Life Insurance for Diabetics: Factors That Affect Rates

Is it possible to get affordable life insurance with diabetes?

This is a question we see people asking quite often.

Fortunately, the answer is usually “yes”.  Whether you have type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent) or type 2 diabetes (adult onset), it can still be easy to qualify for a life insurance policy.

LightbulbHere’s what you need to remember: approval for a policy and the rate you qualify for depends on how controlled your diabetes is. Most life insurance companies will want to see your diabetes stable and well-controlled for at least 6 to 12 months.

The presence of other health issues factors into the approval process too.

For example, if you have heart disease, uncontrolled blood pressure, are obese, or smoke in addition to being diagnosed with diabetes, you’re likely to pay higher rates for life insurance.

There is a variety of things life insurance companies analyze when determining the risk of insuring an applicant. Let’s take a look!

What Factors Affect Life Insurance Premiums for Diabetics?

  • Age when diagnosed
  • Your family health history
  • Your current age
  • Your medical history
  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes
  • Height and weight
  • Your blood sugar levels
  • Your hemoglobin A1C level
  • Your current medications
  • Did you have gestational diabetes?

If your blood sugar levels are well controlled and you don’t have other major risk factors, you are well-positioned to qualify for an affordable policy.

warningAnd with diabetes and life insurance, younger is not better.

What this means is that if you are diagnosed with diabetes at a younger age, you are considered “higher risk” by life insurance companies.

The reason is simple….if you are diagnosed young, there’s a greater chance that you may develop complications over time. Conditions like heart disease, neuropathy, or kidney failure.

For example, a 35-year-old with diabetes can expect to pay higher life insurance rates than someone diagnosed at the age of 65.

Will You Need a Medical Exam?

Most life insurance companies will require a medical exam before underwriting a policy. There are some companies out there who may not require an exam, but their policies will almost always cost more.

This makes sense if you think about it….without a medical exam, the insurer can’t accurately evaluate an applicant’s risk to the same extent as with a medical exam.

Now I’m sure you don’t need to be told this….but for completeness sake, I’m going to say it anyway:  Always provide truthful and accurate information on your application about your diabetes.

It might be tempting to report good blood sugar readings, but “accidentally” forget just a couple of the bad ones.

Look, we’re all human and capable of making an error when filling out an application. Life insurance companies are aware of this fact.

warningBut if an insurer discovers that an applicant was intentionally deceptive or falsified information, he can cancel your life insurance policy and even refuse to pay out the death benefit should tragedy strike.

Most companies have what’s called a two-year contestability period. This means the life insurance company can investigate and contend your application within the first two years if they think fraud or deceit may have occurred.

Help the Life Insurance Companies Help YOU

Did you pick up on that subtle Jerry Maguire reference? If not, don’t worry….we’re not big Tom Cruise fans either.

I don’t want to get all “preachy” but here’s the thing: diabetes is an extremely controllable disease.

With all of the medication available and by putting forth even just a modest effort in maintaining a healthy diet, it is possible to keep your blood sugar levels within the healthy range.

“Gee, thanks for that Captain Obvious”.

Look, I know as a diabetic, you are already aware of this.

But sometimes the “obvious” is easy to ignore or forget about….so a friendly reminder doesn’t hurt once in a while.

moneyDo your best to get a handle on your blood sugars before applying for life insurance with diabetes (if you can afford to wait). Your wallet will thank you for years to come.

How to Qualify for Affordable Life Insurance for Diabetics

You already know the importance of making sure your diabetes is well-controlled in qualifying for favorable rates.

But did you know that visiting your doctor regularly can also be helpful?

As a diabetic, you should be seeing your doctor at least once a year for a regular checkup. Same goes for your eye doctor too.

Even if your sugar readings are really good, you should still pay regular visits to your doctor.

“Why” you might ask? Because doing so provides more objective information for life insurance companies to accurately gauge your risk to insure.

Basically, you are making it easier for the underwriter to classify you in a lower risk group and give you a better rate.

On the other hand, if you rarely see your physician, companies will have a more difficult time assessing your risk. The uncertainty this creates is NOT likely to result in a more affordable premium for you.

Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket

Let’s face it….Shopping around for life insurance isn’t most people’s idea of a good time. It can be downright tedious.

This makes it easy to fall into the trap of settling for the first quote you receive that seems reasonable. But this is NOT usually in your best interest. Do yourself a favor, and make sure to get multiple quotes for comparison.

This is the best way to find the coverage you’re looking for at an affordable rate.

Always remember that premiums can vary widely between companies.

That’s why it’s SO important that you understand how the different carriers might view your personal situation. Shopping around will result in you getting the best life insurance coverage for your needs at an affordable premium.

Please keep in mind that underwriting guidelines can and DO vary greatly between carriers and this is often a complicated maze for consumers to navigate.

The secret to getting the lowest rate is placing you in a policy with the company who views you in the most favorable light.

The truth is while the quote engine is a great place to start, if you are applying for life insurance with as a diabetic, it’s critical that you work with a broker who understands the complicated guidelines and will fight on your behalf to get the lowest rate for your situation. One great company for diabetics is Prudential but it’s not the best for everyone.

We are one of the rare independent brokers that only sells life insurance so we’ve gotten pretty darn good at it.

If you are ready to get started, please fill out a quote request or always feel free to contact us with any questions.

We are here to help and will never pressure you in any way.

In fact, our main goal is to make this process as easy and pain-free for you as possible.


  • Ty Stewart

    Ty Stewart is a founder and contributor of He started researching and studying about life insurance when he got his first policy for his own family. He has been featured as a life insurance expert speaker at agent conventions and in top publications. As an independent licensed life insurance agent he has helped clients nationwide to secure affordable coverage while making the process simple.

  • Bennett Bier

    I’m Bennett Bier, owner, author and fact checker of Simple Life Insure. I believe working with a small independent broker offers consumers more personal attention and superior customer service. As an independent agent licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia I have access to many of the top A+ rated life insurance carriers. This lets me locate a plan that you will qualify for while saving you money at the same time. Over the years I have mastered the art of underwriting, getting approvals even for my highest risk clients. I’m also likely the person that will answer the phone when you call.