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Life Insurance With Diabetes

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    Living with diabetes can be difficult, but obtaining life insurance does not have to be. This article is here to help educate those living with diabetes about the process of getting life insurance coverage.

    We will discuss the types of policies available, how rates are determined based on your health conditions, and other important considerations such as lifestyle factors that could affect your premiums.

    You will also find helpful tips and resources to make the process of obtaining life insurance coverage easier.

    Life Insurance Options With Diabetes

    To determine life insurance eligibility for diabetics, life insurance companies most commonly want to know three things:when you were diagnosed, if you take insulin and if you use tobacco.

    On the term life insurance side, if you do not take insulin AND do not use tobacco, then you should have no problem getting approved for simplified issue term life insurance from carriers such as American Amicable and Mutual of Omaha, among many others.

    On the final expense insurance side (whole life insurance), underwriting standards are much looser. Even those who take insulin and who use tobacco can still qualify for immediate coverage, at preferred rates, with certain carriers. Insulin use may disqualify you from the industry’s very lowest rates (such as those from Sons of Norway and Transamerica), but you will have no problem getting preferred coverage with carriers, such as CVS Health, and depending on your age of onset, Mutual of Omaha.

    The only cases in which a diabetic may not qualify for traditional coverage is if they also have severe diabetic complications (such as retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, etc.) In these cases, guaranteed issue policies will be the best option. Guaranteed acceptance rates are significantly higher, as no medical underwriting is done, and these policies do have a 2-year waiting period, but they ensure that diabetics of all stripes at least have some form of coverage available to them.

    ProductCoverage Available?
    Term Life InsuranceYes
    Final Expense InsuranceYes
    Guaranteed Issue InsuranceYes

    How Common is Diabetes in the United States?

    Diabetes is a very common chronic condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 37 million Americans have diabetes – 1 in 10 people – and about 7.3 million of those have not been diagnosed yet.

    In the United States, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death among adults and the leading cause of disability. In fact, diabetes-related medical costs account for over $327 billion each year.

    Why Life Insurance Companies Care About Diabetes?

    People with diabetes are at higher risk for a range of serious health complications. Cardiovascular disease, which can include stroke and heart attack, is the leading cause of death among people with diabetes.

    This is because high levels of glucose in the blood can damage artery walls, leading to an increased risk for atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup in the arteries. Diabetes can also cause nerve damage and lead to kidney failure, vision loss, or even amputations if circulation becomes impaired.

    Diabetes often links to other conditions. For example, sleep apnea increases the risk of type 2 diabetes because it contributes to problems like glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. Sleep apnea impacts life insurance rates as well, which makes obtaining insurance for diabetes more expensive or difficult to get. People with type 1 diabetes also have an increased risk of multiple sclerosis by 3 times more than those without type 1 diabetes. Again, additional health conditions such as multiple sclerosis impact life insurance rates further

    For life insurance companies, these risks are a major concern since they may lead to higher mortality rates among people with diabetes. As such, they take steps to measure and mitigate these risks when determining life insurance premiums for those with diabetes.

    For example, life insurance companies may ask for additional medical information or require more frequent checkups in order to get an accurate picture of a person’s health and risk of mortality.

    By mitigating these risks through careful examination, life insurance companies are able to offer more reasonable premiums to those with diabetes, which can help protect them from financial hardship if the worst were to happen.

    Ultimately, life insurance companies care about diabetes because it can have a significant impact on mortality rates, and they want to ensure that their customers are adequately protected.

    What Key Questions Are Asked by Carriers?

    1. Current age?
    2. Type of diabetes?
    3. What medications are taken?
    4. Age of onset?
    5. Most recent Hemoglobin A1C reading?
    6. Any complications (e.g., protein in the urine or kidney disease, heart disease, stroke/transient ischemic attack, circulation problems, diabetic eye disease (retinopathy) or nerve disease (neuropathy)? If yes, give date.
    7. Name and address of the healthcare provider with the most complete records?
    No-Exam, Cash Value
    Burial Insurance

    15 companies competing for your business

    97% of the time we beat Colonial Penn

    30 days to get your money back, no questions asked

    * Based on website quote requests, through 2/28/23.
    (Check your rate to see their rates vs. ours)

    Term Life Insurance When You have Diabetes

    Term life insurance is usually the most cost-effective form of life insurance for people with diabetes, as it provides death benefit protection for a predetermined amount of time (e.g., 10, 15, 20 or 30 years).

    Rates are often lower than permanent life insurance rates and the premiums remain fixed over the life of the policy.

    Term Life Insurance Application Questions About Diabetes

    CompanyApp QuestionsDecision Criteria
    Mutual of Omaha

    Has the Proposed Insured ever (a) received care or treatment for, or (b) been advised by a physician or health care provider to seek treatment for:

    (a) Diabetes?
    (b) Diabetes before age 50 other than Gestational Diabetes?
    (c) Diabetes at any age with complications of Retinopathy (eye), Nephropathy (kidney), Neuropathy (nerve) or Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD or PAD)?

    If paired with tobacco, Decline.

    If diagnosed prior to age 49, Decline

    American Amicable

    Within the past 7 years has any Proposed Insured been diagnosed or treated by a medical professional for, taken medication for or currently under treatment for diabetes, any liver or gastrointestinal disease or disorder including but not limited to cirrhosis, hepatitis, pancreatitis, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis?

    If “Insulin use?” answered “Yes” , Decline.

    If diagnosed prior to age 34, Decline.

    If paired with tobacco, Decline

    Above, you will find Mutual of Omaha and American Amicable’s term life insurance decision criteria for diabetics.

    American Amicable’s Easy Term policy approves diabetics who were diagnosed after the age of 34 as long as they do not use tobacco and do not have diabetic complications.

    Mutual of Omaha’s Term Life Express policy has very similar decision criteria to that of American Amicable; however, Mutual of Omaha declines diabetics who were diagnosed before the age of 49.

    Diabetic complications, such as nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy, diabetic coma, insulin shock, PVD, PAD, and amputation due to diabetes, are treated differently, however. Both American Amicable and Mutual of Omaha consider diabetic complications “high-risk” and do not approve applicants with these conditions.. In this case, guaranteed issue whole life insurance is the best option.

    Guaranteed issue provides coverage for life, but at higher rates than traditional term life insurance, as no medical underwriting is done. Guaranteed issue coverage does have a 2-year waiting period, but for diabetics with complications, this option still provides some protection.

    Final Expense Life Insurance when you have Diabetes

    Final expense life insurance is a type of policy designed to cover funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, and other end-of-life expenses.

    It is great for those with diabetes because it offers coverage without the need to go through a medical exam or fill out a health questionnaire.

    Final Expense Application Questions: Diabetes

    CompanyApp QuestionsDecision Criteria
    American AmicableHave you ever been medically diagnosed or treated for complications of diabetes, including insulin shock, diabetic coma, retinopathy (eye), nephropathy (kidney), neuropathy (nerve damage/pain), or used insulin prior to age 50?"yes" answer = the Proposed Insured should apply for the Return of Premium Plan (2 year waiting period)
    TransamericaHave you had, been diagnosed with, treated for, tested positive for or been given medical advice by a licensed member of the medical profession, Prior to the age of 20 with Diabetes (other than gestational diabetes)?"Yes" answer = you are potentially eligible for the Graded Death Benefit product. (2 year waiting period)

    Compared to term policies, final expense whole life insurance underwriting can vary widely from carrier to carrier.

    For example, diabetics with diabetic coma are ineligible for all American Amicable plans, yet they get immediate coverage at Preferred rates with Foresters Financial.

    As shown in the table above, American Amicable will offer you immediate coverage as long as you have not taken insulin before age 50 and do not suffer from any of the following diabetic complications: diabetic coma, nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy.

    You can still obtain coverage with current complications; however, your rates will be higher and you will have to wait two years before you are eligible for the full coverage amount.

    Transamerica has more lenient underwriting criteria. You can obtain immediate coverage as long as you have not been diagnosed with diabetes before the age of 20. And as long as you were not diagnosed with nephropathy, neuropathy, or retinopathy before the age of 20, you can still qualify for immediate coverage.

    Guaranteed Issue Final Expense Insurance

    Guaranteed Issue (GI) Final Expense Insurance is an excellent option for people who have been declined for life insurance due to health issues, such as diabetes.

    With this type of policy, there is no medical exam or assessment and everyone is accepted regardless of their health condition.

    One catch is that the premiums tend to be higher than traditional policies, and the coverage is often limited to lower amounts.

    However, for those who are unable to qualify for a policy through a traditional insurer, guaranteed issue whole life insurance can provide the coverage they need.

    No-Exam, Cash Value
    Burial Insurance

    15 companies competing for your business

    97% of the time we beat Colonial Penn

    30 days to get your money back, no questions asked

    * Based on website quote requests, through 2/28/23.
    (Check your rate to see their rates vs. ours)

    No-Exam, Cash Value
    Burial Insurance

    15 companies competing for your business

    97% of the time we beat Colonial Penn

    30 days to get your money back, no questions asked

    * Based on website quote requests, through 2/28/23.
    (Check your rate to see their rates vs. ours)