Will having diabetes influence your chances of getting life insurance?

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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, updated on November 25th, 2021       

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In Australia, it is possible to obtain life insurance even if you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes; however, your premiums will be on the high end, and there will be some limitations to your cover.

According to Diabetes Australia, diabetes affects the lives of 1.7 million Australians. This number includes 1.2 million known cases and around 500 000 estimated undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes sufferers. However, this number is rising daily by 280 new cases, or one new case every 5 minutes.

Information that should be provided by a diabetic during the application process

A person with diabetes should declare this condition to the insurer. The sufferer will need to submit a medical report as well as filling out a diabetic questionnaire on the application form. The key information the insurer will need, to create a risk profile, is whether the sufferer has Type 1 or 2 diabetes. Type 1, which accounts for 10% of diabetic cases, is the higher risk.

Other information required will include, what age the diagnosis was made, whether there is a family history of diabetes, and whether there is excessive alcohol consumption. Additional data comprises the control measures in place, whether these are effective, and whether there are any health complications. That said, according to the Baker IDI Hearth and Diabetic Institution’s study, in 2010 half of diabetic sufferers had their diabetes under control.

How does diabetes influence your life insurance?

There may be some life insurance companies that do not cater for diabetics; however, there are enough companies that do. These companies will use the information you have provided to assess your risk factor, and this data will be used to calculate the premium.

What does all of this mean to you?

On the downside, the approval and rating class may be changeable and subjective. The outcome can also mean that people with Type 2 diabetes, under care, and leading a healthy lifestyle, could be subject to standard life insurance terms. However, a standard $500 000 20-year policy which normally costs around $40 monthly, could cost a Type 1 diabetic a premium of $70 for the same policy.