In today’s world of “instant information”, it’s easy to have some idea of how many people in the U.S. are dealing with diabetes. According to a report released in the summer of 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate over 10% of people living in the U.S. has some form of diabetes. That is certainly an incredible number when you consider there are about 350 million people in the U.S. So how do people get affordable life insurance with diabetes?
When we look at purchasing affordable life insurance, we have to wonder how these folks can get affordable coverage since rates are based primarily on age and health. Today we’ll take a look at life insurance for diabetics and discuss the options that are available.
Life Insurance Options for Diabetics
Certainly, it’s no secret that challenges will arise after a life-changing diagnosis like diabetes. Whether it’s type 1 or type 2 diabetes is going to complicate your approach to buying affordable life insurance.
It gets even more complicated if you need a very large death benefit to accommodate a large family and a lot of debt. But, fear not, if you are diabetic who needs affordable life insurance, there are many options to choose from. It’s all about management and control of your disease.
Controlling Your Diabetes
Once you are diagnosed with diabetes, the most important thing you can do is to work with your doctor who will develop a plan for you to start controlling your disease. When you have a plan in place and are following it as prescribed, it will increase the confidence of the insurance underwriters charged with classifying your risk to their company.
Treatment for type 1 diabetes typically consists of taking insulin, maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and frequent monitoring of your blood sugar. As long as you maintain the program prescribed by your physician, your chances of living a long and normal life are substantially increased.
When you have type 2 diabetes, your body is producing the insulin it needs but just not using it effectively. The treatment for type 2 very similar to type 1 except you may or may not need to take insulin. Since most type 2 patients are overweight when diagnosed, you can generally count on weight loss being at the top of your management plan.
Other Health Issues that You Should Address
When you are shopping for life insurance with diabetes, other health issues should be considered as part of your overall plan of staying healthy. If you really want to nail down the most affordable life insurance rate, you need to address other issues that can motivate your underwriter:
- Tobacco: Smokers automatically pay at least double for their life insurance whether diabetic or not. Giving up the cancer sticks is the most important (and usually the hardest) thing to conquer in order to receive the most favorable life insurance rates.
- Blood Pressure: Elevated blood pressure is certainly an indicator that underwriters will be concerned about. The good news is, if you are following the plan your doctor prescribed for managing your diabetes, your blood pressure will likely get back to normal over time.
- Weight: Most life insurers use a weight vs. height chart that spells out the minimum and maximum weight for your height. Once again, it’s likely your doctor is already addressing this and your weight should get back to normal over time.
- Alcohol: If you are over-consuming or abusing alcohol, this can have a negative effect on your life insurance rates and in some cases result in your application being declined. Although “social drinking” is not taboo, consider cutting back on your alcohol consumption.
Options for Buying Life Insurance with Diabetes
There are policy options to consider when you are shopping for life insurance with diabetes. These options may not necessarily impact the rates you’ll pay, but they can help you get coverage quickly. One of the most popular methods is by choosing a carrier that offers life insurance without a medical exam requirement.
For many people, the option to purchase life insurance without a medical exam is very appealing. In fact, they know they will typically pay higher rates but are willing to bite that bullet so they don’t have to have a medical exam.
It’s important to note, however, even though your underwriter will be unable to confirm your health by means of a medical exam, the underwriters will still have access to your health data that may be in the Medical Information Bureau, your prescription information contained in national Rx Records, and your driving record from your state’s division of motor vehicle report.
Finally, it’s important to note that insurance companies that offer no-exam life insurance, generally put a cap on the death benefit at $250,000 to $400,000. In many cases, a working head of household will be underinsured if they select a death benefit less than $500,000.
Life Insurance with Diabetes when all Else Fails
Unfortunately, there are many people out there who have been diagnosed with diabetes and fail to follow their doctor’s prescribed management program. These folks typically will take their insulin but everything else falls by the wayside. They don’t change their diet, get very little exercise, rarely check their A1C levels, and remain overweight.
These folks can still get life insurance through Guaranteed Issue life insurance. With the guaranteed issue life policy, the insurance company does not take your health into consideration and the company will typically issue a life insurance policy if you fall within the required age limits and are alive.
Although guaranteed issue life insurance has some downsides, there are many people (especially seniors) who purchase this type of policy as a last resort. In most cases, the policy will have a two or three-year waiting period before the full death benefit is paid, the premiums are much higher than traditional insurance, and there is a very low cap on the available death benefit. As we mentioned earlier, only purchase guaranteed issue life insurance as a last resort.
Choose the Best Independent Agent
The bottom line for finding the most affordable life insurance when you have diabetes is to contact an independent insurance professional who represents all the highly-rated insurance companies and can determine the most “diabetic friendly” insurance company among them. This action alone will be your best option for buying life Insurance with diabetes.
Independent agencies like LifeInsure.com have experienced and reputable independent agents who will advocate on your behalf and find the most affordable life insurance solution for your circumstances.