It used to be that if you had type 2 diabetes, you couldn’t get life insurance. Life insurance companies considered the diagnosis a death sentence and no insurer would cover you.
But things have changed. Type 2 diabetes has become a common affliction that many people live with and manage. According to the CDC, 30 million Americans have type 2 diabetes. That is around 9% of the population.
While this is not a positive statement for the overall health of the nation, it does mean that doctors are getting better at working with patients to help manage the condition and live better and longer lives, and that insurance companies are building a greater awareness of type 2 diabetes and how they can support people who have it.
There are now life insurance options out there for type 2 diabetics, including insulin-dependent type 2 diabetics. While premiums are generally higher than they are for a people who do not have diabetes, plans can still be affordable.
- Assurity Life – Best Overall
- Americo – Best For Fast Coverage
- Mutual of Omaha – Best For Large Term Policies
- North American – Best For Large Benfits
- Phoenix Life – Best For Living Benefits
Read on for everything you need to know about getting life insurance coverage when you have type 2 diabetes.
Best Life Insurance Companies For Type 2 Diabetics
|Product Name||Features||Best For||Link To Product|
|Assurity Life||Offers policies to type 1 and 2 diabetics diagnosed after 10 years of age||Best overall||Visit Site|
|Americo||Offers policies for type 2 diabetics diagnosed after 30 years of age||Best for fast coverage||Visit Site|
|Mutual of Omaha||Offers policies to type 1 and 2 diabetics diagnosed after 50 years of age||Best for large term policies||Visit Site|
|North American||Offers policies to type 2 diabetics diagnosed after 40 years of age||Best for large benefits||Visit Site|
|Phoenix Life||Offers policies to type 1 and 2 diabetics diagnosed after 30 years of age||Best for living benefits||Visit Site|
Life Insurance Providers For Type 2 Diabetics Reviewed
Assurity Life – Best Overall
Many life insurance companies have strict rules about the age that you were diagnosed with diabetes when considering coverage. While around 30 years is standard, it can be as high as 50 years.
Assurity on the other hand offers coverage to all diabetics, including type 1 diabetics and type 2 diabetics regardless of diagnosis age.
They offer term, whole, and universal insurance policies worth up to $500,000. You also have teh option to convert a term policy into a whole policy when the term is up.
Americo – Best For Fast Coverage
Type 2 Diabetics looking for low level permanent life insurance ($2,000-$10,000) to cover end of life expenses, such as funeral costs, are eligible for a guranteed life insurance policy without a medical exam, as long as they were diagnosed after the age of 30. The application can be completed and approved within minutes.
However, it is worth noting that these policies include a three-year graded death benefit. This means that the beneficiary will only receive the full amount of the benefit after the policy has been in place for three years. In the first year they only receive five percent, the second year ten percent, and the third year 75 percent.
Considering how easy it is to take out the policy, this is an attractive option for anyone looking for no-fuss insurance to cover end of life expenses.
Mutual Of Omaha – Best For Large Term Policies
Mutual of Omaha covers Type 2 Diabetics, but is also one of the few companies that also covers Type 1 Diabetics, with no medical exam, which really sets them apart. It is possible to get term policies worth up to $300,000 for under 50s, and up to $250,000 for under 65s.
These are among the highest death penalties that diabetics can expect to get from a term life insurance policy. This makes them the best choice for term policies covering a period of risk, such as a mortgage.
North American – Best For Large Benefits
North American is another life insurance company that offers no exam term life insurance options with a telephone application process for Type 2 Diabetics, as long as they were diagnosed after the age of 40 and are under the age of 60.
They offer some of the highest death benefit payouts for Diabetics, up to $500,000 without a medical exam, and up to $1 million with an exam. Terms are 15, 20, or 30 years.
There are a few more hoops to jump through than with some other health insurance providers, but that means that there can be more flexibility in finding a higher level policy.
Phoenix Life – Best For Living Benefits
Phoenix life offers both term and permanent life insurance policies to both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics diagnosed after 30 years of age. No medical exam is required, and there is an upper limit of $500,000, which reduces based on issue age over 50 years.
These policies come with a living benefit clause, which allows you to draw cash from the policy while living if you are diagnosed with a chronic, critical, or terminal illness.
You can draw up to 95 percent of your policy in living benefits, with whatever you don’t use going to your beneficiaries upon your death.
For other life insurance options, read our list of the Best Life Insurance Companies.
Life Insurance For Type 2 Diabetics: Buying Guide
What Is Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic medical condition in which your body is unable to produce enough insulin on its own. Insurin is the hormone that regulates the movement of sugar around your cells. Without sufficient insulin, it is difficult to maintain normal glucose levels.
Type 2 diabetes is different from type 1 diabetes, which is when the body cannot produce any insulin at all. This seems to be a genetic condition and usually first appears in children and teenagers.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that develops usually as a result of lifestyle. When a person has a diet that is high in sugar, they flood their body with glucose and cause their body to produce a large amount of insulin in response.
As this happens continually, the body becomes less responsive to the arrival of sugar and ceases to produce the required insulin.
As a result, glucose is not transported to where it is needed, but rather sits in unwelcome places in the body and causes problems.
Common complications that result from type 2 diabetes include:
- Heart disease
- Nerve damage
- Kidney damage
- Eye damage
- Skin conditions
- Sleep apnea
- Alzheimer’s disease
Because type 2 diabetes is caused by lifestyle, it usually appears later in life, quite commonly around the age of 40. But the rising rates of obesity, especially among children, means it is affecting people at increasingly younger ages.
Life Insurance And Type 2 Diabetes
It is no surprise that life insurance companies see type 2 diabetes as a red flag. Not only does it increase your likelihood of developing a number of serious and life-threatening medical conditions, but for a long time it was also considered a general sign of poor health and lifestyle choices.
For that reason, for many years people with type 2 diabetes were uninsurable. Many life insurance companies simply wouldn’t consider them, while others charged such high premiums that the insurance wasn’t accessible.
But type 2 diabetics need life insurance for all the same reasons as other people. It is a way to look after loved ones when you are gone. It can enable dependents to pay off a mortgage so they can continue to live in the family home, and replace your income as they try to rebuild their lives.
Life insurance is also mandatory for certain things, such as some mortgages and business loans.
Thus, not being able to obtain life insurance made life very difficult for type 2 diabetics for many years.
Life insurance can be purchased as whole life, or permanent, insurance or as term insurance.
How Can Type 2 Diabetics Get Life Insurance?
Life insurance companies have now come up with processes to fairly assess type 2 diabetics and not simply cast them all in the Substandard category.
Life insurance companies have five categories they use to determine a person’s risk, and therefore what level of premiums they are eligible for. The categories are:
- Preferred Plus – Excellent health and clean family history
- Preferred – Excellent health and minor medical conditions
- Standard Plus – Good health, but perhaps overweight and a few family history question marks
- Standard – Not in ideal health and complicated family history
- Substandard – Recent serious health issues and complicated family history
While anyone with type 2 diabetes should not expect to get preferred rates, they can now benefit from the lower Standard or Standard Plus Rates.
While every life insurance company assesses the risks around type 2 diabetes differently, there are a few key questions they will ask about your condition to help them make their assessment. These questions are all about determining how well you are managing the disease and what other health implications it may have for you.
This does generally mean that if you have type 2 diabetes, you can’t use online quote systems to find out about a policy. You will need to speak to an agent and almost certainly submit to a medical exam.
The main additional questions that the life insurance agent will ask you include:
How Old Were You When You Were First Diagnosed With Type 2 Diabetes?
Depending on the age you were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the insurance company may be willing to forgo requiring a full medical exam. Most insurance providers will score you better if you were diagnosed later in life, at around the age of 40 or older.
What Types Of Medications Do You Use For Your Type 2 Diabetes?
There are a variety of ways to treat type 2 diabetes, and which is best for you depends on a lot of individual factors. But insurance companies can take the types of medications you use as a general indication of how well you are managing your condition and how far it has progressed.
Taking insulin is generally viewed by insurance companies as a warning sign that your diabetes has progressed quite far, and will probably see you paying high premiums. If you are on oral medication, you will probably receive lower premiums.
Life insurance companies tend to be more favorable toward those who are controlling their diabetes through diet and exercise.
What Other Medications Are You Using?
Insurance companies will also be very interested in what other medications you are using to control conditions that are often linked to diabetes. For example, they will be looking at what medications you may be using for cholesterol, high blood pressure, or even anxiety or depression.
This provides them with an indication of how your diabetes is already impacting your overall health.
How Well Are You Controlling Your Diabetes?
Life insurance companies will also ask you about your A1C levels (blood sugar levels), which are a good indication of how well you are controlling your diabetes. Low A1C levels will work in your favor, while high levels will limit your options.
Type 2 diabetes is a serious health condition, so anyone with type 2 diabetes should expect to pay a little more for life insurance coverage, as they will always be considered among the risk category rather than the preferred category.
But gone are the days when insurance companies simply refuse to cover anybody with type 2 diabetes or charge such high premiums that the insurance simply isn’t accessible.
You can now talk to an insurance agent about your diabetes history, and if you can show that you are managing the disease well and limiting its effects on your health, you might be surprised at how affordable life insurance coverage can be.