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Life Insurance for Diabetics
Managing Your Diabetes
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Life Insurance for Diabetics: A guide to the market

Here we aim to provide a ‘road map’ for those who are interested in gaining life insurance with diabetes from UK insurers. It may be that you yourself have a form of diabetes. Or, your partner has been diagnosed with a diabetes type. Whatever the reason, this guide is to help you avoid some of the common difficulties people experience with life insurance for diabetic sufferers. If any of these scenarios sound familiar, then this article will no doubt be a help to you;

  • You’re looking for your first life insurance with diabetes policy.
  • You have an existing diabetes life cover policy and the premium was increased due to the condition.
  • You’ve been declined life insurance because of diabetes.
  • You’ve had an application postponed due to diabetes.

 

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Diabetic life insurance – The statistics for diabetes in the UK

The charity organisation diabetes.org.uk estimates there to be some 4.7 million people in the UK who have been diagnosed with a form of diabetes. From that number, by far the most common form is type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that 90% of sufferers have this type. These statistics match with experience here as life insurance with type 2 diabetes is by far our most common enquiry. It is also estimated that there could be as many as 1 million people in the UK who have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. The other most common forms of the condition are the type 1 variant as well as gestational diabetes. It is the type 1 & 2 forms that we will focus on here in context of diabetic life insurance.

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news/new-stats-people-living-with-diabetes

The positive news is that these numbers make the condition very common to providers offering life insurance for diabetic sufferers. However, regardless of familiarity, there are useful tips and information that can help increase your chances of acquiring a life insurance with diabetes policy. We will try and cover as many as possible here. Of course, there will always be scenarios that fall outside what can be covered in one article. So, feel free to get in touch if you’d like to discuss your circumstances. You’ll find our knowledgeable and experienced team happy to help.

 

Life insurance for diabetics – Why is it taken into consideration by insurers?

In short, the problem is with sugar. Excessive amounts of sugar in the blood stream and the damage it can cause to blood vessels and the resulting associated conditions. These conditions can include kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, blindness and the need for limb amputations. Although, these conditions are usually linked with less well-maintained diabetic cases. It’s because of this that diligence in maintaining and adhering to treatment is a key area of consideration for diabetic life insurance applications. 

 

Diabetes life insurance – Get prepared before you start

Before you begin the task of looking into diabetic life insurance, make sure you have all the information that insurers will ask for to assess your application. The first place to start is obviously with an up to date HbA1c reading. Try and make sure it’s within 6 months old. Remember, insurers will ask if you keep to regular check-ups as scheduled with your doctor or diabetic nurse. If you’ve let things slip a little, then get yourself booked in for a check-up first. It’s going to make enquiring less complicated if you can provide up to date figures. And, there is less chance you will be penalised with a higher price increase if that’s the case. So, make sure you give yourself the best chance of success on this one. 

The above goes hand in hand with the other boxes that get ticked off during a check-up. As well as HbA1c results, insurers will also ask about most recent urine tests. Specifically, they’ll want to know if you have ever been told you have protein in your urine. Again, recency is key, so book in your check up if one is overdue.  

Similarly, if you are also treated for high/raised blood pressure or cholesterol, these readings will be required as well. Again, the more recent, the better it looks in support of your application. We know from experience that doctors or nurses don’t always provide patients with the actual readings. Make sure you get these and write them down as it is far better to have actual numbers than not. 

As with all life insurance applications, your height and weight will be asked about during an enquiry. These don’t need to be measured by a medical professional so there’s no need to see your doctor to get them. But it’s worth mentioning again to give yourself a fighting chance. A higher BMI can result in an increase of premiums. We all know that at certain times of the year it’s easy to put on a little extra weight. Give your timing some thought. Christmas and summer holidays are typical examples of where we tend to let ourselves off the leash a little more. So, plan ahead if you need to so you don’t end up paying extra unnecessarily.

Remember to double check dates. In particular the date you were diagnosed. Or at least roughly how long ago that was in years and months. Likewise, when you started any courses of medications be it for diabetes or other conditions such as raised blood pressure will be relevant. Any changes in dosage or type may also be significant to a life insurance with diabetes proposal so try and have these in order as best you can.

We know from experience that there are many diabetes life insurance policies out these where people are paying more than they need to. Why? Well was the HbA1c reading you used for the application a little higher than normal? If, so, it could well have cost you more with a higher ‘rated’ premium. Or did you take the first life insurance you were offered? Maybe the person who arranged it told you it was the best you’d get or that you need to pay that price regardless because of your diabetes disclosures? If you’ve had a higher reading than normal, there’s nothing stopping you getting another before you proceed. If you prefer to get some cover in place immediately then do so. But be aware, you are free to review that policy whenever you like. If your next reading is lower, than look at your options again. There are also unfortunately, lazy, inexperienced and commission hungry salespeople out there. Don’t be talked into accepting something as your best or only option until you’ve exhausted other possibilities. Or because the salesperson would rather have your sale on their figures today than wait for you to get an up to date reading.

It’s for all the reasons above that speaking to a specialist can be so beneficial. Using a broker that has extensive knowledge of dealing with diabetes life insurance customers can make all the difference. They will understand the UK life insurance providers and how they respond to different circumstances. This means they can break down all the options specific to your circumstances. Increasing the chances of getting the right policy for you and at the best price.

Top tips;

  • Make sure you can supply up to date readings (last 6 months is best).
  • Had an abnormally high reading? Get another or review your cover if it comes down.
  • Have dates of diagnosis or changes to hand before you begin.
  • Been told the price is as good as it gets? Make sure you are certain before you accept.
  • Speak to a specialist with the knowledge and experience of diabetic life insurance cases.
  • Remember you can review an existing policy at any time to see if there is a saving to make.

 

Diabetics life insurance – Associated conditions and considerations

There are unfortunately, some conditions associated with diabetics life insurance that will make applying more difficult or in some cases not possible. Each application is different, and the details of a case will affect an outcome. If an applicant has also been diagnosed with kidney disease, heart disease or has required the amputation of a limb/s due to diabetes, then most if not all insurers will decline the case. 

Where an applicant also receives treatment for high blood pressure or high cholesterol, insurers will pay specific attention to the details disclosed. As a rule, if either or both conditions are well controlled, then there is generally no cause for increased concern by the insurer. If, however, there is evidence that the condition/s are not well controlled by either the most recent readings or recent changes in medications, then this can affect the outcome of an application. It does not mean the case will be declined necessarily, but quite often it may result in a postponement. This is when an insurer asks an applicant to come back at a later date and try again. 

A combination of any of the above with an applicant who smokes can be particularly difficult cases to place. Again, each case is different and will be assessed on its individual merits, but it is not uncommon for smokers to find it particularly hard to find life insurance with diabetes. Insurers consider someone a non-smoker once they have gone 12 months free from smoking or nicotine replacement products. If you have been declined and disclosed smoking at the time, bear this in mind. As it may have been the factor that tipped the decision to a no.

 

Life insurance for diabetics type 1 – Special considerations

What questions then, might you expect to come up in the context of a life insurance for diabetes type 1 questionnaire? Well normally first on the list is the age you were diagnosed. And put quite simply, the younger you were, the harder it can make getting diabetics life insurance. As a rule, this means if you are diagnosed prior to becoming a teenager than your chances of getting cover are unfortunately slim. Any admissions to hospital in the past 12 mths specifically due to diabetes will also be detrimental. However, this can often only mean the cover may be postponed rather than declined. 

 

Life insurance with diabetes type 1 – Doctor knows best

More recently there has been a trend in asking applicants questions about their doctor’s comments during recent meetings. How your doctor described control is a common topic of questioning. You may be asked if your doctor described your control as ‘excellent’, or ‘satisfactory with no changes needed in treatment’ or ‘satisfactory with a change in medication to improve control. Some applicants will invariable need to disclose their doctor’s remarks were along the lines of ‘needs improvement’. All these responses will be taken into consideration with the other details disclosed about your condition in order to build a picture for the insurer. 

 

Life insurance for diabetics type 2 – Special considerations

The theme of questioning for Life insurance for diabetes type 2 patients will not be vastly different from those above for type 1 applicants. As well as the issues mentioned above, there is commonly also additional emphasis on lifestyle. Particularly on improvements the individual may have made since diagnosis to better their control. An example of this can be if steps have been made to improve BMI ratios or if you have taken steps to give up smoking or become more active. This is obviously due to type 2 diabetes being associated more with lifestyle rather than external influences or a hereditary condition. 

The good news is that all the above can be directly influenced by the individual. If there are factors which lean towards a negative outcome in your application, there is always the option of making improvements and trying again later. As well as this fact, life insurance for diabetics type 2 have become far more accessible in the UK over recent years. The chances of being able to get covered have therefore improved significantly from years gone by.

 

Diabetes life insurance UK – Further medical evidences explained

What does the term ‘further medical evidence’ mean? It can mean a few different things or a combination of them. Firstly, there is a report from your GP. Known as a ‘GPR’ (General Practitioners Report), or in some cases a ‘Targeted Medical Report’. This is when the insurer (with your permission), writes to your GP to ask them for more information surrounding your medical disclosures. Life insurance for diabetic sufferers’ reports will have a focus on this subject along with any other disclosures such as raised blood pressure or cholesterol. But do note, any information that comes from such a report will be considered as part of the application. 

There are also various types of medical examinations. The most basic is known as a ‘Nurse Screen’ or ‘Mini Screen’. This can involve basic measurements such as height, weight and blood pressure. As well as blood or urine samples. This is typically arranged via an outsourced company and the appointment can take place at any location convenient to you. The range of medical examinations goes up the scale to more complex examples requiring the services of doctors. These are usually only reserved for higher sums of insurance such as for a million pounds of cover or more. 

A more recent addition to the further evidence example is known as a ‘Tele Interview’. This is simply when the insurer asks to contact the customer directly, normally over the phone but sometimes via email. The aim here is to answer more questions specific to the individual that the standard questionnaire does not cater for. 

All further evidence types are requested and paid for by the insurer. There is not cost associated with arranging them to burden the customer with. If you are asked for further evidence as part of your application, it’s worth bearing this in mind. As insurers pay for them, they don’t generally request them unless there is a reasonable chance of being able to offer some cover. 

 

Diabetic life insurance UK – Turned down? What to do and where to go from here

First, make sure you know exactly what the outcome was. That’s because there are a couple of different types of ‘no’. There is the postponement, which as previously mentioned, is a no but come back later. This is often the case if there is a recent change in circumstances, recent diagnosis or investigations outstanding. Examples could be an increase in medication 2 weeks before applying for diabetes life insurance. Or if an applicant is waiting referral to a specialist for further investigations or perhaps has only been diagnosed with diabetes for 3 months. 

A postponement period can be anything from 3 months to years depending on the circumstances but is typically 6-12 months. Make sure you have a full understanding of why the cover has been postponed and the exact timescales as to when you can reapply. A good broker will be able to give you all this information as well as diarise a future contact date for you.

The other more decisive ‘no’ is a decline. This is when the insurer has assessed your circumstances and decided there is too great a risk to offer you the insurance. At this point, the first thing to do is check everything is correct as you’ve described it on the application. People can and will make mistakes. An incorrectly input readings figure here or a wrong date there can have a massive impact on an application in the way it’s assessed. And check all your other details as well. A wrong date of birth or height and weight measurements can also have detrimental consequences. 

Ask your adviser to run through all the questions with you again so they can be double checked. Or get a copy of the application sent over to you. It takes a couple of clicks and an email to do so. Don’t be fobbed of that this isn’t necessary or will take some doing. A lazy salesperson who’s lost a potential sale is not going to be the most motivated person so don’t be persuaded it’s not necessary.

If you conclude your application is a definite decline, then don’t despair. As mentioned above, make sure you understand the specific reason your case has been turned down. And don’t settle for vague answers. You need the specific details e.g. reading too high? By how much? What is the highest reading the insurer will accept? Will the insurer accept that higher reading if I change something else like lost some weight? Once again, a good broker will be able to give you all these answers and, in the detail, you need and deserve. 

Ask about other options. Not all insurers are the same. What one diabetic life insurance provider may find unacceptable on an application; another may accept. This is because insurers use different underwriting philosophies and tolerance levels. Explore every option before you give up as you may well be surprised in the differences you find between insurers. 

 

Life insurance for diabetics UK – Find the right person for the job

With all the above in mind, using a specialist broker can be the difference between success and failure. Having a person who is both motivated and knowledgeable to work on your behalf is a key component. In contrast, call centre or large broker style companies are set up to work on volume and their staff are targeted accordingly. If you fall outside of the ‘norm’, you may become just too much work for the insurance salesperson. Especially if they have the next customer to boost their sales figures waiting on the next line.

A lack of knowledge and/or experience can also be very detrimental to your chances. Your adviser or broker may be the nicest person you know. But if they’re scratching their heads and looking a bit lost, they’re not the best fit to get the cover you need. Using a specialist that has a full understanding diabetic conditions and a panel of UK insurers from which to choose from is paramount. A specialist has the experience and knowledge to guide you through each insurer’s ways of working. They will inform you how each insurer will treat your personal circumstances. And be able to give you clear options and what the price of each will be.

Top tips

  • Recently diagnosed? Wait until 6 mths have passed and try again.
  • Turned down? Check everything is correct. People do and will make mistakes.
  • Changed meds recently? Wait until 6 mths have passed and try again
  •  Higher than normal reading? Why not get another and see if it’s better?
  • Declined? Not all insurers are the same. Get a specialist to give you your options.

 

Life insurance with diabetes quotes – Don’t always believe what you read

Following on from the last paragraph above, an accurate price quote is important. This is an area that is commonly misunderstood when people look around at prices online. In short, a price is not guaranteed to be so until an insurer has assessed your application and any further evidence they may have requested. If you are given a price by anyone be it an adviser or one of the big price comparison sites, without the details of your situation assessed, it is by no means accurate. 

Here again is an example of how using a specialist is an advantage. They will ask you for details of your medical history as well as other details they understand the insurers will assess. They may even need to go away and compile further research before they are able to provide a quote. This is a good way to gauge both the accuracy of a quote and the competence of the individual dealing with your case. The more questions you are asked surrounding any medical disclosures, the more chance you have of a quote being accurate. As it will take into consideration any ratings a provider may apply. Be wary of anyone who offers you a quote without asking questions first. The less questions you are asked, the more chance the quote is inaccurate. 

 

Getting life insurance with diabetes – Lets recap

We’ve covered a lot of ground so far so let’s recap on the key points that have been discussed. Firstly, make sure you approach the task prepared. Have all your readings ready. And if you’ve fallen a bit behind, get some done before you start. Make sure you have a list of the dates of diagnosis and any changes that may have been made to things like treatments. Give yourself the best chance of success and of getting the most competitive price.

If your most recent reading was higher than normal you have choices. You can wait and get another reading completed to see if it comes down to normal again. Or, if you’d prefer the peace of mind of cover now, use the higher reading. But be sure to review your policy if and when you get a lower reading. Remember, you can review your diabetic life cover at any time without penalty. A good broker will set up periodic reviews to do this for you. But be proactive as well. If you get a lower reading or something changes you think may improve your situation, then get in touch and start the ball rolling yourself. 

Don’t be talked into the first offer you get. Remember there are insurance salespeople out there who are more interested in their figures than you getting the best deal. Put your mind at rest and explore the market before you commit. Walk away with the peace of mind that you got a good deal. Don’t let the uninformed, lazy or commission chasers cost you money!

A specialist can be your secret weapon. Of course, you can do all the research and enquiries yourself if you choose. After reading this, you’ll probably make a very good job of it. But it will still be very time consuming. When you are confident a specialist knows their stuff, you can allow them to do the leg work for you. Saving time and effort and getting a concise set of options to ponder. Remember, the more questions you are asked about your situation the more accurate your quotes are likely to be. If you speak to someone who doesn’t seem to have come across the subject before, chances are they haven’t. 

If you are turned down, find out why. And make sure it’s an accurate description of why so you can move forward with this in mind. And don’t think all insurers are the same. They are not. If one says no, there are potentially many more options available to you. Once again, this is where a specialist can help. If you’ve been turned down in the past or are paying a higher cost for your cover than you think may be necessary, then get your case reviewed and double checked. You may well find either a perfectly viable solution or a significant saving to be made. 

Managing Your Diabetes

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can you get life insurance with diabetes?

A. Yes. All mainstream UK insurers offer cover to applicants with diabetes. However, your personal circumstances will be assessed on their individual merits. This can affect both the price and the success of an application for life insurance with diabetes. 

Q. Does diabetes affect life insurance?

A. If you have an existing policy there is no need to inform the insurer if you are diagnosed with diabetes. If you already have a diabetic diagnosis and want to apply for life insurance, the condition will be taken into consideration as part of your applications assessment. 

Q. Does diabetes increase life insurance premiums?

A. A. Not necessarily, but quite often yes. Most insurers in the UK will add on a cost as standard for all diabetic applicant. The amount of the increase will depend on factors such as time since diagnosis and how well the diabetic controls their condition.

Q. Will My Diabetes Affect My Life Insurance?

Life insurance for people suffering with diabetes is one of the most varied conditions we deal with at I’m Insured due to the complexity of the condition and the range of risks. Type 1 and 2 Diabetes are both eligible for life insurance, although the underwriting for life insurance will depend on a number of factors to assess the levels of risk. At I’m Insured we require a full medical report would be required from your GP to confirm your readings and history of Diabetes. Whereas underwriting for Type 2 Diabetes is slightly different as it is less likely to need a full medical report if your diabetes is under control and can therefore be underwritten online. We have a team of expertly skilled advisors at I’m Insured, so for more information or a quote be sure to get in touch with our team today and find out how we can help you.

Q. Can I Get Life Insurance with Type 1 Diabetes?

If you have Type 1 Diabetes and are looking for life insurance then we will need to know about your condition in order for us to get the best possible life insurance. Applying for Life Insurance for Type 1 Diabetes with I’m Insured depends on a criteria based on a number of key factors such as:

  • Hba1c reading (within last 6 months)
  • Control of Diabetes
  • Medication levels (Insulin)
  • Date / Age at diagnosis
  • Any Diabetic complications

At I’m Insured we are leading life insurance experts for people with Type 1 Diabetes, for more information and advice speak to one of our expert Type 1 Diabetes life insurance experts to find out which insurance is best for you.

Q. Can I Get Life Insurance with Type 2 Diabetes?

Applying for Type 2 Diabetes life insurance is dependent on a number of health and medical factors to determine your level of risk. If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and are looking for life insurance then we will need to know about your condition in order for us to get the best possible life insurance. Applying for Life Insurance for Type 2 Diabetes with I’m Insured depends on a criteria based on a number of key factors such as:

  • Hba1c readings (within last 6 months)
  • Date diagnosed
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Height / Weight (BMI)
  • What if you're on medication
  • Any other pre-existing medical conditions

At I’m Insured we are leading life insurance experts for people with Type 2 Diabetes, for more information and expert advice speak to one of our expert Type 2 Diabetes life insurance experts to find out which insurance is best for you.

Q. Should I Get Life Insurance?

If you are single with no one depending on your income, then you probably don’t need life insurance. On the other hand you have a partner or family who may struggle to cope financially, then life insurance could offer the help they need at a very difficult time.

Q. How Much Does Diabetes Life Insurance Cost?

People with diabetes are considered to be a higher risk than those without diabetes . It isn’t It is not all that uncommon to be asked to undergo a medical in order to be approved for a life insurance policy, and if you suffer from diabetes your insurer may require a medical before agreeing to cover you. The best way to find an affordable life insurance policy with a history of medical issues is to talk to one of our professionals at I’m Insured today and one of our team members will take your unique needs into account. If you would like to discuss your diabetes life insurance options call us today for a quote.

About

At I’m Insured we often come across people who live life with a medical condition or conditions that they assume will mean they cannot get competitively priced life insurance or will not be eligible for any cover at all. Diabetes is one such condition.

There are thought to be 2.9 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and another 850,000 who are undiagnosed *. Although a condition such as diabetes will be taken into consideration with all insurers when applying for life assurance, it does not necessarily mean that you won’t be able to get a competitively priced deal.

There are some vital pieces of information you will be asked for during the application so it’s a good idea to have these to hand before you start. They include you most recent HBA1c reading as well as the date on which it was taken, details of any other related complications you may suffer from and the length of time since you where diagnosed with the condition.

Are all insurance providers the same?

A large part of what we do at I’m Insured is to take the time to understand each of our customers personal circumstances as well as what they hope to achieve in terms of their life insurance arrangements, for example to cover a mortgage, provider protection for their family or cover funeral expenses.

The reason why this is important and indeed why is it important to use an independent broker such as I’m Insured, is that different insurance provides will give different decisions (i.e. offers of insurance and price), based on how a person answers the questions relating to a medical condition. In actual fact there is a large degree of variation from provider to provider and this can have significant implications on the price an insurer will offer.

Even if you have been turned down for diabetes life insurance in the past it does not mean I’m Insured will not be able to help.

Useful links and references:

*http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diabetes/pages/diabetes.aspx

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Managing-your-diabetes/

http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-and-life.html

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Can I get life insurance with diabetes? – It’s possible you may have to delay

Insurers don’t like recent change. If you have been diagnosed recently, you may have to wait for a while until you can apply successfully. Similarly, if there have been changes to your treatment or you have hit a point in time when your readings are higher, there may need to be a delay. Remember to check all the information you have given though. A small mistake may give a completely different perspective to an insurer than your actual circumstances. What are seemingly small margins of error can have large impacts when it comes to diabetes life insurance applications.

One thing you don’t have to delay from here is getting on with the job of arranging your life cover. This has hopefully given you enough of a blueprint to find your way to a successful conclusion in that respect. However, we are of course always here and happy to pick up the slack should you wish. If you have any questions you’d like us to address or want to talk through your options in respect of a diabetes life insurance product, then feel free to get in touch.

 

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WHY CHOOSE US?

We can also help with putting your policy into trust.

That means you can nominate somebody to look after the money if you die and there’s a payout before you want the intended recipient to get the money. A common example is parents who want to have the payout go to a child only once the child turns 18 or 21. Putting a policy into trust also ensures that the payout goes to your intended recipient and can’t be seized by creditors if you have any debts when you die. There may also be tax benefits to putting a policy into trust.

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