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Can I get life insurance or Critical Illness cover if I have diabetes?

Can I get life insurance or Critical Illness cover if I have diabetes?

Jul 20, 2023

Diabetes is a serious and growing health issue in the UK. According to figures from Diabetes UK, more than 4.3 million people in the UK live with diabetes. Additionally, 850,000 people could be living with diabetes who are yet to be diagnosed.

Diabetes occurs when your blood glucose level is too high. It can happen when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the insulin it produces isn’t effective. There are two main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 – where you can’t make any insulin at all
  • Type 2 – where the insulin you make either can’t work effectively, or you can’t produce enough of it.

In recent years, more and more people have been diagnosed with diabetes, with around 90% of those living with type 2 diabetes.

If you want the peace of mind that you and your family will receive financial support in the event of serious illness or death, you might be looking to put some financial protection in place. However, if you have diabetes, you may be wondering whether it’s possible to insure yourself if you have the condition.

As understanding of the condition improves, more insurers are offering protection to people with the condition. Read on to find out more about diabetes life insurance and diabetes Critical Illness cover.

Diabetes life cover

If you have diabetes, the good news is that there are lots of insurers that will offer life insurance to you.

As an example, Royal London has a diabetes life insurance policy, specifically designed for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. You can arrange life insurance with a level sum assured and the policy will pay out if you die within the term of the plan.

Additionally, the application process is tailored specifically for people with diabetes. There are fewer questions, and you’ll need to provide significantly less medical evidence when compared to standard protection plans. You will need to provide a HbA1c reading.

Royal London also says that, if you provide an annual HbA1c reading, they could reduce your monthly payments by up to 40%, provided your condition is improving. They also guarantee that they will never increase your monthly payments above the original starting amount.

When you apply for diabetes life cover, you may find that your monthly premiums will be slightly more to reflect the fact you do have a medical condition. This will depend on the provider and factors such as your HbA1c reading and how you are managing your condition.

Insurers may also ask related questions about your diagnosis. These may include:

  • Any related medical conditions you have
  • Whether you have relatives with any serious medical conditions
  • Whether you smoke and drink and, if so, how much.

Answers to these questions will help an insurer assess your overall health and potential for risk in other areas of your life.

As specialists in finding diabetes life insurance, we can help you compare life insurance quotes from a range of different providers to find the cover that you need at a competitive price.

Diabetes Critical Illness cover

Critical Illness cover provides a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a serious medical condition within the term of your policy. Most Critical Illness cover payouts are for:

  • Serious types of cancer
  • Heart attack or other serious heart conditions
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke.

While diabetes is not an illness that is typically covered under the policy – i.e. your Critical Illness policy won’t pay out if you are diagnosed with diabetes – it is possible to arrange cover if you are living with the condition.

As with diabetes life cover, you may pay more for the cover compared to an insurer’s standard terms. This is because many people with diabetes have higher blood sugar levels, which puts them at a higher risk of contracting serious diseases such as:

  • Kidney disease
  • Stroke
  • Heart conditions
  • Eye problems
  • Damage to your feet.

There may also be some exclusions placed on your policy, such as cardiovascular conditions and anything relating to eyes, although this can vary between insurers.

Recently, a leading UK insurer announced that they would expand the availability of their Critical Illness protection to type 2 diabetic customers without the need for NHS records.

The new innovation from HSBC Life (UK) will allow customers to benefit from Critical Illness cover by attending an independent nurse medical screening, the results of which will be assessed digitally in a three-day turnaround time.

HSBC Life has developed a specially designed test with its partner, Square Health. Here, nurses will discuss your diabetic history with you, check your foot pulse, and take a blood test.

FTAdviser reports that the insurer can offer this extension to diabetics due to its enhanced digital underwriting process. In line with other insurers, the cover is only available through what the insurer calls “external adviser distribution partners” – not direct.

Jen Carhart, head of underwriting and claims at HSBC Life, said: “We are really proud to have worked with our partners, UnderwriteMe and Square Health to introduce this unique approach and open up such a vital protection product for a group of customers historically excluded by the industry from critical illness.”

If you’re accepted for cover, you will also benefit from the expansion of HSBC Life’s value-added benefits proposition, which includes prescription services, second medical opinions, and unlimited remote GP appointments.

How do I find diabetes life insurance and Critical Illness cover?

If you have diabetes or could be prone to getting it due to your family medical history, Critical Illness cover could be vital to protecting your assets. In addition, you may want to ensure your loved ones receive valuable financial support if you were to die prematurely.

Not all insurers offer life insurance and Critical Illness cover to applicants with diabetes, and some that do will also add certain exclusions.

Many – such as HSBC Life above – will also only offer this protection through trusted partners, not directly to the public.

So, if you want to buy diabetes life insurance or Critical Illness cover and you aren’t sure where to turn, approaching an independent expert can help.

I’m Insured is an independent life insurance broker and we have wide experience in helping customers with pre-existing medical conditions find the right protection for them. We have helped many people with diabetes to find the right life insurance and Critical Illness protection, and we have specialist knowledge of this market.

Our experts will work with you to understand your personal circumstances and exactly what life insurance or Critical Illness cover you are looking for.

For example, you may want to

  • Replace your income if you have to take an extended period off work
  • Protect your family
  • Pay off your mortgage
  • Meet funeral expenses
  • Ensure your family can maintain their standard of living if you’re no longer around.

Even if you have already had a life insurance or Critical Illness cover application declined because of your diabetes, get in touch with us. We work with many of the UK’s leading insurers and so we are ideally placed to help you find the cover you need.

Speak to one of our experts to discuss your condition and what type of protection you are looking for.



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