May 13, 2024

Life insurance for people with diabetes: what it is - and how to get it

By Kristen Mayne

Can you get life insurance if you have diabetes? The answer is yes. Here’s what you need to know.

Many people with diabetes think that it’s hard, or even impossible, to get life insurance.

The good news is that getting life insurance is actually possible. And if you can show that your diabetes is well managed, you may still be able to receive affordable rates.

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is a type of financial protection that helps take care of your loved ones after you die.

It works by paying a certain amount of money, called a death benefit, to the people you choose. This could be your spouse or children. The money can be used for things like paying for a funeral, covering living expenses or paying off debts.

In exchange for this protection, you pay a monthly or yearly amount, called a premium, to the life insurance company.

Life insurance is important because it can help your loved ones deal with the financial impact of your death. It can also give you peace of mind knowing that your family will be taken care of.

Can I get life insurance if I have diabetes?

Yes, you can generally get life insurance with diabetes. Many providers offer life insurance to people living with diabetes in Canada. This includes type 1, type 2, pre-diabetes, and gestational diabetes.

For example, Sun Life has tailor-made a comprehensive life insurance product for Canadians with diabetes. It offers a higher chance of approval, affordable premiums, and diabetes management support.

Insurance companies usually arrange a lab test to help applicants in the process. The insurer will make a decision on your application based on the test results, among other things.

Do people with diabetes pay a higher life-insurance premium?

In Canada, it’s possible that people living with diabetes may pay higher premiums. Or they may even be declined.

If insurance premiums are higher, it’s because like any pre-existing condition, diabetes automatically makes you “riskier” in the eyes of the insurer. This is because diabetes increases the chances of having other health issues including stroke, heart disease and kidney disease.

To help with the financial burden that Canadians living with diabetes carry, Sun Life offers life insurance products with more affordable premiums.

How do insurance companies price a policy for people with diabetes?

If you have diabetes, the cost of life insurance premiums depends on several factors. These include:

Type of diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is typically considered higher risk than type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. This is because Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder. It has different impacts and treatments than Type 2 and gestational diabetes.

Age at diagnosis

Generally, the longer you’ve had diabetes, the higher the cost of the insurance. So, if you developed diabetes in childhood, you’ll likely pay higher premiums.

Diabetes management

Insurance providers may consider your A1c levels (a measure of your average blood sugar levels) and whether you have any complications when determining your premiums. Those who have well-managed diabetes, and no complications may have lower premiums.

Medications and treatment

The type of medication you take to manage your diabetes and any other related conditions can also affect your premiums. Complying with your medication and regular monitoring is key.

Other health conditions

Insurance providers may also take into account any other health conditions you may have in addition to diabetes. If you have other conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease, it may increase your premiums.

What type of life insurance can I get if I have diabetes?

There are several types of life insurance available for people with diabetes in Canada. These include: term life insurance, whole life insurance and guaranteed issue life insurance.

What type of life insurance is best for people with diabetes?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the best life insurance for people with diabetes. Each person's needs and circumstances are unique.

When looking for life insurance, it’s important to work with a knowledgeable advisor. They can help you explore the available options and determine the most suitable policy.

What can people with diabetes do to improve their chance for approval or reduce premiums?

To improve the chances of approval or reduce premiums:

  • Maintain good diabetic management with regular check-ups and adherence to treatment plans.
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle by managing weight, eating a balanced diet and getting regular physical activity.
  • Stop smoking and remain a non-smoker to positively improve your total health.
  • Research insurers who provide tailor-made life insurance to Canadians living with diabetes.

Getting life insurance with diabetes

It is indeed possible to get life insurance if you have diabetes.

Understanding the key factors that insurers consider, such as good diabetes management, overall health, and policy options, will help you make an informed decision.

Remember to compare quotes and get advice from an advisor to secure the best coverage that suits your specific needs and budget.

This article is meant to provide general information only. It’s not professional medical advice, or a substitute for that advice.

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