Today marks World Diabetes Day, with activities taking place across the globe to highlight the challenges of living with this chronic condition. According to Diabetes UK, the disease is the fastest-growing health threat of our time, with the number of people in the UK living with diabetes more than doubling in 20 years and projected to reach five million if nothing changes.

This year’s World Diabetes Day focuses on the issues around women and diabetes. Almost 200m women globally have the condition, 40% of whom are of childbearing age, and one in seven births is affected by gestational diabetes. This carries an increased risk of high blood pressure, premature labour and intervention during delivery, as well as putting the mum at a higher risk of going on to develop type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas fails to maintain the right blood-glucose levels. Commonly, people over the age of 40, overweight or obese people and those with a close relative with the condition are more at risk, although in recent years there has been a significant rise in type 2 diabetes among younger people from all ethnic groups - including children, some as young as seven.

And, as far as your private medical insurance is concerned, it’s not a condition you can get cover for after diagnosis - meaning now is the time to act. ActiveQuote health insurance team leader Mark Todd says: “Once you have been diagnosed as diabetic, it’s already too late to ever get covered for any ‘acute’ episodes related to diabetes. 

“According to Diabetes UK, 700 people are diagnosed with diabetes every day. Many customers contact us wanting health insurance after a major diagnosis such as diabetes but, unfortunately by then, it’s too late. No insurer will take on coverage of a pre-existing condition as serious as diabetes from a new customer.

“It doesn’t stop you receiving treatment at a private hospital, it’s just that you won’t be able to get the insurance provider to cover those costs. It’s a bit like having a house fire, then trying to insure your home a day later to make a claim.” 

As with many protection policies, including income protection, and the essential task of making a will, the best time to think about it is when you’re fit and well. Mark says” The best advice is to lock your health in while you’re healthy, then you have a potentially portable policy until you chose otherwise.

“If you have a plan in place and are diagnosed with diabetes, you’ll be covered for any acute flare ups from then on. You also have the potential to ‘switch’ your cover in the future as long as you meet certain criteria, which is specific to each insurer, although at ActiveQuote we strongly recommend seeking advice before doing this.

“There are so many different types of cover, hospital lists and forms of underwriting in the marketplace. This could be the biggest decision of your life, so make it the right one.”

At ActiveQuote, we’re proud of our reputation for excellent customer care. We’re rated by customers as the number one health insurance broker in the UK and our highly trained team is here to answer any queries you have regarding PMI. Get online health insurance quotes with us today or get free advice from a qualified advisor on 0800 862 0373.