Applying for life insurance with a pre-existing medical condition can be intimidating. You may be aware that a pre-existing health condition may impact your premium amount and even your eligibility in some cases. However, if you are one of the millions of Americans who have diabetes, you understandably may need life insurance benefits. While finding life insurance for diabetics can be more challenging, you may still qualify for coverage. Understanding the impact that your health status may have on your insurability and exploring coverage options may help you to set up the coverage that you need.
The Impact of Diabetes When Applying for Life Insurance
Death benefits from a life insurance policy are commonly used to provide for surviving dependents after the insured passes away. These benefits may be used to pay for the dependents' regular living expenses, expensive milestone events or numerous other things. While death is inevitable regardless of your current health status, your lifespan may be shortened by diabetes. Life insurance companies statistically estimate an applicant's longevity based on numerous factors. This includes current health conditions, such as diabetes. You are able to get life insurance with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, and also but not limited to these conditions as well:
- Height and weight
- Family history
- Driving history
- Lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking and risky behaviors
Keep in mind that these are only a few of the many risk factors analyzed. When you apply for most types of life insurance, regardless of whether you are a diabetic or not, you must complete a lengthy questionnaire that covers these and other factors. You also may be required to complete a health physical and to release medical records to the provider for review, however there are options available for life insurance with no medical exam as well.
Life insurance companies typically do not classify every diabetic in the same category. For example, if you have lower A1C levels and have a history of managing your condition well, you may qualify for lower rates than other diabetics. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and have taken no steps to moderate it with lifestyle and diet changes and if you have not followed doctor's treatment instructions, you may have trouble qualifying for life insurance, or your rate may be very high.
What to Consider When Shopping for Life Insurance for Diabetics
Each life insurance company analyzes diabetes and other factors differently. Because of this, you may need to be patient as you explore the options. Applying with several providers may be necessary so that you can find suitable coverage for your needs at a premium that is affordable for you. Remember that you may obtain a lower premium if you choose a shorter term length and lower the death benefits amount. You understandably need to obtain adequate coverage for your needs, but your premium should be manageable for your budget. Failure to pay the premium will result in a lapse in coverage or a canceled policy.
Analyzing your needs for coverage is important for any applicant regardless of health status. Consider how your death will impact your survivors from a financial standpoint. Analyze how much money they would need to pay for funeral expenses, to pay off outstanding debts and to accomplish other goals. Paying off some debts, such as a home mortgage, can dramatically reduce your family's monthly income needs. When deciding on an adequate amount of death benefits, ensure that your dependents understand how you plan for them to use the money. This may help them to stretch the funds as intended.
Types of Life Insurance Policies Available for Diabetics
Permanent life insurance, which covers you throughout life as long as the premium continues to be paid, may be ideal in some situations. The premium is often higher than with term coverage, but the premium is locked in throughout your lifetime. In addition, the policy has a cash account that accrues interest. This instills a financial asset in your policy, and you may borrow money from the account or cash it out entirely.
Term life insurance is a more affordable option initially. In addition, shorter term lengths can yield a much more affordable premium than longer term lengths. Terms are usually available for between 15 and 30 years through most providers. However, if you foresee a long-term need for coverage, it makes sense to lock in the rate for the coverage that you need rather than to piggyback two shorter-term policies together. This is because applying for life insurance 15 or 20 years from now may yield a much more expensive premium.
Finding affordable coverage that meets your needs can be challenging for any applicant, and it may be more complicated and time-consuming when you have a pre-existing health issue like diabetes. However, the effort made to locate coverage that offers necessary benefits for your dependents can protect your loved ones from financial stress in the future.