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Income Protection for Diabetics

LifeSearch author Zuky Edgar
3 min read

by Zuky Edgar, Marketing Executive

See author bio

Zuky brings her passion for writing and storytelling to helping customers get all of the information they need to Protect themselves and their loved ones.See author bio

Guide last reviewed 10 Oct 2023

In the past, people with diabetes (especially Type 1) have found it difficult to get any kind of life insurance or protection products - which means they were left vulnerable even if suffering from unrelated illnesses. Now, it's estimated there are over 5 million [1] diabetics in the UK, and with those numbers trending upwards, many insurers are taking amazing steps to make protection products more available to those living with diabetes. 

So what is income protection? 

Income Protection does what it says on the tin. It replaces a percentage of your income each month if you’re signed off of work with illness or injury, so you’re still paid at least a little of your salary monthly until you’re fit as a fiddle again. You can claim as often as you need to until the policy comes to an end.

The cost of your premiums will depend on how much of your salary you’d like to receive each month, what you’d like to be covered for, your lifestyle, age, health, medical history (including pre-existing conditions) and the length of the deferral period. 

The deferral period is a pre-agreed period of time in between making your claim and receiving your payout. The longer your deferral period is, the cheaper your monthly premiums are likely to be. If you’ve got a lot of savings, a support system who can help you out with cash, or you could survive on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), you could set a longer deferral period. The length of your deferral period is decided when you buy your policy, along with the percentage of your salary you’ll receive. 

Income Protection may be an important type of cover for diabetics as there’s a possibility of having to deal with both short and long term complications due to the condition that could result in time off work - like heart, kidney, eye or feet problems. 

Income Protection for Type 1 Diabetics

It can be pretty simple for Type 1 diabetics to buy life insurance, provided they don’t suffer from any serious complications - but buying Income Protection may be harder. It’ll be reviewed on a case by case basis and each insurer will treat the condition slightly differently. 

Some people with mild to moderate Type 1 diabetes find that their premiums are slightly higher but that they have no other issues. Others (especially those with a severe condition) may be rejected entirely or have diabetes (and any related complications) excluded from their cover - meaning they won’t be able to claim for any diabetes-related health issues. Conditions that often come with or result from diabetes like cardiovascular diseases, neuropathy or proliferative retinopathy are likely to make getting income protection tricky. 

Income Protection for Type 2 Diabetics

Type 2 Diabetes is seen by insurers as less serious and less likely to lead to serious health issues. Whilst not every insurer will leap at the chance to cover someone with Type 2 Diabetes, providers are less likely to run a mile at the mention of the condition. 

Similarly to Type 1, it’s possible you’ll be charged higher premiums or have diabetes (and related illnesses) excluded from your cover - but it won’t be impossible to find cover that suits your situation and your wallet. 

So how can I get income protection as a diabetic?

It’s likely that the process before being accepted for a policy will take a little time, as there are a few things insurers will want to know about you and check up on before saying yes. As with most pre-existing conditions, it’s possible that insurers will want to perform a medical exam, and you’ll be asked to provide a full history. 

Insurers will probably be looking for: 

  • a normal urine test
  • whether you’ve got control over your condition, including: 
  •       - controlled blood pressure and cholesterol
          - controlled Hba1c readings (or mmol/mol) from within the last 6 months
          - healthy medication and insulin levels

  • a healthy BMI
  • smoking status

Insurers are also likely to ask about the date of your diagnosis and about any complications you’ve experienced. It’s really important to be 100% honest during this process - even if you’re worried that it’ll drive your premiums up. 

Going through an experienced broker is your best bet here. They’ll know which insurance providers to place you with for the best chance of you being accepted for a policy, and can help you figure out what you can expect.

References:

[1] https://www.diabetes.org.uk/professionals/position-statements-reports/statistics

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LifeSearch author Zuky Edgar
Zuky Edgar Marketing Executive
A ‘Searcher since 2020, Zuky is a self-confessed ‘book bum’ and has big following for her book blogs and social media accounts. She brings her passion for writing and storytelling to helping customers get all of the information they need to Protect themselves and their loved ones
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