The question of life insurance for diabetics and overweight people can be a tricky one. As a friendly reminder, the average U.S. adult is overweight, with 60% of Americans fitting into the “overweight” category and 34% in the “obese” category.

That’s a lot of people who could need life insurance but do not know how to get it especially if they’re diabetic or have other medical conditions that could impact their weight and health.  Fortunately life insurance companies have evolved over time, and for most applicants, there are affordable options available.  People who are outside of a normal BMI range can still be approved.

It’s also important to remember that health is more than just genetics: while many people do suffer from diseases like diabetes due to genetic factors, there are also plenty of people who don’t have any genetic predispositions to diabetes or other weight-related diseases and still live in an unhealthy way. That’s why we sometimes see insurance premiums ranging from $40 for those with no medical issues to over $400 for those with conditions like diabetes. It all depends on the carrier and how they define “healthy” underwriting guidelines. With that in mind, here are some of the most common questions we get about life insurance for diabetics and overweight people.

Life Insurance for Individuals with Diabetes Is Possible

Having diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t get life insurance. In fact, many people with this chronic condition can obtain coverage at affordable rates. The key is working with an agent who understands the different types of diabetes and their treatments and who will advocate on your behalf when it comes time to file your application. Chris Stocker with Diabetes Life Solutions notes “there is still a myth that life insurance with Diabetes is impossible to obtain.  That’s simply false.  It’s never been easier to qualify for diabetes life insurance coverage, and premiums are at all time lows.”

Diabetes is a condition that causes your body to have too much sugar in its bloodstream. There are two primary types: type 1 (also called juvenile-onset) and type 2 (also called adult-onset). Type 1 diabetes is a disorder in which the pancreas can’t produce insulin; it’s usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, by contrast, develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin; it usually occurs later in life and can be managed through diet, exercise, and oral medications.

It’s also important to note that there’s a third category of diabetes: gestational diabetes, which occurs only during pregnancy. If you’ve had gestational diabetes and are currently not diabetic, you should be able to qualify for regular term life insurance policies at the same rate as other healthy individuals.

Life Insurance for Individuals with Type-1 Diabetes Is Possible

Many people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) believe that life insurance is out of the question for them. The good news is that it’s still possible to get coverage, though you may find it takes a little extra time and effort.

Insurance companies look at your A1C score when deciding whether or not to insure you. An A1C score below 7.0 means that glucose levels are well controlled, which makes life-insurance easier to obtain. If your score is above 7.0, you may have limited options—though this isn’t always the case: if you’re in good health, otherwise, you could still have some choices.

Life insurance costs vary depending on a number of factors, including your age and overall health. Applicants with consistently well-controlled glucose levels generally pay the same as those without T1D; however, if your A1C score is over 8.0 and/or you have complications such as neuropathy or retinopathy, the cost will be higher than a person without diabetes or one who has it under control.

Life Insurance for Individuals with Type-2 Diabetes

The good news is that life insurance for diabetics and overweight people, who may have declined coverage in the past, can now get affordable coverage. Thanks to advances in medical technology and a more enlightened approach by insurance companies, many people with health issues are able to buy a policy to protect their loved ones. And if you are a Type-2 diabetic, you will find you have many options.

While life insurance for Type-1 diabetics is a bit more complicated, life insurance for Type-2 diabetes is quite doable. If you have been diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes, the first step is to take action to manage your condition. That means eating well, exercising regularly, managing your weight, and visiting your doctor on a regular basis. Of course, those steps will also make you healthier overall and help you live longer.

Once you have taken action to control your health, you should be able to get term life insurance at an affordable price. You should compare quotes from several insurers to ensure that you are getting the lowest possible premium. You may even be eligible for preferred rates if your condition is under control and within certain limits set by the insurer. However, most insurance companies will not consider covering someone who has not been actively working on controlling their diabetes or has complications associated with it.

So, if you have Type-2 diabetes, don’t despair there are plenty of affordable life insurance options available to you.  Just educate yourself about the different policies available and be prepared to ask a lot of questions when you meet with your insurance agent. Don’t settle for the first quote you get—shop around until you find the right policy for your needs.

Life Insurance Cost for Diabetics

Life insurance is an important decision, especially for those with a chronic illness such as diabetes. Many factors can determine the cost of your life insurance premium. Matt Schmidt with Diabetes 365 share with of 4 determining factors that underwriters will use to determine premiums:

1. Length of Diagnosis:

As with many illnesses, the longer you have been diagnosed as diabetic, the higher your risk of complications are. This is because the longer you have been living with diabetes, the more likely it is that you will suffer from some of the diseases associated with diabetes, such as heart disease or stroke. This means that life insurance companies will see you as a higher risk than someone who has just been recently diagnosed.

2. Diabetes Control:

Diabetics who follow their doctor’s instructions and take their medication as directed are likely to see lower premiums from their life insurance provider. This is because these individuals appear to be at a lower risk of succumbing to the effects of diabetes than those with less-controlled conditions. If you make an effort to eat well and exercise regularly in addition to taking your medication, it will help keep your blood sugar levels under control and reduce the risk for long-term damage caused by diabetes.

3. Type of Diabetes:

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. They both require some level of insulin intake, but the causes behind them are different. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood and requires an individual to take insulin every day without fail—there is no cure for this condition as of yet. Type 2 diabetes is generally diagnosed later in life (though this has changed as rates of childhood obesity have increased in recent years). It can sometimes be managed with diet. The difference between these two types will affect what kind of insurance you qualify for, as well as how much it costs.

4. Medication:

Your medication can make a big difference in your life insurance cost as a diabetic. Medication for diabetics can vary greatly. Are you taking insulin? Oral medications? Both? It’s important to tell your agent everything you take so that he/she can get you the best quote possible. In general, being on insulin is more expensive than oral medications. It’s also very important to take your medication exactly as prescribed, whether it be oral or injectable. You don’t want to be considered non-compliant because it will affect your life insurance rating and will ultimately increase your cost of coverage.

5. General Health:

In general, life insurance companies want to know your health status before they offer you a quote. This information helps them determine how much risk you pose to their business operation, so they may adjust your premium accordingly. If you are in relatively good health and your diabetes is under control, then the chances are good that you will qualify for standard coverage without any complications from the insurance company. On the other hand, if your condition has become less manageable over time or if other serious medical issues have come about as a result of uncontrolled blood sugar levels (such as kidney failure), then it might require more work on your part before an insurer agrees to provide coverage at all.