When it comes to pricing a life insurance policy, most people understand that the insurance company will determine the person’s premium rate based on the risk the company feels it is taking to provide the policy. A person that is diagnosed with diabetes may be frightened of what their life insurance premiums will be because they understand that having this disease puts them in a higher risk category.  Unchecked, diabetes can lead to weight gain, heart disease, amputation, circulatory issues, and a litany of health problems.

There is some good news though for diabetics. Life insurance companies actually look at several different things when they are considering a policy for someone with diabetes. There are a few things that you can do as a diabetic to make sure that you get a cheaper life insurance policy after your diagnosis.

Take Control

Diabetes is a disease that can quickly spiral out of control after a person receives a diagnosis. Once diagnosed with the disease it is important to take immediate, effective, and often drastic measures in order to control your blood sugar levels and to keep yourself healthy.  The first thing a life insurance company will look for is the extent that the disease has been controlled.  Are you following a prescribed diet, do you take insulin regularly, are you on any other prescription medications, and are you taking them as prescribed?  These are all very important factors that an insurer uses to decide if you are going to be a high-risk client.

If you fail to take these steps higher life insurance premiums are not your only problem, there are also many complications to your health that may arise. These include heart problems, blindness, kidney disease, and even loss of limbs. If you experience complications from unchecked diabetes, they will affect your life insurance risk rating and premiums. Understandably, most life insurance companies underwriters will respond negatively to a person that is diagnosed with diabetes and does not take care of themselves or their condition afterward.

Improve Your Odds

There are some things that you can do if you have diabetes and you are trying to obtain a life insurance policy. First, make sure that the life insurance company reviews your medical records for the past several years. This will provide the company with information about how well you have managed your blood sugar over time. If you have been good about managing your disease, you may be assessed as a low-risk diabetes sufferer, and your premiums may not be much more expensive than if you were not diagnosed with diabetes.  It is even possible that major lifestyle improvements have improved your overall health so much that you will actually pay less for life insurance than you would have if you were never diagnosed at all!

Common medicines that a life insurance company might look to see that a person is using to control their diabetes include:

  • Insulin
  • Biguanides
  • MeglitinidesSulfonylureas
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • DPP-4 inhibitors
  • SGLT2 Inhibitors
  • Bile Acid Sequestrants
  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

How Life Insurance Companies Determine Premiums

Similar to how an auto insurance company will want to assess your driver’s record, a life insurance company will want to look at your medical records. The underwriter will look at your patterns of behavior including any treatments that have been effective and whether or not you have made good decisions over time. All of this information is going to be used to assess your risk and determine the price of your premiums.

In general, those who are looking for a life insurance policy is going to be placed into one of 4 groups based on their medical records. The groups indicate the potential risk the life insurance has in the future by providing you with a policy now. The four groups include:

  1. Preferred plus
  2. Preferred
  3. Standard
  4. Substandard

The four groups are relatively straightforward. The healthiest individuals will be placed into the top group, with status decreasing in recognition of health conditions and habits getting worse. It is similar to how car insurance premiums work, those who have worse driving records will be deemed as a higher risk and pay higher premiums.

Diabetics that have shown that they have managed their blood sugar levels and their A1C hemoglobin levels will find that they will end up in the preferred or the standard categories. An older applicant who was diagnosed later in life with diabetes could even find that they end up in a preferred plus category. This category is often reserved for the lowest risk or healthiest individuals, but when it comes to diabetes sufferers who are older the late onset of diabetes actually lowers their risk when compared to those who have been diagnosed when they were younger.  An important point to remember is that diabetes alone will not necessarily mean that you are paying an exorbitant amount of money for life insurance.  Affordable coverage is still readily available for those who are managing their condition.

Getting the Best Coverage Price

Typically, a health condition that cannot be changed is going to affect the amount of the premium for a policy. This means that once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, there is little that you can do to change the amount of your premiums. When you are searching for life insurance, it is important to make sure that you shop around so that you end up with the best policy for the best possible price.

Some life insurance companies are more competitive than others. Some of the more well-known companies will offer cheaper quotes for people with diabetes. These particular companies will look at other aspects of your lifestyle when they are considering your premiums. If you have diabetes but show that you otherwise lead a healthy lifestyle, you are going to have lower premiums than a person with diabetes who also is a smoker.

If you are considering a life insurance policy it is important to try to maintain as healthy a lifestyle as possible. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, make sure that you are keeping your sugar in check through diet and exercise as this will help lower the rates of your life insurance premiums.

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