When you apply for life insurance, insurers look at a diabetes diagnosis as one piece of the puzzle. Living with diabetes generally makes you a higher-risk applicant than someone without diabetes, but the effect on your life eligibility and rates varies depending on your condition. For example, people with well-managed diabetes have more coverage options and can typically get more competitive rates. On the other hand, if you have uncontrolled diabetes or diabetes-related complications, that can affect your coverage choices.
Insurance companies look at several factors when evaluating your application. One major factor that companies will consider is whether you’ve been diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.
Life Insurance for Diabetes Type 1
Also known as juvenile diabetes, Type 1 diabetes tends to develop in children, teens, or young adults. With this form of diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make insulin or makes very little insulin. This form of diabetes is less common, affecting just 5-10% of all people with the condition.
Your family history, like having a parent or sibling with Type 1, can put you at greater risk for Type 1 diabetes. People with Type 1 require insulin through a pill or shot. While Type 1 diabetes isn’t curable, a healthy diet and lifestyle can help you avoid complications and keep it in check.
Since Type 1 diabetes tends to surface when people are younger and requires regular medication to control, it can be tougher to obtain life insurance for people with Type 1 than people with Type 2 diabetes. However, living a healthy lifestyle can help expand your options.
Life Insurance for Diabetes Type 2
About 90-95% of people in the United States living with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes develops most often in people over the age of 45, but more kids and young adults are beginning to develop the disease. This type of diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, where your cells don’t respond normally to insulin and your blood sugar spikes as a result.
The risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include being overweight, over the age of 45, and physically inactive. Your family history and ethnicity can also put you at greater risk. Type 2 diabetes is preceded by pre-diabetes, and about one in three adults — over 88 million — have pre-diabetes in the United States.
When it comes to life insurance for Type 2 diabetics, you generally have more options than with Type 1 diabetes since you can control it with medication instead of needing insulin. Type 2 diabetes is generally seen as easier to manage.
However, the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, such as being overweight, can also impact life insurance eligibility. With Type 2 diabetes, you may be at greater risk for co-occurring conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, and dementia, which affect your life insurance options and rates.
Other Factors That Affect Life Insurance For Diabetics
Some other factors that life insurance companies consider for applicants with diabetes include:
- When you were diagnosed. People with late-onset diabetes can generally get more favorable rates. In general, the longer you’ve had diabetes, the greater risk there is for medical complications, which is why insurers often quote a higher rate.
- Treatment and health status. Insurers will want to know about your treatment or medication and A1C reading, which shows your glucose levels and indicates how well your diabetes is controlled. They’ll also likely ask you about any other health complications from diabetes, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or kidney problems.
- Age and overall health. If you’re younger and in generally good health, you’re more likely to qualify for lower rates. Lifestyle habits, like smoking and drinking, also factor in. Each carrier has its own guidelines, so one might offer better rates than another based on your health history. A life insurance agent can help you find the policy that works best for you.