I have diabetes – how will this impact my insurance?

If you’re diabetic, and looked into obtaining life insurance in the past I’m sure you will agree…it isn’t always easy!

Some companies will refuse to offer you cover and others will increase your premium as a result of what they deem to be an ‘increase in risk’. However, not all insurers will view your diagnosis in the same way.  In this post, we look at how you can find life insurance that will suit your needs whilst keeping your costs down.

Why do I need Life Insurance?

Life insurance is designed to provide financial security for your family in the event you were to pass away and to ensure they aren’t left with debts to maintain, such as a mortgage, loans, credit cards, parenting costs, or even the day to day bills.

It can be used to make sure these debts will be paid off or provisioned for if you die before the end of the policy term.

This can be paid to the surviving family as a lump sum, or as a monthly amount to accommodate ongoing expenditure or simply maintaining their lifestyle.

Diabetes & Life Insurance

It may (or may not!) come as a surprise, but premiums on life insurance for diabetics are likely to be higher than those for non-diabetics, as statistically people with diabetes are a higher risk for insurance companies.

If diabetes is not controlled carefully, the repercussions can be serious. It can have an impact on blood circulation and potentially cause other complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, neuropathy (nerve damage) and retinopathy (eye disease) – therefore, it should come as no surprise that premiums are likely to be higher for Life Insurance.

However, the important part to note is that not all insurers view the condition in the same way when it comes to the underwriting and pricing of their policies.  This can be a very complex area, and it’s very important that you speak with an Adviser about the options available to you.

The level of control and any complications of the condition will dictate the increase in premium an insurer is likely to add.

Premiums for diabetics will usually be ‘rated’. In simple terms, this means that the standard premium, for a person without diabetes, will have a percentage multiple added to it to take in to account the increased medical risk factors for diabetes – this is often done based on gender, HbA1c  reading (Mmol or percentage), type of diabetes (ie. T1 / T2 / Gestational) and age.

The increase in premium can be anything from 50% to 300%.  As mentioned before though, this is where speaking to an Adviser is essential.

One thing that most insurers agree on is that cover is typically not available for anyone with a Hba1c reading of more than 10 (86mmol). Cover can only look to be considered once there is an extended period of control in the condition.

The Application Process

When you apply for life insurance, the insurer will ask a lot of questions about your diabetes; the current state of control (including most recent readings), any historic complications, and detail around your smoking or drinking habits. It’s important to be honest and upfront about this, as if you withhold information, your policy might not pay out, making it essentially worthless. Also, in most instances they will verify your information with your GP so the full extent of control will eventually be established and the cost of the cover set appropriately in line with their view of risk.

How can I ensure I’m with the right insurer for my Life Insurance?

Our specialist Protection Advisers can help by doing all of the research for you and provide you with a recommendation & quotation tailored to your needs.  We don’t charge any fees for our service at any point either, so no harm in having a chat with us about making sure you have the right cover in place with the lowest cost insurer.

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Paul Reed – Protection Specialist and Co-founder of Vita – an independent, national award winning, insurance brokerage in Cardiff.