Yes, you can get life insurance if you have diabetes, however a life insurance company will want to dig a little deeper and know a little more about your condition, so make sure you are prepared to answer some extra questions. If you are thinking of applying for life insurance and suffer from diabetes, make sure you read this article in full before you make an application as it is likely that you will be able to save both time and money.
In this article we explain everything you need to know about life insurance and diabetes, including the questions the insurance companies will ask you, which insurance companies are likely to offer the best cover and also the cheapest way to apply for life insurance.
If you simply want to know the cheapest way to buy life cover, jump to 'Which is the best life insurance company if I have diabetes?'
What questions will a life insurance company ask about my diabetes?
Life insurance providers will ask some or all of the following questions relating to your diabetes:
- What type of diabetes do you have (Type 1, Type 2 etc)
- When were you diagnosed with diabetes?
- Have you ever been hospitalised due to diabetes?
- Are there any additional factors such as kidney or eye problems?
- Have you had any hypoglycaemic attacks and if so when?
- How well is your diabetes controlled?
- What was your latest HBA1c reading?
If you have Type 2 diabetes which is well controlled, you have not had any recent hypoglycaemic attacks and there are no other additional risk factors, then it is likely that an insurance company may accept your application from the application form (without the need to write to your GP). You should expect an increase of around 100% to be applied, so if the standard premium is £12.50, expect to be paying around £25.00 per month.
If you have Type 1 diabetes, if you have been hospitalised, have additional risk factors or have any investigations or tests outstanding then you should speak to an insurance specialist that understands your condition as they will be able to put you in touch with the best insurance company for your own unique situation. An independent specialist will also be able to chase your application on your behalf as well as guide you through the process of placing your policy into trust. We explain more below, including how to get £50 cashback.
Diabetes - Additional factors that may cause a significant increase to your life insurance premiums or result in a declined application
Below we have listed some factors relating to diabetes that may contribute further increases being applied to your life insurance application. Depending on the severity, your application may be postponed or even declined.
- Diabetes that is poorly monitored or controlled
- Multiple hypoglycaemic attacks
- Being hospitalised
- Other risk factors such as kidney or eye problems
- Being overweight. An insurance company uses Body Mass Index (BMI) to measure your height/weight ratio. A score of under 30 is generally considered to be fine. You can check yours by using this NHS BMI tool
- Family history of diabetes
The rating (increase) applied by an insurer is generally lower the later you are diagnosed with diabetes. (Depending on type and other risk factors)
How does diabetes impact life insurance premiums?
There are four possible outcomes and they are as follows:
- accepted with no increase applied to your premiums
- accepted with an increase applied to your premiums (referred to as a rating)
- application postponed
- application declined
We have given four examples in our table below which could lead to each of the possible outcomes:
Based on a 35-year-old non-smoker applying for £200,000 level term assurance
|Age Diagnosed||Type||HBA1c Reading||Meds?||Other factors||Tests o/s||Decision||Premium|
|34||Type 2||5.5||None||None||No||100% increase applied||£25.00|
|34||Type 1||8.0||Insulin||None||No||125% increase applied||£29.56|
|34||Type 1||11.0||Insulin||Eye problems||No||Decline||N/A|
Will a life insurance company speak to my doctor about my diabetes?
Most insurance companies will want to write to your GP, just so they can understand your condition fully. Sometimes, however, if your diabetes is Type 2 and well-controlled then your application may get accepted from the application form, so long as you have all of the relevant information to hand (as explained earlier in this article). Again, the key is making sure that you apply to the best insurance company based on your own personal circumstances and this is something an independent specialist* can do on your behalf.
Can I get life insurance if I take medication for diabetes?
Yes, as our table above demonstrates, you can get life insurance if you take medication for diabetes. The underwriting process will vary depending on which insurer you speak to which is why we would always recommend speaking to an independent specialist. Our section 'Which is the best life insurance company if I have diabetes?' gives more information.
If you are over 50 and your diabetes is poorly monitored or controlled then you may want to consider a different type of life insurance such as Over 50s life insurance. Check out our article 'Which is the best over 50s life insurance'
Can I get life insurance if I have previously been declined for diabetes?
Yes, but your diabetes will need to have been brought under control and you would be best advised speaking to an independent expert who can search the whole of the market on your behalf to get the very best deal. Being declined for diabetes by one insurer does not necessarily mean that you will be declined by all insurance companies. The fact that you have been declined life insurance may indicate that there are additional risk factors, but life insurance is a competitive market and each insurer will underwrite your application on its own merit.
The key to getting the best life insurance at the best possible price is knowing which insurer to approach based on your own unique circumstances; a job that an independent specialist can carry out on your behalf. We have personally vetted the services of a specialist independent broker that is an expert at arranging life insurance for those that have conditions such as diabetes. The next section explains more about applying for life insurance using an independent specialist*.
Which is the best life insurance company if I have diabetes?
Every life insurance company has a team of underwriters and each team of underwriters work to a different set of guidelines. Having worked in the life insurance industry for over 20 years, I have personally witnessed countless examples where applicants have been offered cover where they have previously been declined for diabetes. The skill is understanding your condition and being able to match that with an insurance company that is most likely to accept you, something an independent specialist* can do for you for free.
Online calculators and comparison sites that create generic quotes are not able to deal with the complexity of medical conditions such as diabetes. They cannot go into the level of detail that is required to obtain a quote that is both accurate and relevant. If you use an online comparison site it is very likely that you will end up applying to an insurance company that will significantly increase your premiums or perhaps even decline your application. We have personally vetted the services of one of the UK's leading insurance brokers*, which specialises in finding the most suitable cover for those with medical conditions such as diabetes. An independent specialist will be able to help with the application process as well as chasing the insurer on your behalf and even help to put your policy into trust.
To speak to an adviser, with no obligation to take things further, simply complete the form via the above link. The firm employs strong ethics and will only ever offer a policy if it is the best policy to suit your personal needs. If they are unable to offer a suitable policy or alternatively, are unable to save you money on your existing policy, they will happily recommend that you stick with what you have.
Can I get critical illness insurance if I have diabetes?
The simple answer is yes, but it is likely to depend on a number of factors such as the severity of your condition, if there are any other associated factors, whether you take any medication and if you have any family history of diabetes. We would recommend that you speak to an independent specialist* who can use their extensive knowledge to ask the right questions and approach the most suitable insurance company based on the answers you are able to provide.
List of useful sources
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. The following 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 - LifeSearch