The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in India is increasing at a rather alarming rate, mainly due to certain lifestyle choices and unhealthy dietary habits. Given how important it is to ensure that your family is financially protected, especially if you have been diagnosed with a critical illness or ailment, it is highly advisable to purchase a term insurance plan at the earliest. However, the probability of one’s insurance application getting rejected deters many diabetics from even applying for a life insurance policy.
Rest assured, if your condition is under control and if you have made the necessary changes to your lifestyle, purchasing a life insurance plan without shelling a hefty premium will not be too difficult a task. That being said, there are a few things you should keep in mind when shopping for a life insurance plan as a diabetic. Read on to find out more about what questions you should be prepared for, how to find the best life insurance policy, and how much premium you might have to pay for your life insurance plan.
The age at which you were diagnosed with the disease can play a significant role in the insurer’s underwriting process. In most cases, if you were diagnosed with diabetes after attaining the age of 40 years and don’t have any other significant health conditions, your chances of being offered a life insurance plan at an affordable premium rate is likely to be quite high. On the other hand, individuals who have been diagnosed with the disease at a young age pose a higher risk to insurers.
An individual can be diagnosed with two either Type 1 Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes. If you are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, the chances of you being offered a life insurance policy is high since this type of diabetes is easier to control with insulin and oral medicine and also manifests later in life, unlike Type 1 Diabetes, which usually manifests early in life and also requires more medical care.
A low A1C level is preferable since it shows that your condition is controlled. The A1C level is one of the key factors that insurance providers take into account when deciding your premium quote. Usually, if your A1C level is under 7.0 and you have no other health conditions, your insurer may offer you a policy with a standard premium rate. On the other hand, if your A1C level is over 7.0, the insurer might charge you a higher premium.
Although the ideal blood sugar level to have is 140, most insurance providers will allow individuals with a blood sugar level of up to 180 to purchase life insurance plans. Also, certain insurance providers might also consider the prospective policy buyer’s fructosamine levels during the application process.
It is important for the insurance provider to know if you are undergoing any treatment and if the treatment is helping control the disease. Thus, if your condition can be easily controlled with diet, exercise, and oral drugs, insurance providers are likely to offer you a policy with standard premium rates.
Insurance providers might ask you questions about the medications or treatments you undertake in order to assess if these are helping you keep your condition under control. Also, the insurer might also ask you how often you visit the doctor to assess how actively you are involved in keeping your condition in check. Thus, it is advisable to visit a doctor or specialist at least twice a year to ensure that the disease is being carefully monitored.
In addition to assessing your primary health condition, diabetes, insurance providers will also require you to declare any other health conditions or illnesses that you might suffer from. Thus, if you suffer from a kidney disease or heart-related ailment in addition to being diagnosed with diabetes, this will significantly affect the quote that you receive for a particular plan. If you have no other health conditions, this will be viewed favourably by the insurer since it indicates that your treatment has been working and that you have been able to keep the condition in check.
A few other questions that the insurance provider might ask you during the application stage are:
The premium rate of a term insurance plan for a diabetic applicant is likely to be higher than that of an applicant with no health issues. A life insurance company will evaluate the risk that they will be undertaking by providing you a life insurance policy, and the premium quote will reflect the level of risk that the insurance firm links with you. This risk level will be based on several factors, such as your age at the time of diagnosis, family’s medical history, your health conditions, weight, type of diabetes, treatment/medication that you take, A1C levels, etc. If the risk level associated with you, on the basis of these factors, is low, then you will be offered a lower premium rate and vice versa.
Eligibility and Pre-Policy Medical Screening
While the eligibility criteria for diabetic applicants will vary from insurer to insurer, most insurance providers will offer insurance to individuals with diabetes if they have kept their condition in check. Thus, if your diabetes has been kept under control for a period of at least 6 to 12 months, the chances of you being offered a life insurance policy is quite high.
Also, individuals who were diagnosed with diabetes but have been responding well to treatment also stand a good chance of being offered a life insurance policy with standard premium rates. However, if you also suffer from other ailments and health conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, or if you are a tobacco user, your insurance application may or may not be approved based on the level of risk that the insurer associates with you. Also, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes but are not taking any active steps to keep your condition in check, your insurance application could get denied.
Insurance providers might require you to undergo a pre-policy medical screening based on your health conditions, sum assured opted for, age at entry, and other factors. However, this will vary from insurer to insurer, and not all insurers will need you to undergo a mandatory medical test. If you are given the option to under a pre-policy medical screening, make sure to take this up since this will ensure that your insurance provider is completely aware of your health conditions.
One thing to keep in mind is that insurance providers will require you to provide a declaration of your health even if they don’t require you to undergo a medical test. It is of utmost importance that you don’t conceal any important information about your health since your insurance provider is well within their rights to annul or cancel your insurance policy if they find any discrepancies in the information that you provided to them.
Almost all life insurance firms offer term insurance plans that you can purchase through both online and offline channels. In the case of term insurance plans, if the policyholder succumbs to an untimely death during the policy tenure, the sum assured or death benefit will be offered to the nominee. Term insurance plans are also more affordable than other types of life insurance policies since they don’t have a cash value.
Before you opt for a particular term insurance policy, it is essential that you first consider your needs and financial requirements, and decide how much coverage to opt for. Make sure to also do your due research and compare various term insurance policies that are available for diabetics. You can do this comparison either by visiting the insurer’s branch, by navigating to the insurer’s official website, or by visiting a third-party insurance website that will allow you to compare between various insurance plans side-by-side. If you find it difficult to do the research on your own or find the many insurance jargons that are used in brochures confusing, you can also seek the assistance of an insurance advisor or agent.