Insurance and diabetes

Most people living with diabetes have encountered difficulties arranging insurance, whether it is life assurance, income protection and family income benefit insurance or travel insurance.

Please note: this section aims to provide you with general information to assist in obtaining insurance. It is not advice nor can it take account of your particular circumstances. For advice, with a view to making decisions, you should consult an independent financial or other professional advisor.


Travel insurance

Most travel insurance policies exclude pre-existing medical conditions (medical conditions you had before the policy was taken out) such as diabetes. It is essential when arranging the policy that you fully disclose your medical conditions to the insurance company including diabetes, even if they do not ask. Failure to do so could lead to them rejecting a claim, and then it is too late.


Motor insurance

Most car insurance companies no longer penalise people with diabetes by charging higher premiums. If you feel that you are being discriminated against, complain to your insurance company. If you are not satisfied with their response, switch to another company. There are plenty to choose from and you can transfer your no claims bonus to your new company.

When applying for car insurance you must declare all 'material facts'. Diabetes is a material fact, so you need to declare it. The main danger of diabetes and driving is the possibility of having a hypoglycaemic episode (hypo), which could impair your judgement and lead to an accident. Although this is very rare, it can and does happen.


Insurance/assurance for loans and life

Ask your mortgage advisor at the outset if their insurance products are available for people living with diabetes. Allow yourself plenty of time to investigate options, bearing in mind an application for life assurance can take from six to eight weeks to be processed. Apply for cover well in advance of when you need it to be in place. This will avoid a lot of last minute frustration and inconvenience, especially if the insurance is needed for a mortgage.


Private medical health insurance

This type of insurance is very difficult or expensive for people with diabetes to arrange. Often the cost of any treatment relating to diabetes (including complications) will be excluded from the policy, so it's of limited value to people with diabetes. If you are covered by a scheme run by your employer, check the benefits available to you. If you move to another job, check whether you have a 'continuation option' under the scheme. Most private medical insurance schemes offer this option, which allows you to continue with the cover at your own cost.


Hospital cash insurance

This insurance covers funds you may need for certain hospital and outpatient treatment. It can be a very useful way of helping with some of the costs involved with medical treatment. If you are considering such a policy, fully check what treatment it will cover. Diabetes UK Insurance Services has arranged a hospital cash plan insurance that does cover diabetes-related claims (after a qualifying period).


Further information

  • Diabetes UK Insurance Services: For further information or to get a quote on any type of insurance policy referred to in this section, go to the Insurance & financial services section of our website.
  • EHIC cards: To apply for a free card go to, call the EHIC application line on 0845 606 2030 or pick up an application form at a Post Office.
  • The Diabetes UK Careline is here to give support and information about diabetes: or call 0345 123 2399*.


*Calls to 0345 numbers cost no more than calls to geographic (01 and 02) numbers and must be included in inclusive minutes on mobile phones and discount schemes. Calls from landlines are typically charged between 2p and 10p per minute while calls from mobiles typically cost between 10p and 40p per minute. Calls from landlines and mobiles to 0345 numbers are included in free call packages.
Calls may be recorded for quality and training purposes.