There are many medical conditions that can leave a person worrying about their ability to work and earn an income in the future. Diabetes, if well-controlled, may have no impact on your ability to work and live, however, the symptoms and severity can be varied.
In this article, we will explain how income protection insurance - often referred to as sick pay insurance - can support those who have diabetes as well as the best way to find the most comprehensive income protection for your specific diagnosis, occupation and budget.
What is income protection insurance?
Income protection insurance covers your earnings during periods of inability to work due to illness or injury by providing a replacement monthly cash benefit. It is a type of personal insurance policy that can insure up to 65% of gross earnings during periods of incapacity where a doctor deems you unfit to do your normal job.
Income protection can prevent the financial hardship caused by lost earnings if you are unable to work. The insurance will pay a cash benefit after your chosen deferred period which is the number of weeks from the first day that you are unable to work. You can choose a deferred period of 1, 4, 8, 13, 26 or 52 weeks, often dictated by when your employer's sick pay benefits stop or when your emergency funds run out. Income protection benefits continue to pay a replacement income for as long as it takes to recover and return to work or in the case of limited-term options, it reaches the maximum claim period for that policy.
To learn more about income protection insurance, otherwise called sick pay insurance, read our article, "Income protection - do you really need it?"
Income protection with diabetes
Income protection is assessed based on your health and lifestyle. So, if you have a pre-existing medical condition, it can be difficult to find an insurance company that will offer income protection insurance that covers you against periods of incapacity to work.
Diabetes is a health condition that can be difficult to insure when it comes to income protection, not least because of the variety of conditions and symptoms it can cause. Historically it has been extremely difficult to insure diabetics but this is steadily changing.
Understanding how diabetes affects your application for income protection insurance
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and wish to safeguard your earnings in case you're unable to work due to illness or incapacity, you should be able to buy income protection insurance to do this. However, your application will only be accepted if your diagnosis of diabetes and other medical factors fall within the guidelines set out by the insurance company and these vary between insurers.
Applying for income protection insurance with diabetes
Your income protection insurance application will ask about your health, your immediate family's health history, occupation and lifestyle. As a diabetic, you will normally be asked some supplementary questions about your condition. It is useful if you know this information and can provide it directly to the insurance company but if you don't, the insurance company will ask for your consent to write to your doctor for the information needed.
Most insurance companies will ask for some or all of the following information when assessing an application for income protection insurance with Diabetes:
- Date of diagnosis
- The type of diabetes - I or II
- Your blood pressure control
- Your cholesterol control
- Details of treatment including medications
- Whether you smoke
- Symptoms associated with your diabetes
- Your Body Mass Index (Height to weight ratio)
- Your HbA1c reading over the most recent 6 to 12 months
Income protection outcomes for diabetics
Type 1 diabetes - cannot be covered by income protection insurance at this time although it may be possible to arrange insurance that covers Type I diabetics for everything except symptoms and conditions arising from their diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes - customers are able to buy income protection insurance as long as the condition meets the insurer's guidelines. For example, a type II diabetic who has good control of their diabetes; is not overweight; has controlled blood pressure and cholesterol levels is likely to be offered income protection insurance that will not exclude claims that arise due to diabetes-related symptoms. Every diabetic is different and it is wise to discuss your condition with an expert income protection adviser* to establish which insurance you will qualify for.
Will I have to pay more for my income protection with diabetes insurance?
Applications for income protection insurance are assessed differently by different insurance companies. Unfortunately, they do not all use the same guidelines and won't offer the same terms and conditions. It is possible that the insurer could apply an increase to the cost of income protection insurance to provide unrestricted cover that extends to any incapacity caused by diabetes.
Will I have exclusions applied to my income protection with diabetes insurance?
The insurance company may offer terms of insurance that exclude diabetes as a reason for claim as well as any symptoms or conditions connected with diabetes. These could include medical symptoms that affect your eyes, feet and organs.
Will I have a restriction on how long I can claim income protection due to my diabetes?
You may find that you are offered income protection insurance but the term of your cover and the maximum claim period are limited. Where this is the case, you can expect the insurance to cover you until the age of 55 and claims will usually be paid for up to 2 years each time but this doesn't stop you from making multiple claims.
Guidelines for acceptance of income protection insurance for diabetics will change from time to time but we are seeing more insurance companies that are looking for ways to offer this type of insurance to 'good diabetics'.
How to buy income protection if you have diabetes
Diabetes is a complex condition affecting those who have it in many different ways which can make it difficult to find cost-effective cover. Insurance companies assess each application on its own merits so it is helpful to provide them with a full picture of your health. This can be a time-consuming exercise and may result in you having to repeat the process across multiple insurance companies before you get the outcome you desire.
In order to find the most comprehensive income protection that covers your diabetes and any symptoms arising from it, you should speak with a specialist income protection advisor*. A specialist advisor can search the whole market on your behalf using their knowledge and expertise to direct you to the best and cheapest income protection insurance for you. The advisors will also ensure that your policy carries the best incapacity definition for your occupation.
Additionally, as a Money to the Masses reader, you will receive up to £100 cashback if you decide to buy income protection insurance this way.
If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. This link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses and do not wish to qualify for the cashback referred to in the article