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5 Reasons Why Diabetes Can Affect Life Insurance Premiums

By December 16, 2023 Advisor, Blog, Consumer, News
Doctor helping an elderly woman with her blood test with a glucometer

Diabetes is a prevalent chronic disease in Canada, affecting a significant portion of its population. The Canadian government reports that over 3 million Canadians, or 8.9% of the population, have been diagnosed with diabetes. When adjusted for the aging population, the prevalence has been growing at an average rate of 3.3% annually. Additionally, 6.1% of Canadian adults have prediabetes, which puts them at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.1

Unfortunately, individuals with diabetes often encounter discrimination when seeking insurance solely based on their diagnosis. Some are outright denied insurance, while others face exorbitantly high premiums. A pre-existing condition is a medical condition present before applying for insurance, and most insurance policies do not cover them. It is essential to recognize that insurance policies vary across companies, and each may assess risk differently. It is crucial to explore multiple options to find a policy that fits your needs and budget. Although a diabetes diagnosis may lead to higher premiums, it does not necessarily mean affordable life insurance is unattainable.

Being diagnosed with diabetes can notably impact your life insurance premiums. Here are five reasons why.

1. Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is fundamental in determining life insurance premiums. Insurance companies meticulously assess various factors, including age, medical history, and lifestyle, to establish the risk of insuring an individual. Diabetes, especially when inadequately managed, can lead to several health complications, increasing a person’s risk profile.

The insurance company typically begins by reviewing the application form, which includes questions about the applicant’s medical history, lifestyle, and family history of diseases. You may be required to undergo a medical examination, including blood tests, urine tests, and a physical exam. These tests help the insurer evaluate your current health status and potential risks.

A history of hospitalizations due to diabetes, such as dangerously high or low blood sugar levels, diabetic ketoacidosis, or severe hypoglycemia, are serious conditions that impact your risk assessment. Diabetes-related complications, such as neuropathy or retinopathy, can increase the likelihood of future medical issues and claims.

Although diabetes can lead to higher premiums, many insurance options are still available. Canada Protection Plan (CPP) offers No Medical2 & Simplified Issue Life Insurance. Our insurance particularly benefits individuals with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, as it does not require a medical examination. The application process is streamlined, and you may be able to secure coverage more easily and at a more affordable rate.

2. Type of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed during childhood or adolescence and requires consistent insulin treatment to regulate blood sugar levels. Insurance companies perceive it as a higher risk because it demands continuous management throughout one’s life. This includes not only the cost of insulin but also the cost of glucose monitoring devices, insulin pumps, and regular medical check-ups. Even with careful management, blood sugar levels can sometimes fluctuate unpredictably in people with Type 1 diabetes. These fluctuations can lead to both short-term and long-term complications, adding to the perceived risk.

Type 2 diabetes typically manifests later in life and can occasionally be regulated with lifestyle modifications such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, and oral medications. Even though Type 2 diabetes has its own set of potential complications, it is often regarded as slightly less risky by insurance companies compared to Type 1 diabetes.

3. Control of Diabetes

Showing signs of well-managed diabetes can positively influence your risk assessment. This includes regularly taking prescribed medications and following the recommended treatment plan, eating a balanced diet, primarily focusing on a low-carb diet to help control blood sugar levels, maintaining stable blood glucose levels, having a low HbA1c (a measure of your average blood glucose over the past 2-3 months), and regular check-ups with your healthcare provider. Proactively managing your health can lead to a more favourable risk assessment by the insurance company, potentially resulting in lower premiums.

4. Time Since Diagnosis

People with diabetes often have associated health conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, which can increase the risk of complications. The longer someone has diabetes, the higher the chances of developing associated health complications, such as heart disease and kidney failure. These complications make an individual more expensive to insure.

For example, high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and nerves over time, increasing the likelihood of heart disease and stroke. Similarly, diabetes can also affect the kidneys and eyes, leading to kidney disease and vision problems. These complications increase the overall risk profile of an individual, which insurance companies take into account when determining premiums. It’s important to note that while a longer duration of diabetes can lead to higher premiums, proactive management of the condition can help control these costs.

5. Overall Health and Lifestyle

Various health factors and lifestyle habits influence life insurance premiums. A person with diabetes who also smokes, has high blood pressure or is overweight will likely face higher premiums. Smoking can cause narrowing of blood vessels, leading to reduced blood flow and increased risk of complications such as foot ulcers and kidney disease.

Positive lifestyle choices, such as maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly, contribute to better overall health and a more favourable risk assessment. Regular physical activity helps in weight management, improves insulin sensitivity, and contributes to better blood sugar control. It also has a positive impact on blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Other lifestyle habits, such as moderate alcohol consumption and managing stress effectively, also play a crucial role. Chronic stress can release stress hormones like cortisol, leading to increased blood sugar levels. Stress-reducing activities like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or spending time in nature can help manage stress and blood sugar levels.

Are you looking for life insurance that fits your needs as a person with diabetes? Canada Protection Plan (CPP) is a leading No Medical & Simplified Issue Life Insurance provider. You can secure life insurance without a medical examination, making the process more accessible and stress-free. Reach out for a complimentary, no-commitment consultation.

Canada Protection Plan is one of Canada’s leading providers of No Medical and Simplified Issue Life Insurance. Our mission is to provide reliable protection and compassionate service from coast to coast with easy-to-purchase life insurance, critical illness insurance and related products. Our expanding product choices will help you get the coverage and peace of mind you need for a better financial future. Canada Protection Plan products are available through over 25,000 independent insurance advisors across Canada.

422733 CAN (11/23)

FOOTNOTES:
To learn more about Canada Protection Plan and our line of comprehensive No Medical and Simplified Issue life insurance solutions, call Broker Services at 1-877-796-9090 and we will be happy to assist you or put you in contact with Sales support in your region.

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