Diabetes and Life Insurance

With type 1 and type 2 diabetes on the rise, we're receiving an increasing number of enquiries from people living with diabetes requesting life insurance. As with all insurance premiums, the health of a client determines the eligibility and final cost.

Factors impacting life insurance premiums for people living with diabetes

Working out the Life Insurance premium for a person living with diabetes is a detailed process. Factors taken into account:

  • Type of diabetes i.e. type 1, type 2 or gestational 
  • Form of medical treatment and medicines 
  • Your blood glucose levels
  • If you have any diabetes complications 
  • Your age at the time of being diagnosed.

At present a few life insurance companies will offer insurance to people living with diabetes. Individuals with stable, well managed diabetes are generally able to purchase life insurance at a higher loading. Total and Permanent Disability Insurance (TPD) and Trauma Cover are also available at a higher loading for people with stable blood glucose levels. 

Income Protection Insurance may be available for people with stable blood glucose levels. Sometimes a minimum 90 day waiting period and maximum benefit period of age 55 years applies.

Life Insurance for People Living with Diabetes 

If you contact the insurance advisors at Rate Detective for an obligation free quote they will ask you for:

  • Your HbA1c results for the last 12 months 
  • A list of all medicines you are taking now
  • Your current height and weight
  • A list of any other medical conditions

With your health information Rate Detective will compare up to 12 life insurance companies in Australia so we can find you a life insurance deal for people living with diabetes from our panel of insurers. 

Superannuation & Life Insurance 

If you are in an employment super fund, you probably have life and TPD insurance and maybe also income protection insurance.

In most employment super funds you get this insurance cover up to certain amounts without any health questions.  You will probably get the cover even if you already had diabetes when you joined the fund.

With some funds, you might have to satisfy an ‘at work’ test when you join and if you want extra cover, you will probably then have to fill in a health questionnaire.

If you change jobs you might be able to join a new super fund and have more than one life or TPD insurance policy.  In that case it’s important to keep both super funds going and not to rollover or consolidate your super into one fund.

With a chronic illness like diabetes, it’s important to look at what insurance you have in super. 

Get advice before you change jobs, change super funds or stop work.

Diabetes and keeping well

Here are 10 steps to help keep you well 

Step 1 - Stay as physically active in as many ways and as often as you can.  Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes every day.

Step 2 - Eat well.  Choose a variety of foods low in saturated fat and salt.  High fibre foods are also recommended eg. Wholegrain breads and cereals, legumes, fruit and vegetables.

Step 3 - Check your blood glucose levels regularly. Blood glucose levels kept within recommended ranges will lower your risk of many diabetes complications.

Step 4 -  you smoke, get help if needed to stop.  Talk to your doctor, call Quitline on 137 848 or visit the websites www.quit.org.au or www.icanquit.com.au.

Step 5 - If you drink alcohol, aim for no more than 2 standards drinks a day* (NHMRC, Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol (2009).

Step 6 - Keep track of your weight (and ‘waist measurement’).

Step 7 - Have your doctor arrange for the recommended management and diabetes complication checks ie. Blood pressure, blood glucose average (HbA1c) 3-6 monthly, cholesterol and kidneys and emotional/mental health every year.

Step 8 - Take care of your feet and look at them daily. See a podiatrist as needed.

Step 9 - Have your eyes (retina) checked by an eye specialist or trained optometrist every 1-2 years.

Step 10 - Live well and be well.

Diabetes Australia is the national body for people affected by all types of diabetes and those at risk. It is committed to reducing the impact of diabetes.

For more specific information about your diabetes management, click through to Diabetes Australia or call 1300 136 588.

Damon Rasheed is the CEO of Rate Detective, an Australian financial service comparison sites specialising in Life Insurance, Income Protection Insurance and home loans. Damon holds a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Melbourne and has been involved in many start-up internet businesses.

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