Diabetes life insurance in the UK

1 in 16 people in the UK (approximately 3.7 million) suffer from diabetes, meaning that more people than ever are now living with the condition.

Even more astonishing is that this figure is expected to rise to over 5 million people by 2025[1].

What's more, diabetes can increase the risk of certain conditions, such as a heart attack, some cancers or a stroke.

As a result, it's vital for sufferers to make provisions for their dependant's long-term financial future.

Taking out life insurance is a simple and cost-effective way of protecting your loved ones' whatever the future may hold.

  • Can you secure life insurance if you have diabetes?
  • Will additional underwriting or a medical be required?
  • Do insurers treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes differently?
  • How much more are premiums compared with standard life cover?
  • What's the best way of securing the right policy at the best price?

Read on to find out all there is to know about life insurance for diabetics...

The difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes

There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Both forms affect the insulin within the blood; type 1 diabetes is caused by our genetic make-up, whilst type 2 tends to be caused by our lifestyle.

The insulin in our blood is responsible for helping the body break down the glucose we consume from food. This breakdown process is what allows food to provide us with energy.

90% of all diabetics in the UK suffer from type 2 diabetes[2].

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

Life insurance and diabetes

With the use of specialist insurers, it's possible to arrange life insurance cover even if you suffer from diabetes.

We believe that the vast majority of people would benefit from having some form of life insurance, and what with the added health risks associated with diabetes, cover could 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 dependants
  • Cover funeral expenses
  • Settle outstanding debts
  • Provide an inheritance

It's not uncommon for diabetics to have an application declined, but this isn't to say that securing a policy is impossible.

Insurers will classify your diabetes as what's known as a pre-existing medical condition.

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

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

Our free to use impaired life insurance team has helped many people find cover after previously being turned down.

How much life insurance do you need?

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


£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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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Life insurance for diabetics type 1

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

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks the cells which produce insulin.

Due to this being 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 a higher risk of developing heart disease, having a heart attack or having a stroke.

This increased risk to the insurer means they're more likely to be charged a higher amount for their premiums.

However, this doesn’t mean cover has to be unaffordable. Shopping around allows you to compare quotes and find the right cover, at a price that suits your budget.

Life insurance for diabetics type 2

Due to the increased risk of high blood pressure, some cancers and raised cholesterol, type 2 diabetes sufferers are also likely to be charged higher monthly premiums.

Type 2 diabetes occurs because not enough insulin is produced or the cells don’t react to the insulin that's produced.

It's predominately associated with obesity and is considered high risk to insurers as it's linked to other dangerous conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which may result in a heart attack.

Due to the increased risk type 2 diabetes sufferers present to insurers, it's likely those with the disease will again be charged higher premiums.

Whilst many insurers will decline your application if you have type 2 diabetes, there are a range of specialist life insurers which will still offer cover.

Our dedicated impaired life team can save you time and money by doing the hard work on your behalf.

Diabetes life insurance premiums

Monthly premiums for diabetics will take into account various aspects of their condition, as well as how well it's being managed.

When applying for life insurance, it's highly likely you'll have to provide comprehensive information regarding your condition as well as possibly undergoing a medical exam.

This, along with other information about your age, medical history and smoking status will allow the insurer to determine the risk you pose and ultimately calculate your premium.

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 measurements)
  • Existing diabetes complications (retinopathy, nephropathy or neuropathy)

How well you're managing your condition will also be taken into account, with some insurers even offering lower premiums for ongoing proof of proper management of your diabetes.

It can be tempting to deny having diabetes whilst applying for life insurance in order to secure lower monthly premiums.

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

Previously declined life insurance?

Even if previously declined life insurance, it's possible for diabetics to obtain cover using the right insurer.

Just because you have been previously declined life insurance due to your diabetes, doesn’t mean there aren’t options available to you.

There are a number of specialist insurers which provide cover to those suffering from a multitude of conditions.

Using a specialist service such as our Reassured’s impaired risk team allows you to compare multiple quotes and select the most competitive cover.

45% of customers previously declined cover elsewhere are accepted through Reassured.

Being diagnosed during your policy

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

As long as you were completely honest on your application, being diagnosed with diabetes during the policy term will not affect its validity.

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

Critical illness cover for diabetics

Critical illness cover for diabetics is possible to obtain, although it's very likely to contain a number of exclusions.

Unfortunately, not very many insurers will offer critical illness cover to those who suffer from diabetes, although that doesn’t mean it's impossible to obtain cover.

On the rare occasion, insurers will offer critical illness cover (more so if you suffer from type 2 as opposed to type 1 diabetes), however, the policy will undergo manual underwriting and will likely include a number of exclusions.

This means that if you suffer certain critical illnesses (particularly those potentially associated with the presence of diabetes, such as heart disease and stroke), your cover will be invalid.

Help from an award-winning life insurance broker

The best way to secure the lowest premium and 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 service is free to use and we have a dedicated impaired team ready to help.


[1] https://www.diabetes.org.uk/professionals/position-statements-reports/statistics

[2] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diabetes

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