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Finding Life Insurance For Diabetics In Australia Made Easy

Insurance For Diabetics
Russell Cain Updated: 21 May 2020
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Australians who have their diabetes under control can get life insurance. However, you are likely to pay more in premiums because life insurance companies view diabetics as a higher risk, meaning there is an increased probability that your policy will have to pay out. For life insurance companies to make a qualified decision on life insurance for diabetics, there are several considerations taken into account, including which type of diabetes you have, your age, weight and lifestyle.

Diabetes is a chronic condition marked by high glucose levels in the blood, usually because your body can’t produce insulin or doesn’t produce enough. As a result, you’re more likely to develop long-term health complications, including:

We explain the importance of life insurance and how you can find affordable cover to protect your loved ones.

How does diabetes affect life insurance?

Over 1.3 million Australians have voluntarily registered as having diabetes, and according to Diabetes Australia, an estimated 280 Australians develop diabetes every day. Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease in Australia and the seventh leading cause of death.

Standardised death rates for Diabetes in Australia, per 100,000, between 2010 & 2016


To get a life insurance policy, one of the first steps is the underwriting process. This is when an insurer will assess your potential risk to determine if your application will be accepted or not.

Whether or not you can get life insurance will depend on:

The type of diabetes you have

Type 1 Diabetes: Insulin-dependent

Develops when the cells of your pancreas stop producing insulin. Thus glucose cannot enter the cells of your muscles for energy and glucose levels rise to dangerous levels. Typically, onset is abrupt, and symptoms are apparent.

The 4 T’s of type 1 diabetes include:

  1. Thirst: An unquenchable thirst.
  2. Toilet: Excessive urination.
  3. Tired: Unexplained weakness and fatigue.
  4. Thinner: Unexplained weight loss.

Other symptoms include muscle cramps, blurred vision, skin infections and some tingling or numbness in the feet.

Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, most often in children and people under 30. This condition is not caused by lifestyle factors.

Can you get life insurance for diabetics’ type 1?

Yes, you can get life insurance if you have type 1 diabetes. However, as it is a chronic condition and because it places you at a higher risk of claiming, you will generally pay higher premiums. You can maintain lower premiums by managing your condition responsibly.

Type 2 Diabetes: Insulin-resistant

A progressive condition where your pancreas does not make enough insulin and the insulin that it does make doesn’t work as well as it should.

Symptoms are very similar to type 1, although they develop at different rates. Many people with type 2 diabetes go several years before being diagnosed and during that time significant damage could already be done.

Although type 2 is considered to be a lifestyle condition because being overweight and inactive increases your risk, it is also strongly associated with genetic and family-related risk factors.

Type 2 may be managed with a healthy lifestyle and regular medical checks. Eventually, however, tablets and or insulin may be needed.

Can I get life insurance for diabetics’ type 2?

As with type 1 diabetes, you can get life insurance if you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. You can increase your chances of finding affordable life insurance by controlling your blood glucose levels through diet and medication.

If you have Type 2 diabetes, you might be eligible to receive additional cover for trauma insurance, income protection (with a minimum waiting period of 90 days and a maximum benefit period of 5 years) and even TPD cover.

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is often shortened to GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus) and is a form of diabetes that occurs during the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy and usually goes away when the baby is born. GDM is characterised by a higher than normal blood glucose level in the pregnant mother’s bloodstream.

GDM puts women at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Age at diagnosis

Generally, the younger you were when developing diabetes, the worse the long-term outlook for suffering complications of the disease will usually be. Consequently, the insurance underwriter will have to consider your age now, and how old you were when first diagnosed.

Controlling your diabetes

Exercising strict control over your diabetes will significantly reduce the risk of you developing complications. With that in mind, most life insurance companies will generally request to have your previous HbA1c results sent through, or they may ask that a new test is done.

Administered by an appropriate medical professional, an HbA1c test measures your blood glucose levels over the last 8 to 12 weeks. For a person with diabetes, a good HbA1C level is between% 4 and 5.6%.

Along with your HbA1c levels, an insurance company will also generally require test results that measure:

Health complications

Diabetes is associated with a host of medical complications, including blindness, kidney dysfunction, peripheral vascular problems and even a diabetic coma.

An underwriter assessing your application will usually write to your treating doctor to confirm details of treatment, control, and any complications associated with your condition.

How much does life insurance for diabetics cost?

There are a lot of different factors that contribute to your life insurance premium, however, as a person with diabetes, you can expect your cover to cost more because your condition makes you a higher risk to insure.

Factors affecting your life insurance premium include:

It’s best to first compare quotes from a variety of top life insurance companies and decide which one best suits your requirements, while also providing affordable premiums.

5 Smart ways you can keep your diabetes under control

Controlling your diabetes is always going to be a challenge, but the effort is worth it. You’ll feel more energised, have less risk of developing severe health problems and might pay less for your life insurance.

  1. Keep consistent eating habits. Do not skip meals, especially breakfast.
  2. Know the glycemic index (GI) of food and try to avoid high GI foods that will spike your blood sugar levels.
  3. Visit your health care team at least twice a year and have them check you out.
  4. Regularly exercise and lose those extra kilos, if you have any. This will help you more easily maintain your appropriate blood glucose levels.
  5. Limit alcohol consumption. Regular drinking of alcohol reduces your body’s sensitivity to insulin, which can increase your blood sugar.

The best life insurance for diabetes available in Australia

Select insurers will offer life insurance to persons medically diagnosed with diabetes or glucose intolerance. However, definitions and premium loadings will vary between companies.

An applicant with a stable and managed case of diabetes can usually be offered life cover, subject to an appropriate premium adjustment.

Can I get guaranteed life insurance for diabetics?

Guaranteed life insurance is no longer available in Australia. You may, however, be eligible for a term life insurance policy if your diabetes is under control.

That said, most retail life insurance policies, like the ones we compare, are guaranteed renewable. This means that your insurer can’t downgrade or cancel your policy so long as you continue to pay your premiums, regardless of whether your health circumstances change.

If you have diabetes and would like to buy life insurance, income protection insurance or trauma insurance then start by comparing your options by filling in the quote form above.

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