Life insurance and diabetes

18 October 2021

Diabetes is a serious health condition affecting blood sugar levels, with more than four million people in the UK diagnosed as diabetic. In this guide, we’ll separate the fact from the fiction when it comes to life insurance and diabetes.

Can I get life insurance if I have diabetes?

The short answer is yes – you can get life insurance with diabetes. But life insurance for diabetics isn’t always straightforward, as each individual experiences the condition with a different level of severity.

Life insurance for type 1 and type 2 diabetics

Life insurance for type 1 diabetics is available, but you may not get a decision at the point of sale, as we may ask for more information from your GP. This is because type 1 diabetes, where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin, can have serious health consequences from a young age. The impact on individuals is significant, as treatment involves regular injections of insulin, or the use of a permanent insulin pump. You may still be able to get life insurance with type 1 diabetes, but you can expect to pay higher premiums.

In contrast, life insurance for type 2 diabetics is often more straightforward. About 90% of all adults with diabetes in the UK have type 2, where the body simply doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the cells don’t react to insulin. In this instance, treatment can involve a change of diet or medication to control the level of glucose, with insulin injections only necessary if the condition worsens over time. If you have type 2 diabetes with no additional complications, you may be able to at the point of sale.

Do I need to disclose my diabetes?

Yes, when you apply for life insurance you’ll need to tell us if you have ever been diagnosed with diabetes, regardless of how long ago it was. Here is a checklist for the information you’ll need to disclose

  • When you were diagnosed, and the date of your last diabetic review.
  • Whether your treatment includes insulin injections or an insulin pump.
  • Details of any hospital admissions, excluding regular diabetic clinic appointments.
  • Results of your latest HbA1c test, which indicates the blood glucose levels within red blood cells.
  • Any additional complications such as kidney and eye problems, abnormal urine test results, and any symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in fingers, toes or feet.

Remember, failure to answer questions truthfully and accurately could invalidate any future claim and result in your policy being cancelled.

Why might I be declined for life insurance?

Sometimes, there are circumstances where we’re unable to provide life insurance for diabetics; for example, we cannot help all smokers or customers with additional cardiovascular risks, such as angina, heart attack or stroke. In some circumstances, we may need more information from your GP; for example, if you have diabetes and you’re currently pregnant, or if the results of your HbA1c test suggest high blood sugar levels.

Getting life insurance if you are diabetic

We will ask some questions when you apply for cover and be able to tell you straight away or shortly afterwards if we can offer you a life insurance policy.

Learn more about life insurance with Legal & General