Not everyone has an easy time qualifying for life insurance, unfortunately.
It is certainly the case if you have a health condition such as Type 1 diabetes, or T1D. This is because life insurance underwriters look for various risk factors when evaluating applicants, and if you have Type 1 diabetes, it could signal to the insurer you pose a significantly higher risk to the company.
Sometimes, it’s too high of a risk. For anyone with diabetes, life insurance becomes significantly harder to purchase, however there are a few carriers who are willing to accept the impairment, and you may be shocked at the rates you could get.
The Difficulty of Life Insurance for Type 1 Diabetics
Diabetes is a serious health issue.
Every year, approximately 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with T1D and it continues to be the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. In many cases, while diabetes was not the primary cause of death for an individual, it was still a contributing factor.
When someone has Type 1 diabetes, it means their body isn’t producing enough insulin. While in and of itself may not be dangerous, what is of concern is if a person does not properly manage their blood glucose level, it can lead to more serious health issues. The longer a person has uncontrolled diabetes, the worse it is on their body, and the higher likelihood of other long term health concerns.
Of the two types of diabetes, Type 1 is far less common, with only 5% of those having diabetes being afflicted with this form. There is no known cause of Type 1 diabetes. The way in which it is distinguished from Type 2 diabetes is through autoantibody testing. Type 1 diabetes typically comes about earlier in life than Type 2.
For this reason, Type 1 diabetes if often referred to as “juvenile” diabetes.
The good news is, with today’s many treatments for Type 1 diabetes, even though there is no cure, individuals who have this health condition can go on to live long and healthy lives.
It is important to continuously manage your diabetes, though. Otherwise, it can lead to some very serious and life threatening issues such as kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke.
Information You Need Handy
If applying for life insurance with Type 1 diabetes, you will need to start by completing an application for coverage. You should, first, consult an agent who knows the proper company to apply to. Theys will ask you for basic information such as:
- State of Residence
- Marital Status
- Height and Weight
- Smoking Status
- Health History
- Family Health History
- Other Life Insurance In-Force (and the amount of coverage)
Because of your Type 1 diabetes, the life insurance company will also want to know more in-depth information about your health, both regarding the diabetes and any other health concern. This helps them to understand your condition even better, and you will then be asked to answer some or all of the following additional questions:
- When was your initial diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes?
- What is your average blood glucose reading?
- How are you treating or managing your condition (i.e., through diet, exercise, medication, or all)?
- What is your current A1C level?
- Are you on any medications for your Type 1 diabetes (other than insulin), and if so, what is the dosage? (ex. Humalog or Pramlintide)
- Have you had to modify your medication(s) or its dosage at all in the past 2 years?
- What kind of insulin are you taking?
– Rapid-Acting Insulin
– Long-Acting Insulin
- What are you using to administer your insulin: injection or pump?
- Do you have any health complications due to your Type 1 diabetes, such as neuropathy, retinopathy, or kidney disease?
- Have you ever been hospitalized due to your Type 1 diabetes?
- Do you have any other health issues in addition to Type 1 diabetes?
In addition to answering these specific questions, the life insurance company will request to review your medical records from your primary care physician, as well as from any medical specialist you have seen for your Type 1 diabetes. If you’ve visited a hospital, those records will be requested, too.
You will also be required to undergo a medical examination. This typically consists of meeting with a paramedical professional who will ask you additional health related questions. They will also ask you to submit a blood and urine sample for testing, measure your height and weight, and monitor your blood pressure. The results are sent to the insurance company. You’ll also be asked to provide your current medications so they can verify the types and dosages.
After all of your information has been provided to the insurance carrier, the underwriters will have the opportunity to review everything, and they will then be able to make a determination regarding your coverage.
Outcomes You Could Expect
Because Type 1 diabetes comes about earlier in life, it can often be more problematic in the long run. Therefore, if the condition has not been properly managed throughout an individual’s lifetime, then obtaining life insurance could be difficult, if not impossible.
If, on the other hand, the condition has been properly managed through diet and exercise, as well as with medication, then showing this to the life insurance underwriters can be helpful in obtaining life insurance coverage. One of the key indicators is a steady medication, without changes in prescription or dosage.
It may be possible for someone who has Type 1 diabetes to get approved for a fully underwritten life insurance policy, typically offered at no better than Table 4 to Table 8. What this means in layman’s terms is, you’ll pay 2-3x normal prices of someone without T1D.
One of the main knock outs is actually for age. Someone who is young and has not established a history of successful maintenance will be declined. In fact, some companies won’t offer any coverage, regardless of control, under a certain age. These applicants would need to use a graded or guaranteed option.
How to Proceed
In order to truly find out what you can qualify for, it is necessary to take the next step and discuss your various options with an expert like us. We’ve helped many people to obtain the life insurance coverage they didn’t think they’d get, even when they’ve been turned down for coverage in the past.
Having a good, solid life insurance policy in place is one of the best ways to protect the ones you love from financial hardship in the event of the unexpected. It can also provide you with peace of mind.
If you have Type 1 diabetes and you are ready to find the life insurance coverage you need, then simply fill out the form on the sidebar now.