Can diabetics get life insurance?

Diabetics can usually qualify for life insurance, but the coverage options and costs will vary.

Term life insurance for diabetics is a little easier to find; whole life insurance for diabetics is likely to be harder to qualify for and more costly due to the longer span of coverage. However, whole life is more expensive for people without diabetes as well.

Kristen Gryglik, a senior sales representative and licensed agent at Comparion Insurance in Boston, says that life insurance companies measure risk differently, so price shopping is key to getting the best deal.

“As for a diabetic, it really depends on the underwriting of the individual life insurance company and how long they’ve been a diabetic and the type of diabetes,” Gryglik says. “What type of medications do they take? Do they have other health issues? The answer is not a hard [and] fast no. Different life insurance companies have different underwriting guidelines, so it would make sense to shop around,” she says.

How much is life insurance for a diabetic?

Life insurance rates can vary a lot; rates depend on much more than just diabetes and factors include your age, your general health, smoking and other habits. There is no difference between life insurance for type 1 diabetics or life insurance for type 2 diabetics. It all comes down to how the life insurance company weighs the risk.

While one may view diabetics as a high-risk group of people to insure, pushing rates sky-high another might rate diabetics differently and offer a more affordable rate. So, while you can expect to pay more than someone without diabetes, how much more depends on the insurer.

Beyond how the company gauges risk, your specific case will determine how much you pay. Someone with a long history of well-managed type 1 diabetes will most likely pay lower life insurance premiums than someone with unchecked type 2 diabetes.

What’s the best type of life insurance for diabetics?

The best life insurance for diabetics depends on many factors, including your needs. How long do you need coverage to last? How much coverage do you need? For most people, including diabetics, term life is a good choice. You can buy more coverage for less, and terms can last up to 30 years.

A term life policy pays out a death benefit that will replace much-needed income if you die and leave a family behind. Your rates may be higher as a diabetic, but if you buy young, you’ll be able to lock in a lower rate for the duration of the term.

Whole life insurance will cost more than term life, but if you can get a policy, the rate will be locked for the remainder of your life and you won’t have to reapply. It’s important to consider whether whole life makes sense for you before you buy; most people need only term.

If you still need coverage when the term ends, most term life plans are convertible to permanent life.

“This policy locks in the coverage until they pass away. So, regardless of how long they live or any other health issues that may arise, this policy would be guaranteed to be paid out at the time of passing,” Gryglik says of whole life.

No medical exam life insurance, known as simplified issue, is a tempting option if you have diabetes. However, it’s essential to understand that the company will still ask medical questions and look at your health history; it will find out you have diabetes. And these plans cost more. If your condition is well-controlled and you are otherwise in good health, a medical exam will likely net you a lower rate.

If your health is poor and you can’t qualify for a traditional policy, guaranteed issue policies might be the only option. The application has no health questions or exams but is costly and offers small death benefit amounts.

Shopping for life insurance with diabetes

Shopping around and comparing prices will be the best way to find you the most inexpensive life insurance. With the added variable of diabetes and the other risk factors insurance companies consider, comparing rates across multiple companies is the best way to find affordable insurance.

Request quotes from as many companies as possible, and consider working with an agent who can help you to find a company with lower rates for diabetics. The important thing is to buy as soon as possible; as you get older, rates will get much higher.