Can I Get Life Insurance if I Have Diabetes?

Can I get life insurance if I have diabetes?

First published 28 June 2018  |  Last updated 19 July 2022

According to Diabetes UK, there were 4.9 million people living with diabetes in the UK in 2021 - hitting an all-time high. 

If you're one of those people, you may be wondering, can I get life insurance if I have diabetes?

The short answer is yes, but there are some things you need to be aware of to ensure that when you do come to compare life insurance quotes, you are paying the correct premiums and the policy provides you with the appropriate cover to suit the needs of you and your family.

Managing your diabetes

According to Diabetes UK, the overwhelming majority of people with diabetes suffer from Type 2, perhaps because one of the most widely-accepted contributors is lifestyle and health issues, such as obesity.

With relatively minor symptoms in most cases, it is often only discovered, and subsequently diagnosed, as a result of routine tests for an unrelated medical condition that picks up on increased levels of the hormone insulin or increased blood sugar levels.

Whilst the diagnosis of a chronic illness can be a devastating experience, the good news is that diabetes can be managed to reduce the risk of associated complications.

For Type 2 diabetics, Diabetes UK recommends weight control through a change in diet and doing physical activity. Your doctor may also offer medication to regulate sugar and insulin within the body along with regular reviews with medical practitioners to monitor your glycated haemoglobin readings (HbA1c), which provides a picture of your average blood sugar levels.

What information do I need to take out a life insurance policy?

It is important to declare that you have been diagnosed with diabetes to ensure that you are offered the appropriate cover and premium. To do this, it may be useful to have some further personal medical information.

The additional details you may be asked for include:

  • Your age at diagnosis
  • Your most recent HbA1c readings
  • The type of diabetes you have
  • How it is being treated (whether through lifestyle changes alone such as diet or with medication)
  • Whether you have any existing complications as a result of your diabetes

Can I get life insurance if I have other health conditions?

If diabetes is well managed, there can be less risk of developing other associated medical conditions, such as strokes, heart disease, blindness, and kidney disease.

It is, of course, possible to suffer from these other health conditions without being diagnosed with diabetes, but there is a contributory link if diabetes isn't well managed.

Just as with diabetes, it is important to declare if you have developed any other health conditions, as this may have an impact on premiums and whether an insurance provider agrees to offer life insurance.

What types of life insurance are available?

The two more common types of life insurance are mortgage protection life insurance and level term life insurance.

Mortgage protection life insurance is designed to pay off your outstanding repayment mortgage in the event of your death by providing a lump sum to your loved ones. The cover reduces throughout the term similar to the balance of your repayment mortgage.

Level term life insurance is designed to provide a one-off payment should you pass away within the specified term of your policy. The amount of cover provided by this type of policy will not change throughout the term.

It is vital that you declare any other health conditions to ensure that your policy isn't invalidated and offers the financial protection you intended when first taking out the policy.

To compare life insurance quotes, you will be asked a number of lifestyle and medical questions, such as whether you are a smoker. Once you have selected your life insurance provider, they may ask some further questions regarding your condition so they can more accurately assess their risk. It's possible the provider will give a price based on this that differs from your initial quote.

Is life insurance more expensive for diabetics?

It's likely your life insurance premiums will be a bit more expensive due to your diagnosis. This is because insurers recognise that diabetes poses an added health risk and increases the likelihood of a claim being made on your policy.

The price you will pay for your life insurance will depend on the severity of your condition. Life insurance underwriters will assess your diabetes based on a number of key factors and measurements, such as:

  • Your age at diagnosis
  • Most recent HbA1c reading
  • The type of diabetes you have
  • The medication you've been prescribed (e.g. diet, metformin or insulin)
  • Your BMI (your height, weight and waist measurements)
  • Whether you suffer any complications due to your diabetes (e.g. retinopathy, nephropathy or neuropathy)

The cost of your life insurance will also depend on a few other factors, such as your current age, smoker status and whether you have any other pre-existing conditions.

There are a few things you can do to possibly lower the cost of your life insurance premiums, such as:

  • Stop smoking - smoking is now proven to be a risk factor for diabetes, and for those who already have the disease, smoking increases the risk of complications. Quitting can reduce your provider's risk and you may be rewarded with lower premiums. 
  • Reduce your alcohol intake - if you drink alcohol, cutting down or stopping altogether can result in reduced premiums, as well as helping you to manage your weight and blood sugar.
  • Lose weight - having excess body weight, especially around your stomach, can increase your risk of developing resistance to insulin, the hormone that helps to regulate your blood sugar. Maintaining a healthy weight can help your body to utilise the insulin you inject or produce, and in turn help you to better manage your condition. So, shredding those few extra pounds could make your insurance cheaper. 
  • Report regularly - depending on the provider, if you can provide evidence that your condition is well managed, including your Hba1c readings, you may get cheaper insurance.

How much cover do I need?

At Compare Cover, we provide you with the tools to compare life insurance quotes and calculate how much cover you may need with our life insurance calculator.

Using our life insurance comparison service, you can shop around for the best deal to suit you and your circumstances.


Get life quotes in just 4 minutes!

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