Life Insurance and Diabetes
Information about how Type 1 and 2 diabetes can affect applying for Life Insurance.
What is Diabetes?
According to Diabetes Australia, having diabetes means you are unable to maintain healthy glucose levels in the blood because of difficulties with regulating the hormone insulin.
There are three types of diabetes:
- Gestational diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes, which is commonly controlled with dietary changes
- Type 1 diabetes, where sufferers need to inject themselves regularly with insulin.
Statistics and trends in Australia
- Roughly one person every five minutes develops diabetes every day.
- Over 1.5 million Australians have diabetes. This includes all types of diagnosed diabetes in addition to silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes
- More than 100,000 Australians have developed diabetes in the past year
- The total estimated annual cost impact of diabetes in Australia is over $14 billion
In light of this, you might be wondering if you are still able to obtain Life insurance if you have been diagnosed. The answer is “yes”.
If you take the right steps to obtain Life insurance you and your family can find reassurance through financial support regardless of your diabetes diagnosis.
Life Insurance options for diabetics
Although a diabetes diagnosis may mean that you can’t necessarily purchase a life insurance policy at standard premium rates, your individual circumstances would need to be considered and terms tailored to your personal situation. Your cover would be required to be “fully underwritten” and the terms offered would apply to the full term of your cover.
“Fully underwritten” means that your medical history would be fully assessed regarding your diabetic status.
Life Insurance premiums for diabetics may differ due to health reasons.
Once you have disclosed your health conditions, an underwriter will conduct a detailed assessment of your health and other risks you are facing to make a decision on whether cover will be offered for the Life insurance product applied for, and if so, on what terms.
If your insurer is fully aware of your medical status and you have been accepted for cover, in the event that you or your loved ones need to make a claim on the policy, there will be no difficulties in processing it because of what may be considered a pre-existing condition.
Insurers who do not require you to provide an upfront medical assessment may exclude any claim down the track because of a pre-existing condition which they were not aware of.
In Australia, Trauma (Critical Illness) Cover can provide great financial support if you are diagnosed with one of the conditions as defined in your policy. Trauma Insurance is a type of Life insurance product obtainable directly through an insurer or via a broker.
Trauma Insurance cover provides a lump sum benefit which can be used for paying off medical expenses or mortgage repayments, for example. All applications may be subject to loading depending on the policy holder’s health profile and background.
Questions asked during a Life Insurance application
A Life insurer may ask you one or more of the following questions, amongst others, during a routine screening assessment for underwriting purposes:
- What type of diabetes were you diagnosed with?
- When was the diagnosis made?
- How is the condition treated and what medications are you taking to manage it?
- Have you experienced any heath problems as a result of diabetes?
- Have you ever required hospitalisation because of the condition, for example high blood pressure or organ function issues?
- When were you last checked by a medical professional, and what were the test results (HbA1c)?
Restrictions for diabetics
Obtaining cover with a pre-existing condition, such as diabetes type 1 or 2 is not always as straightforward as it sounds. There are red flags that signal to an insurer when to ask for further information. For instance, if you advise your insurer you have pre-diabetes, they are often required to ask for your most recent blood pressure reading. The warning signs may also lead to the insurer automatically declining your insurance application, if for example, you have a combination of diabetes and heart conditions.
The only cover we can consider for Type 1 diabetics is Term Life cover. For Type 2 diabetics, Income Protection, Trauma and TPD are not available for people under 45 years of age. For people aged over 45 the diabetes must have been first diagnosed less than 5 years ago and if cover is available, premium loadings will apply.
How much Life Insurance do I need?
Calculate the right amount of cover you need in five easy steps with the NobleOak Life Insurance calculator.
Being diagnosed with a serious condition such as diabetes can be devastating. However, it is important that you’re not discouraged from applying for Life insurance without considering the options which may be available to you.
Be aware that underwriting restrictions may also cause your cover to be declined if you have suffered further serious health events, such as a heart condition, cancer or brain and head injury for example.