Does Trauma Insurance cover diabetes?
Approximately 1.2 million Australians have been diagnosed with diabetes, and an estimated 500,000 are thought to be undiagnosed diabetics. Each day, about 280 Australians develop diabetes and are faced with numerous medical costs to deal with the condition.
Trauma insurance will pay a lump sum upon diagnosis, to be spent on treatment costs, paying off debts, caretakers and other expenses that may be faced.
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What is trauma insurance?
Trauma insurance, also called critical illness and injury insurance, is designed to help manage your financial future if you suffer a serious medical issue. It pay a lump-sum benefit up to $2 million if you suffer a particular injury or illness mentioned in the policy, such as loss of a limb, blindness, cancer, diabetes or any other condition specifically included.
This type of cover can be a huge help in the event of a serious illness to cover a range of costs including:
- Children’s education
- Living costs
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- home modifications
- Caretaker costs
How do trauma insurance policies define diabetes?
Diabetes is a group of diseases characterised by excessively high blood sugar levels for extended periods of time. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body is not producing enough insulin while type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not properly respond to insulin. The effects are similar, but the causes and therefore the treatments are different. It can cause a variety of serious complications, particularly if left untreated, including organ failure and death. It can be a difficult condition for insurers to assess because there are different types and its severity can vary widely.
- Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 10% of cases. This is the type that often strikes healthy people. It can be more difficult to treat than type 2 diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes is more common, and accounts for roughly 90% of diagnoses. Obesity, poor diet, stress and other lifestyle factors contribute to many cases.
Trauma insurance will either pay benefits according to the condition you have been diagnosed with, or the health issues arising from that condition. In the case of type 1 diabetes, benefits are usually paid upon diagnosis. In the case of type 2 diabetes, benefits are usually paid for gangrene, limb loss, disability and the conditions arising from the diabetes rather than the illness itself. Policies often refer to these issues as severe diabetes complications.
How do trauma insurance providers assess diabetes?
Insurers will assess diabetes in two ways.
- They will pay benefits if a registered doctor diagnoses you with diabetes. Sometimes this will only be type 1 diabetes, sometimes it will be any.
- They will pay benefits for health issues, like losing a limb or organ failure, resulting from diabetes. This is more common for type 2 diabetes.
To assess whether you’re more or less likely than most people to suffer from diabetes, and whether to raise premiums for high risk individuals, they look at the related risk factors which include:
- Age. The older you are, the more likely you are to be diagnosed with diabetes. A 65-74 year old is almost twice as likely to have diabetes as a 55-64 year old, who is in turn almost twice as likely to have it as a 45-54 year old.
- Lifestyle. Sedentary living, poor diet, stress, smoking, lack of exercise and other lifestyle factors are a big contributing factor to type 2 diabetes. People who are overall healthier are less likely to get diabetes.
- Sex. Men and women are more likely to suffer different health issues which is also considered when determining premiums. Men are overall more likely than women to get diabetes.
- Family history. If you have one parent with type 2 diabetes then you’re twice as likely as others to be diagnosed with the condition yourself. Insurers will often consider whether you have a family history of diabetes.
If you are identified as a high-risk person then insurers may choose to impose additional loadings in the form of higher premiums. They may also choose to do this if you have been diagnosed with diabetes before taking out a trauma insurance policy.
Can I take out trauma insurance with diabetes?
Yes. Even if you already have diabetes it’s still possible to get trauma insurance.
The insurer will assess whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, whether it’s likely to cause a health issues, the age you were diagnosed, your medical history and the presence of lifestyle factors like alcohol consumption or smoking.
Your efforts to manage the condition and control glucose levels will be taken into account, and your doctor will probably be contacted for details on your treatment and whether you suffer any diabetes-related complications. Diabetes is a largely controllable health issue, so if you can show that you are following your doctor’s advice and making every effort to control your diabetes, you are more likely to be accepted for trauma insurance with better terms.
If you have diabetes as a pre-existing condition and want to get trauma insurance for it, the insurer will respond in one of four ways depending on the above factors and their own risk preferences.
- They might judge it to be low risk, and will offer full cover without extra premiums.
- They might agree to cover diabetes or diabetes related complications, but only at the cost of additional premiums.
- They might list diabetes and diabetes related complications as an exclusion, and will cover everything except diabetes.
- They might simply decline your application.
As Australians live longer, they become more likely to suffer diabetes or related health issues at some point in their lives. Trauma insurance can offer an effective level of financial protection against diabetes and many other conditions.