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There are probably more than five tips for type 1 and type 2 diabetics who are looking for life insurance and don’t want to pay through the nose for it, but let’s take a quick look at the most important.

1. Educate yourself about your diabetes. Understand and be able to explain to an independent agent when you were diagnosed, exactly what your treatment is, how long you have been on your current treatment, what the trend in your hbA1c levels has been, and if there have been any collateral health issues. For type 1 diabetes collateral health issues might be kidney or eyesight problems. For type 2 diabetes, neuropathy, heart disease or hypertension are often associated problems.

2. Get copies of your lab results and make it your job to understand them. If you are taking care of yourself, then you not only check your glucose frequently, but you also get at least quarterly lab work and a consultation with your doctor. Your labs will have a lot of valuable information on it. Ask your doctor what the results mean. Ask if they are good or bad. If your doctor isn’t very clear and supportive of your self education, find a new doctor. Keep a copy for yourself each time you go so you have your own record. Ask about and remember what your A1C level is each time you go. Also keep a record of your blood pressure readings. Your doctor will take them every time you are there. If you already have hypertension, monitor your blood pressure at home as well.

3. Understand control and what it means for your life (and life insurance). With good control of your diabetes, which for life insurance companies is an A1c of 6.5 or less, you can expect that diabetes won’t affect a long healthy life. If you don’t stay on top of your treatment and don’t avoid the temptation to be slack about your lifestyle, you can end up with coronary artery disease, retinopathy, and a host of other life changing and life ending problems.

4. If you are diabetic and are taking care of yourself, never, NEVER, let a life insurance agent tell you that you are uninsurable. A good independent agent will be able to find what you need at a reasonable rate as long as you have done your part and taken your diabetes seriously.

5. Seek out life insurance agencies that really do understand diabetes and life insurance and don’t just use the key words to entice you.

Bottom line. Getting good life insurance rates when you have health challenges is a team effort. A good independent agent can find the rates as long as you do your part.