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I have diabetes, can I buy term insurance?

I have diabetes, can I buy term insurance?

diabetes can buy term insurance

India is fast emerging as the diabetes capital of the world with 77 million diabetic patients second only to China. Worldwide, one in every sixth person with diabetes is an Indian. In the next 25 years, the number of Indians with diabetes is set to almost double to 134 million, if effective strategies to control this epidemic are not put in place.

The disease prevalence is seen in both men and women equally and increases with age. While 12% of those above the age of 50 years are diabetic, those between 70 to 79 years of age show the highest prevalence at 13.2%. But diabetes is not a condition that solely affects the older segments. 10% of Indian youth have been categorized as pre-diabetic, which puts them at risk of developing the condition in the future.

Genetics, obesity, poor diet and urban lifestyle are some of the risk factors that predict a rise in Type 2 diabetes in the coming years in India. The number of deaths as a result of diabetes is also on the rise. Between 2005 and 2015, deaths due to diabetes increased by 50% according to recent reports.

The rise and rise of diabetes is a worrying factor for many Indians. The families of those succumbing to diabetes could sustain severe financial damage in the long run. And in order to mitigate the financial risk of diabetes, term insurance is proving to be an essential investment for Indian families. Term insurance becomes even more important for a person suffering from diabetes as compared to a healthy individual.

What is term insurance?

Term insurance is the purest and cheapest form of life insurance. Its prime benefit is that of a large sum assured offered to policyholders at affordable premium rates. However, a diabetic may wonder whether or not they are eligible for the purchase of term insurance and if yes, do they stand to be rejected on medical grounds? The good news is that you can still buy a term plan as a diabetic at reasonable rates, provided you fulfill certain conditions.

Here are a few things to keep in mind for diabetic patients when purchasing a term insurance policy:

  • Approval is easier if your condition is under control: Regardless of whether you suffer from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you can get term insurance at reasonable rates, provided your condition has been under control for the past 6 months through consistent treatment. The ways and means of your treatment can also play a role in determining the likelihood of your application being accepted with lower premium rates. Insurance providers generally view diabetics who have their disease under control by way of a healthy exercise regimen/diet or through oral medication more favorably than those who require insulin to keep it under control.
  • Health complications or risks apart from diabetes further compound the problem: On the other hand, diabetics who are obese, have uncontrolled high blood pressure, a heart condition or smoke, have higher chances of being rejected or charged higher premium rates by insurers, since they pose greater risks. These health conditions further compound the problem in patients whose diabetes is not under check.
  • Age of diagnosis is a crucial factor: An early diagnosis of diabetes increases your chances of getting insured. A diagnosis made before the age of 40 is considered to be an early diagnosis. If you have been diagnosed as a diabetic early in life, the higher the risk of your disease causing more damage to your health and thus, the higher the premium rates. On the other hand, the later you are diagnosed with diabetes, you pose a lower risk to insurers and the more likely you are to be able to secure insurance at a lower, more affordable rates.
  • Insurers favour Type 2 Diabetes: Those with Type 2 or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus are more likely to get inexpensive term insurance quotes as compared to those with Type 1 or Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. This is because the former is generally an age-related condition that presents itself in older patients and can be controlled with oral medication and insulin. On the other hand, Type 1 Diabetes generally requires strict medical supervision and control.
  • Your blood sugar levels play a significant role: The HbA1c (Hemoglobin A1c) test is the best parameter for gauging the severity of your diabetes. It measures your average blood sugar control levels for the past 2 to 3 months. While A1c levels of 7 are most desirable, a general level below 7.5 indicates that the condition is under control. However, those with levels of up to 8.5 may also be eligible for term insurance. Your usual fasting blood sugar levels may also be taken into account. Those with levels of up to 180 would generally be eligible for a term life insurance policy.

All the parameters above will be taken into account to determine how much of a risk you pose to the insurer before an applicable term insurance policy is offered to you. Do bear in mind that the premium to be paid might be higher as compared to that offered to an otherwise healthy individual. However, those that put constant effort into keeping their diabetes levels in check and maintain a healthier lifestyle, in general, will usually be rewarded with lower premium rates.

You may or may not have to go through a medical test depending on the insurance company chosen. However, make sure to declare your condition clearly and honestly in the detailed questionnaire provided at the time of policy purchase.

Conclusion: A comprehensive term insurance plan that can be considered by diabetics and non-diabetics alike is the iSelect Smart360 Term Plan from Canara HSBC. iSelect Star allows you to customize your plan as per your needs. It allows you to choose from different death benefits, premium payment options and types of coverage as per your needs. It also comes with inbuilt protection for accidental death and permanent disability, among other benefits.

This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised to exercise their caution and not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature. Readers should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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