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How to Get Life Insurance for Diabetics

There’s a lot of hassle involved with the daily grind of living with diabetes. So if looking into life insurance sounds like one more overwhelming thing to deal with, that’s understandable. But hang in there. It’s important stuff—maybe even extra important for you.  

We’ll do our best to make it as simple as possible to figure out how to get life insurance as a diabetic, including whether you can get life insurance as a diabetic, what types of life insurance are available to you, how much it costs, and more. 


Key Takeaways

  • Because of the health complications and lower life expectancy associated with diabetes, insurance companies see diabetics as riskier to insure. 
  • Though they’ll pay more, Type 2 diabetics can usually get most kinds of life insurance, including term life. Type 1 diabetics will have a harder time getting life insurance, but it’s still possible. 
  • Keeping your symptoms well managed is important to qualifying for a policy and keeping costs down. 
  • The timing of when you buy life insurance can play an important role in whether you qualify and how much your policy costs. Buying life insurance earlier in the game is usually better. 

Can diabetics get life insurance? 

Just because you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes doesn’t necessarily mean life insurance is out of reach. While there is a difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics (more about that in a minute), most diabetics can qualify for life insurance! You can even get fairly competitive rates if your diabetes is well managed and you’re younger. 

To have the best chance of qualifying for life insurance, you will need to go at least a year managing your diabetes well by visiting your doctor regularly and keeping your blood sugar levels in check. Often, insurance companies will want proof you’ve been taking these steps.  


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What Types of Life Insurance Are Available for Diabetics? 

All types of life insurance are available for diabetics—the thing is, it is harder to qualify for many of them. There are also limitations like how much coverage you can buy. The kind of diabetes you have also impacts what life insurance is available to you.  

Here’s a list of types of life insurance listed from easiest to hardest to qualify for if you have diabetes: 

  • Guaranteed life insurance: With no medical exam, this one might seem like a shoo-in. But the benefit doesn’t cover much—usually only final expenses. There’s also a minimum age to qualify (typically 40–45 years old). 
  • Term life insurance: Also called pure life insurance, term life is available to diabetics—although if you’re going for level premium (what we recommend) there will be a medical exam. 
  • Simplified life insurance: This one gets its name from its simplified application process—which includes no medical exam. You will have to fill out a medical questionnaire though. You can get simplified whole life (but don’t—it’s a rip-off!) or simplified term life insurance.
  • Permanent life insurance: As a diabetic, you can qualify for regular permanent life insurance. Like with level term, there’s a medical exam. If you don’t qualify for permanent life insurance, though, that’s actually a good thing. Whole life and other types of permanent life insurance are a huge rip-off—and who wants life insurance that sucks? (If you want to know why it sucks, read our comparison of term life vs. whole life.) 


Here's A Tip

If anyone depends on your income, you should have life insurance

The absolute best kind of life insurance you can get is a level term life insurance policy worth 10–12 times your income. It does exactly what insurance is supposed to do and nothing else. 

Can You Get Life Insurance With Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes? 

Usually, people with Type 2 diabetes can qualify for life insurance if their diabetes isn’t paired with any other medical conditions that together make them ineligible (like heart disease). Type 2 is caused by chronic levels of high blood sugar and is easier to manage through things like diet and exercise.

Type 1, on the other hand, is an autoimmune reaction and usually shows up early in life. It’s considered harder to control, so unfortunately, insurers shy away from covering folks with this diagnosis. If you do get coverage, you’ll pay a lot more for it. Type 1 diabetics have a shorter life expectancy than Type 2s, which also translates to a higher risk for life insurance companies. 

Bottom line: The earlier in life your diabetes shows up, the harder and more expensive it will be to get life insurance. 

Life Insurance for Different Types of Diabetics 

Let’s take a closer look at what kind of life insurance policy you’ll realistically be able to get according to the type of diabetes you have. With both Type 1 and Type 2, you’ll have a better shot at qualifying and getting better rates if your diabetes is well managed.  

Life Insurance for Type 1 Diabetics 

Options are limited if you have Type 1 diabetes. Because this kind of diabetes is harder to control, insurance companies make it hard to qualify or jack the price up a lot. But it’s not impossible—you do still have options. 

If you’re over 40, the easiest one to get will be guaranteed life insurance because your health isn’t part of the calculation. But this isn’t usually enough coverage or the best deal, and you should see it as a last resort.  

Even with Type 1, you can still qualify for term life insurance if both of these are true:

  • You’re in good shape.
  • You were diagnosed later in life.

So go ahead and apply! Just keep in mind, your rates will be higher than someone with Type 2. 

Life Insurance for Type 2 Diabetics 

If you have Type 2 diabetes, you’re generally in a much better position to buy life insurance than you’d be with Type 1. A big part of whether you can get life insurance is up to you, though. Insurance companies like to see you’ve been managing your diabetes well. So if you get your symptoms under control and can prove you’ve been on top of it for a year or more, you’ll probably be able to qualify for most life insurances.  

Of course, we recommend getting a level term life insurance policy worth 10–12 times your income.  

The other big part of whether you can get life insurance is whether you have a comorbidity (that's a medical condition alongside your diabetes, like heart disease or obesity). If you have one of those, you will have a much harder time qualifying for life insurance. But don’t give up—get on the phone with an insurance expert who can help you figure it out. 


Got Kids? Use These 5 Tips to Get the Right Length of Life Insurance.

If you have kids depending on your income, you might be wondering, How long should my life insurance policy last? Great question!

Try These Tips

Why Does Timing Matter With Life Insurance for Diabetics? 

If you’re trying to get a better rate (and who isn’t?), we recommend applying for life insurance when you have your diabetes under control. A track record of stability makes it less risky for companies to insure you. Worried you may not qualify? Try taking a year to follow doctors’ orders and keeping your blood glucose and A1C levels stable, then apply!  

The timing of when you develop or are diagnosed with diabetes is also a big factor in whether you can qualify and how much your premiums will be—another good reason to think about buying life insurance earlier in life.  

Listen to this: About 96 million Americans have prediabetes. And 80% of those folks don’t know it. That means for more than 1 in 3 people, life insurance rates will skyrocket in a few years, and they’ll never go back down to where they would be if they bought a policy now.1

Take a look at Joe. He gets married when he’s 33 and buys a level, 25-year term life policy immediately. It’s cheap and his premiums won’t change. When he’s 45, Joe is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. At this point, he’s got three kids. But Joe doesn’t have to worry because his life insurance is in place and won’t change because of his diagnosis.  

But what if Joe had waited? Got married, had kids and didn’t think about getting life insurance until he ended up in the hospital in a diabetic coma? With a diabetes diagnosis, Joe wants to protect his family in case the worst should happen. But now it will cost him a pretty penny. 


The Cost of Life Insurance for Diabetics 

So, it’s pretty clear you can get life insurance with diabetes—but how much will it cost? Well, you should expect to pay a bit more (sometimes a lot more) than you would without a diagnosis. 

For those with Type 2 diabetes, you’ve got a good shot at getting a pretty decent rate. Premiums for Type 1 diabetics, though, will be a lot higher.   

A 30-year-old male with Type 2 diabetes can get a 20-year term life policy worth $500,000 for $35 a month, while the same person with Type 1 diabetes will pay almost twice as much at about $62 a month. That’s quite a jump—but not unaffordable. 

20-Year, $500,000 Term Life Policy Quotes for Diabetics* 

Male, 30 years old, 5’9” 

Type of Diabetes 


Monthly Premium 

Annual Premium 

Type 1 

145 lbs. 



Type 2 

175 lbs. 



Female, 30 years old, 5’4” 

Type 1 

120 lbs. 



Type 2 

155 lbs. 



*Quote examples from Zander Insurance 


Factors That Affect Cost for Diabetics 

If you have diabetes and are looking for life insurance coverage, it’ll cost you more than the average Joe. How much more will depend on several factors. 

  • Age: Even if you don’t factor in a diabetes diagnosis, the older you are, the more expensive life insurance premiums get. But with diabetes—specifically Type 1—the age when you are diagnosed makes a big impact. The younger you were diagnosed, the lower your odds of getting approved and the higher your cost will be if you are. 
  • Type of diabetes: Like we mentioned before, Type 1 diabetes is considered more dangerous (and so more risky) than Type 2, so insurers charge higher premiums if you have it.  
  • Ability to manage it: This is key to getting a good rate. If you don’t put the time and effort into following your doctor’s plan and keeping your blood glucose levels stable, your rate will be higher or your application may be postponed until you’ve been stable for a year or more. 
  • Severity of symptoms: Just like with any medical condition, some cases of diabetes can be worse than others. The more severe your symptoms, the riskier you are to insurers. 


How Diabetics Can Lower Their Policy Cost 

What could you do to lower your policy cost? First, get really serious about managing your symptoms, eat a healthier diet, and exercise. Insurers care whether you’re managing your diabetes well and often reward you with lower premiums. 

Second, travel back in time and get a term life policy before you were diagnosed. We’re kidding. 

While time machines aren’t really an option, the idea does serve as a reminder that buying term life earlier can be a smart thing to do. If you plan on being married or having dependents by the time you’re 30, it could pay to buy a policy a few years in advance to take advantage of the premium savings—and juke any diabetes diagnosis.  

Here's a list of things you can do to lower your policy cost as a diabetic: 

  • Take your health seriously. Manage your diabetes well. Visit your doctor often. Eat well, exercise and maintain your ideal weight. It’s hard, but it will pay off in more ways than one in the long run.  
  • Find an insurer with a wellness program. Some companies build programs specifically for diabetics and give out great discounts for hitting good markers. 
  • Shop around. Reach out to an independent insurance agent or broker. They’re insurance experts and work for you—not one particular company—so they can shop quotes and find you a good deal. 


Is Life Insurance Worth it? 

At this point, you may be thinking life insurance might not be worth it. Well, we’re here to tell you that making sure your family is cared for if the worst should happen is always worth it. That said, there are some situations where buying life insurance might not make sense. Let’s take a quick look: 

Worth it: 

  • If you have dependents: If there’s someone who depends on your income—we’re talking anyone: wife, kids . . . probably not the dog—you need life insurance.  
  • If you have debt: Buying life insurance means if you have debts when you die, your heirs aren’t stuck paying them off—they can use your death benefit to square them.  

Not worth it: 

  • If you don’t have dependents: A single guy or gal or someone whose spouse brings in all the bacon and has no kids is probably good to go without life insurance.  
  • If you’re wealthy: Being self-insured is a real thing. If you’ve got enough money in the bank and investments to replace your income and provide for your loved ones if you die, you can skip life insurance.  


Getting the Right Life Insurance for Diabetics 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, wondering if you can even get life insurance, we get it. Life insurance and diabetes don’t always pair easily. But if you’re a diabetic and anyone depends on your income, you definitely need life insurance. So don’t give up.  

Find a trusted guide to help you—like the folks at Zander Insurance. They’re RamseyTrusted and will take the time to learn your situation and walk you through your options.

Get on the phone with Zander, share your health information, and they’ll do everything they can to find you coverage you can qualify for. They know which insurers have programs for diabetics and can shop around for you to find the best deal.  

Get in touch with a Zander agent today at 833-703-2254


Frequently Asked Questions

No, as long as you’re current on your premium payments, your policy can’t be cancelled because you’re diagnosed with diabetes or any other illness. The point of life insurance is to protect your loved ones in case you die—that includes dying of diabetes, cancer and other illnesses. 

If your health improves after you bought a life insurance policy (aka you bought it after a diabetes diagnosis while it wasn’t under control), you have a couple options: 

Ask your insurer for a reconsideration of your rate. You’ll have to take another medical exam before they’ll reconsider—and that costs money—so make sure you ask what the potential savings could be to see if it’s worth it.  

Look for a new policy. This could work in your favor, but keep in mind, the older you get the more expensive life insurance is—even for people without diabetes. So even if your health has improved, there’s a chance the savings on that side won’t outweigh the price hike from your age.

Yes, you can be denied life insurance because of diabetes. In most cases, your symptoms would have to be pretty bad for you to be denied. You could also be denied because you have a diabetes comorbidity, like heart disease. But there’s always the option to try another insurer (in fact, you should anyway because someone else might be cheaper).  

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, it counts as a preexisting condition. That doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for life insurance, though—especially if you manage it well. 

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics are protected as people with disabilities.  

If you’re trying to buy a health or life insurance policy, then yes, you must tell your insurance company about your diagnosis. If you don’t and they sell you a policy, they could void the coverage later. And that would leave you and your loved ones without protection. Also, it’s considered fraud. 

If you already have a life insurance policy before you get diagnosed, you don’t need to tell your carrier. That’s why you bought insurance. Your policy exists to protect you and your loved ones if the worst should happen. 

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