How Does the Underwriting Process Work for Diabetics?

Thousands of people with diabetes apply for life insurance every year with different outcomes. Working with an experienced life insurance broker can improve your chances of being approved with the best health class rating and the lowest possible premium.

More than 29 million adults and children in the US are diagnosed with diabetes. Another 86 million have pre-diabetes, which means that they at risk of developing the condition. At the same time, roughly 7 million Americans are not even aware that they have the disease.

68% of those with diabetes will die of a heart attack or a stroke. Diabetes remains also the main cause of blindness, kidney failure, and premature death.

Diabetes Underwriting data

“National Vital Statistics Report” (PDF). National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 50, No. 15. September 16, 2002.

Life with Diabetes

There are three main types of diabetes:

  1. Type 1 diabetes
  2. Type 2 diabetes
  3. Gestational diabetes

In general, risk factors for type 1 diabetes include autoimmune, genetic and environmental factors. Type 2 diabetes is associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity, and race ethnicity.

The risk factors for gestational diabetesare similar to those for type 2 diabetes. The occurrence of gestational diabetes itself is a risk factor for developing gestation diabetes with future pregnancies, and subsequent development of type 2 diabetes. It may cause some life insurance companies to charge you higher insurance premiums.

You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Keeping weight in check, exercising on regular basis, and having a balanced diet can help to stave it off.

Underwriting life insurance for diabetics

Risk of death is 50% higher for adults with diabetes than for adults without diabetes. Hence, the cost of life insurance for diabetics tends to be higher than for average customers.

diabetes underwriting risks

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National diabetes statistics report: estimates of diabetes and its burden in the United States, 2014. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014.

Diabetes is costly both in human and economics terms. It is a serious medical condition, whether temporary or permanent, and can significantly affect your ability to get coverage. We understand the importance of providing financial support in case of premature death, and will work with you to get best offer.

Life Insurance and Gestational Diabetes

In case of gestational diabetes most companies may rate you at a standard plus to standard rate until 1 or 2 years after the pregnancy. Afterwards you might be able to obtain preferred rates.

This will depend on several factors including your family history, your BMI, lifestyle, and other medical conditions. Women that can show low blood sugar levels, along with a healthy lifestyle, and a clean medical record have the best chances of obtaining rock bottom life insurance rates.

Life Insurance Underwriting for Type 1 and 2 Diabetes

Type 1 and type 2 diabetics can obtain life insurance providing that they had it under control for a period of at least 6 to 12 months. Most well controlled diabetics face standard rate insurance premiums. In general, getting affordable coverage will depend on the absence of additional contributing health risks such as:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Coronary heart disease
  • High blood pressure that’s not under control

If you have developed long-term complications, or are insulin dependent, it might be more challenging to obtain life insurance. You should inquire with your broker on the best course of action.

Life insurance companies tend to be more lenient towards clients with type 2 diabetes. A1C levels below 6, superb medical documentation, and a proof of working diet regime can get you a standard plus rate with certain carriers. Some companies might offer preferred and preferred plus rates for diabetic clients over 60 years old.

Underwriting policy issues for diabetics

If you have a type 1 diabetes, you could have a hard time finding a traditional, medically underwritten life insurance. Life insurance company will typically ask if you have been hospitalized, and if you had any side effects caused by diabetes, such as neuropathy, retinopathy, or a kidney disease. If that’s not the case, you have excellent chances for being approved for affordable life insurance for type 1 diabetes.

If your diabetes is not under control, you might have problems obtaining life insurance. You may qualify for a guaranteed-issue life insurance, which is more expensive than regular, fully underwritten life insurance. It does not require a medical exam and usually can be arranged fairly quickly. Inquire with your broker for more information.

Life Insurance Underwriting Criteria for Diabetics

When you apply for life insurance policy, you will be required to take a medical exam. Life insurance carrier will determine your health rating class according to a number of variables such as:

  • Family history
  • Age at which you were diagnosed
  • Your medical history
  • Type of diabetes
  • Your age, weight and height
  • Your medication
  • Blood sugar levels
  • Control factor or A1C

One of the main concerns of the life insurance carriers is how well you are managing your disease. A history of regular medical check-ups, healthy diet, and exercise program can qualify you for lower insurance premiums.

With A1C levels below 8, fully underwritten life insurance might be available subject to your full medical file. On the other hand, unstable blood sugar levels and high A1C levels can hurt your case. You should always disclose all information related to your medical condition to your broker and the life insurance company you are working with. Withholding essential information can void your policy.

Underwriting Guidelines for Diabetic Life Insurance

The best approach is to look for life insurance companies that specialize in high risk health or special risk factors such as diabetes. Underwriters at these companies will have the ability to look at all necessary factors, and determine if the company will accept you as a risk.
People become more aware of risks of diabetes, and how to properly minimize them. This trend makes some of life insurance companies switch to more favorable underwriting towards patients with controlled diabetes.

Working with the right carrier can make all the difference. A good agent or an agency can help you browse through all the top companies and find the best offer.

Fully underwritten life insurance for diabetics is possible, and diabetes does not necessarily mean an automatic decline. Don’t put your life and money in the hands of amateurs. A qualified, high risk life insurance specialist will know how to properly navigate the carriers who are more liberal toward diabetics.

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