Term Life Insurance With Diabetes: What You Should Know

Life insurance is a financial option that provides ease of mind and financial stability for your family in the event of your passing away. 

However, if you have diabetes, you might be wondering whether you can qualify for life insurance and what it might cost.

The good news is that many people with diabetes can indeed obtain life insurance. Even if you have pre-existing conditions like diabetes, there are various options available to ensure that you and your family are protected.

Types of Life Insurance Policies

The options include term life insurance, whole life insurance, and no medical exam life insurance. Each type serves different needs and comes with varying premiums.

Term Life Insurance

This policy provides a death benefit to replace lost income if you were to pass away within a certain period, typically 30 or 40 years, making it a suitable choice for those with well-controlled diabetes.

While diabetics can often secure term life insurance, it may come with slightly higher premiums.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance not only offers a death benefit but also a tax-deferred savings component.

 Premiums for this policy are usually higher than term life, which might be further elevated for diabetics. However, once approved, your premium remains fixed for life.

No Medical Exam Life Insurance

If you have advanced or uncontrolled diabetes, a simplified issue policy, which requires no medical exam but a health questionnaire, might be the right choice.

Additionally, there are guaranteed issue policies that have no health requirements, ensuring that even individuals with severe diabetes can obtain coverage.

How Diabetes Affects Life Insurance Costs

Life insurance premiums are typically higher for individuals with diabetes compared to those without the condition. Insurance companies base rates on life expectancy, and diabetes is considered a chronic health condition that often leads to higher prices.

Woman injecting herself with insulin

The diabetes type you have, whether Type 1 or Type 2, can also influence the cost of coverage. Type 1 diabetes, often diagnosed in younger individuals, can result in higher premiums due to the early onset of the condition and the need for insulin.

The cost depends on several factors, including age, blood sugar control, lifestyle, medication adherence, and any impact on major organ health.

Type 2 diabetes, more common in older individuals, tends to be less expensive in terms of insurance premiums, especially when well-controlled with proper diet and exercise. 

However, risk factors like obesity or complications such as heart or kidney disease can still affect costs.

Improving Your Life Insurance Options

If you have diabetes and are looking for affordable life insurance, there are steps you can take to improve your options and lower your rates while enhancing your overall health.

Healthy Lifestyle

Incorporate healthy eating habits, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy weight.

These lifestyle changes can help manage diabetes and blood sugar levels effectively, potentially leading to more affordable premiums.

Smoking Cessation

Quitting smoking can significantly improve your life insurance rates. Smoking increases the risk of diabetes and exacerbates its effects.

Consider participating in a smoking cessation program to enhance your insurance options.

Follow Your Treatment Plan

Adhere to your prescribed treatment plan. Depending on the severity and type of diabetes, this may involve insulin doses, medication, or lifestyle changes.

Policy Types for Diabetics

Individuals with diabetes can explore various life insurance policy types:

Man taking blood lancet pen at home

Term vs. Permanent Policies

Term policies are often more affordable and offer a large death benefit per premium dollar, but they provide coverage for a limited time.

Permanent policies like whole life or universal life are costlier but offer lifelong coverage and build cash value.

No Medical Exam vs. Full Underwriting Policies

The underwriting process involves assessing your health and diabetes. Standard medically underwritten policies require history information, a physical exam, and a diabetes-related questionnaire

No medical exam term policies are available, but they come with higher premiums.

What If You’re Turned Down?

Even if you’re turned down for regular life insurance coverage due to your diabetes, there are alternatives. You might consider a guaranteed-issue “final expense” policy, albeit it’s more expensive.

These policies are typically for seniors looking to cover funeral expenses and have a maximum death benefit, often with a waiting period before the full benefit is payable.

Final Words

In conclusion, while diabetes can affect life insurance costs, it doesn’t mean you can’t secure coverage. Life insurance companies consider various factors that may lead to hidden costs, including the type and severity of your diabetes when determining premiums.

By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, following your treatment plan, and exploring different policy types, you can find affordable coverage that protects your loved ones.