Affordable Life Insurance for Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetics

Great news for Diabetics is that a new Reinsurer in the Australian market has made it easier for people with diabetes obtain affordable life insurance!

Published October 5, 2016

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In the past, it has been difficult for people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes to find affordable life insurance rates and extremely challenging to find other types of cover.

However the new reinsurer, has entered into the Australia market, partnering with one of Australia’s leading life insurance companies, who have a more favourable view on the condition therefore making it easier for people with diabetes to attain life cover.

However it must be noted that you need to have your diabetes well controlled, and not have any other related medical complications to obtain a favourable outcome.

Further good news is those with either Type 2 diabetics or Gestational diabetes and exercise strict control over their blood sugar levels and their general health you may be eligible to receive cover for:

To find out who may be able to provide you with affordable life insurance request a quote below or call us on 1300 135 205.

The below section is a must read for those recently diagnosed with diabetes and searching for life insurance. If you’ve had diabetes for a few years, you’re probably already an expert on the subject.

However we discuss in detail the underwriting process the insurer undertakes when they are considering whether they can offer your cover or not and the relevant factors that may affect your premium or cover eligibility.

Understanding the Condition

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are too high (hyperglycaemia) caused by your body not producing enough insulin, or your cells not responding adequately to the insulin that is produced. Insulin is a hormone that helps get the glucose into your cells to give them energy.

There are three types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes or juvenile diabetes
Type 1 is an autoimmune disease and develops when the pancreas stops producing insulin. This disease presents in childhood to early adulthood. Onset is generally before the age of 30 years, with a peak age of around 14 years.

Type 2 diabetes
Mainly occurs in late adulthood. This is the most common form of diabetes. Insulin is still produced by the pancreas, but it does not work effectively.

Gestational diabetes
Develops during pregnancy when your body makes more hormones. This can cause the cells in your body to use insulin less effectively.

The Warning Signs

Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes show similar symptoms, but the severity is usually greater in Type 1. Common symptoms of diabetes include:

The Medical Implications

Many people with the condition will in time be affected by a variety of serious ramifications which can affect almost any organ in the body.
Individuals with diabetes have an increased risk of:

Implications for the Insurer

A person who has diabetes is two to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. According to experts, 70 Australians undergo amputation of a limb every week due to complications related to the disease.

The complications are an important claim trigger for many insurance products because they could result in critical illness, premature disability, long term care, and eventual death.

According to Munich Re insurers, the mortality of individuals with Type 1 diabetes is largely related to these diabetic complications and on average three to four times higher than in the normal population, increasing by the duration of diabetes. For Type 2 diabetes, mortality depends on the age of diagnoses.

Diabetes is ranked in the top 10 leading causes of death in Australia (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2008). The life expectancy of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in their 40s decrease by 5-10 years because of the disease.  

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Life Insurance with Pre-existing Medical Conditions

The main purpose of insurance underwriting is to assess prognostic factors which are related to the probability of diabetic complications in the course of the disease.

Insurance underwriters will review your lab testing results and medical records to determine how well controlled your condition is, how long diabetes has been present, and whether or not there is evidence of complications.

The better the control, the longer complications can be delayed, possibly prevented entirely. Control of diabetes is often measured using HbA1c (or A1C). This reflects the average blood sugar level over a period of four to six weeks before the test.

Generally, the higher the HbA1c readings the greater your risk of long-term complications and the greater your mortality rating. This results in a higher life insurance loading or possibly a decline, when your HbA1c levels are high.

For critical illness (CI) insurance

Most insurers will focus on important potential claim triggers related to your diabetes, such as:

Therefore, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes and suffer from any of the above mentioned conditions, you will most likely be declined for critical illness cover.

Generally, diabetics that require Trauma Insurance (Critical Illness cover) will need to be in very good control of their condition and manage it properly, without having any other related medical conditions or health concerns.

For disability insurance (TPD or Income Protection)

It is possible to obtain cover, however, due to the many severe complications of diabetes affecting almost any organ, it is a major cause of disability. Therefore, most insurance companies will give you a loading, even when your condition is well controlled. The level of loading will depend on your level of control over the condition, and whether you have any related medical conditions. If your condition is poorly managed your application might be declined all together.

It’s important to note, that each case of diabetes is unique and so is the individual diagnosed with the condition. Thus, to fully understand the cover options available to you, it’s advisable that you seek guidance from a specialist advisor and request a review of your individual circumstances.

Life Insurance for Diabetics and how it Affects Your Premiums

Some of the factors that will affect the cost and availability of life insurance include:

The more accurate and comprehensive the information you provide, the more accurate the pre assessment of your condition will be. This could make a big difference in the potential outcome of your application and the insurer you end up selecting when lodging your formal application.

Questions diabetics should have ready for their pre-assessment:

Choice of insurer

Just because one company declined your pre-assessment or formal application, doesn’t mean all companies will do the same. Each company adheres to a different set of guidelines, and these guidelines may even change over time. Do not limit yourself by applying to just one company. Shop around and get multiple pre-assessments and quotes.

The importance of providing correct and accurate information

There are serious ramifications when misrepresenting your answers to questions on an insurance application. If you did not disclose the fact that you had been diagnosed with diabetes, the company may deny your claim and even cancel your insurance.

It’s also important that your tell the insurer if you’ve ever been turned down or charged an extra premium (loading) for life insurance, whatever the reason.

What Can I do to Improve My Premium?

Premiums are generally lower for those that exercise regularly and follow a strict diet and programme, as prescribed by their GP, while keeping their blood sugar levels under control with medication. For an insurer, the ideal diabetic candidate might have the following:

The key to affordable cover is in working with a specialist, such as Life Insurance Direct, who specialises in assisting clients with complicated medical histories. Such specialists also have access to some major life insurance companies.

As specialists we understand the complexities of certain conditions and can provide insights into which insurers have favourable and less favourable views on certain medical conditions, past times or risky occupations. We can guide and assist you in answering all your questions and help you find a policy to fit your stated requirements.

Conclusion

If you have diabetes, insurers will want all relevant documentation and probably for you to undergo a medical exam and some blood tests (HbA1c being the most important one). Your chances of getting accepted for cover and paying a reasonable rate will be more likely if your condition is well managed and under control. Now your chances are even better with a new insurer, SCOR.

It’s always a good idea to compare quotes from different insurers to ensure you get the best possible deal. A specialist insurance broker can help you find the best companies willing to over you coverage.

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