Why cover?
  • affects 1 in 4 women / 1 in 5 men before retirement
  • 94.1% of the critical illness claims are paid
  • protect yourself and your family if you get seriously ill
Why us?
  • get the cover that will pay when you need it
  • save up to 35%, cover from £5 a month
  • free, fast and without obligation quotes
Insurers: Aviva, Legal & General, Liverpool Victoria, Scottish Widows, Vitality, Zurich

Critical illness cover for diabetics: How does this work?

Sad to say, it may not work at all. The fact is, that for those who have diabetes, it may be quite hard to get critical illness cover. You see, many of the serious illnesses such as kidney failure, blindness, heart disease and the need for organ transplant are complications caused by diabetes mellitus.

A Background on Diabetes

Diabetes Statistics

  • 2.6 million UK residents have diabetes, as of 2009. This translates to 4% of the population.
  • There are still around 500,000 people who have diabetes but have not been diagnosed.
  • Out of the people with diabetes, 10% have Type 1 diabetes and 90% have Type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetics are 48% more likely to have a heart attack.

Source: Diabetes in the UK 2010 Report from Diabetes UK

Diabetes mellitus refers to the condition where one’s body has difficulty controlling the increase of sugar levels since the body cannot produce enough insulin or, even though there is enough insulin, the cells don’t respond to the insulin the way they should.

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The three main types of diabetes are Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes (or diabetes in pregnant women).

Type 1 diabetes. The typical onset is before the age 40 and comprises 10% of all diabetics. If left untreated, this can have serious implications on one’s health. It can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which can lead to a potentially fatal coma.

Type 2 diabetes. The less severe kind of diabetes, the typical onset of this is over the age of 40. The body is still able to produce insulin but not enough or the body has already developed insulin resistance.

Risk factors. One’s lifestyle is highly contributory to diabetes – this includes a smoking habit and a propensity to overeat. Other risk factors include ethnicity, genetics, obesity, physical inactivity and poor blood pressure control.

Symptoms. Those with diabetes will notice the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts and wounds that are slow to heal
  • Increased thirst
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Urinating more frequently than usual (especially in the night time)
  • Regular cases of thrush or genital itching
  • Unexplained weight loss

Is diabetes a critical Illness?

No, diabetes is commonly not included in the list of covered critical illnesses. This means you cannot claim for critical illness benefits by reason of a diagnosis of diabetes.

Getting Critical Illness Insurance When You Have Diabetes

It is important that you disclose in your application that you have diabetes. Of course, this can mean that your application can be rejected by the insurance company. But this is better than getting covered because you failed to disclose your diabetes, only to find out when you claim that your claim has been denied.

Your Family Tree and Diabetes

One consideration when evaluating your application is your family’s medical history. If your first degree relatives (parents or siblings) have diabetes, underwriting may require further tests from you.

You see, having diabetes can lead to complications that result in critical illnesses that are caused by persistent high levels of glucose in the blood:

  • Blindness
  • Kidney failure
  • Cardiovascular disease, which may lead to stroke
  • The need for major organ transplant due to kidney failure

Now, after hearing all this “bad news”, don’t fret. There still is hope of getting critical illness cover even if you already have diabetes. If you diligently search for companies that offer critical illness policies to diabetics, you will surely find one. This is particularly true if your diabetes is still manageable and that you are faithfully following a strict diet and exercise regimen to help control your sugar levels.

However, it is important to remember that it may cost you much higher to get this coverage. Also, if the critical policy is issued, there may be exclusions on critical illnesses that are directly related to diabetes.

Getting Critical Illness Cover While You’re in the Pink of Health

Our recommendation is that while you are healthy and have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes, you should already think about getting critical illness cover, as well as other kinds of insurance – life insurance and the like.

Last updated on: 18.1.2013

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