Living with Diabetes and Protecting your family with Life Cover

In the last 5 years, I have seen through my clients a big increase in the diagnosis of diabetes and seen the effect this has on families. Currently, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK is estimated to be 3.5 million. This represents 6% of the UK population or 1 in every 16 people having diabetes (diagnosed and undiagnosed)


Source: NHS UK


Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2. More worrying is that, as many as 1 million people in the UK do not know that they have diabetes and are therefore not being treated early on.


Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar (glucose) level to become too high. The hormone insulin, produced by the pancreas, is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in the blood


There are two main types of diabetes:

type 1 – where the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin

type 2 – where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin

Typical symptoms of diabetes are:

feeling very thirsty

passing urine more often than usual, particularly at night

feeling very tired

weight loss and loss of muscle bulk


The symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually develop very quickly in young people (over a few days or weeks). In adults, the symptoms often take longer to develop (a few months).


Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin. This means glucose stays in the blood and isn’t used as fuel for energy. Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity and tends to be diagnosed in older people. It’s far more common than type 1 diabetes.

If you have diabetes and have applied for life insurance in the past then you will know how difficult it can be. This is where seeking professional independent financial advice can help to find the best cover for you and your family at the right price.

Typically, premiums on life insurance for people with diabetes are likely to be higher than for those without the condition, but this doesn’t mean you have to pay over the odds.

By obtaining specialist advice to search the market to find you the best insurance provider, you could save money on the premiums that you pay for life insurance.

Here at Richmond House Wealth Management our Independent Advisors take the time to understand your needs and research the market to obtain the best deal for you.

How does diabetes affect your life insurance?

It is possible to get life insurance if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, but your premiums will depend on the severity of your condition and your HbA1c readings.

Most people with diabetes who are looking for life insurance will find that their premiums will be loaded or rated to reflect the level of risk for a life insurance provider.

This is why life insurance underwriters will assess your diabetes based on a number of key factors and measurements, such as:

Age of diagnosis

Most recent HbA1c reading

Type of diabetes

Medication (e.g. diet, metformin or insulin)

BMI (e.g. height, weight and waist measurements)

Existing diabetes complications (e.g. retinopathy, nephropathy or neuropathy)

You may find that certain insurance providers previously declined you for life insurance because of your diabetes. This does not mean that every insurance provider would decline you, so it is important to speak to an expert to ensure you apply to the best insurance provider for you.

Reasons why you might be declined life insurance (by some insurers):


Heart conditions or heart attack

Diabetes complications

HbA1c readings over 10% (85.8 mmol/mol)

High BMI

It is very important for anyone with diabetes to apply to insurance providers with strong underwriting for your condition. Our team of experts know exactly which insurance provider will be the best for you and it is our job to make sure that you get the best cover in place at the right price.

Critical illness cover for diabetes

Over the last several years there has been a move towards more flexible underwriting for critical illness cover with diabetes.

There are now several insurance providers who will offer critical illness cover for people with diabetes which can vary depending on the insurance provider.

Unfortunately we can only get critical illness cover for type 2 diabetes; it is not available for type 1 diabetes.

Critical illness cover for people type 2 diabetes can be assessed among those who are:


Have good HbA1c levels

No diabetes complications


We are working with life insurance providers to improve underwriting for critical illness cover for people with diabetes. We also seek out new product providers who may offer better cover for clients with diabetes.

Usually the initial meeting or conversation with a financial adviser will be to establish what your needs are and this is usually free. Richmond House Wealth Management has specialist knowledge and are always available to answer your questions.

John Merrifield.

Dip PFS, Cert (CII) MP.

This information is provided strictly for general consideration only. No action must be taken or refrained from based on its contents alone. Accordingly, no responsibility can be assumed for any loss occasioned in connection with the content hereof and any such action or inaction. Professional advice is necessary for every case