Can a person with diabetes get life insurance?

Understanding type 2 Diabetes and understanding your HbA1c results Understanding type 2 Diabetes and understanding your HbA1c results

Diabetes in Australia is our fastest growing chronic condition

The onset of Type 1 Diabetes mellitus (T1DM) occurs most frequently in people under 30 years, however, new research suggests almost half of all people who develop the condition are diagnosed over the age of 30.

Each day 280 Australians develop diabetes:

  • 56% are males
  • 44% are females

What is a HbA1c readingWhat's the average age of diagnosis?

  • 92% of people with Type 2 Diabetes mellitus (T2DM) were 45 years old or more, and
  • 45% of those were 65 years or more

Worldwide, the disease affects more than 415 million people with 5 million deaths every year.

The growing link to cancers

In a recent global study of 20 million people, published in the European Journal of Diabetes, Diabetologia, researchers found diabetes significantly raises the risk of developing cancer.

It’s believed that heightened blood glucose may have cancer-causing effects leading to DNA damage.

The study showed women are at an increased risk with;

  • 15% higher risk for developing leukaemia,
  • 14% higher risk for cancer of the stomach,
  • 13% for the mouth, and
  • 11% for the kidney.

One of the reasons why women may be exposed to a higher risk is women are in a pre-diabetic state of impaired glucose tolerance two years longer on average than men.

Up to 60% of diabetes cases could be prevented, or at least delayed, by people maintaining a healthy weight.

Diabetes and Life Insurance and Income Protection Insurance

For people who have a pre-existing condition, like diabetes, statistically speaking, the risk of you needing to make a claim is higher so this will need to be considered by the medical underwriters.

HbA1c (Hemoglobin A1C) is a measure of a person's average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months
For people living with diabetes, the level of control is usually measured by the HbA1c reading (sometimes referred to as Hemoglobin A1C reading).

Key risks for people with Type 2 Diabetes

  • Death and Disability - x2 times more likely
  • Heart disease - x4 more likely
  • Stroke - x4 more likely
  • Kidney failure  - x3 time more likely
  • Amputations - x15 times more likely
  • Cancer - 25% risk of developing a cancer
  • Eye damage (retinopathy) affects one in six people and is the most common form of blindness in adults aged 30-60 years

So can a person with diabetes get life insurance?

... if you know which speciality supplier matches your individual health conditions. And that's our speciality.

What information will an insurance company request?

The medical insurance underwriters will need to assess how well controlled your diabetes is. 

By supplying key information ahead of time, the medical the underwriter can review how well controlled your diabetes is.

To get the process started we'll need the following information;

  • Your age today
  • Your age at diagnosis
  • If its Type 1 or Type 2
  • Your current height and weight
  • A list of your current medications and dosage
  • Your most recent HBA1C result
  • Normal 'resting' ECG and normal 'stress' ECG
  • Your blood pressure
  • Confirmation you don't pass protein

People with diabetes are at a heightened risk of developing severe complications, so need to get their personal insurance in place sooner rather than later before possible complications may arise; and we're the specialists who can help you do that.

Unusual Risks specialises in hard to insure pre-existing health conditions and hard to insure occupations. Contact us today for a confidential pre-assessment to see whether we can help you manage your families risks.
Drew Browne

Drew Browne specialises in empowering people to better protect, plan and provide for what matters most in their lives. An award-winning Writer, Speaker, Financial Advisor and business strategy Mentor, his company Sapience Financial is committed to using business solutions for good in the community. In 2015 his company certified as a B Corp., and in 2017 Drew was recognised in the inaugural Australian Businesses of Tomorrow awards. His articles are often reprinted by industry publications and he writes for successful Small Business Owners & their families, Entrepreneurs and D&I Leaders. His blogs can be read on and you can connect with him on LinkedIn.

Any advice provided is general advice only and we have not considered your personal circumstances. Before making any decision on the basis of this advice you should consider if the advice is appropriate for you based on your particular circumstance.

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