Life insurance with diabetes

7 min Read Published: 25 Oct 2023

Life insurance with diabetesIn this article we focus on life insurance for diabetics. We look at how and why diabetes affects life insurance premiums and what information you will need in order to buy affordable life insurance if you are a diabetic.

Can I get life insurance if I have diabetes?

Yes, it can be possible to buy life insurance if you are diabetic but it will depend on the type of diabetes you have, when it was diagnosed, how well your condition is controlled as well as the insurance company you apply with. Most people either assume you cannot get life insurance or that it will be too expensive but this is often not the case. Many insurers will be able to offer life cover for a diabetic but you will need to understand which factors matter and which insurance company's guidelines will suit your specific health. Some diabetics will be able to buy life insurance without any extra cost or a minimal increase to the normal cost of the life insurance you need.

In order to get the most affordable life insurance for diabetics, you must ensure that you have as much information about your diabetes as possible because insurers will ask questions to help them understand your personal health condition. We list the diabetes questions you will be need to answer in the next section so that you can prepare. The more information you have, the better the chance of you being accepted by the life insurance company at the best possible price. We explain later in this article how to guarantee the best life insurance quotes if you have diabetes. 

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Life insurance with diabetes - Insurers will require the following information

Insurance companies will often require additional information about your diabetes and may ask you to complete a life insurance diabetes questionnaire. The questions you will usually be asked are:

  • What is your latest HBA1C reading?
  • What medication do you take for your diabetes? (for example Insulin or Metformin)
  • What is your latest blood pressure reading?
  • What is your latest cholesterol reading?
  • When were you diagnosed with diabetes
  • Do you have any complications arising from the diabetes? (for example Retinopathy, Neuropathy or Nephropathy)

Life insurance companies assess your life insurance application based on information that is specific to you. Most insurers use a set of guidelines to decide whether you qualify for life insurance with diabetes and if so, whether you will need to pay a extra.

Diabetics can vary from those that have poor control of the condition and may have many associated complications to those who control the condition, either with medication or lifestyle and diet or even a combination of both of these factors.

Will I have to pay more for life insurance if I am diabetic?

Possibly, life insurance is priced according to your age and whether you smoke initially - this is what is called a quote for life insurance. However, the price that you are quoted can change once your life insurance application has been assessed. Generally, diabetics who apply for life insurance will find that the quoted price will increase but the amount of increase will vary tremendously.

Reasons why diabetics may need to pay more for life insurance

  • Diabetics who smoke - smoking will likely put you in a higher bracket of risk and it is likely you will pay more for your life insurance than a diabetic who doesn't smoke
  • Diabetics with heart problems - if you have any cardiac health issues it is likely that you will pay more for life insurance
  • Diabetics with poor control - if your HbA1c reading is outside of the ideal levels or if it is not controlled then it is likely that you will pay more for life insurance or your application may be postponed in order to give you time to improve your readings before your life insurance application is re-evaluated.

Can Type 1 diabetics get life insurance?

Yes, if you have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes which is generally diagnosed earlier in life and you control it well, you may be offered life insurance without any extra cost applied. It is more likely however that a rating (increase to the standard price of life insurance) will be applied to your life insurance quote.

It is important to know which insurance company will apply the smallest increase based on your own circumstances. Insurance companies each have their own guidelines for how they assess your health and so you may find that while one insurance company would offer standard rates, another may want to charge you double the initial premium (referred to as 100% rating) or perhaps even more. Some life insurance companies are fairer for diabetics when it comes to life insurance and treat sufferers of type 1 diabetes more leniently, although insurers often change their stance so you will normally need to speak to a life insurance expert to source the fairest life insurance provider for your specific health information.

Can type 2 diabetics get life insurance?

Yes, most diabetics will find that the premium for their life insurance will increase even if it is only by a small amount - the level of increase will depend on how well the condition is controlled. Type 2 diabetes sufferers are often considered less of a risk (than those who have type 1 diabetes) from an insurance point of view. With type 2 diabetes the pancreas is usually able to produce some insulin, but either the amount produced is not enough or the body's cells are resistant to it.

Type 2 diabetes is often referred to as a lifestyle condition so your life insurance assessment takes into consideration factors such as your height and weight and the medical questionnaire may focus more on your health and lifestyle.

Aviva, Zurich and Royal London are insurance companies that may treat you more favourably if your diabetes is well controlled, although each application will be treated on its own merits and again, insurers will regularly change their underwriting criteria so it is best to speak to a life insurance specialist to check before you apply to save you time and money.

Why is it important to shop around when comparing life insurance quotes for diabetes?

Diabetics will need to source the most favourable life insurance provider for their specific health. It can be confusing to understand how your diabetes will be assessed so we we have provided example tables below looking at a typical scenario when comparing life insurance quotes for diabetics. A life insurance calculator will typically only provide the cheapest quotes and will not be able to take your diabetes into account.

Life insurance costs based on a person with diabetes

If we assume an example diabetic person with the following information:

  • Type 2 diabetes diagnosed more than 2 years ago
  • Diabetes is diet and lifestyle controlled
  • Good control of diabetes over a period of more than 1 year
  • Non-smoker
  • BMI less than 33 (NHS BMI calculator)
Life insurance company Life insurance premium before application is assessed Life insurance premium after specific health is assessed
A £10 £25
B £13 £19.50
C £20 £30

In this instance we found that:

  • Company A increased the standard cost of the life insurance by 150%
  • Company B increased the standard cost of the life insurance by 50%
  • Company C increased the standard cost of the life insurance by 50%

Although Company A quoted the cheapest price for life insurance for this diabetic initially, it's harsher assessment meant that the eventual price of the life insurance made it more expensive than Company B which increased the quoted premium by 50% only. Although, Company C made a similar assessment of the diabetic risk for this applicant, it was the most expensive due to the higher initial premium it quoted.

So, as you can see, buying life insurance if you have diabetes isn't simple and you require some knowledge of how an insurance company will assess your particular health. Life insurance companies do usually request a GP report to gather all of the medical evidence that is needed but in some cases, a diabetes questionnaire may be completed by the applicant. If you are unsure about how to answer any medical questions that you are asked, do not guess - you could invalidate your life insurance policy if you misrepresent anything that you are directly asked about. It is usually a good idea to provide permission to the insurer so that a GP report can be requested to provide full and accurate information about your health.

GP reports can take some time to be completed by your doctor's surgery which is another reason why you should choose the life insurance company carefully to avoid wasting time if you have to re-apply elsewhere due to a poor decision.

How to get the cheapest life insurance premiums if you have diabetes

If you have diabetes and want to find the most affordable life insurance, then you should speak to an independent life insurance specialist. Often the cheapest insurer at quote stage will not be the cheapest insurer once they have underwritten the policy. The knowledge that an experienced life insurance specialist* can offer is invaluable as they have the experience to conduct searches on your behalf and will put you in touch with the most cost-effective insurance company based on your individual circumstances, saving you from having to complete multiple applications and guaranteeing the best price from outset.

We have vetted the services of an experienced life insurance specialist* who understands diabetes and has extensive knowledge in medical underwriting. Simply click on the link above and complete the form and they will be in touch to go through the details with you. Ensure you have as much information as you can, including your HBA1C reading, blood pressure and cholesterol readings if you have them and the date you were diagnosed. Be prepared to share your height, weight and lifestyle information as well so that the life insurance adviser is armed with a full picture of your health before selecting the best life insurance company to provide you with life cover.


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