November is Diabetes Awareness Month, providing a gentle reminder for Canadians across the country that it’s time to raise awareness and continue supporting those living with this condition. If you’re living with diabetes, have some of the risk factors, or have a loved one with the disease, learn how you can protect your loved ones financially with life insurance.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease where your body cannot effectively produce insulin or use the insulin that it makes.1 Insulin is a hormone in your pancreas which helps to regulate the amount of sugar in your blood, allowing your body to function properly. Blood sugar gives you the energy you need to tackle the day! But, if it isn’t regulated, it can cause serious damage to blood vessels, organs, and nerves.3
As of 2019, 1 in 3 Canadians are living with either diabetes or prediabetes.2 That’s 11 million Canadians!3
Can you Qualify for Life Insurance if you Have Diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong disease, but it can be managed with medication or lifestyle changes. The good news is that even after a diabetes diagnosis, you can still quality for life insurance.
Although, your premiums may be affected by your diabetes diagnosis. Depending on the life insurance provider, premiums increase due to your condition.
Yet, there are many reasons why safeguarding your loved one’s financial future is a valuable investment. You may have outstanding debts such as a mortgage or want to cover your children’s post-secondary education. Life insurance can also help if you don’t want to burden your loved ones with funeral and final expenses, or any other financial obligations that could be passed on to them.
Discover the life insurance options available to you if you are living with diabetes:
Permanent versus Term Life Insurance
If you have diabetes you can choose between permanent life insurance or term life insurance. Permanent life insurance gives you coverage for the duration of your life and your premium is locked in at this rate. Conversely, term life insurance provides coverage for the duration of the term (typically 10, 20, 25 or 30 years) and once it expires you will be required to renew the term to continue receiving coverage. At this point, your premiums will likely increase since life insurance providers will consider your age and any health issues.
No Medical and Simplified Issue Life Insurance
No medical life insurance can be a good investment if you have diabetes because it allows you to secure coverage quickly, with a straightforward and hassle-free application process. There are no medical tests or exams involved (no needles or drawing of fluids). Simply answer some health-related questions and get your policy issued in just a few days.
What Causes Diabetes?
There are plenty of myths circulating about what causes diabetes. You’ve likely heard that eating too much sugar can cause diabetes – this is not true. There are three types of diabetes and they are caused by different factors.
Type 1 Diabetes – is considered an autoimmune disease; your immune system attacks and destroys cells in your pancreas that make insulin. About 10% of people have this type of diabetes.1
Type 2 Diabetes – risk factors include obesity, age, prediabetes, ethnic background, a family history of type 2 diabetes and other environmental factors. About 90% of people live with this type of diabetes.1
Gestational Diabetes – occurs in a small percentage of pregnant women and usually disappears once the baby is born. Although, it can increase the likelihood of both mother and baby being diagnosed with diabetes later in life.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
Here are the most common signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes:
- unusual thirst
- frequent urination
- weight change (gain or loss)
- extreme fatigue or lack of energy
- blurred vision
- frequent or recurring infections
- cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
- tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA)
How to Prevent Diabetes
There is currently no effective way to prevent type 1 diabetes. Typically, this type of diabetes is diagnosed in children and those under the age of 30.
The best way to prevent a type 2 diabetes diagnosis is to make lifestyle changes, including:
- Testing your blood sugar levels regularly if in a high-risk group
- Eating a healthier diet
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining healthy weight
Treatment Options for Diabetes
Unfortunately, there is no cure for diabetes, but the good news is that it can be effectively controlled. Through regular exercise and diet management, patients can control their blood sugar levels enough to manage this disease.
Those with type 1 diabetes require insulin, while those with type 2 are treated through a combination of medication, insulin and lifestyle changes. Click here for a full list of diabetes treatment options.
Diabetes and COVID-19
The COVID-19 global health crisis has increased concern for vulnerable populations. Those with underlying conditions such as diabetes can experience more severe symptoms and complications if they get the virus. It is therefore important to be proactive in your prevention strategies to reduce risk. Click here for further information about the precautions and steps to take if you are living with diabetes during COVID-19.
Life insurance is an important part of protecting your loved ones in the event of your death. Depending on the life insurance provider, once your policy is in place you will have coverage for all possible causes of death, including those related to complications from COVID-19 or any other disease.
Ways to Honour Diabetes Awareness Month
Volunteer with Diabetes Canada
Diabetes Canada offers many exciting opportunities to volunteer your time, including: at your local office, local events, and through community groups. Here is a list of volunteer opportunities.
Diabetes Canada has several fundraising initiatives that you can take part in such as Lace Up for Diabetes. For a full list of local programs and events, click here.
Leave a Legacy
Consider designating Diabetes Canada as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. Support the mission of an organization that makes a difference in people’s lives, even when you’re no longer here.
- 1 https://www.diabetes.ca/about-diabetes/what-is-diabetes
- 2 https://www.diabetes.ca/media-room/press-releases/one-in-three-canadians-is-living-with-diabetes-or-prediabetes,-yet-knowledge-of-risk-and-complicatio#:~:text=Currently%2C%20one%20in%20three%20Canadians,developing%20diabetes%20in%20their%20lifetime
- 3 https://www.diabetes.ca/about-diabetes/what-is-diabetes