I typically receive several calls per month from prospects who ask about the difficulties of purchasing Life Insurance when you are a diabetic. My immediate answer is always the same. It depends. Life Insurance companies are not necessarily concerned about the disease if it is under control with medication. That answer is usually followed up with additional questions.
In the rest of the post below, I have answered the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Type 1 Diabetics as applicable to Life Insurance:
Q1: Will the insurance carrier check into my blood pressure history when applying for a Life Insurance?
A1: Yes. Since cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for diabetics, this will always be a concern for the insurer. Since high blood sugar can result in a gradual buildup of the fatty deposits that can clog up the blood vessels, this is a direct cause of stroke or heart attack. The risk is especially high if the patient has been living with diabetes for 15 years or more.
Q2: My doctor says my blood pressure can affect my kidneys. Will this affect my Life Insurance application?
A2: Yes. At least half of people with diabetes have signs of chronic kidney disease. High blood pressure is also a contributing factor to kidney failure. In this case, any Life Insurance company is going to want a history regarding blood pressure. Even with regular blood pressure reports, an insurance company will be concerned because kidney problems typically lead to hypertension and the resulting elevated blood pressure.
Q3: I heard that neuropathy can cause issues, is that true! Will this be an issue when I apply for Life Insurance?
A3: If the life insurance applicant answers “yes” to having diabetes, there will always be follow-up questions regarding neuropathy. Nerves may become damaged as a result of narrowed blood vessels caused by fatty deposits. Typical symptoms will be pain, numbness and tingling in the extremities. Your Life Insurance application will be evaluated accordingly if you are diagnosed with neuropathy.
Q4: Lately my vision has become blurry, is that going to be a problem for my Life Insurance application?
A4: Blood vessel blockage caused by diabetes can cause damage to the retina which is the portion of the eye that enables you to read images. Blood vessel damage can lead to vision problems and sometimes blindness. Cataracts and glaucoma are two other eye diseases that may be brought on by the diabetes. Therefore, the insurer will take this into consideration while assessing your Life Insurance application.
Q5: I need Life Insurance really soon, how long is this going to take for me to get approval?
A5: Not every diabetic is going to present common issues when applying for Life Insurance but the insurance company will order the necessary tests to determine the applicant’s current condition and whether the disease is under control with medication. In many cases, an insurer, upon receiving positive reports from the healthcare provider treating the disease, will be willing to issue a policy with a table rating. The insurance provider will also take into consideration the lifestyle changes made by the applicant since being diagnosed. In many cases the table rating will be insignificant to the overall cost of the insurance policy and the mild hassle of going through a complete underwriting process, which can take months will be well worth it. Applicants needing an insurance policy quickly are going to be disappointed if they apply with an insurance company that does complete underwriting.
Q6: What about specialty companies or a guaranteed policy? Can I get Life Insurance easier with them?
A6: There are insurance companies that specialize in certain diseases such as diabetes and should probably be approached in the first place. These carriers have achieved favorable loss reports because of their familiarity with the disease and the underwriting guidelines they have in place. If an applicant is looking to buy Life Insurance quickly, they may want to elect using a company that has a guarantee issue product. Although somewhat expensive, the guarantee issue product can be issued on the same day with only a telephone underwriting service. If the applicant does not qualify for the immediate coverage product, they will be offered a graded benefit product. With the graded benefit policy, the insurance company agrees to issue the policy but will not pay benefits if death is other than accidental, but will return premiums paid with some sort of additional percentage. Once the insured has lived past the first 2 or 3 years (depending on the company) the full benefit is paid out if death is the result of an accident or natural causes. These policies will typically be limited to a $25,000 benefit level, but can be expensive to purchase.
People with diabetes can purchase Life Insurance at very reasonable rates if they respond positively to medication and make the positive lifestyle changes recommended by their healthcare provider. Diabetics should be confident that an experienced and reputable agent will get them multiple competitive quotes and also put forward the best scenario in order that they can secure an appropriate Life Insurance coverage.
More information can be found in How to Find Affordable Life Insurance for Diabetics.
Hope the above information covers all the Life Insurance And Type 1 Diabetics Frequently Asked Questions that may be interested in.
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