36 million people living with diabetes do not currently have life insurance. Why? Denied applications. Too expensive. Or the application takes too long. Diabetics should have the same ability to leave something behind for their family as those without chronic illness.

So why is it so hard for diabetics to get life insurance?

Diabetics have to go through the same intense underwriting process as everyone else. This process looks at your medical records, your family history, your hobbies, your driving record, and anything else they think could impact your life expectancy. They do this to determine the likelihood you will pass away during the life of your policy.

Once they finish the underwriting process, they assign your premium level based on the risk of you passing away over the term of the policy. The lower your mortality risk, the lower your premiums. The higher your risk, the higher your premiums. Diabetes will put you in a different risk category than if you didn’t have diabetes.

Underwriters will also look at other factors related to your diabetes such as age, type of diabetes, severity, and treatment and control protocols. With age, they are not looking at just your age when you applied but when you were diagnosed with diabetes. The longer ago you were diagnosed, the higher your rates are likely to be.

Type 1 diabetics will have higher rates than Type 2 diabetics as Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of cases and is seen as more manageable. Pregnant women need to be careful when applying for life insurance as well. Underwriters will take gestational diabetes into account when determining risk so it may be a better idea to apply for life insurance before or after pregnancy.

Underwriters will also look at the current severity of your diabetes. They will take into consideration your current A1C levels and how well it’s being controlled through treatment. If you’ve been denied coverage in the past but your diabetes is currently well-controlled, it could be worth it to reapply.

It’s not all bad news though. Underwriters will take into account all of these factors when determining your risk category. That means that your insurance will be more expensive, but it may not be prohibitively expensive.

As compelling as a low-priced plan can be, you need to consider more than just the price of the plan when you’re making your life insurance decision. It’s important to take the terms of the plan into consideration. Some lower-priced plans will have stricter terms regarding payouts that may not be favorable to your beneficiaries. A low-priced plan may seem like a good deal until it needs to be used.

It’s important to have an ally on your side who can help you navigate choosing a life insurance plan as a diabetic. At Diabetic Direct, we offer plans with no medical exam, day one coverage, and no underwriting. We work hard to ensure that your life insurance plan meets your needs and the needs of your beneficiaries. Click here to learn more.