We understand that being told that you have diabetes type 2, can be a worrying situation. Whilst we cannot make the diabetes go away, we can take away stress that you may have when applying for insurance.
Things we need to know:
Individuals with type 2 diabetes should have no concerns about applying for Life Insurance. Some insurance providers will be able to underwrite your application at the time of submission if you are able to provide your latest HbA1c readings (taken within the prior 6 months) and have no other major health complications. If you are unable to provide these readings or do have other medical conditions your application is likely to be referred to underwriting and the insurer will want to contact your GP for additional information. This is a standard process for diabetics wanting Life Insurance and is often an advantage, as you can then be confident that the insurance provider has the latest account of your health before determining the policy available to you.
It is possible for a small number of type 2 diabetics to be accepted at normal terms. This would usually be when you HbA1c readings are less than 7, you have been diagnosed for less than 5 years, are over age 50 and have otherwise excellent health. For most people however a premium increase is likely.
Type 2 diabetics can have critical illness cover if they meet specific criteria set by the insurer. Critical Illness Cover applications for those with diabetes, will require the insurance provider to speak with your GP and will follow the same application process as that of Life Insurance. There are currently a few providers who can consider offering Critical Illness Cover for diabetics, there will however either be a number of exclusions on the policy or the cost of the cover will be increased.
To be eligible you must fall into the following categories:
Whilst Critical Illness Cover for diabetics is only available for a small number of diabetics on the standard marker, there are specialist policies available that could be worth considering. Specialist critical illness cover that is available for people with diabetes will come with an exclusion for diabetic related claims, and we would recommend that you speak with someone who can fully explain the policy to you, before you purchase it.
Income Protection for type 2 diabetics is available with a number of insurance companies. There are strict criteria for successful Income Protection applications for type 2 diabetics and you should be prepared that the policy premiums will be higher than those available to non-diabetics (or you could choose to have your condition excluded). To be eligible for Income Protection when you have diabetes you would have have no other serious conditions and the diabetes should be well controlled with no associated conditions.
Alternatively you could enquire about Accident, Sickness and Unemployment Cover which will not ask about your diabetes at the point of application, but certainly will exclude it from the policy claims set. Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover pays you a monthly income for between 12-24 months if you are unable to work due to ill health or redundancy.
Are you going on holiday? We work alongside a specialist broker who can help you to understand how travel insurance works when it comes to your diabetes. For more information on diabetics travel insurance, visit our dedicated page here.
What is Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of diabetes and typically develops after the age of 40. Type 2 diabetes displays a gradual decline in health as the pancreas continues to produce insulin, but no longer develops the correct amount for the body's regular functioning (insulin deficiency). Alternatively, the body may have developed a resistance to the insulin that is produced by the pancreas. Insulin is required to transfer glucose/sugar within the blood to cells that can alter it into energy.
Type 2 diabetes is characterised by low insulin that leads to high blood glucose levels. Initially this form of diabetes can be treat by a change in diet, but as the illness progresses medication in the form of tablets and/or insulin injections is likely to be required. Properly diet-controlled or medicated, a type 2 diabetic can lead a perfectly normal and healthy life. The greatest impact of a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is the change in lifestyle that is required to improve symptoms, which is dependent upon a positive attitude to alter habits for a longer and healthier life.
Also: Diabetes mellitus type 2, maturity-onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes
Linked with: Type 1 diabetes, kidney failure, atheroma, circulation problems, nerve damage, dehydration and hypoglycaemia
Possible Effects on Lifestyle
Common problems experienced by individuals who have diabetes include:
Medications and Treatments
The above list is respective of all of the major groups of medications that are issued for type 2 diabetics: Alpha Glucosidase Inhibitor, Biguanide, DPP-4 Inhibitors (Gliptins), Incretin Mimetics/GLP-1 Analogues, Prandial Glucose Regulators, Sulphonylureas, Thiazolidinediones (Glitazones).
Further Reading and Research
By clicking on the link(s) above you will be departing from the regulatory site of Special Risks Bureau. The Special Risks Bureau (Cura Financial Services) is not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained within the linked site(s).
1. I arranged life insurance a few years ago and have just been told that I am now diabetic. Do I need to inform the insurer?
Typically no. When you take out most life insurance policies the insurer is offering you a policy, based on a snapshot of what your life is then and there, on the date that the policy went live. You do not need to tell the insurer if you have developed type 2 diabetes, after you arranged the policy. That being said, if you know that you are diabetic or think that you might and don't tell the insurer during the application process, you could be seen as not disclosing all relevant details to them. This would make your policy void and a claim would not be paid.
2. I am diabetic, but I am trying really hard to make good lifestyle choices, eat healthier and be fitter. Can the insurer take that into account for life insurance?
There are some policies, known as managed life policies, that might be perfect for you. With these policies you kind of enter an agreement with the insurer that if you manage your diabetes well and live a healthier lifestyle, they will reward you with cheaper premiums. You will need to send the insurer evidence of your hard work e.g. daily steps, weight loss, exercise tracking, at set intervals. We think that these policies can be good value, but it is bearing in mind that if you cannot commit to regular exercise or healthier lifestyle choices, that your premiums will most likely go up.
3. I am a type 2 diabetic and I'm struggling to get life insurance, I have been declined by three insurance companies. What can I do?
Insurance can be strange sometimes. You may find that Insurer A will decline someone life insurance because of their diabetes, but Insurer B can offer it at what is known as non-standard terms (premium increase). In some cases insurers may even refuse life insurance! It's all about knowing the market, knowing the insurers and the best underwriters to speak to, for someone who has diabetes. It is our job to know this difference and know where to place your life insurance application, so that you can get covered as quickly as possible. If your diabetes isn't well controlled, there have been recent changes to your health, or you have additional health complications, then you may need to apply to a specialist insurer for your life insurance.
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Review by Sarah on 26th January 2018
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