Diabetes & Life Insurance
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We often arrange life insurance for people with diabetes and fully understand that the diagnosis alone can create a complex mixture of feelings. There tends to be uncertainty about what the future may hold and the lifestyle changes you’ll need to make alongside relief that you finally know why you feel the way you do.
And then when the dust has settled, normal life resumes and you can turn your attention to addressing the essentials of protecting yourself and your family with your new circumstances in mind.
At Cura, this is just the kind of thing we’re good at. We take the time to listen to you and understand how diabetes affects your life so that we can find the best insurer to match your needs.
There’s just a few things we like to know first:
- When were you diagnosed with diabetes?
- What is your latest HbA1C reading?
- Do you have high blood pressure? What is the reading?
- Do you have high cholesterol? What is the reading?
- Do you have any additional complications such as diabetic neuropathy?
You will generally find that the more complex your diabetes is, the higher your premiums are likely to be.
So, if you have no other major health complications, have not had the condition for long and your HbA1c readings are good, you’ll probably be able to get a policy with a low premium increase, especially if you are older and a non-smoker.
If, however, you have had diabetes for a long time and are also dealing with other medical complications or your HbA1c reading is quite high, life insurance can still be found but it may just be at a slightly higher premium. In this kind of situation, it’s normal for an insurer to request a full assessment of your health from your GP which is nothing to worry about, it’s a standard practice with some life insurance applications.
The slight downside is that the start date of your life cover may be delayed slightly but the benefit is that your insurance terms will be based on a full understanding of your current health. It’s worth noting too that you won’t be charged for the report and you can ask to see a copy of it before it’s sent to the insurance company.
And when you apply for your life insurance, It’s a good idea to have your latest HbA1c reading to hand (taken within the last 6 months) so that the insurance provider is able to underwrite the policy straight from the application, rather than having to contact your GP.
Obtaining critical illness cover for type 1 diabetes can be slightly more complicated because it is found via specialist rather than standard insurance providers and is likely to exclude any claim relating to diabetes from the policy. We understand that this can make researching and securing critical illness cover a more stressful job than it perhaps needs to be so will use our knowledge and expertise to navigate the options for you.
Type 2 diabetes is also very strict on eligibility factors but in some circumstances, it may be possible to seek cover from some standard insurance providers, and maybe without exclusions. It would still be beneficial, however, for us to take the pressure off you and look into the available policies and explain exactly what you would and wouldn’t be covered for with each one.
We know that this can be a minefield and that any advice we can give will make your life easier in securing your critical illness cover.
Income protection for diabetics is very similar to critical illness cover in that it is possible to secure but is restricted to limited insurers. We know this market well and can explore your options for you to make sure that the cover meets your requirements, because the acceptance criteria can be quite strict too.
Insurers will generally be keen to see that your diabetes is well controlled and that it doesn’t come with any additional complications. It may also help if you were only diagnosed with diabetes as an adult, but we understand that this is beyond your control and is not an essential requirement for every insurer – it is likely that there will be the option to add exclusions or have a higher premium.
If long-term income protection cover is not looking like your best option, we could always look into an Accident, Sickness and Unemployment policy instead. These are designed to provide a monthly income replacement for 12-24 months if you are unable to work due to ill-health, long-term disability or redundancy.
These policies are not medically underwritten at the point of application, so it’s possible that you can have cover at the same rates as non-diabetics but it’s likely there will be an exclusion for any claims related to your diabetes.
Hi, today I’m going to be talking to you about arranging insurance when you have diabetes. So there are a number of insurances that you could look for if you are diabetic such as, life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection. And there are a number of versions of diabetes as well that would need to be detailed, so specifically things like type I and type II diabetes. There’s also juvenile onset diabetes and gestational diabetes as well. Insurers are going to want to know what type of diabetes you have and when you were diagnosed, so the month and the year that you were diagnosed as diabetic.
They’re also going to want to know information such as, your latest HbA1c reading. Ideally, that needs to be within the last six months. They’re going to want to know if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and they’ll want those readings. Again, ideally, within the last six months. Without the HbA1c reading, it’s not possible to provide you an accurate quotation, as to what you can expect to pay for these insurances and the insurers really do base their estimates on that, before they complete the application with yourselves.
They will want to know standard things such as, if you’re a smoker or not, your height and weight, so they can establish your BMI, and they may ask as well for your waist circumference. So that’s handy information to have if you can do. They will want to know if you have retinopathy, neuropathy, or have had protein in the urine. They will also want to know how your diabetes is controlled. So is it through diet, medication, or insulin. It could well be, that depending on your circumstances, that they’ll want to speak to your GP, just to clarify all the information about the diabetes. And that is nothing to be concerned about. It’s just the case of you give permission for them to speak to your doctor and the doctor fills out a form confirming the information about your health.
When it comes to the insurances itself, life insurance will generally come at a higher premium than somebody who doesn’t have diabetes. That’s how the UK market is at the moment. There is potential to get standard life insurance when you have diabetes, but you would need to be over the age of 60 and it would need to be extremely well-controlled. So it’s much more of a rare circumstance that that would happen.
There’s also critical illness cover. So that is available only for type II diabetics. Again, your diabetes must be extremely well-controlled for you to be eligible for that. And would suggest that you speak to somebody who’s familiar with those policies before you go through the application process and everything, just so that you have a realistic expectation of what may happen with the application. Type I diabetics aren’t eligible for what’s known as the standard critical illness plans on the market, but they could look at a version that is non-medically underwritten, where the diabetes isn’t included in the application process. The only thing is with those policies, is that you do have to be very careful with them in the wording, because they can come with a lot of exclusions in relation to the diabetes. So again, this is very worthwhile speaking to somebody who is very familiar with those products and can explain to you exactly what kind of claims you would be able to make and which ones would be excluded.
When it comes to income protection, that can be available for both type I and type II diabetics and it is worthwhile, again, noting that your diabetes must be well-controlled to be eligible for these. It could be a mixture of, you’re either probably going to get a premium increase or an exclusion to the policy claim set. Type I diabetes is going to lead the insurer to more likely offer an exclusion to the claim set for any diabetic-related claims.
What is Diabetes?
When people think of diabetes they often think of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a condition that someone is born with (type 1 diabetes) or that develops due to a persons lifestyle (type 2 diabetes). It can also develop as the result of other health factors e.g. pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
Diabetics need to carefully monitor their blood sugar levels. It is the blood sugar levels that are monitored to see how well your body is being able to produce and use insulin.
Also: Diabetes mellitus type 2, maturity-onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes
Yes you can. Depending upon your personal circumstances, you may be able to arrange life insurance on the standard market and if not, you can always place your application with a specialist insurer. We regularly arrange insurance for people who have diabetes, as well as other complications such as heart attacks, so even if you have been refused life insurance before, we can help you to sort your cover now – it’s simply about knowing which insurer is right for your circumstances.
It might be legitimate but there may be certain conditions attached.
If you have type 1 diabetes, a standard insurer might offer you a policy and simply attach a higher premium but a specialist insurer may give you the option to look at a managed life policy.
These are available to people living with diabetes and although they will be cheaper than a standard policy, the are dependent upon you living healthily and recording your exercise and fitness levels with the insurer. These policies are a fantastic option but you need to ensure that you can maintain the level of fitness required to keep your premiums low, because they will go up if you don’t.
The first option is not to worry.
It might be that your diabetes is simply outside the acceptance criteria of the insurer you have approached. This may be for a number of reasons including your HbA1C being too high or a recent change in medication.
Different insurers have different acceptance criteria and we can help you to find the one that’s right for you. We also have access to a number of specialist insurers who may be better suited to meet your needs.
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Review by Genevieve on 4th December 2019
“I'd been to so many insurance brokers but got turned down repeatedly because I have a pre-existing health condition. I was told “just save your money” and when it seemed like insurance wasn't an option I found Cura & everything changed!” - 5
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