How does diabetes affect a life insurance application?

How does diabetes affect a life insurance application?

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a lifelong condition which causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.

There are 2 main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes – where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
  • Type 2 diabetes – where the body does not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells do not react to insulin

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2. Source NHS Choices July 2019

How do insurers view diabetes?

The good news is that you should be able to get life insurance cover if you are a diabetic. However, Insurance companies sometimes add a ‘loading’ to the premiums of anything from 50%-150%.

A ‘loading’ is an additional premium charged by insurance companies to reflect their additional risk. However, in certain circumstances, it may be possible to obtain cover on ‘standard terms’, or in other words, no increase in the premium initially quoted).

Questions an insurance company will want to ask

The final ‘underwritten’ premium will depend upon several factors:

  • your last HbA1c reading (how well controlled is the diabetes)
  • height and weight (Body Mass Index or BMI) are also taken into account
  • recent blood pressure
  • cholesterol levels
  • any other related medical issues or complications
  • do you smoke? This could also have a significant effect on the premium ‘loading’

Our process and advice

We have a wealth of insurance knowledge, and once we have a good understanding of your requirements we will start our research process.

This involves us contacting many, and in some cases, all of the UK’s leading insurers to discuss your requirements. The purpose of this is to establish how they might treat your application.

Will they add a ‘loading’ to their quoted premium?

Would they exclude certain conditions or activities?

Would they decline your application? We want to avoid wasting your time and ours by making applications which might be declined.

Finding the right provider could save you thousands of pounds

The cheapest Insurer at the quotation stage, may not actually be the most cost-effective once they have completed their underwriting and assessment process. The terms offered by one Insurer may not be the same as the next, which means that you could end up paying hundreds, if not thousands of pounds over and above what you need to over the term of the policy.

An online quote is just that – a quote – it isn’t a definite offer of cover. What really matters is the premium you are offered after your application has been assessed. The key is to know which insurance company to apply to in the first place!

A case study

Our client, a 65-year-old non-smoking male, had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 28, which is considered within the overweight range.

He told us that he had been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 7 months previously, but does not suffer from any other complications or related issues, such as raised blood pressure or raised cholesterol, and his last HbA1C reading was under 8.0.  He was looking to arrange two Decreasing Life policies with a total sum assured of £170,000 over terms of 5 and 17 years.

Company A quoted – £82.00 per month

Company B quoted – £90.28

Company C quoted – £102.39

Company D quoted – £102.88

Company E quoted – £106.54

On the face of it, and assuming that the cover offered was identical, (ignoring all medical conditions), we would have recommended Company A. However, after conducting our research, we recommended Company E.

Why did we recommend the most expensive quote?

Because the insurer told us that they wouldn’t add a ‘loading’ (subject to receiving a GP report). Therefore the premium payable would be as quoted: £106.54 per month. All of the other companies would increase their quoted premium by 50% – 75%.

Company A quoted – £82.00 – final premium – £123 per month

Company B quoted – £90.28 – final premium – £158

Company C quoted – £102.39 – final premium – £154

Company D quoted – £102.88 – final premium – £154

Company E quoted – £106.54 – final premium – £106.54 per month

Our non-obligation advice could save you thousands

If our client had decided to apply directly to company A without having taken expert advice first, he would have ended up paying an incredible £3,357.84 extra in premiums over the entire 17-year term!

This illustrates why it is essential to take advice before making an application, it could save you thousands of pounds.

We have expert knowledge of the ever-changing landscape of underwriting for all providers in the UK and are fully committed to research so that you don’t have to. What’s more, our advice comes at no obligation and there are no hidden costs.  You don’t pay us directly but we do get paid by the insurer if you decide to start a policy with them.

All our case studies are based on actual client scenarios, many of which pre-date 2020.  We are confident that the acceptance decision made by the insurers would still be offered. Although it is likely that the rates will have changed, your own circumstances will determine whether what amount will be payable by you and would be fully discussed with you before any plan is implemented.

Please note that any premiums mentioned are indicative only and based on this specific case study/ example, which is shown for information purposes only. Your own circumstances will determine whether the amount payable is more or less than the figure quoted.

Next steps

Whilst you are welcome to get a quote online, we would recommend you speak to one of our advisers.

Any quote that your adviser provides you with will take into account your circumstances and medical history, as well as your budget!

An online quote is just that – a quote – it isn’t a definite offer of cover. What really matters is the premium you are offered, after your application has been assessed.

Call Freephone 0800 644 4468 – Monday to Thursday from 09.00 to 19.00 and on Friday between 09.00 and 17.00.

Please feel free to read our Independent client reviews, or read about the team at Future Proof


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Take a look at our handy guides ‘What Cover is Right for me?’

Do you suffer from a medical condition and concerned you can’t secure Life Insurance?  Please view our ‘Medical Guides’ for further information.

Whilst we will make every endeavour to help someone to arrange insurance, there is no guarantee of success.  All applications are subject to underwriting.

Links to third-party websites exist for information only, and we accept no responsibility or liability for the information contained on any such sites.
The existence of a link to another website does not imply or express
endorsement of its provider, products or services by us or St. James’s Place.

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