Life insurance for diabetics – A complete guide

Diabetes pen test

March 11, 2022

If you have dependants that rely on your financial support for, say, paying the mortgage and you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, putting protective insurance in place will make sure your loved ones are looked after in the event of your untimely death.

It’s a common misconception that you can’t take out or will really struggle to get life insurance if you suffer from diabetes. However, if your condition is well managed and controlled, life insurance for diabetics isn’t usually a problem although premiums will be slightly higher as insurers see you as a higher risk.

Data from Diabetes UK shows that 1 in 10 Brits aged 40 or more have type 2 diabetes and a total of 4.7 million people collectively have both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Statistics also suggest that a further 5.5 million people will be diagnosed as being diabetic by the year 2030.

The sheer volume of diabetics in the UK together with medical advances in diabetes management has made life insurance with diabetes much more competitive than it has been historically. This means you can now get much better deals from a wider source of insurers, including critical illness cover (if you meet certain criteria).

Find out everything you should know about life insurance for diabetics in our comprehensive guide.

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Why are diabetics classed as high risk by life insurers?

Will a diabetes diagnosis affect my existing life insurance?

What type of diabetes increases life insurance premiums the most?

How much does life insurance for diabetics cost?

Does prediabetes life insurance cost more?

Does life insurance for diabetics payout?

Does critical illness cover diabetes?

Does income protection cover diabetes?

Can I get life insurance if I am a diabetic smoker?

How do I apply for diabetic life insurance?

Is it a legal requirement to have life insurance with a mortgage?

Can I get mortgage life insurance with diabetes?

Diabetes FAQs

Why are diabetics classed as high risk by life insurers?

Because diabetes-related health issues can shorten a diabetic’s lifespan, life insurers see you as a higher risk to insure and increase your premiums accordingly.

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.

There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be controlled by a variety of treatments such as dietary and medical measures.

There are numerous health problems and complications that can occur, especially if the condition isn’t properly managed.

In addition, if you have diabetes and get Covid you are much more vulnerable to the potentially devastating effects of coronavirus including death.

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You might like: Benefits of putting your life insurance in ‘trust’

Will a diabetes diagnosis affect my existing life insurance?

No, although you should let your insurer know if you receive a diabetes diagnosis for their records.

Because type 2 diabetes can develop later on in life, you may find you already have a life insurance policy in place before diagnosis.

If this is the case, you are usually able to keep the policy with the same terms, even though your health has changed.

Note: It’s important to remember that if you bought life insurance through a group plan with the company you work for, this cover will end if you were to leave your job. If this occurs, then you will need to apply for new life insurance.

You might like: Changing life insurance - what you need to know before switching

What type of diabetes increases life insurance premiums the most?

Life insurance for diabetics type 1 usually costs slightly more than life insurance diabetes type 2.

Whilst both type 1 and type 2 diabetes reduce a person’s average life expectancy and make diabetes life insurance premiums more expensive, type 1 diabetes life insurance premiums will be higher due to a shorter life expectancy.

According to diabetes.co.uk, the life expectancy of a person with type 1 diabetes can be reduced by over 20 years and a person with type 2 diabetes by up to 10 years.

Any of the following diabetic symptoms can also affect life insurance premiums:

  • blood sugar levels (Hba1c/Mmol)
  • treatments or medications
  • how long ago you were diagnosed
  • other medical health conditions such as smoking, high BMI, etc

How much does life insurance for diabetics cost?

According to Money Super Market data, the average cost of diabetic life insurance is £17.65, which is 19% higher than the average non-diabetic insurance premium of £14.85.

However, costs can widely vary and your diabetic life insurance premiums will depend on:

  • your Hba1c readings for the last six months
  • the type of diabetes you have
  • your overall health including any other pre-existing medical conditions
  • your age, height and weight (BMI)
  • the type of insurance policy applied for (i.e. whole of life or term life)
  • whether you have diabetic complications such as neuropathy, retinopathy, etc
  • your medical assessment (if required)

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Read more: Which life insurance policy should I get?

Does prediabetes life insurance cost more?

Usually, yes. Similar to a full type 2 diabetes diagnosis, prediabetes is recognised in the same way by insurers meaning your premiums will typically be slightly higher than someone without a prediabetes diagnosis.

Does life insurance for diabetics payout?

Yes, as long as you were completely honest when you applied for your life insurance and disclosed any preexisting medical conditions including diabetes, then your insurer should payout.

You might like: Life insurance payouts for 2021 and situations where insurers won’t pay out

Does critical illness cover diabetes?

Historically critical illness cover for diabetes wasn’t possible but some type 2 diabetics who are adequately controlling their illness and have no related complications can now get this type of cover. However, an insurer may exclude certain diabetes-related conditions from cover so check the small print of your policy.

Read more: A guide to critical illness cover

Does income protection cover diabetes?

Yes, someone with diabetes can get income protection cover and this is now easier than it has been historically, as alluded to in our blog linked to below. 

Read more: Can I get income protection insurance if I have diabetes?

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To find out more about how diabetes might affect car, travel and income protection insurance, check out our related blog.

Can I get life insurance if I am a diabetic smoker?

Not easily, no. Most if not all mainstream life insurance companies will refuse to insure a smoker with type 2 diabetes. However, you might be able to find a specialist insurer willing to offer a policy but the premiums will be unaffordable for most.

Read more: A new study shows that quitting smoking could save you up to £16,000

How do I apply for diabetic life insurance?

When applying for life insurance, whether you have diabetes or not, you will be asked to provide information about your health. You may also be asked to fill in an extra questionnaire or have a medical examination if you have certain medical conditions such as diabetes.

Not all insurance companies will offer diabetes life insurance cover for those who are chronically diabetic and have advanced diabetic illness(es). However, by providing as much information as possible, you can increase your chances of getting insured. Another reason for doing this is so that insurers can then assess you and your condition to decide on your policy premium price.

Requested life insurance diabetes information can include:

  • explaining to insurers exactly how you manage your condition
  • undergoing a medical assessment
  • providing comprehensive details of your treatment through your GP or specialist
  • sending medical reports
  • having blood sugar readings

All information you provide must be accurate. Sometimes people miss out certain details, details which may seem small or insignificant. A reason for doing this is to try and lower their premiums. However, if you were then to claim on your policy you may not be covered and a pay-out to your family could be refused.

Basically, if the information you supply to your insurer is incorrect, it could result in your policy being invalidated.

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Is it a legal requirement to have life insurance with a mortgage?

No, life insurance with a mortgage is not mandatory; only buildings insurance is required by mortgage lenders.

However, to protect your loved ones from losing their home, you should seriously consider mortgage life insurance or critical illness cover to ensure your mortgage payments are covered until the mortgage is paid off.

Can I get mortgage life insurance with diabetes?

Yes, getting mortgage life insurance with diabetes is completely possible in the UK and makes complete sense if you have dependants you care about.

Dependants means a spouse/partner and/or children that rely on you financially and may struggle to afford the mortgage repayments were you are no longer around.

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Bobatoo.co.uk works with a wide range of the best life insurers in the UK and can help you find the cheapest diabetes life insurance quotes, without compromising on quality.

Diabetes FAQs:

What are the classic symptoms of diabetes?

  • Being extra thirsty
  • More frequent urinating
  • Increased appetite or hunger pangs
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Blurred vision
  • Feeling irritable
  • Sores that are slow to heal

Can I find out if I am diabetic or prediabetic without seeing a doctor?

To be 100% certain you are diabetic or prediabetic, in a word, ‘no’.

Various [so-called] methods of testing that can be undertaken without seeing your GP are:

Testing for diabetes at home

You may have seen ‘home testing kits for diabetes’ on Amazon or perhaps had a close relative or friend offer the use of their glucose meter or pinprick device to ‘test’ how likely you are to be diabetic.

However, these types of superficial testing methods will only reveal your current blood sugar levels and are not a conclusive diagnosis of diabetes or prediabetes.

So if you or another member of your household have been on a low-carb diet such as Atkins or Keto, don’t be tempted to dig out that dusty bottle of urine testing strips at the back of your bathroom cabinet either!

Opticians eye tests

An optical eye test will only reveal eye damage called ‘retinopathy’ that is affected by diabetics. However, this again isn’t a diagnosis and an optician will recommend you visit your doctor for a diabetes blood test.

Pharmacy testing

Some pharmacies will offer a fee paying service for assessing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Again, the results of these tests are not 100% accurate and are by no means a conclusive ‘diagnosis’.

If your results indicate you’re at risk of diabetes, a pharmacist will recommend you get checked by having a diabetic blood test at your doctors. Some pharmacies will offer blood tests but you will have to pay a fee whereas your doctor’s test will be free on the NHS.

So if you’re tempted to sneakily ‘test’ yourself for diabetes without consulting your GP to get cheaper life insurance premiums, don’t. You could be putting your life at risk by avoiding an official diagnosis as your diabetic condition will need to be monitored and managed.

Most GPs offer a yearly health screening check to anyone aged 40 or over, which typically includes a HbA1c blood test to check for diabetes, especially needed if you have a high BMI and/or a family history of diabetes.

What health problems does diabetes cause?

  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy)
  • Kidney failure (nephropathy)
  • Foot damage such as infections or sores
  • Vision problems (diabetic retinopathy) that can cause blindness
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Miscarriage or stillbirth

What foods should diabetics avoid UK?

Anything food that contains large amounts of sugar, fat or salt. Consumption of any foods containing any of these three ingredients should be kept to a minimum.

Can I reverse diabetes?

You can reverse prediabetes or put diabetes into remission by losing a substantial amount of weight (around 15kg or 2 stone 5 pounds). However, there is no guarantee this is a permanent reversal if you have type 2 diabetes so it’s best to ‘nip it in the bud’ if you are diagnosed with prediabetes when it is still possible to reverse your diagnosis. Ramping up your exercise will also help.

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