Diabetes and life insurance

With over 4.9 million people living with diabetes in the UK, the health condition is becoming increasingly common within the nation’s population. A further 13.6 million people are currently at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes – a metabolic disorder that means the body cannot properly metabolise glucose – potentially leading to serious health complications such as heart disease.

The number of people with type 2 diabetes in the UK is a lot higher than the reported figures, with an estimated 850,000 currently going through their day to day lives unaware that they have the condition. Unfortunately, having close relatives who already have type 2 diabetes means the likelihood of you developing diabetes also increases.

While type 2 diabetes was typically seen in middle-aged adults over the age of 40, it has become more prevalent in young adults, teens, and children in recent years. Closely linked to the climbing levels of obesity in the UK, more than 3000 children are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes each year.

Although multiple factors influence the chances of getting type 2 diabetes, it is possible to lower the risk of developing the condition by changing your current lifestyle. Scientific research has shown that taking pre-emptive action is an effective way to counter the onset of diabetes. In some people, sustained weight loss, switching to a healthy diet, and engaging in physical activity have all been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 50%.

Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, living with your condition means paying close attention to your blood sugar levels and following a controlled diet that requires you to monitor and regulate your carbohydrate intake. On top of this, regularly exercising and being more active in general are all parts of a lifestyle beneficial to managing your diabetes.

To help you keep focused on what really matters, we can help you find a life insurance policy that suits your circumstances, giving you the peace of mind that your family will be financially supported should anything happen to you.

Taking out life insurance may seem like a daunting process, and you may be worried that your condition may influence the decision of your application. However, this may not be the case. With 20 years of experience finding life insurance for those living with conditions such as diabetes, we are here to help you find a provider based on your unique requirements.

Explained below is what someone with diabetes can expect during the application process for life insurance through Diabetic Life:

Getting Life Insurance as a Diabetic

Having diabetes does not necessarily mean you cannot take out a life insurance policy. If you have been recently diagnosed, or have had an application declined elsewhere, we can help you.

During your application, you should tell us about your diabetes and any other pre-existing conditions you may have. Alongside this, there are a number of additional factors we take into account when making considerations on Diabetic Life insurance applications. These include the type of diabetes you have and whether you are managing your condition appropriately.

You may feel you’ll get a better deal if you provide misleading information, but you must answer the health questions honestly. Providing false information may cause issues later on in your application and in the event of a claim. 

Diabetic Life will collate quotes from the wide array of providers on our roster. Following this, we will then give you expert guidance in going through your options and helping you to choose the best life insurance cover for your chosen budget.

Things We Look At

Using a specialist broker will make getting life insurance for diabetes much easier, helping to find a provider that matches your circumstances. Diabetic Life can find and liaise with a diabetic specialist insurer on your behalf, arranging a GP report for them and sending through your HbA1c readings.

When underwriting your Diabetic Life Insurance application, the following factors will be taken into consideration by the insurer:

The Type of Diabetes You Have

Type 1 diabetes is a pre-existing medical condition where the body cannot produce enough insulin to regulate blood glucose levels. The cause of type 1 diabetes is a fault in the body’s immune system that targets and kills the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.

Sometimes type 1 diabetes is called juvenile diabetes because it is often diagnosed in children. However, this term is now considered outdated as the condition can develop at any age.

Life insurance with type 1 diabetes may be slightly expensive as there are a number of potential health complications such as cardiovascular disease or strokes that make you a risk to the insurance provider.

Type 2 diabetes is identified by the body’s inability to properly respond to insulin. There are multiple reasons why someone may develop type 2 diabetes, such as their genetics or diet. 

It may be harder for you to find an insurance provider, and the premiums may be high as the condition is often linked to your lifestyle, meaning you may be at risk of further illness as you get older.

Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking or losing weight are ways you can bring down premiums if you have found them to be too expensive.


As part of the insurance assessment, the insurer will ask what medications you are on. Depending on the type of diabetes you have and the severity of the condition, you may be taking one or more medicines to help manage your diabetes. For instance, these could be anti-diabetic drugs such as insulin treatments or tablets that help control blood glucose levels.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Your BMI can indicate whether you are a healthy weight or if your current weight may pose a risk of further health complications arising.

HbA1C / Mmol (Blood Sugar) level

HbA1C readings play a crucial role in life insurance assessments for diabetic people. Referring to glycated haemoglobin, HbA1c is when your red blood cells join with glucose in your blood, becoming ‘glycated’. Measuring Hba1c provides insight into your average blood sugar levels over a period of weeks or months.

Readings of 7.5 and below show that your diabetes is under control, meaning there is a higher chance your application will be approved. We are able to help people with a higher HbA1C reading, up to about 10 or 11 max.

Your Age at Diagnosis

The age at which you were diagnosed with diabetes can play a major role in the decision on your diabetes life insurance. Unfortunately, being diagnosed at a younger age means there are more chances of diabetes affecting your health as you get older.

You have a greater chance of getting life insurance if you are diagnosed with diabetes later in life. If you are over 50 with diabetes, getting insurance will be more straightforward, though your HbA1c and overall management of your condition will still be considered. Diabetic Life can help you find a life insurance policy specific to older people living with diabetes.

Diabetes-Associated Complications

Having diabetes makes you more prone to other health issues such as cardiovascular diseases. Part of the application process means you may be asked about other complications such as retinopathy (where high blood sugar levels damage your eyes) and tingling in the hands and feet.

Other Medical Issues

Any other existing medical issues can also make getting an insurance policy harder, but we can go through your options with you. By providing us with as much information as possible, we will be better suited to help you get the right policy for you.

Getting the Best Life Insurance for Diabetic People

With several types of life insurance available, Diabetic Life can help you choose the best option based on your circumstances.

Term Life Insurance

A term life insurance policy, available as either decreasing or increasing, provides a death benefit should you die during the policy term. In the event of your death, your family members will receive a fixed payout. Term life insurance is a good option if you have your diabetes under control.

The insurance policy covers a long period of time with a degree of flexibility, from a minimum of 5 years all the way up to your 90th birthday.

Whole of Life Insurance

If you have lifelong financial needs, opting for whole life insurance is another good option. Due to the guarantee of a payout, you should expect the premiums will be much higher than term insurance.

Life Insurance for Gestational Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

Life insurance is available if you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes or pre-diabetes. If you are pregnant and have gestational diabetes, life insurance is available. However, it is expensive and highly rated. It is recommended that you wait until your baby arrives and your blood sugar levels normalise.

The right insurer will provide you with life insurance if you have pre-diabetes, with the insurance working similarly to that of type 2 diabetes life insurance. You will most likely be requested to undergo a series of medical examinations as part of your application process.

Reducing Life Insurance Rates for Diabetics

There are a number of options available that will help you reduce the costs associated with life insurance premiums as a diabetic, including:

Losing weight/lowering your BMI: As stated above, your diabetes is not the only factor an insurer will look into when considering your application. If you are overweight or clinically obese, adopting a healthy lifestyle and losing weight can reduce premium costs.

Reducing your alcohol intake: Consuming too much alcohol regularly or being an alcoholic puts you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Frequent drinkers may want to cut down their intake, which may lead to a cheaper premium.

Lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure levels: having healthy blood pressure and cholesterol readings will show insurers you take your health seriously and could reduce insurance costs. With cardiovascular risks a common side effect of diabetes, being able to demonstrate you live well demonstrates a commitment to managing your condition.

Thinking ahead: By applying for life insurance when you’re younger, you can reduce the premiums.

Quit smoking: Smokers are at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, and insurers will view you as a bigger risk if you smoke and already have diabetes. With non-smokers typically having cheaper premiums than smokers, quitting is another way to reduce insurance costs.

Why Life Insurance is Important

Anyone with financial responsibility should think about life insurance to ensure that their family and loved ones are protected should anything happen to them. If you have any of the following financial commitments then you may want to look into life insurance options:

  • Children (the costs associated with school fees, clothing, expenditure, etc.) 
  • Mortgage(s) 
  • Other debts 
  • Rent 
  • Business costs 
  • Cost of living 
  • Funeral costs 
  • IHT liability / Legacy planning

Diabetic Life’s expert advisers can assist you through the difficult decisions associated with your personal life insurance needs, making sure you have the best cover available to you.

If You Have Been Declined Life Insurance Elsewhere

Being declined life insurance because of your health condition can be a stressful experience, but we could still find a life insurance policy for you.

If your application has been rejected your options include going through a specialist life insurance broker or reapplying after the waiting period is over.

Getting life insurance as a person with a pre-existing medical condition is not as difficult as you may think, and we can help you find the best quotes to suit your individual needs.

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