Life insurance is a financial product that can benefit people of all ages and types. If an unfortunate event were to deprive a family of its breadwinner, the financial cover from a life insurance policy can be incredibly helpful.
Insurance companies issue policies based on several factors, one of which is the medical record of the buyer. If an individual has diabetes, the same will be taken into consideration when reviewing the life insurance application of that individual. How exactly does having diabetes affect the chances of having life insurance? Do people with diabetes have to buy a different type of life insurance? This article is here to provide the answers.
Understanding the connection between diabetes and life insurance
Diabetic individuals can indeed get their life insured, just like other people do. However, their experience in buying and managing the policy can be quite different due to their medical issue.
Firstly, let us understand what diabetes is. It is a health condition that occurs as a result of very high blood sugar due to the body’s inability to process it effectively. There are broadly two types of diabetes – Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes, out of which the second type is more common, especially among adults.
As of 2019, an estimated 77 million people had diabetes in India. This already-shocking figure is expected to rise to 134 million by the year 2045. Diabetes brings with it a higher risk of several health complications, macrovascular and microvascular diseases, increased premature morbidity, and so on.
Now, what is buying life insurance like for diabetic individuals? The primary difference lies in the high-risk factor that diabetic individuals carry. These health risks are the main reasons behind the hesitancy of life insurance companies to approve applications for people with diabetes.
Factors that affect life insurance for diabetic individuals
The age at which you were diagnosed
An individual that has been diagnosed with diabetes for 8 years will likely incur higher premiums for their life insurance policy than an individual that has been diagnosed for 2 years or so. This is because the longer one has diabetes, the more health issues they are likely to have. Getting diabetes at a particular life stage can also make a difference. Young people with diabetes are more vulnerable to serious health than people who had diabetes at a later stage in life.
Blood sugar and A1c levels
If the A1c levels in the body are in the range of 5.7% to 6.4%, it is a sign of prediabetes. If the A1c levels are beyond 6.5%, then it indicates diabetes. The higher the A1c levels, the more the risk of health complications due to diabetes. Similarly, the blood sugar levels, too, imply a higher susceptibility to health issues if they are high.
Hence, insurers check the A1c and blood sugar levels before issuing the policy.
The type of diabetes you have
What life insurance is like for diabetic individuals also depends on what type of diabetes they have.
As mentioned above, there are two types of diabetes. If you are diagnosed with Type 1, then your premium may be higher than if you were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is quite easier to control and can be kept in check with oral medicine and insulin intake. Type 1 diabetes often occurs at an earlier stage and may be difficult to control and treat.
A quick note: There are many other factors that determine the premium of your life insurance policy, such as age and tenure. A life insurance calculator can help you understand the effect of these factors on the premium.
The kind of medication and treatment you are taking
The steps you are taking toward the medication and treatment of your diabetes also matter in regard to your life insurance. The premium may be lower if the diabetes is treated with oral medication as compared to insulin. Insurers may also request timely tests to check the relevant levels. If the A1c levels are not increasing or reducing, the premium may reduce.
Life insurance is a beneficial financial product that can be bought by people with diabetes as well. It is important to keep the above point in mind before going ahead. Using tools such as the life insurance calculator can also help. One must always read the policy wording and reach out to the insurer before going ahead.
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