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Insurance and diabetes

Diabetes Canada believes that people with diabetes should be able to obtain insurance coverage of all types at a reasonable cost. Have a look at Diabetes Canada's full position statement on insurance, including background information and rationale.

An insurance broker can answer your questions about the different types of insurance available to you. Unfortunately, many people with diabetes find it difficult to obtain or renew affordable insurance of all types: vehicle, mortgage, term/life and travel. 

You need to inform your insurance company of a diabetes diagnosis when you apply for coverage. The Insurance Act of every province and territory specifically requires an applicant for insurance to disclose every fact within the person’s knowledge that is relevant to an application for insurance. A failure to disclose your diabetes could render the contract voidable by the insurer.

Once life or disability insurance has been issued, you do not need to report any subsequent changes in health unless you apply for increased policy benefits.

A pre-existing condition refers to any medical condition that you had before applying for insurance. Most insurance policies will not cover any claims related to the pre-existing condition, unless a policy explicitly indicates otherwise.

Generally, employee health insurance plans will provide coverage for your pre-existing condition, except under specific circumstances.

When applying for life or health insurance, your health information may be used to decide whether to offer or deny coverage and what premium rate to set for the policy. Travel insurance policies will cover most pre-existing conditions, with the insurance company determining the level of benefits and price based on the medical information provided.

Most insurers take into account the type and severity of diabetes when considering applications. The insurance company attaches a medical rating to the policy based on the type of diabetes, the length of time since diagnoses, how well the disease is managed and the presence or absence of complications. This rating then determines the price of the policy offered. In some cases, an insurer may determine the risk is too high to offer insurance coverage.

It is not usually considered discriminatory for an insurance application to be denied because of diabetes. Insurers assess individuals based on “risk classification,” so may elect to deny people living with diabetes.

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1-800-BANTING (226-8464)

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