Can I get life insurance if I have type 1 diabetes?

Yes, it’s possible to secure life cover if you’re living with type 1 diabetes.

It’s a common misconception that you’ll be declined for life insurance due to your condition, but this isn’t the case.

With the help of specialist insurers, it’s completely possible to obtain life insurance with type 1 diabetes.

Using an FCA regulated broker service, such as Reassured we can compare quotes on your behalf and inform you of which insurers are most likely to offer cover.

This helps to ensure that you get a policy that meets all of your needs at a cost-effective price.

Keep reading for our comprehensive guide on securing life cover as a type 1 diabetic…

How does type 1 diabetes affect life insurance?

Due to the increased risk of heart attack and stroke associated with type 1 diabetes, sufferers will usually be charged higher premiums.

As this is an autoimmune disease, it’s more difficult to manage than type 2 diabetes and insulin is required to ensure your health remains stable.

Sufferers of type 1 diabetes are at high risk of developing heart disease, having a heart attack or a stroke.

This increased risk to the insurer means they’re more likely to charge a higher premium.

However, with the use of specialist insurers, it’s possible to arrange life insurance cover even if you suffer severely from type 1 diabetes.

Is type 1 diabetes a pre-existing condition?

Yes, insurers will classify your diabetes as a pre-existing medical condition.

This means that you’ll need to declare your condition at the point of application.

Insurers will then take this into consideration when calculating your monthly premium.

You may experience higher premiums as a result and it’s likely your policy will need to go through manual underwriting.

By talking to a life insurance broker (such as Reassured) it’s still completely possible to secure affordable cover.

Life insurance for type 1 diabetes UK

We believe that the vast majority of people would benefit from having some form of life insurance.

With the added health risks associated with type 1 diabetes, life cover would help to provide much-needed peace of mind.

Taking out adequate life insurance can protect your loved ones if you were no longer around. The pay out from your policy could:

  • Clear your mortgage
  • Meet future living costs of loved ones
  • Cover funeral expenses
  • Settle outstanding debts
  • Provide an inheritance

It’s not uncommon for type 1 diabetics to have an application declined, but securing a policy isn’t impossible.

Insurers will classify your diabetes as a pre-existing medical condition.

It’s highly likely that when arranging life insurance as a diabetic, your policy will need to undergo manual underwriting.

However, using an FCA registered life insurance broker can allow you to compare the market and find the right cover for you.

We offer a specialist impaired team who’ve found cover for 45% of customers who’ve been declined cover elsewhere.

Best life insurance for type 1 diabetes

Which life insurance policy is best for you will largely depend on your own unique needs and circumstances, as well as the severity of your condition.

Typically there are 3 main policy options available:

  • Term life insurance
  • Whole of life insurance
  • Over 50s plan

But how will these options be affected by type 1 diabetes?

Term life insurance

It’s possible to secure term life insurance as someone with type 1 diabetes.

However, depending on the severity of your diabetes, it’s likely that you’ll experience higher premiums due to your condition.

This is because medical information is needed at the point of application so that insurers can mitigate the risk you pose.

Term life insurance provides cover for a specified period of time (the term) and if you pass away during this time, a pay out is made to your loved ones.

Typically, you can take out term life insurance on level or decreasing terms.

Level term life insurance provides a fixed sum assured, meaning the amount paid out to your loved ones will never change.

On the other hand, a pay out from a decreasing term life insurance policy will reduce over time.


Whole of life insurance

Whole of life insurance provides lifetime cover, guaranteeing your loved ones a pay out.

You’ll be required to pay premiums for the rest of your life to keep cover in place.

Whole of life insurance most likely won’t be a feasible option as you’ll need to provide medical information at the point of application.

You’ll experience inflated premiums due to your condition which can be hard to manage over your lifetime.

Therefore it’s likely whole of life insurance won’t be the best option for someone with type 1 diabetes.


Over 50s life insurance

If you have type 1 diabetes, are aged 50 – 85 and a UK resident you may benefit from taking out an over 50s plan.

An over 50s plan guarantees acceptance to those in this age bracket, without the need for any medical information.

This makes it an ideal option for someone with type 1 diabetes as you won’t need to disclose your condition.

However, to compensate for the unknown risk, some insurers add a waiting period to the policy.

A waiting period is usually the first 12 – 24 months of the policy, where if you pass away due to natural causes no pay out is made. However, any premiums paid will be refunded.

There also tends to be a limit on the level of cover you can take out (typically up to £25,000).

Type 1 diabetes life insurance premiums

To calculate your monthly premium the insurer will take into consideration various aspects about your condition, as well as how it’s being managed.

With regards to your condition, the factors taken into consideration are:

  • Age of diagnosis
  • Most recent HbA1c reading
  • Type of diabetes
  • Medication (diet, metformin or insulin)
  • BMI (height, weight and waist)
  • Existing diabetes complications (retinopathy, nephropathy or neuropathy)

Before applying for life insurance, you may want to visit your GP or consult a medical professional to get the most up to date information about your condition.

This will help to paint the most accurate picture of your condition and may help to speed up the application process as you’ll have all the information insurers are likely to need.

Some insurers may ask you to undergo a medical exam.

You’ll also need to provide standard information such as:

Together, all this information will allow the insurer to determine the risk you pose and ultimately calculate your premium.

While it’s likely you may experience higher premiums, this shouldn’t deter you from securing life cover.

Reassured can help you to explore all of your options and find you a policy that’s within your budget.

How much life insurance do you need?

Enter your financial commitments to understand the level of cover you require.

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£121,687 is the estimated average outstanding mortgage per household in the UK.

Our property is generally the largest financial commitment any of us will make.

Your life insurance should cover this significant debt should you no longer be around.

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According to Money Advice Service, full-time childcare in the UK now costs £242 a week.

The loss of a parent could result in the need for additional childcare whilst the surviving parent increases their hours to account for lost income.

Your life insurance cover should factor in this additional required outgoing.

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The average level of debt (minus a mortgage) in the UK is £15,385.

Factoring in any outstanding debts in your name when arranging life insurance ensures this burden is not passed to loved ones.

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You may wish to leave your loved ones an inheritance or lump sum gift upon your passing.

Factoring in the gift amount when arranging your cover will ensure the pay out amount will be sufficient to provide your loved ones with this selfless gesture.

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According to SunLife, the average cost of a UK funeral is now £4,417, whilst the total cost of dying is £9,493.

This is a 130% increase over the past 16 years and shows no signs of slowing down.

A significant cost which should be factored into the amount of life insurance you secure.

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If you are one of the 65% of the UK who are lucky enough to have savings, this could be used as protection if you were to pass away.

Any pay outs from existing life insurance policies and investments can also be used as financial protection for your loved ones if you were no longer around.

Factor this into your required cover amount.

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Your total cover estimate

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Let us find your best available quotes.

Non-disclosure

It can be tempting to deny having type 1 diabetes whilst applying for life insurance in order to secure lower monthly premiums. This is known as non-disclosure.

However if upon your passing, it’s determined you knowingly suffered from type 1 diabetes when the policy was arranged, your cover will be deemed invalid and no pay out issued.

Whats the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes both affect insulin within the blood.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by our genetic make-up, whereas type 2 tends to be caused by our lifestyle.

Type 2 diabetes is predominantly caused by a lack of exercise, an unhealthy lifestyle and being overweight, whilst type 1 is caused by a malfunction within the genes.

Click here to read our life insurance guide for type 2 diabetics »

Can I get critical illness cover with type 1 diabetes?

Yes, it’s possible to secure critical illness cover with type 1 diabetes. However, the process may not be straight forward.

Critical illness cover can be added to a term life insurance policy and provides the opportunity for an early pay out if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness, (listed within the policy).

If you’re left unable to work, a pay out from critical illness cover can help to cover any lost income and relieve any financial worries.

As type 1 diabetes isn’t as easy to control as type 2 diabetes, some insurers may be reluctant to offer critical illness cover - but this doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

When offering critical illness cover to type 1 diabetics, it’s likely insurers will include a number of exclusions for illnesses related to diabetes.

What your policy will cover will depend on the insurer, so it’s important to compare quotes.

Is type 1 diabetes considered a critical illness?

No, type 1 diabetes isn’t typically on the list of illnesses covered by critical illness cover.

Terminal illness cover for type 1 diabetics

Terminal illness cover provides an opportunity for an early pay out if you’re diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and predicted to pass away within 12 months.

While you can’t make a claim for type 1 diabetes, you’ll be covered should you fall ill with a terminal illness during the term of your policy.

Due to having type 1 diabetes, it’s likely there will be a number of exclusions written into your policy.

All term policies taken out through Reassured come with terminal illness cover as standard at no extra cost.

Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during your policy

If diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during the term of your life insurance policy, your cover will still remain valid.

As long as you were completely honest on your application, being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during your policy term won’t affect its validity.

Therefore, if you pass away during the policy, through a diabetic-related cause or not, your beneficiaries will still benefit from a full pay out.

Type 1 diabetes statistics UK

  • 4.7 million people in the UK have diabetes[1]
  • Approximately 8% of diabetics have type 1
  • 1 in 15 people in the UK have diabetes
  • All the people living with diabetes in the UK could fill Wembley stadium 52 times

Type 1 diabetes support

If you have type 1 diabetes these resources may be of interest:

Life insurance quotes for type 1 diabetes

While you may experience higher premiums due to your condition, it’s still possible to find cost-effective cover.

The best way to secure the lowest premium for the right policy is to compare quotes.

You could do this yourself online or, alternatively, you can contact an FCA registered broker - like Reassured.

Why not save yourself both time and money and let us scan the market on your behalf.

Our award-winning quote service is free to use and we’ve a dedicated impaired team ready to help.

Get in touch for your free, no-obligation quotes.

Sources:

[1] https://www.diabetes.org.uk/resources-s3/2019-02/1362B_Facts%20and%20stats%20Update%20Jan%202019_LOW%20RES_EXTERNAL.pdf

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