All You Need to Know About Applying for Life Insurance with Diabetes

Updated on November 1, 2021
Life Insurance & Diabetes: How to Shop for the Right Policy

Life insurance protects your family in the case of your demise. Ideally, good insurance should come with an affordable premium as well as generous monetary compensation for your survivors to avoid financial disasters caused by your absence. Unfortunately, because of the insurance provider’s policy, not everybody can get life insurance even when they can afford the premium.

Individuals with health problems like diabetes are more likely to face the challenge of obtaining coverage. However, applying for life insurance and mortgage protection with diabetes does not totally remove your chances of getting it. It all depends on certain factors, which we will discuss later. If you are diabetic, the info below will help you explore your options and increase your chances of getting approved for life insurance.

Why Diabetics May Face Difficulties When Applying for Life Insurance

Companies offering life insurance are not obliged to cater to everyone. You need to go through underwriting, a process that determines whether you qualify to benefit from the policy and the amount you will pay. During this process, you may need to undergo medical examinations, and the insurer will ask about your recent habits and previous health status.

These interrogations are geared towards assessing the probability that you will die while being insured, and the insurer will pay death benefits to your family. If the company discovers that you have a chronic health condition like diabetes, they will classify you as “high risk”. Diabetes is linked to severe outcomes, including loss of vision, infection, nerve damage, kidney disease, and heart disease.

Since insurers already believe that a diabetic will die while being covered, they will charge a higher premium or reject the application. The outcome depends on the specific situation. For instance, diabetes type 2 is regarded as a more manageable situation than diabetes type 1. Therefore, insurers are more likely to provide coverage to a type 2 diabetic.

Furthermore, diabetics who were diagnosed at an old age stand more chances of getting insurance coverage. This is because diabetics, who were diagnosed when they were young, face a high risk of complications. Different insurers offer different policies and some companies specifically offer insurance for diabetics. But if you manage the health condition properly, you can choose from different policies, including whole life and term life coverage.

Life Insurance Options for Diabetics

Getting life insurance when you have diabetes | Diabetes South Africa

The policy you will eventually choose will be based on your budget as well as whether you will require medical examination. The major options available are:

1. Term Life

This is the simplest and cheapest policy, and it lasts between 10 to 20 years. It is ideal for patients who are properly managing their diabetes. You will undergo medical examination and fill a questionnaire about your health.

2. Whole Life

This is suitable if you want the policy to serve as your asset because it provides lifelong coverage. The insurer invests a fraction of the premium every month so your policy can yield value. As soon as it has gained enough monetary value, the insurer can allow you to take out a loan against the policy.

It is important to know that this option costs more than the term life option, and it requires medical examination. Therefore, type 1 or type 2 diabetes patients who are not getting treatment may be unable to get affordable rates or coverage.

3. Guaranteed or Simplified Issue

If the diabetes is uncontrolled or advanced, you can choose this option as it does not require medical examination. A guaranteed issue policy does not require both the medical examination and health questionnaire whereas a simplified issue requires you to fill the health questionnaire.

Additionally, both policies are open to patients who are older than age 50. Because the insurer does not have in-depth information about your condition, the policies are usually expensive. They are capped at smaller amounts like $25000 or $50000.

Melissa Thompson of notes ” many people with well controlled diabetes may qualify for non medical exam policies.  Certain life insurance providers may offer up to $500,000 of immediate death benefit life insurance coverage.  Non medical exam life insurance with diabetes is easy to obtain and the rates may be comparable to plans that require medical testing.

4. Group Life

If you are employed, you can get coverage from your workplace that is if your employer offers this option as a benefits package. The interesting part of this option is that your employer may cover some or all the premium. Also, no medical examination is required, but some employers offer policies that are worth 1 or 2 times your paycheck. However, you can consider a supplemental policy if there are assets you want to protect, a debt, or financial dependents.

What to Expect in the Health Questionnaire and Medical Examination

If the policy you choose requires filling a questionnaire, you should expect questions about the medical history of your family and your health and lifestyle. The questions may include the following:

  1. Is the diabetes type 1 or 2?
  2. When did you find out about the condition?
  3. How regularly do you check your glucose level?
  4. Are you on oral medication, insulin, or both? 
  5. Are you on any exercise routine or diet?
  6. What’s your most recent A1C reading?
  7. What was the average reading in the previous year?
  8. Have you tested again for diabetes?
  9. Who’s your doctor? When was your last appointment?
  10. Have you developed any complications related to diabetes, such as kidney problems, blackout spells, impaired vision, or hypertension?
  11. Have you developed other severe conditions like kidney disease or coronary artery?
  12. Have you experienced insulin or diabetic coma?
  13. Are you currently on dialysis?

The insurer may request results of recent tests and records of hospitalization, referrals, prescriptions, and doctor’s appointments. Ensure you have your documents handy during your application.

Furthermore, during the medical examination, a technician will check your weight and height, glucose level, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels (LDL and HDL). The examination may also include an ECG (electrocardiogram) or microalbumin test to check for signs of damage to the kidney. You can visit this website to get lifestyle tips for controlling diabetes. 

How to Increase Your Chances for Approval

The 7 Best Life Insurance Companies for Diabetics of 2021

The following tips will help you get approval and reduced rates when applying for life insurance with diabetes:

  1. Search and compare quotes from different insurers. Some companies are very flexible while others are rigid. 
  2. Take full control of your health by visiting your doctor regularly, taking your medication as prescribed, eating a balanced diet, and staying active. This way, you can prove to the insurer that you are managing the condition properly.
  3. Use brokers that specifically serve high-risk clients.
  4. Look for insurers that offer wellness programs. Such companies can reward you with a discount when you stay active or eat healthily.


Diabetics usually seek life insurance not just for themselves but also for the protection of their loved ones. If you’ve been diagnosed with the ailment, you need to focus more on keeping it under control. You should also shop around for affordable coverage from reliable companies. 

+ posts

Senior Outlook Today is your go-to source for information, inspiration, and connection as you navigate the later years of life. Our team of experts and writers is dedicated to providing relevant and engaging content for seniors, covering topics such as health and wellness, finances, technology and travel.