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Life Insurance for Diabetics and Tips for the Best Rate
All too often we have to break the news to our client that they have diabetes. The sad truth is most people looking for life insurance with diabetes don't even know they have the disease. It is a silent killer because the symptoms are typically asymptomatic and does not show itself until something significant occurs, such as a stroke.
The good news is people are becoming more aware of the dangers of diabetes and how to properly treat the disease to obtain a long and healthy life.
This has made specific life insurance companies underwriting more favorable to those with controlled diabetes. Applying with one of these companies is one of the keys to finding the best rates on life insurance with diabetes.
Now if you have diabetes, there are some things you should know to help you get the best life insurance policy for diabetics and secure the lowest price available. It all starts by asking four important questions.
Life Insurance with Diabetes Type 2
Diabetes is characterized by sugar in the blood. When the body cannot use the insulin that is created properly, this results in type 2 diabetes. Or when the pancreas does not make enough insulin, this also results in type 1 diabetes.
These are very rudimentary definitions but the main problem with diabetes is too much sugar in the bloodstream. Over time, problems arise affecting other body functions, resulting in damage to the kidneys, amputations, and vision loss. Also, left untreated, high blood glucose levels damage nerves and blood vessels, leading to complications such as heart disease and stroke, the leading causes of death among people with diabetes.
Diabetes affects many Americans. In fact, over 27 million people in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes. Due to the increase in of diabetes, U.S. life insurance companies have made huge changes over the last few years.
1. Can I get life insurance with type 2 diabetes?
The quick answer is YES.
Ultimately, getting life insurance with diabetes will depend on the type of diabetes and the severity of the disease, how well it is being controlled and for how long it has been controlled.
The main things that a life insurance underwriter will inquire into are:
- What is your A1C level? A good A1c level is anything below 7.5. However, you can still qualify for life insurance as a diabetic with an elevated A1c of 8.5. Ideally, you want your A1c to be below 7 for a chance at a rate class better than standard.
- When were you diagnosed? As we discuss below, the later in life you are diagnosed, the better rate class you can qualify for. If you were diagnosed before age 30 then it will be very difficult to secure regular life insurance.
- What is a typical fasting blood sugar level? A blood sugar level of 140 and below is ideal. However, candidates for life insurance with blood sugar levels up to 180 will still be considered. Some companies also look at your fructosamine levels. This test looks at the client's blood sugar levels over the past 2 - -3 weeks. Levels between 1.5 and 2.5 are ideal.
- How often you see your physician? Life insurance companies want to know that you are preventative and that requires at least a bi-annual check up. Seeing your physician on a quarterly basis shows that you are very preventative.
- What medication(s) are you taking? Are you taking pills, or insulin, or both? You may even have your diabetes controlled exclusively through diet. Controlling your diabetes through diet is best. Next, pills are going to be looked at more favorably than insulin. However, even a type 1 or 2 diabetic on insulin can still qualify for affordable life insurance.
- Any complications such as retinopathy, neuropathy, or kidney disease? Having no complications due to diabetes shows the life insurance underwriter that you have good control over the disease.
Are you over age 50 and looking for life insurance with diabetes? The good news is that the older you are when you are diagnosed with diabetes, the better life insurance rate class you can qualify for.
The main reason that a life insurance rate class improves with a diagnosis of diabetes later in life is that the person with diabetes has not been forced to battle high blood sugar for a long period of time. Therefore, he or she is less likely to succumb to the side effects of elevated blood sugar levels associated with diabetes. Side effects such as cardiovascular disease, neuropathy, retinopathy or kidney disease. A better rate class means a lower price.
2. What rate class can I qualify at for diabetic life insurance?
Life insurance companies have about 12 different rate classes. Your rate class has a direct effect on how much you will pay for life insurance with diabetes. The following list provides the various rate class diabetics can qualify for life insurance at:
- Most well controlled diabetics will come back at a standard rate class.
- However, a client with superb documentation, whose diabetes is controlled via diet, and who has a low A1C (below 6), can get a standard plus rate class with certain carriers. There is even a carrier who will offer a preferred or preferred plus rate class for clients over age 60 with diabetes.
- If your A1C is elevated (7.5 and above) or you are taking insulin to control your diabetes, then you will most likely receive a rate class below standard, typically a table B or table 2 rate class or below.
Here is an example of how life insurance companies look at applicants with diabetes.
If a 35 year old diabetic looking for life insurance had a blood sugar level of 130 and an A1C of 6.5, the best rate class he could obtain would probably be table B, although most clients would probably receive a table D or worse.
However, the rate class would be significantly different on life insurance for diabetics over 50 years old. A client that has a blood sugar level of 140 and an A1C of 7 would probably qualify for life insurance at a standard or standard plus rate class depending on other factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure and build.
3. What is the process of applying for diabetic life insurance?
Some type 2 diabetics looking for life insurance may be better served with a no medical exam life insurance policy. All you have to do is answer a series of questions about your health and lifestyle. There is no paramedical exam required, which means no blood draw.
And for those of you who believe you may have diabetes but have never been diagnosed, a no medical exam life insurance policy could save you a ton of money. Click below for more reading on the difference between a medical exam and no medical exam life insurance policy.
Another route to take when applying for life insurance with diabetes is a fully underwritten life insurance policy which requires a medical exam. The examiner typically comes to your home and checks your height and weight and takes a small blood and urine sample. Your lab results are then processed. The carrier will request physician statements and look into your medical records. The life insurance company will also do a prescription database check to see what medications you are currently taking and have taken in the past. An underwriter will then assess your “risk” level and give you a rate class assigned to your specific risk.
Your assigned agent at TermLife2Go will then follow up with you and let you know of your approval. The entire process is handled by us so you can just sit back and wait for the life insurance carrier to complete your file. Speaking of life insurance carriers, not all life insurance carriers are the same when it comes to underwriting diabetes!
4. Who are the best diabetic life insurance companies?
Not all life insurance carriers are the same when it comes to underwriting diabetics. As with all industries, competition forces various life insurance companies to revisit various diseases and medications. It is the same with diabetes.
The key to getting life insurance for diabetics is to go with the most type 2 diabetes friendly life insurance company available.
But you need to know which diabetes friendly life insurance carrier has the most liberal underwriting when it comes to insuring clients who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Because the goal is to find the best life insurance rates. That is where we come in.
As a consumer, it is in your best interest to work with an agency (think TermLife2Go) that is not bound to any one carrier and will be able to shop your application to dozens of different companies available. Only by doing this can you ensure that you are procuring the best policy tailored to your individual needs.
TermLife2Go works with dozens of the top rated life insurance carriers. We know the exact companies to go with when our clients have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
At any given time one of these insurers could be the best diabetic life insurance company for you. It really comes down to a multiple of factors. Just know, we place you with the best life insurance companies for diabetics in the marketplace. But we need your help. That help comes in the form of prevention.
Prevention is a huge benefit to obtaining life insurance with diabetes. You see, ultimately, a life insurance carrier wants to know that you are taking good care of yourself. If you focus on prevention and have not had to undergo a lot of treatment, then you are considered a good risk for life insurance purposes.
However, if you have not been preventative and you have suffered through various complications, then you will be considered high risk life insurance. And when it comes to life insurance, the greater the risk is, the greater the life insurance premium will be.
A client with type 2 diabetes applying for life insurance that is well controlled looks like this: they take their medication as prescribed, they exercise per doctors orders, and they eat foods that help maintain a low blood sugar level. Prevention is worth a ton to a person buying life insurance with diabetes. Not only does prevention save you money but it also saves your life. That is a win-win.
Have you recently been declined life insurance due to diabetes? You may have been turned down because the company you went with has tighter underwriting guidelines than the more diabetes friendly life insurance companies who cater to clients with the disease.
We offer a free consultation to anyone with diabetes who has been declined life insurance or approved for a ridiculously high premium. If we cannot help you get life insurance right now we can at least give you the requirements needed to obtain future life insurance. That way you have a concrete goal to shoot for. And study after study shows that with realistic goals in place you can achieve your goals.
And the best news of all is that with the increase in attention for diabetes and the better treatment being offered, people with diabetes are living longer than ever. As a result, life insurance carriers are always adjusting their underwriting in an attempt to keep up with the current trends. This means lower premiums and better rate classes for people with diabetes looking for life insurance who make efforts in controlling their condition.
With the increase in awareness of diabetes, life insurance companies will probably continue to move towards more liberal underwriting. As a result, life insurance and diabetes may no longer be an issue. We are not there yet but as more and more people are living long lives with diabetes, we can see that future coming to fruition sooner rather than later.
Lastly, once you have been approved for coverage and are fully insured, don't forget to look into the possibility of also purchasing a Long Term Disability Insurance Policy as well, because suffering from a premature death isn't the only way that your family's financial security can be jeopardized.