How to Secure Term Life Insurance if you have Diabetes

If you have an adverse health condition like diabetes, it may be more difficult for you to obtain life insurance coverage. But if you know the best way to shop for it, securing permanent or term life insurance for diabetics can be much easier than you might think.

Problems for Diabetics When Applying for Life Insurance

Applying for life insurance will often require that you go through the underwriting process. But if you have a condition like diabetes, the insurance company will typically want to know more about your health. That’s because the insurer wants to know just how much risk it may be taking

The underwriting process with life insurance for diabetics will oftentimes include taking a medical exam. This exam is performed by a paramedical professional. It can take place at your home or office and it takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. In addition to providing more information about your health and medical issues, the paramedical professional will also collect a blood and urine sample from you.

These samples will then be analyzed by the insurance company in order to check for various health issues. Through these samples, the insurer may also be able to determine whether or not you are a smoker.

Depending on the seriousness of your diabetic condition, the insurance carrier may charge you higher rates for your coverage. Or they may not approve your application at all. The outcome will depend upon your other health-related criteria such as height and weight, and overall lifestyle.

How Diabetes Affects Life Insurance Underwriting

Diabetes is a condition that impacts the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin. This can result in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates as well as elevated glucose levels in the blood and urine.

There are two types of diabetes. These are Type 1 and Type 2.

With Type 1 diabetes the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. When these cells are destroyed it reduces the body’s ability to produce a sufficient amount of insulin, and in turn, regulate the body’s blood glucose levels.

Type 1 diabetes was often referred to as juvenile diabetes in the past. This is because the condition frequently came on at a young age. Today this condition can affect people of all ages. Getting term life insurance for a type 1 diabetic will be more difficult than getting life insurance for a type 2 diabetic.

When an individual has Type 2 diabetes, the body’s cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. Eventually, the body will stop the production of insulin. It can also no longer effectively use glucose. Because of this, glucose starts building up the blood.

With either type of diabetes, there are several common symptoms. These can include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts or sores that do not properly heal

Both types of diabetes can also lead to other serious health issues. These may include stroke, heart attack, nerve damage, kidney failure, and possibly even the amputation of limbs.

If you have diabetes and you are applying for life insurance, you may be able to get coverage if your condition has been under control for at least six to twelve months. If you are insulin dependent you may also be able to secure life insurance coverage.

The life insurance underwriters will typically want to know more about your diabetic condition. For instance, some of the questions you may be asked on a life insurance application include:

  • When were you initially diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Do you have a family health history of diabetes?
  • Which type of diabetes do you have – Type 1 or Type 2?
  • What are your most recent blood sugar / glucose levels?
  • What type of medication (if any) are you presently taking for your diabetes?
  • What are your most recent A1C levels?

Typically, the term life insurance rates for people with Type 2 diabetes tend to be less than for those with Type 1 diabetes. But this can depend on how well the condition is under control. It is also dependent on whether or not you have any other health conditions and whether or not you are a smoker.

Life Insurance Approval Outcomes for Diabetics

Will you be approved for permanent or term life insurance with diabetes?

The answer is it depends.

Type 1 Diabetics

But generally, the best outcome for those who have Type 1 diabetes will be approved with a Table 2 – 4 rating. This means that you may be approved and given that your condition is well controlled, you may only have to pay a slightly higher premium rate. As an example, a Table 2 life insurance rating is usually equal to the standard rating plus an additional 50% premium.

A more typical outcome for Type 1 diabetics may be approved with a Table 5 – 8 rating. In this case, your premium may be 100% to 200% higher than that of a standard policyholder.

Type 2 Diabetics

If you have Type 2 diabetes, life insurance rates may be more affordable. This is especially the case if your condition is being well controlled through medication and/or diet and exercise.

Type 2 diabetics can possibly qualify for a standard rate class with no table rating. Your A1C levels will have to be steady under 6.5 at the time of the exam and you will have to show that they have been controlled over a period of time before the application.

Certainly, a worst case scenario for someone with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes is receiving a decline from the insurance company. But that does not necessarily always mean that getting life insurance is completely out of the question. That is because you may be able to qualify for a guaranteed issue policy.

Should Diabetics Skip the Life Insurance Exam?

Nothing really good can come from a life insurance exam when you are a diabetic. Especially if your A1C levels are spiked at the time of your exam.  A no exam life insurance policy may be able to provide diabetics with the coverage that is needed. However, before going this route there are some important items to consider. For instance, the cost of no exam life insurance is typically higher than fully underwritten coverage. This is because the insurance carrier is taking on more risk.

When you talk to one of our agents we can help you understand your options and which route is best for you.

The Best Type of Life Insurance When You Have Diabetes

The best type of life insurance for diabetics will depend on your specific needs and coverage requirements. Because permanent life insurance includes both death benefit protection and a cash value component, it tends to be more expensive.

If you are seeking more affordable coverage, a term life insurance policy may be the best way to go. Term life insurance provides death benefit protection only. This type of coverage is purchased for a specific amount of time such as ten years, twenty years, or even for thirty years.

Because of its simplicity, term life is typically a much more affordable coverage option. With level term life insurance, the premium and the amount of coverage are usually locked in for the entire life of the policy.

Best Life Insurance Companies if you are Diabetic

Picking the best life insurance company for a diabetic can be tricky.  Mostly because your A1C will not be known until you take an exam. If you have a history of controlled A1C levels then the best term life insurance company if you have diabetes would be Banner, Prudential, AIG.

If you want to skip the exam and do not have a history of insulin shock or hospitation from your diabetes, Sagicor could be a good option no exam term life insurance company for a diabetic.

If you have had complicaitons and bad history then Phoenix could be a ggod option or possibly a garanteed issue type life insurance company. This is something and will be determined on a case by case basis so you will definitely want to talk to one of our agents before you apply to any company.

Next Steps for Securing Term Life for Diabetics

If you’re seeking term life for diabetics, it is recommended that you work with an independent life insurance specialist. That way you will be able to shop and compare policies from multiple insurance companies. Because different insurance companies often have different underwriting criteria, you may find that policies are more affordable at one insurer as versus another…even for the very same type and amount of coverage.

An independent insurance agency can also be more objective because they are not tied to just one single insurance company and their products. This means that the agent can go out into the marketplace and find the plan that is the best for your specific needs.

At, we have access to more than 40 top rated life insurance companies. So, we can help you to find the best life insurance coverage for your needs and for your budget. To start comparing quotes for term life insurance with diabetes, just simply click the get a quote button in the sidebar of this page.