News & Views

Having  type 1 or type 2 diabetes often makes it harder or even impossible to find suitable Life Cover, Critical Illness Cover and Income Protection.

Life insurance companies typically have a range of different premium rates for people with diabetes. Different companies will place the same person in different price bands. The process of applying for cover can often take weeks – or even months – if medical reports need to be obtained and checked. And although the situation has somewhat improved for Life Cover in recent years, most insurers are still unwilling to consider Critical Illness or Income Protection for people with any type of diabetes.

How has the prospect of finding Life Cover been improved for people living with diabetes?

Well, there’s definitely some good news here.

In recent years, we’ve seen improvements in the prices for Life Cover typically offered to people with diabetes.

Another encouraging development we’ve seen with a couple of insurers: after starting the life insurance policy, the insurers reward policyholders by reducing premiums if the customer can demonstrate improved control (i.e. if their HbA1c reading comes down by a certain amount). We think this is a very encouraging sign, not just because it can make cover cheaper, but because it demonstrates that the insurance market is starting to consider how to adapt to the unique circumstances of people with long-term health conditions.

If certain criteria are met, it’s now possible for people living with diabetes to get a “fast-track” application, which means cover could be in place immediately. Less stress, more peace of mind – exactly the kind of innovation we want to see for people with long-term health conditions who want to protect their financial security and their family’s future.

What about Income Protection and Critical Illness Cover for people living with diabetes?

A year ago, there were hardly any options for people with diabetes to obtain Income Protection Insurance. For most it simply wasn’t available.

Moneysworth campaigned to improve that situation, and we’re pleased to see at least some people in the insurance industry listened to us!

With expert guidance, it’s now possible for some people who have type 2 diabetes to get Income Protection with no exclusions, subject to certain criteria. But for people with type 1 diabetes, although there is some availability, it’s extremely limited.

The situation for Critical Illness Cover has been slow to improve. It is now possible for people living with diabetes to obtain Critical Illness Cover – but the options are very limited and the chances of being offered cover are even narrower if they have type 1.

The small signs of progress we’ve seen in the market are a welcome start, but the fact is most insurance companies still don’t offer either of these protection products to people who have diabetes.

We want the insurance industry to see people living with long-term health conditions as a priority.

The charity Diabetes UK reports that there are around 3.7 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, and that figure is predicted to rise to 5 million by 2025*.

In light of this, we firmly believe that the insurance market needs a surge of innovation to make its products and services more forward-thinking and inclusive.

Moneysworth wants to see cover options and availability broaden for people living with diabetes, and so we’ll continue to lobby the insurance industry.


* Source: Diabetes UK ‘Facts & Figures