Diabetes is a disease on the rise in the U.S., with an estimated 23.6 million Americans already diagnosed and another 5.7 million who don’t yet know they have it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 65% of diabetics will actually die of a complication such as a stroke or heart attack. Because of these staggering statistics, diabetics are considered a higher risk by life insurers, sometimes making it very challenging to find affordable life insurance coverage. If you are a diabetic and are seeking life insurance, there are a few important factors you should know that will help you find the best life insurance policy and guarantee that you do not overpay for your life insurance.
Diabetes and Life Insurance Prices
If you have diabetes, there are several factors that all life insurance companies will consider carefully before offering you a competitive policy. At the top of the list is your current level of diabetic control. The two specific lab readings that are most important are Glucose and A1C. Both provide the insurance companies with a current picture of how your body is handling its sugar intake and therefore its ability to manage your diabetes. Before applying for life insurance, it is important for you to know what these readings are so that your agent can work to get you the best rate.
Additional factors critical to insurance companies include your age of diagnosis, type of diabeties, medications (if any) and your height and weight. Diabetic complications also come in to play and will have a negative impact on your rates. Additionally, if you have heart disease, blood pressure issues or kidney disease, you can also expect to pay a higher rate for life insurance.
Important Diabetic Facts and Life Insurance
Knowledge about your disease is essential in the management and control of diabetes, and the more you know, the more empowered you will be when shopping for life insurance.
TYPE 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that is not triggered by lifestyle the way Type 2 can be. Known as juvenile diabetes, it is normally diagnosed before the age of 18. In diabetics, little or no insulin, a necessary hormone used to manage sugar in the blood, is produced by the pancreas. This lack of proper insulin levels leaves excess glucose in the bloodstream. Type 1 diabetics are insulin dependent, injecting insulin several times a day, primarily after eating, to control the disease. This is the more serious form of diabetes that can come with other health concerns if not carefully managed.
Being overweight, sedentary and being genetically predisposed to diabetes are the primary causes of Type 2. These type of diabetics who often eat a lot of fats, are also at risk for metabolic syndrome, which can cause heart and triglyceride issues. Obesity is the top risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, so losing weight and eating healthy are essential in controlling, and possibly eliminating the disease.
The hbA1c test determines an average of your blood sugar (glucose) levels, as a percentage, over six to twelve weeks. The higher your levels, the higher the percentage will be. Non-diabetics have A1C values between 4-6%. The goal for diabetics is a number less than 7%.
How Diabetics Can Find the Best Life Insurance Rates
If you are diabetic, in reality, there are only a handful of life insurance companies that will actually compete for your business. Sure there are many life insurers that will offer you a policy but only a few that is willing to work with you. The keys to finding these companies and getting the best rates are listed below.
- Look for an Independent Life Insurance Agent who specializes in finding affordable life insurance for diabetics.
- Shop around for comparative life insurance quotes from a variety of insurance companies.
- Before applying for life insurance, gather substantial proof that your diabetes is well managed.
- Ask your agent if they have any references from diabetic clients they have helped buy affordable life insurance policies.
- Remember, the most important thing to show that your diabetes is under control.
In all cases, if you have diabetes, life insurance providers will determine which underwriting class you will qualify for by analyzing the results of your insurance application and exam as well as your other medical conditions and medical history. When applying for life insurance with diabetes, your actual health class may range from Super Preferred (if diagnosed after age 60 with an A1C at less than 6.5 and in otherwise excellent health) to actually being declined for life insurance (due to poor diabetic control).
As a general rule, Type 1 Diabetics will pay a higher rate for life insurance than Type 2 diabetics because Type 2 is more easily treatable and managed with diet, exercise and medications.
If you have diabetes most all insurance companies will consider you a higher risk when applying for life insurance. Maintaining control of your glucose and A1C readings and knowing the factors that insurance providers consider will make the application process yield the best rates. Finally, and most importantly, is to find an independent insurance agent that specializes in getting affordable life insurance for diabetics to be your advocate. At MEG Financial, we have helped hundreds of clients with diabetes find the best life insurance policies. Call us today at (877) 583-3955 or click here for an instant diabetic life insurance quote.
Resources for People with Diabetes
- What is an A1C Reading?
- Life Insurance Health Classes
- Instant Term Life Insurance Quote