Life insurance for diabetics

8 minutes

Life with diabetes can be filled with worry and anxiety over your health, whether you’re checking your blood sugar levels or counting your carbs, there’s plenty to think about. If you’re worried about how your health might impact your family, you could feel more secure with a life insurance policy. Designed to guarantee reassurance, they offer peace of mind that your family is protected if you pass away.

The information on this page should not be considered as financial advice. If you are unsure what’s right for you, please make sure you speak to a Financial adviser.

Can you get life insurance if you’re diabetic?

If you have diabetes, then you may be able to get life insurance. If you are in control of your diabetes, either through monitoring and diet or insulin injections, life insurance providers will consider offering you cover. Whether you’ve had diabetes from birth or have developed it later in life, the most important thing is that you tell your life insurance provider about it.

If you find you're approved for a life insurance policy, the fact you have diabetes will usually increase your monthly premiums. That’s because diabetes carries more risk for insurers. Your monthly premiums can be affected by:

  • The type of diabetes you have
  • How well your diabetes is controlled
  • Your general health overall – for example whether you have any other health conditions alongside your diabetes
  • The age you take out your policy
  • The total amount of cover you require

Life insurance for type 1 diabetics

Less than one in 10 people across the UK have Type 1 diabetes and unfortunately there is no way to prevent Type 1 diabetes from developing. Type 1 diabetics struggle to control their blood glucose levels, which can cause major spikes in sugar levels and lead to health complications if not properly managed. This is because their pancreas can no longer produce some or any insulin due to the body’s immune system attacking insulin-making beta cells. Most people living with type 1 are diagnosed in childhood, but it can develop well into adulthood.

If you’re a type 1 diabetic, you may still be able to take out life insurance, but it’s really important that you tell your insurer about it when you apply for your policy.

Life insurance for type 2 diabetics

Unlike Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes has been linked to being overweight or inactive, however, it can also be hereditary. Around 90% of diabetics are type 2 and it’s estimated that at least 2.4 million Brits are at increased risk of developing the condition.

As a type 2 diabetic, you must inform your insurer of your diagnosis when purchasing a policy.

Life insurance for other forms of diabetes

Type 1 and type 2 are the most common forms of diabetes. However, you might not know that diabetes has several other variations. There is pregnancy related diabetes which is often temporary, and diabetes caused by other illnesses or diseases, such as cystic fibrosis. Whilst the list isn't exhaustive, it's possible you could suffer from the following: 

  • Gestational diabetes
  • Latent autoimmune diabetes
  • Neonatal diabetes
  • Type 3c

Gestational diabetes

Pregnancy can cause gestational diabetes, especially for those in their third trimester. In most cases, it’s resolved after the baby has been born.

Latent autoimmune diabetes

Also known as LADA, latent autoimmune diabetes develops later in an adult’s life and falls under type 1 diabetes. It is registered as an autoimmune disease as the body tries to kill off any cells producing insulin.

As LADA can develop when you’re an adult, you’ll need to communicate this with your insurer. It is important to let an insurer know you have diabetes when taking out a life insurance policy.

Neonatal diabetes

Neonatal diabetes is diagnosed in babies that are under six months old. As there are two types of neonatal diabetes, it can either mean that a child experiences it temporarily or that it’s permanent.

It’s important to note that this form of diabetes is separate from type 1 and type 2. Some insurers might offer cover for children born with type 1 diabetes, so it’s worth checking their list of conditions.

Type 3c

Type 3c diabetes is caused when an illness or disease attacks and damages your pancreas. This might include cancer, cystic fibrosis or pancreatitis. As a form of diabetes, it’s not as well-known and isn’t formally recognised as a medical condition.

Even though medical professionals don’t consider this a medical condition, it’s likely been sparked by another illness or disease. If that’s the case, you’ll need to ensure your provider knows. There are a range of conditions, such as cancer and cystic fibrosis, that insurers might be able to cover.

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How to apply for life insurance if you suffer from diabetes

Applying for life insurance is the same process for everyone. You’ll just need to make sure you communicate what you want and any conditions you’ve been diagnosed with.

Honesty is key. You’ll be taking out life insurance for many reasons, but it’s most likely that your loved ones have some financial security if you pass away. Unfortunately, if you fail to tell your insurer about any pre-existing conditions, like diabetes, it could invalidate your claim and mean that your family is left without cover.

1. Speak to a financial adviser

Life insurance is a long-term purchase, so speaking to a financial adviser can give you a better understanding of what you’re buying. In fact, they’re often best placed to help you find the right life insurance product based on your circumstances. They can even do the hardest part for you – calculating how much life insurance you’ll need. So your financial adviser can make the right decisions for you, they’ll need to know if you have any existing diseases or illnesses, alongside your lifestyle choices and total household salary. You might want to use life insurance as a security blanket for your mortgage or to offer your family some financial freedom if you were unable to work or fell ill with a serious illness. Whatever your reasons, this will help your financial adviser choose the right product.

Possible life insurance policies you can get:

  • Decreasing cover term life
  • Increasing cover term life
  • Level cover term life

2. Decide which life insurance policy works for you

Your financial adviser will suggest a life insurance policy based on your circumstances and needs. They’ll give you all the details, everything you can expect, plus all the things you need to remember. All you’ll need to do is decide if it’s right for you and if it works for you and your beneficiaries. Alternatively, you can shop around to find the right policy for you and assess the providers available.

If you feel you want more protection, you might be able to add critical illness cover to your policy. Although it might not cover you for any existing diabetes conditions, you could be protected against other diseases such as cancer. You’ve also got the option to add children’s critical illness cover for any existing or future children you have. Under some providers, this might offer you protection if your child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes later on. You could also benefit from Income Protection if you’re unable to work.

LV= does not currently offer critical illness or Income Protection for diabetics only life insurance.

3. Consider how much cover you need

Whatever your reason for taking out a life insurance policy, you’ll need an idea of how much cover you require. Some financial advisers base this on the highest earner’s salary multiplied by 10, whilst others strategically look at their yearly outgoings and make a judgement call based on that.

As a diabetic, your monthly premiums will usually be more expensive as your condition carries more risks for your health. Despite this, your total cover amount will stay the same, unless you opt for either a decreasing or increasing life insurance term.

4. Think about your beneficiaries

Your beneficiaries can be anyone you hold dear. Whether that’s your children, elderly relatives or a spouse, your death benefit should be able to support them if you pass away during the term of your life insurance policy. Your death benefit can be used to give your family financial stability, pay off your mortgage and assist with daily living costs for your chosen beneficiaries.

When you purchase a life insurance policy, you’ll need to have your beneficiaries in mind. This will help you decide your total death benefit amount as well as the type of cover you might need. Typically, most people select a beneficiary who financially depends on them in some capacity.

5. Purchase your life insurance policy

Your financial adviser can walk you through the entire process when purchasing life insurance if you need them to. Once your policy has been purchased, you’ll need to pay your monthly premiums on time until your policy expires. If you pass away within the duration of your term or whole life policy, your death benefit will be sent to your beneficiaries in a lump sum.

It’s possible you might outlive your policy, unless you selected a whole of life product. At LV=, you’ll be able to keep your life insurance policy running until the day before your 90th birthday, but you might not need it to. Many people in their 30s and 40s take out life insurance to protect their families, especially when their children are small. As you near the end of your policy, you might not have that same need to keep your policy going.

Should you tell your insurer that you have diabetes?

Yes, you’ll need to tell your insurer about any pre-existing disease or illness you have, which includes diabetes. Failing to do this could void your policy, leaving your family without the death benefit you arranged for them.

Life insurance policies for diabetics

At LV= we offer a range of life insurance policies that are designed to meet your exact needs. We consider everything you tell us, including diagnoses like diabetes, or other chronic conditions. Our team are compassionate, and we will only ask questions if they’re necessary to getting your life insurance policy. We’ve also partnered with LifeSearch, who provide independent financial advice without any judgement about your condition.