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Diabetes FAQs

Can I qualify for life insurance as a diabetic?
Yes, if you have your diabetes under control and don’t have additional multiple risk factors like coronary artery disease, smoking, obesity, uncontrolled high blood pressure, etc., then there is a good possibility that you will qualify for life insurance coverage.

Is it going to cost me a lot more money for life insurance as a diabetic?
The premium charged a person who is a diabetic depends on many factors including additional risk factors (some are mentioned in the previous question) family history, past medical history, control factor or A1C, glucose, medication, type of diabetes, onset of the disease and other factors. Depending on your particular data, premiums can range from Preferred Non-Smoker rates to being declined for coverage. In some cases the insurance company might offer rates with a Flat Extra premium or Table Rate the policy. Talking to an independent life insurance broker who works daily in the special risk marketplace can give you an idea of what the cost would be for you. Click here to contact an independent insurance broker who works in the Special Risk Marketplace.

What does it mean when an insurance company charges a Flat Extra premium?
A Flat Extra premium is an additional charge per $1,000 of death benefit to offset an increased risk that the insurance company is assuming. Flat Extras don’t last forever and typically end in 3 to 7 years depending on the degree of additional risk.

What is Table Rating and how does it work?
Table Rating is a system used by insurance companies to charge for an additional risk for people who cannot qualify for Standard Rates due to health history. The table rating system increases costs by a percentage of the standard rate and is represented by numbers or letters. Most life insurance companies charge 25% of the standard rate for each table. So, if you are rated Table B (2 tables) that means the premium will be 50% more than the standard rate. In other words, a $1,000 annual premium becomes $1,500. Table ratings stay in effect for the life of the policy.

Are there any life insurance companies that specialize in life insurance for diabetics?
There are a number of companies that offer coverage for healthy people (in good to moderately good control) with diabetes.

Can I get an accurate “Instant Quote” online for life insurance as a diabetic?
Generally speaking, the answer is no. There are so many factors that are taken into consideration when quoting, it is virtually impossible to get a completely accurate quote from an instant quote engine. However, if you are a non-smoking Type II diabetic in excellent health, and under good control, with no additional risk factors, chances are in your favor for Standard Non-Smoker rates. However, you should always speak with a independent life insurance specialist since many companies will not offer Standard rates to diabetics no matter how healthy they are. Please note: The lowest standard rates on the instant quote engine my not be from companies that would normally give standard rates for diabetics.

Can I get lifetime coverage for life insurance as a diabetic?
If you can qualify for coverage, there are companies that have policies with death benefit guarantees to age 100 and beyond. Premiums can be guaranteed as well, and can also be tailored to the number of years you’d like to pay.

What types of life insurance policies might be available to people with Type II diabetes?
Term Life, Whole Life, Universal Life, Variable Life, Survivorship Life, Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance and Simplified Issue Life Insurance. Note: Some types of policies may not be available in your state.

What types of life insurance policies might be available to people with Type I diabetes?
Term Life, Whole Life, Universal Life, Variable Life, Survivorship Life, Guaranteed
Issue Life Insurance and Simplified Issue Life Insurance. Note: Some policies may not be available in your state.

I am a diabetic and currently have life insurance, can I qualify for a better rate now that my diabetes is under control?
It’s possible, but hard to tell without knowing what your current coverage is and how it is structured and also getting a new offer for coverage today. If you were highly rated at time of application because your diabetes was not in good control, then there is a good possibility of getting a lower rating now that your diabetes is under control. Since there is no charge for you to apply for coverage and no obligation on your part to purchase a policy, it might make sense for you to apply for coverage so you can compare. However, before doing so, you should speak with an experienced life insurance agent to determine how much you might save. You will also need to consider what you might be giving up by canceling the old policy, especially if it is a cash value policy. There are many other things to consider and compare when replacing a life insurance policy including but not limited to: acquisition costs for each policy, premiums, cash values, special riders and features as well as the Contestability and Suicide clauses. For your protection, each state has special rules and procedures for replacement that an agent must adhere to.

Can I qualify for life insurance if I’m insulin dependent?
Yes, the fact that you are insulin dependent does not necessarily exclude you from getting coverage, however there are very few companies that will consider insulin dependent diabetics. An independent insurance broker who works in the Special Risk Marketplace can help you find the best companies willing to offer coverage.

Is it more expensive for life insurance depending on the type of diabetes I have?
Yes, but the degree of extra expense can vary depending on your particular set of health criteria.

Are there special health questions or medical tests needed when I apply for life insurance and have diabetes?
Yes, in most cases you will need an insurance physical exam as well as a blood test (with A1C) and urinalysis and possibly an EKG, depending on your age and the amount of coverage you are applying for. The exam and the tests are done by an independent paramed service or MD at no cost to you.

Is Second-to-Die or Survivorship life insurance available to diabetics and their spouses or business partners?
Yes, assuming that both parties are able to qualify. An interesting feature of survivorship or Second–To–Die life insurance is that since the policy pays at the second passing, many companies will allow for one of the covered persons to be Uninsurable (usually defined as life expectancy of 6 months or more, but can vary among companies) as long as the other is relatively healthy. For the severe diabetic, this can mean the difference between being able to get coverage or not. However, Second-to-Die policies are mainly estate or business planning tools designed to pay death benefit at the second passing and shouldn’t be utilized if first to die coverage is needed.

Should I apply for life insurance coverage if my diabetes is not currently under control?
No, most insurance companies will decline or postpone making an offer to a diabetic who is not under good control. Get your diabetes under control if possible for 6 months to a year, then apply. If you must have coverage now, Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance may be available to you. However, these policies are typically quite expensive and the death benefits are generally limited to $50,000 or less and may not be fully vested until 3 years after the policy has been in force.

Should I apply for life insurance coverage if I have been recently diagnosed with diabetes?
Generally speaking, no. Insurance companies are looking to see how your diabetes will be controlled, so it is likely that they would postpone an offer for 6 months to a year before considering you for coverage; at which time you would have to go through the application process again including a new insurance physical exam.

Should I apply for life insurance if I am currently pregnant and /or have been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes?
No. Since gestational diabetes can often be a temporary condition brought about by the pregnancy, you should wait until after the baby is born and your body has had a chance to get back to normal.

Can I qualify for life insurance coverage if I have complications stemming from my diabetes?
Possibly. It will depend on the severity of the complications and how they might effect your mortality. Having complications that have shown a marked improvement over time will give you a better chance of getting an offer.

Can I qualify for life insurance coverage as a diabetic if I’m overweight?
Being overweight in and of itself will not necessarily exclude you from getting coverage.
However, if you are obese, you are much less likely to get an offer for life insurance…especially when coupled with being a diabetic. It also depends on how well controlled the diabetes is.

What can I do to be sure I’m getting the best rates for life insurance as a person with diabetes?
The most effective way to be sure you are getting the best offer for coverage is to use a broker that works daily in the Special Risk marketplace. He or she will have the experience, knowledge and persistence to get you the best possible rates available. A good broker knows from experience which life insurance companies are pre-disposed to giving you the lowest rates for your particular diabetic condition.

How should I prepare before speaking to an independent life insurance broker?
It will be quite helpful if you have specific information regarding your diabetes as well as your health history. This will allow them to find you the lowest priced policy based on your particular circumstances. Try to have the following information available when you discuss your needs:

  • Date of Onset of Diabetes
  • Type of Diabetes Diagnosed
  • A1C
  • Glucose Levels
  • Cholesterol HDL and LDL
  • Latest Blood Pressure readings
  • All Medications you are taking for diabetes and/or other ailments along with dosage and frequency taken.
  • Family History. Did your parents or siblings develop or die from cancer or heart disease before age 60, 65?
  • Complications or other significant medical history.

Click here to contact an independent insurance broker who works in the Special Risk Marketplace.