As you probably know, diabetes is not an acute life threatening condition, but can lead to problems such as heart disease, blindness, vascular and kidney problems. These problems or the potential of these problems may put you off of seeking life insurance thinking that it will be impossible or too expensive for you.
Life insurance, particularly “term life insurance**” is commonly available for people who suffer from diabetes and the level of their premium is usually dependant on a number of factors.
(**Term life insurance is a type of policy that will pay out an assured premium in the event of your death, whether it be expected or not. Term policies carry none of the extra benefits such as a surrender value or the ability to withdraw amounts from them as they gain no interest for you during their period – or “term”. Term insurance policies can either be for a set period of years, until you die or renewed annually)
When considering life insurance for diabetes a company will normally consider:
- The type of diabetes: type 1 or type 2
- Medication being taken for the condition
- Medical history with regard to the condition
On top on these, the insurance company will consider the same thing they consider for everyone else, e.g.
- Smoking habits
- General medical condition
- Etc. etc.
Once the insurance company has all of the facts about you they will be able to assign you to a risk category. (This is an indication of the probability that your general condition will require a policy payment before your premiums have accrued to meet that sum. It is therefore also used as a base-line on the amount of your premium.) The higher the risk, the higher the premium you will have to pay.
One consideration to make when looking for life insurance for diabetes is how long have you had the condition, and is it under control. If you were diagnosed with the condition within the last 6 months or so, or the condition is not currently under control most insurance companies will not offer you a policy. It is in their best interests to wait until the extent and controllability of your diabetes reveals itself (for the newly diagnosed), and to also wait until your condition is under control and has been for some time for others. This is primarily because an insurance company cannot – by law – cancel your insurance cover until your policy is next up for renewal, so they prefer not to take on clients who have the potential of their condition worsening during the period of their policy.
If the premium is too high for you, your only real alternative is to search for another insurance company and try and find one that offers a lower rate. Although Insurance companies tend to use the same risk tables, their premiums can differ.
Should you already have an insurance policy, and the level of your diabetes has been under better control for a number of years, you may consider shopping around for a new policy. Given that your risk level is lower you may be able to find an insurer who will offer you a policy at a lower premium rate.
The danger of doing this is that by surrendering your existing policy (if it has a cashable value) to move to the new one you may lose out on a large percentage of the cash value due to its surrender clauses.
If you already have a life insurance policy and are subsequently diagnosed as having diabetes, this should not affect you policy premium, or at least not until the policy is up for renewal. (See **term insurance policies above). At which point you may choose to whether to accept your insurer’s new policy premium, or go looking for a new policy.
Where to find life insurance.
Unlike times gone by, where finding an insurance company was a matter of asking your doctor, specialist, family, or looking up insurance companies in the phonebook and asking them about the subject. Today you have the power of the Internet at your disposal. You can either search directly for companies in your province that advertise as offering diabetes life insurance, or read through the many forums devoted to the topic of diabetes where someone will probably be able to point you to a reliable insurer.
So, just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t have life insurance – you can. You may have to wait a bit to apply for it if you have just been diagnosed or it is still uncontrolled, and you may have to search a little bit extra, but the insurance you want is out there somewhere.