Having sufficient life insurance is a consideration anyone should have in place to protect their loved ones from shouldering an unnecessary burden in the event of an untimely death.
Medical history is one thing that must be considered when shopping around for life insurance. Specifically, diabetes is a medical condition that can affect whether you qualify for life insurance and how much your premiums will be.
Types of Diabetes
If you have diabetes and are looking for life insurance, it is first important to make the distinction of what type of diabetes you have. Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is a condition which usually develops during childhood and causes your body not to produce insulin on its own. Therefore, almost everyone with type 1 diabetes takes insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is also known as adult-onset diabetes. It sets in later in life and hampers your body from producing enough insulin. Some patients are able to control their type 2 diabetes through diet and exercise; others may have to take insulin, similar to those with type 1 diabetes.
There is also gestational diabetes, which occurs in a small percentage of pregnant women. Oftentimes, this condition goes away on its own after giving birth, in which case it should yield no ramifications when taking out a life insurance policy.
Diabetes and Insurance Policies
For type 1 diabetes, life insurance underwriters look at a variety of measures to determine how much control you have over your diabetes. This will determine your eligibility and premiums. The best case scenario is that the underwriters find your diabetes to be well controlled, and they are able to issue you a policy at standard or close to standard rates. The worst case scenario would be if you have poorly controlled diabetes combined with other risk factors, such as smoking or obesity. In this case, they may increase your premiums or deny you outright.
Life insurance underwriting for type 2 diabetes is typically more lenient. This is because type 2 diabetes is thought to be easier to control with healthy lifestyle choices. Particularly for people who are able to control their diabetes without taking insulin, turn-downs and rate-ups (being charged premiums higher than standard rates) can be avoided.
As previously noted, gestational diabetes reverses itself more often than not after childbirth, particularly if the mother adheres to healthy lifestyle choices. For cases in which this doesn't happen or at least doesn't happen right away, gestational diabetes is generally viewed by life insurance underwriters as being on the same level as type 2 diabetes.
Finding Life Insurance
If you put in an application for life insurance and are turned down due to the status of your diabetes, there are still options for you. Many life insurance companies offer what are called guaranteed issue policies. These are available to almost anyone, but there are some stipulations, starting with the fact that the benefit amount is usually lower and the premiums higher. Also, some guaranteed issue policies have two-year waiting periods before they will pay out. A guaranteed issue policy, despite its drawbacks, is better than having no life insurance coverage at all.
Life insurance is a key component of financial responsibility. Even if you have diabetes, there is a good chance you can find a policy that suits your needs by working with a qualified broker. The important thing is not leaving your loved ones in a bind should the worst happen.