If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you may wonder if you will qualify for life insurance? The short answer is that you will likely have additional hurdles to overcome while shopping for life insurance, but you may have options. Let’s look at these hurdles and how you can hopefully navigate them successfully.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way your body processes and uses the sugars in food. The body normally converts these sugars into glucose, which circulates through your bloodstream. When that glucose is needed for energy, insulin (a substance produced by the pancreas) signals your cells to take glucose from your bloodstream. Your cells then use the glucose as fuel. If your body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin correctly, you wind up with too much glucose continuing to circulate in your bloodstream and not enough glucose in your cells. In the short term, this means your energy levels won’t be properly regulated, and over time it can result in much more serious problems.
Types of Diabetes
- Type-1: People living with this condition don’t produce enough insulin, so they must self-administer a synthetic substitute.
- Type-2: With this type of diabetes, the body doesn’t recognize the insulin that the body does produce. This condition can be managed with diet and medication.
- Gestational Diabetes: Pregnant people are sometimes diagnosed with this type of diabetes. It normally resolves on its own when the pregnancy is over, but it is a risk factor for developing Type-2 diabetes in the future.
- Prediabetes: People with this condition have higher blood sugar levels, but not high enough for a diagnosis of Type-2 diabetes. However, it does raise the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes down the road, so lifestyle and diet changes are usually recommended.
Why You Should Consider Life Insurance if You Have Diabetes
It is estimated that diabetes reduces the lifespan in Canadians by five to fifteen years. Further, the mortality rate for Canadians living with diabetes is twice as high as the rest of the population. Diabetes itself is not fatal, but it does lead to complications that can result in an earlier death; eighty percent of people living with diabetes will eventually die of cardiovascular disease, which is one of the complications of diabetes. Other major complications are kidney disease, vision loss, foot ulcers, dental disease, and depression.
These risks mean that people living with diabetes will likely leave loved ones behind. Life insurance can be an excellent, reliable way for beneficiaries to cover immediate expenses in the short term and potentially secure their financial well-being into the future.
Benefits of Life Insurance for People with Diabetes
While you’re alive, life insurance can give you the peace of mind of knowing you’ve taken steps to protect your loved one when you pass away. The death benefit from a policy is designed to be paid out as a lump sum and can generally be used for anything your beneficiary wants. They will likely need to cover the immediate costs of your funeral and other expenses such as your death-year income taxes, but going forward, they may have additional needs, including:
- Replacing your income
- Paying for outstanding expenses related to your care
- Paying off debt and making mortgage payments
- Funding time off work for your partner to recover and heal
- Donating to a charity such as a diabetes awareness or diabetes research organization
- Setting up a trust for your children’s or grandchildren’s educational expenses
- Leaving a legacy to someone special
Diabetes doesn’t disqualify you from applying, but you do have to tell your insurance provider about your diagnosis, and if you are approved for coverage, your coverage may be more expensive. How much more your premiums will be will likely depend on the details of your condition, including:
- What type of diabetes you have. Type-1 puts you at greater risk, so your premiums would likely be higher
- How long you’ve had diabetes
- How severe your symptoms are
- If you have any complicating factors, such as obesity or other pre-existing conditions
- How you manage your condition (for example: modifying your diet, using insulin, monitoring blood sugar)
You must disclose your diagnosis as part of applying for a life insurance policy; otherwise, you may be denied coverage, or your beneficiary’s claim may be denied.
This depends on your family’s needs. If you may have large expenses, such as tuition for your children or grandchildren, and you have an outstanding mortgage, you could choose a term policy that ends when you expect those things to be paid off. Since Term Life Insurance is less expensive than Permanent Life Insurance, this could be a good option for people in this situation.
The downside of Term Life Insurance for people with diabetes is that your premiums will be higher if you have to renew your plan. By that time, you’ll be older and may have more complications from your condition.
A Permanent Life Insurance policy may be best if you want to make sure your loved ones can claim a benefit when you pass away. Although the premiums tend to be higher with this type of insurance, they don’t go up, and your policy never needs to be renewed.
Another important difference between insurance policies is that traditional or fully underwritten policies typically require a full medical exam, including blood draws, fluid samples, and a complete medical history. It usually takes longer for these policies to get approved. If you don’t want to go through the full medical exam, No-Medical Life Insurance may be right for you. With this type of insurance, you typically fill out a shorter questionnaire, and your coverage begins sooner.
Canada Protection Plan
If you have diabetes and want to explore No-Medical Life Insurance, Canada Protection Plan may be right for you. In our full range of No Medical & Simplified Issue Life Insurance, we offer Guaranteed Acceptance Life, for people with very serious illnesses, Deferred Elite Term for people with significant health issues or people who have been turned down for insurance in the past, and of course a wide variety of plans for people without significant issues.
Get started with an application by contacting us today. Insurance can give you greater peace of mind knowing that your beneficiary won’t have to worry about finances suddenly.
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- 1 Diabetes rates in Canada https://www.diabetes.ca/media-room/press-releases/one-in-three-canadians-is-living-with-diabetes-or-prediabetes,-yet-knowledge-of-risk-and-complicatio
- 2 Diabetes and life insurance: https://www.diabetes.ca/learn-about-diabetes/your-rights/insurance
- 3 Prediabetes: https://www.diabetes.ca/recently-diagnosed/prediabetes-toolkit#:~:text=Prediabetes%20refers%20to%20blood%20sugar,have%20to%20be%20this%20way.
- 4 Diabetes Canada: Diabetes in Canada Backgrounder: https://www.diabetes.ca/DiabetesCanadaWebsite/media/Advocacy-and-Policy/Backgrounder/2021_Backgrounder_Canada_English_FINAL.pdf
- 5 Government of Canada: Your Guide to Diabetes: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/chronic-diseases/reports-publications/diabetes/your-guide-diabetes.html
Foresters Financial and Canada Protection Plan (collectively “Foresters”) and its employees, agents and life insurance representatives do not provide, on Foresters behalf, legal, estate, health, medical or tax advice. Consult your physician or licensed healthcare professional for any questions or information about your medical care.