Almost 50 Percent of People Living with Diabetes Are Worried They Won't Qualify for Life Insurance, or Be Able to Afford It

Recent innovations make life insurance more accessible and affordable for the 30 million people with diabetes, and reward them for making healthy choices

BOSTON, Oct. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey commissioned by John Hancock found that almost half (47 percent) of people living with diabetes are worried they won't qualify for a life insurance policy, and another 45 percent assume it's too expensive. On the contrary, more than 90 percent of all the people with diabetes who sought life insurance from John Hancock in the past 18 months qualified, with 88 percent of them receiving a standard or better rate.

"Our survey confirmed a pervasive belief among many people with diabetes that they either won't qualify for life insurance or that it isn't affordable," said Brooks Tingle, senior vice president and interim head of John Hancock Insurance. "John Hancock is committed to helping all Americans understand that life insurance is both attainable and an important way to protect their families' future. In fact, a new kind of life insurance allows people with diabetes to pay less for their annual premiums simply by making healthy choices like getting regular check-ups, eating well and staying active."

According to the survey, people with diabetes recognize the many benefits life insurance can provide—including providing for their family (81%), covering final expenses (68%), and providing peace of mind (50%). Yet almost 40 percent of people with diabetes who don't have a life insurance policy say they are unlikely to apply for one in the future.

Survey respondents' hesitation comes from confusion about life insurance, especially for those living with diabetes. Only 32 percent of people with diabetes consider themselves knowledgeable about life insurance. Their top questions include:

  • Is life insurance more expensive because I have diabetes? (51%)
  • Will I be able to get life insurance with diabetes? (47%)
  • Will I need a medical exam in order to get life insurance? (41%)
  • Can I afford a life insurance policy? (40%)

A new kind of life insurance
John Hancock life insurance with Vitality rewards policyholders for the choices they make every day to improve their health—exercising regularly, eating well and visiting the doctor—things people with diabetes are already encouraged to do.

Customers can earn valuable rewards, including an Apple Watch for $25 by exercising regularly1 and $600 in annual savings on healthy food purchases2, and can save as much as 15 percent on their annual life insurance premiums.

About 75 percent of people with diabetes say this kind of life insurance that rewards and saves them money for healthy activities is appealing. More than that:

  • 65 percent agree it would motivate them to live a healthier life.
  • 60 percent agree it would provide them with additional support to help them manage their diabetes.
  • 52 percent agree it would help them to afford life insurance.

Over 30 million people in the U.S. are living with diabetes, and another 84 million have prediabetes. Globally, diabetes is considered the single greatest chronic disease threat to health today3.

"With advancements in treatments and underwriting, most people living with diabetes can get the important life insurance coverage they need," said Brooks Tingle. "John Hancock's long-standing experience in the industry, along with our in-depth medical knowledge, puts us in a unique position to offer life insurance to people living with diabetes, particularly those who are successfully managing their condition.  And we find that the vast majority of people living with diabetes are doing just that."

To learn more about life insurance that rewards you for healthy living, visit

Survey Methodology
This nationwide survey was conducted online by Qualtrics on behalf of John Hancock. Interviews were completed in September 2017 among 1,025 U.S. adults ages 25 years and older living with diabetes. The data was weighted by age, income, ethnicity and region to accurately represent the U.S. population.

About John Hancock and Manulife
John Hancock is a division of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services group that helps people achieve their dreams and aspirations by putting customers' needs first and providing the right advice and solutions. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were over $1 trillion (US$780 billion) as of June 30, 2017. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE, and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife can be found at

One of the largest life insurers in the United States, John Hancock supports approximately 10 million Americans with a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, college savings plans, and certain forms of business insurance. We also offer advice through Signator, a network of independent financial advisors. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at

1. Apple Watch can be ordered for an initial payment of $25 plus tax and over the next two years, monthly payments are based on the number of workouts completed. An iPhone 5 or later is required to use Apple Watch. The Retail Installment Agreement with the Vitality Group will need to be signed electronically at checkout.  Apple is not a participant in or sponsor of this promotion. Apple Watch is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. All rights reserved. Please note: Apple Watch program is not available in New York.

2. HealthyFood savings are based on qualifying purchases and may vary based on the terms of the John Hancock Vitality program.

3. Source: American Diabetes Association, 2017 and Beyond – our Vision and Direction.

Premium savings are in comparison to the same John Hancock policy without the Vitality program. Annual premium savings will vary based upon policy type, the terms of the policy, and the level of the insured's participation in the John Hancock Vitality program.

Vitality is the provider of the John Hancock Vitality Program in connection with policies issued by John Hancock.

Rewards and discounts are subject to change and are not guaranteed to remain the same for the life of the policy.

Insurance products are issued by John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), Boston, MA 02210 (not licensed in New York) and John Hancock Life Insurance Company of New York, Valhalla, NY 10595. 



SOURCE John Hancock