Diabetes and Life Insurance

For a person of normal or average health, obtaining life insurance is a pretty straightforward process.

Add in the complications of a diagnosed medical condition and all this can change.

Diabetes is a life-long condition which affects 3.3million people in the UK and it is thought that approx. 590,000 may have the condition, but have not had a diagnosis.

What is Diabetes

Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases that occur when the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells do not respond effectively to the insulin that is produced. This can result in high blood sugar levels. A high-sugar diet does not directly cause diabetes, however it can lead to obesity which is a factor in Type 2 diabetes.

There are three main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes is also known as Insulin Dependent Diabetes or Juvenile Onset Diabetes

As the name suggests, most people are diagnosed with this condition as a child, however some may not be diagnosed until adulthood.

With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is not capable of producing insulin and this must be injected into the body manually.

Type 2 diabetes is known as Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes of Adult Onset Diabetes

This type of diabetes is caused by a resistance to insulin where the body’s cells cannot use the insulin properly. As a result, the pancreas becomes gradually incapable of producing insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is typically diagnosed in later life, and is the most common type of diabetes in the UK amongst adults.

Gestational Diabetes is a temporary form of the condition where a woman develops a glucose intolerance during pregnancy. Close monitoring is normally required if a diagnosis is made.

This will normally resolve itself after the pregnancy has ended although in certain circumstances, a woman may go onto develop type 2 diabetes as a result.

Can I apply for life insurance if I have diabetes?

Having diabetes can certainly have an effect on your life insurance policy; however it’s good to know that most insurance providers will insure you in spite of this condition.

You are likely to pay more for your premium, than someone who doesn’t have the condition and is of ‘normal’ health.

Your actual premium for diabetes life insurance will depend on a number of factors but this is what your insurance provider will be looking out for:

  • Your age
  • Your age at diagnosis
  • Type of diabetes
  • Your current treatment and response to treatment
  • Your degree of control as illustrated by your medical records

Your insurer will be concerned that those who have been diagnosed with diabetes are taking precautions to keep the condition under control – a medical history showing your specific treatment and the fact that you have regular checkups with your GP or specialist will be important to your insurance provider.

If you are keeping your diabetes under control, have a healthy diet, exercise regularly and visit your doctor or specialist regularly you are more likely to pay a lower premium than someone with diabetes who does not take the proper precautions to keep the condition under control, or has missed a number of follow up appointments with their doctor.

The main thing to remember is that having diabetes is that you CAN get life insurance – and as long as you are managing the condition well and are following the recommendations of your GP, this will have a much more positive impact on your life insurance than you may expect.

Where can I find life insurance if I have diabetes?

As with any form of insurance, you are likely to find the best deal by obtaining a number of quotes from different providers.

This can be time consuming to do yourself and with the added complication of diabetes, you may find yourself answering the same questions over and over again.

By speaking to a life insurance specialist you can save yourself time and effort by having them search the market on your behalf – you’ll only need to answer one set of questions, and assuming you answer everything truthfully to the best of your knowledge the process of applying for life insurance can be much more straightforward than you might think.

To make it easier when you apply, there are a number of steps you can take to prepare for your application.

You’ll need to answer the same medical questions as all applicants but there may be further questions relating to your diabetes. Make sure you have all the relevant information such as the names and dosages of your treatment, as well as the contact details of your doctor or specialist to hand so you can answer the questions to the best of your knowledge.

Your life insurance specialist will be able to find the providers that are able to match your requirements and find the right policy to suit you.

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