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Life insurance for diabetics: what do you need to consider?

Securing life insurance is a vital aspect of financial planning as you can get peace of mind and protection for you and your loved ones.

However, for individuals living diabetes, obtaining life insurance can present unique challenges.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the intricacies of life insurance for diabetics and offer valuable insights to help you make informed decisions, so you can safeguard your family's financial future.

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Why does diabetes affect life insurance? 

Diabetes, a condition that affects blood sugar levels, can complicate your life insurance application process.  

Insurers typically assess the risk associated with diabetes, considering factors such as the type of diabetes, management of the condition, and overall health.  

It's essential for individuals with diabetes to be aware that they may face higher premiums than those who don’t have diabetes due to the increased health risks.

What are the types of diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.  

Understanding the difference is crucial when exploring life insurance options. 

Type 1 diabetes

This form of diabetes usually develops during childhood or adolescence when the body fails to produce insulin.

Individuals with Type 1 diabetes require insulin injections for proper blood sugar control. 

Type 2 diabetes

More common in adults, Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn't use insulin effectively.

Management often involves lifestyle changes, oral medications, and, in some cases, insulin therapy. 

Insurance providers may consider which type of diabetes you have when underwriting policies, as well as other factors such as HbA1c levels, overall health, and any related complications. 

Do you need to tell your insurer about your diabetes? 

Yes, it's important to disclose your diabetes diagnosis when applying for insurance, regardless of if it's Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.  

Failure to do so could result in the cancellation of your policy if the insurer discovers the omission.  

In the event of a claim by your loved ones upon your passing, the insurer would request your medical records from your GP.  

If these records reveal undisclosed diabetes, the insurer may deny the payout, which could potentially place your loved ones in a challenging financial situation.  

Transparency by providing accurate health information ensures a smoother process and helps safeguard your family's financial well-being.

Types of life insurance for diabetics

When it comes to life insurance, diabetics in the UK have various options to choose from.

The two primary types are term life insurance and whole life insurance. 

Term life insurance 

Term life insurance offers coverage for a specified period, which can range from five to 30 years.

If you pass away during your policy term, your beneficiaries receive a lump sum payout.

Term life insurance is usually cheaper than whole life insurance. 

For diabetics, term life insurance may be more accessible, especially if the condition is well-managed.

Many insurers provide options for diabetics to help them secure coverage with competitive premiums. 

Whole life insurance 

Whole life insurance provides coverage for your entire lifetime, as long as you continue to pay the premiums.  

It also includes a cash value component that grows over time, allowing you to access funds through policy loans or withdrawals.

While whole life insurance is typically more expensive, it offers lifelong protection and potential cash accumulation. 

Diabetics may find it more challenging to get whole life insurance due to the higher associated risks.

However, with the right approach and by working with insurers specialising in diabetic life insurance, it is possible to find suitable coverage. 

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Tips for getting the best life insurance as a diabetic

Despite the challenges, there are strategies to help diabetics secure more affordable life insurance coverage: 

1. Maintain good blood sugar control 

Consistently managing your blood sugar levels demonstrates to insurers that you are actively taking control of your condition.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, can contribute to stable blood sugar levels and potentially lower insurance premiums. 

2. Quit smoking 

Smoking is a big risk factor for diabetes and presents various health complications.

If you're a diabetic smoker, quitting can not only improve your overall health, but also positively impact your life insurance premiums.

Many insurers offer non-smoker rates, so kicking the habit can lead to significant cost savings. 

3. Regular health check-ups 

Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider allow for the proactive management of your diabetes.

You can also provide up-to-date medical records and test results to show your commitment to your health, which could potentially lead to lower premiums.

4. Shop around 

Different insurers have varying underwriting criteria and pricing structures.

So it’s a good idea to shop around and get quotes from multiple providers is crucial to find the most competitive rates for diabetic life insurance.

Independent insurance brokers can assist in navigating the market and identifying policies that suit your specific needs. 

5. Consider specialist insurers 

Some insurers specialise in providing coverage exclusively to individuals with pre-existing conditions, including diabetes.

Exploring options from specialist insurers can lead to more tailored coverage and potentially more affordable premiums. 

Learn more: can you have more than one life insurance policy?

Why might I be declined for life insurance as a diabetic? 

In certain situations, you may encounter challenges in obtaining life insurance for diabetes.  

For example, some insurance providers are unable to extend coverage to smokers or individuals with heightened cardiovascular risks, including angina, heart attack, or stroke.  

There are instances where additional information from your GP is essential.  

As another example, if you are managing diabetes during pregnancy or if your HbA1c test reveals elevated blood sugar levels, you may be required to submit more details.


Navigating life insurance as a diabetic may present unique challenges, but it's a crucial step towards ensuring your family's financial security.  

By understanding the challenges, exploring different types of policies, and implementing strategies to secure lower premiums, you can find a suitable life insurance policy that meets your needs. 

Remember to maintain good blood sugar levels, quit smoking, and regularly monitor your health. 

Shopping around for quotes from various insurers and considering specialist providers can help you find the best coverage at a reasonable cost. 

Ultimately, the goal is to provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones. With the right approach, securing life insurance as a diabetic can be a positive step towards a financially secure future. 

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About the author
Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing, retirement and pensions, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.