How Diabetes affects Life Insurance Premiums

Diabetes is a chronic disease that impacts more people than you probably think.  Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, here are the latest Diabetes statistics in the United States alone:

  • 30.3 million people have diabetes (9.4% of the US population)
  • 23.1 million people are diagnosed with a form of diabetes
  • 7.2 million people or 23.8% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed
  • 84.1 million adults aged 18 years or older have prediabetes or 33.9% of the adult US population
  • 65 years or older: 23.1 million adults aged 65 years or older have prediabetes

With so many people having Diabetes, or prediabetes, how does their chronic illness impact life insurance premiums?

Life Insurance with Type 1 Diabetes

People with type 1 diabetes, or often referred to as juvenile diabetes, make up the smallest segment of the diabetes population.  Since majority of people who have type 1 diabetes were diagnosed at a young age, life insurance companies will view them as the highest ‘risk’ in terms of underwriting.  Type 1 diabetics will not have as many ‘options’ to choose from compared to type 2 diabetics

Doug Thompson of Diabetes 365 says “life insurance companies will for the most part, consider most type 1 diabetics for coverage.  However, companies are going to rate their policies higher, and add table ratings to the policy. Each table rating is 25% more in premium, and most type 1 diabetics could expect to pay 100% to 150% more compared to a non-diabetic.  Life insurance companies have come a long ways over past 10 years, and are able to offer coverage to type 1 diabetics who have average to above average control of their diabetes”

If you have type 1 diabetes, and a form of a diabetic complication, not only will your rates be higher, but the amount of companies to choose from will be slim. Only a few companies will offer type 1 diabetics with diabetes complications.  You’ll be viewed as an extremely high risk. Premiums could reach almost 200% to 300% higher for people with poor control of their type 1 diabetes.

The good news for type 1 diabetics is, that there are ways to lower their premiums.  One way to lower your life insurance premiums is to use diabetes related technology. Multiple companies will offer discounts if you use fit bits, Controlled Glucose Monitoring systems, and insulin pumps.  These discounts may save you thousands of dollars, over the life time of the insurance policy. Also seeing an endocrinologist on regular basis, and showing companies that you are taking your type 1 diabetes very seriously, may help lower rates by 25%.  The healthier you are overall, the less expensive you policy will be.

Life Insurance with Type 2 Diabetes

Majority to the diabetes community consists of type 2 diabetics.  Often times, a person would not be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, until they were in their 30’s, 40’s, or even 50’s.  Due to this, most companies are going to view a person with type 2 diabetes much more favorably, compared to people with type 1 diabetes.

According to Diabetes Life Solutions, many people with type 2 diabetes will receive life insurance premiums at the same rate, as people without diabetes.  Life insurance companies will not view a person with type 2 diabetes as a higher risk, due to the later age, that diabetes is usually first diagnosed.

For some well controlled type 2 diabetics, they’ll even have the opportunity to qualify for Standard, Preferred, or even Preferred Plus rates.  The same rates that are given to people in near perfect health! This means no extra premiums, due to having a chronic illness.

Some tips to receive the best rates include being compliant with your Doctor’s instructions, dieting and having a regular exercise program, as well as testing blood sugar levels regularly.  Also, if you using exercise apps or devices like Fitbit, certain companies will offer discounted rates, for using this type of technology.

Now if you have type 2 diabetes, and may not have the best control, and possibly even diabetes related complications, you’ll still have options available to you.  However, rates will be 50% to 250% higher compared to well control type 2 diabetics.

Life Insurance with Prediabetes

If you are an individual who falls into the prediabetes category, you may be concerned about how life insurance companies will view your health profile.  Surprisingly, most companies are NOT concerned with a person who is prediabetes, as long as they are following doctors’ orders.

Majority of companies will offer Standard to Preferred Plus rates, assuming no other major health concerns.  The key to getting favorable life insurance rates with prediabetes is to make some lifestyle changes, exercise regularly, and also watch your diet.  As long as you are doing these simple things, you’ll have no issues getting coverage.

Obtaining life insurance with any type of diabetes is probably more affordable than you think.  Don’t put off finding life insurance coverage any longer, just because you have heard that diabetes and life insurance are expensive.  That’s simply not the case.