Life insurance and diabetes

Over 4 million people in the UK have diabetes*. Diabetes is a serious health condition characterised by high blood sugar levels, which can cause damage to the body over time.

If you have diabetes and thinking about life insurance, it’s important to know how your condition could affect your options.

This guide will help you to understand where you stand.

*Source: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/professionals/position-statements-reports/statistics, October 2023.

  • Yes, if you have diabetes, it’s still possible to get life insurance. However, it may involve a longer process to secure the cover you need .** This means you can still provide financial protection to your loved ones in case you’re no longer there to support them.

    **Source: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/life-with-diabetes/insurance, September 2023.

    You should always let your insurer know about your diabetes as part of the application. This helps them to provide the cover you really need as your policy could be invalidated if you’re not open and honest.

    It’s worth being aware that people who have diabetes can be charged more for life insurance. This is because insurers understand that a pre-existing condition like diabetes often comes with several health risks.

    However, if you’re able to prove to an insurer that your diabetes is manageable, it might reduce the effect on your life cover. As with any other person, general health and lifestyle factors are also important.

    Read on to learn more about diabetic life cover, depending on the type of diabetes you’ve been diagnosed with.

    Life insurance for type 1 diabetes

    Type 1 diabetes life insurance often costs more due to a higher risk of developing health conditions such as stroke or heart attack. However, many people with type 1 diabetes can live long and healthy lives.

    Because type 1 diabetes is a pre-existing medical condition, your insurer might request a medical exam before you apply for life insurance. They may also want to know more about how well your condition is managed, and if you’ve experienced any complications due to having type 1 diabetes.

    You may need to provide extra details about your condition such as your most recent HbA1c reading and any medication that you’re taking. Your insurer may need to take your body mass index (BMI) too.

    Life insurance for type 2 diabetes

    It is possible to get life insurance if you have type 2 diabetes, but it may cost more. Your premiums can also be affected by how severe your diabetes is.

    If you have type 2 diabetes and are looking to take out life cover, the insurer might request a medical examination, along with your BMI and most recent blood glucose readings. They may also request things like medical records from your GP.

    If you can show the insurer that you are taking steps and measures to control your diabetes, they may take this into consideration. This can include life choices such as:

    • Exercise and activity levels.
    • Diet and healthy eating.
    • Being a non-smoker.
    • Reducing alcohol consumption.
  • Yes, if you have a confirmed diabetes diagnosis, you should inform your insurer about it. This accounts for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

    When processing a claim from your loved ones in the event of your death, your insurer would ask your GP for your medical records. If these reveal a diagnosis that you hadn’t disclosed when you took out your life insurance policy, your cover may be invalidated.

    That means your family may not receive a payout helping them to manage future expenses in your absence – such as mortgage repayments, childcare fees or just everyday expenses. It really isn’t worth the risk. When you apply, the information you provide should be honest and complete.

    What will an insurer ask about my diabetes?

    Here’s a checklist of information you might need to provide an insurer about your condition:

    • The date of your diagnosis, and the last date you had a diabetic review.
    • The type of treatment you receive and whether it includes an insulin pump or insulin injections.
    • Dates of regular clinic or hospital appointments, including any admissions.
    • Results of your blood glucose levels in red blood cells, also known as the HbA1c test.
    • Complications arising from diabetes. This could include eye or kidney issues. It might also relate to symptoms such as loss of sensation, tingling or numbness in feet, toes, and fingers.

    Your insurer may also want to find out about your general lifestyle choices. For example, do you regularly exercise, have a healthy diet, consume alcohol or smoke cigarettes.

  • If you develop diabetes after your life insurance policy begins, your policy won’t need to be revised. Your life cover is based on your health status at the time of taking out the insurance. This means that you can continue paying the same premiums from the start of your application.

    But, if your policy comes to an end and you decide to apply for a new policy, or you want to take out additional cover, you should inform your insurer about your diabetes diagnosis. Your premiums might increase, but your family will still have the protection you want.

  • If you’re looking to buy life insurance with diabetes, there are several options to consider, including:

    Whole life insurance

    While potentially the most expensive type of cover, whole life insurance can provide a benefit to your loved ones in the event of a claim, whenever you die.

    Term life insurance

    This type of insurance lasts for a fixed period. With Lloyds Bank, term life insurance can vary from 5 to 40 years, up to the age of 69. Your loved ones would be able to make a claim if you unexpectedly passed away at any point while your policy is active.

    Term life insurance can be taken out with a level, increasing, or decreasing payout, depending on the costs your family might need to cover. For example, you may want to secure cover just while you’ve got a mortgage to repay, or while your children are dependent on you.

    Critical illness insurance

    While not a form of life insurance, critical illness insurance provides additional cover for medical emergencies or several illnesses you may experience. This could include cancer, strokes and heart attacks.

    A critical illness payout is made following a valid claim while you are alive. It could help to pay for living costs when you can't work, or to help improve your quality of life.

    At Lloyds Bank, you can purchase life and critical illness together, or independently. Make sure you read through all policy documentation before you go ahead, making sure it provides the cover you really need.

    Scottish Widows – who are also part of Lloyds Banking Group – arrange our life insurance policies. They are our life insurance experts, helping to protect what matters most for over 200 years. To get a new policy, you need to be aged 18 to 59. Cover can be provided up to the age of 69.

    It’s worth remembering that life insurance and critical illness cover products have no cash in value at any time. If no valid claim is made by the end of the policy term, it will end, and you’ll get nothing back. If you don’t pay your premiums on time your cover will stop, your policy will end, and you’ll get nothing back.

    Learn more about life cover options.

 
Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

  • Your insurer may ask for medical test results to accompany your medical history. This may involve taking a physical exam and answering questions about your condition. While it can make the application process a little slower, you’ll get the cover and pay a premium that’s tailored to your needs.

  • Life insurance can cost more for people who have diabetes, just because of the associated health risks that come with the condition. Any increase in cost will come down to a range of factors. These can include how severe the condition is, how it is managed, and how healthy you and your lifestyle choices are.

  • Life insurance will only benefit your loved ones if they make a successful claim in the event of your death. Not at the point you’re diagnosed with diabetes.

    If you have critical illness insurance, then it’s unlikely diabetes will be covered. Always ask questions if you’re not sure and be sure to check the terms and conditions of your policy.

    When you make a claim, your insurer will need confirmation and details from a medical professional.

    At Lloyds Bank, you can purchase life and critical illness together, or independently. Make sure you read through all policy documentation before you go ahead, making sure it provides the cover you really need.

  • Having diabetes does not automatically disqualify you from getting life insurance, although this can vary from one insurer to another. Acceptance may depend on several factors, including the severity of your condition, how you actively manage it and your general health and lifestyle. You should also check whether your insurance only relates to specific conditions or provides full comprehensive cover.

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