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Life Insurance For Type 1 Diabetics

Written on February 28, 2017 by Bill

There are basically 3 options for getting life insurance for type 1 diabetics:

1. Traditional fully underwritten policy
2. No medical exam policy
3. Guaranteed issue policy

All 3 will probably have different outcomes as far as price and type of policy. Knowing which direction to pursue before you apply can save time and much frustration.

Getting life insurance for someone with type 1 diabetes can be very difficult but it’s not impossible. A person who has had diabetes for a long period of time poses a higher risk to the insurance company. Left untreated, a type 1 diabetic is more likely to suffer from organ complications such as heart disease, kidney failure, loss of limbs, blindness and death.

Type 1 Diabetes and Why Insurance Companies Worry

Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile onset diabetes and usually occurs in early childhood or young people before the age of 30. It is believed that type 1 diabetics account for only 10 percent of the people diagnosed with diabetes. Childhood obesity and family history are believed to be the primary causes of this disease.

This disorder accelerates the destruction of the autoimmune system which attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. Type 1 diabetics require regular doses of insulin injected by needles or a special pump that delivers a continuous dose of insulin.

Insurance companies consider applicants with type 1 diabetes as a very high risk for life insurance. Depending on when you were diagnosed and the current state of your health, you could be looking at much higher rates than those with type 2 diabetes.

Traditional, Medically Underwritten Life Insurance for Type 1 Diabetics

People with Type 1 diabetes will most likely have a hard time finding a traditional, medically underwritten life insurance policy. For most type 1 diabetics this option for coverage is probably not the best choice unless your blood-sugar levels and your hemoglobin A1C are well controlled.

If A1C levels are between 6 and 7, this is a good indication that the patient has good control of his or her diabetes and could be offered a policy with standard rates.

Rates on life insurance for type 1 diabetics
can also fluctuate from company to company.

This is because life insurance providers assess risks differently.

But if A1C levels are above 7 or double digits, it means the disease is not being controlled and you could pay a much higher rate or more likely, get declined.

Rates on life insurance for type 1 diabetics can also fluctuate from company to company. This is because life insurance providers assess risks differently. One insurer could view diabetes to be a major risk, while another may offer reasonable rates to customers with a well-controlled history of diabetes.

There is no “official list” of diabetic friendly life insurance companies but a good independent agency will know which company could be best for your unique situation.

No Medical Exam Life Insurance For Type 1 Diabetics

Another option for life insurance coverage is to purchase a no medical exam policy. This type of policy can give you the protection you need without being required to take the medical exam policy. There are no needles, no nurse will visit your home or office and no urine samples required. However, most companies will ask a series of medical questions and could review your past medical history with the Medical Information Bureau (MIB).

There are several advantages and disadvantages to these plans that you should be aware of when looking to get life insurance. The most obvious advantage is almost anyone can purchase a no exam policy regardless of current health or any pre-existing conditions.

Another advantage if you qualify, is a policy can be issued in a few days instead of several weeks such as a traditional underwritten policy. Some companies such as Sagicor and Fidelity Life will issue policies within 24 to 48 hours.

These companies are now offering online e-applications or tele-underwriting which makes applying for a policy easy. In some cases, you could know you are approved in a matter of a few minutes.

Just like with every other type of life insurance coverage, there are also disadvantages to no medical exam polices. Skipping the exam does not allow the insurance company to get your whole health picture, so a no exam policy will be more expensive than a fully underwritten policy.

Most no exam policies are going to be 25 to 60% more expensive, but if you are having trouble getting coverage this could be a good option.

Another downside of a no exam policy is that you are going to be limited with the amount of coverage you can purchase. Coverage amounts can vary between $25,000 to $400,000. A few companies such as Principal Financial will offer up to 1,000,000 of coverage. However, for a person with type 1 diabetes, this amount of coverage will probably not be available without an extensive medical review.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance For Type 1 Diabetics

Guaranteed issue policies could be a last resort for someone with type 1 diabetes who has been turned down for a traditional policy or find a no exam policy too expensive. Guaranteed issue or guaranteed acceptance life insurance is exactly how it sounds. You cannot be turned down as long as you are willing to pay.

Most policies are Graded Death policies with a 2 or 3 year waiting period for full benefits to be paid to beneficiaries. For example: If you die within the first 2 years, your family will receive the amount of premiums paid to date along with a calculated interest rate of 8 to 10 %.

Coverage amounts are limited too – usually between $5,000 to $25,000 – but for people with serious health problems, a Guaranteed Issue policy might be the only option.

Several companies offer this type of coverage. Many of them do not require an exam or any medical background questions.  MetLife and Gerber Life are probably the most notable companies in this field. Both offer a Guaranteed Issue policy up to $25,000. A simple phone interview is required. As long as you are not on your death bed or confined to a nursing home, you can be approved within 48 hours.

Bottom Line For Getting Life Insurance For Type 1 Diabetics

No two people are alike and each person has their own unique health situation. If you have type 1 diabetes and are searching for life insurance, going it alone or getting quotes online will be very hard work. Instead of spending hours of time researching your options or calling numerous insurance agents, we can do all the work for you. Our agency works with several “diabetic friendly” insurance companies. Just complete the customized quote form on this page or call us directly at 914-633-1717.

About Behr Insurance
About Behr Insurance

Bill Behr has been helping people make smart decisions regarding life insurance planning for more than 20 years. While most insurance advisors attempt to be everything to everyone, Bill focuses on the life insurance needs of families and business owners. Contact me directly at: 914-633-1717 to learn how you can save money.

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