogether for an underwritten policy based on their medical history and the amount of risk they bring to the company. In these situations, a guaranteed issue policy may make sense.

Since guaranteed issue means that issue is guaranteed without any underwriting, be aware that the premiums can be 2 to 3 times higher than a traditional underwritten policy and may not make financial sense to the customer. It is not uncommon that premiums paid into the policy will exceed the face value of the policy, meaning you are paying more than the policy would pay out if you died. For some people needing life insurance, but having a history of diabetes prevents them the life insurance coverage needed, this may be the only route.

Once the underwriting process is complete and you are approved, the company will send out your policy (many are moving to digital delivery via email) that defines you total premium and what health class they rated you. As long as premiums are paid and the policy is uncontested, the insurance company can not cancel coverage.

Request More Information From Our Diabetic Life Insurance Personal Shopper

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