How Traveling Overseas Can Disqualify Your Eligibility to Purchase Life Insurance

Chris Riley

Chris Riley

Chris is the Founder and CEO of USA Rx. Chris has led the USA Rx team to continue to push for further transparency and more savings options in the U.S. prescription marketplace for the Diabetes community. With COVID-19 transforming and normalizing how consumers view and use digital health, Chris led the transformation of the USA Rx brand to a digital health marketplace.

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Last Updated on November 30, 2023

Given the current environment of the world, Covid 19 or the Coronavirus has impacted everybody, and every type of business. Life insurance industry is not immune either.  Fortunately, the world is slowly getting back to normal, and people are trying to live like we did pre-covid.

Companies are looking at applicants’ past, and future travel history closer than at any point in time. 2020 through the present has been a very ‘interesting’ time for life insurance carriers. In the event you’ve traveled recently to and from a deemed ‘ hot spot’ of Covid 19, companies will postpone you for life insurance coverage for the foreseeable future.  Or if you’ve tested positive for Covid, you may have to wait 30 days before a company will consider you for a policy.

If you have future travel plans to places such as Italy, China, Russia, South Korea and other foreign countries you will also be postponed by life insurance providers. It’s going to be very challenging to find coverage with any type of overseas travel planned in the near future.

Life insurance companies are watching closely how Covid 19 affects people with Diabetes health. In the event you have caught the virus, and have recovered, you will find yourself not being able to receive coverage immediately.  Assuming you make a full recovery, and there’s no side effects, we are seeing company’s who may offer you a policy after 30 days of being free from the Coronavirus.

One more thing. Please don’t think that you can ‘lie’ on the application, and try and pull a fast one on a carrier. If you were to pass away in the first two policy years, companies will contest the death claim. We assure you 100% that companies will do their due diligence and research your past travels. Should they find out you were not honest on the application, the death claim will not be paid out to your beneficiary.  Honesty is always the best policy.

Give us a call at 888-629-3064 to discuss if there are any options for you at this point in time. A friendly agent would be more than happy to speak with you.  As we discuss throughout this website, Diabetes and life insurance is a little challenging at times.  Throw in frequent international travel, and you may have even less options of life insurance to choose from.  Don’t make the mistake of applying with agents who are not understanding of the Diabetes community.

Traveling Overseas with Diabetes

It might seem illogical that international travel can affect your eligibility for life insurance, but it is true. If you are traveling overseas and you have diabetes, then it may add another hurdle to jump in order to qualify for a life insurance policy.  Most people are unaware that their international travel in combination with living with Diabetes may eliminate certain companies to choose from.

We have written this article to help those who have Diabetes, and who travel for a living, find an affordable diabetic life insurance policy. Many people don’t realize, especially insulin controlled diabetics, that one of the most common reasons to be declined for life insurance is due to travel destinations.

Finding life insurance with Diabetes can seem challenging enough. Type 1, Type 2, history of gestational diabetes will all impact the life insurance options available to you. Then you have to factor in your control of diabetes, A1C history, and other health issues. This all goes into the options you’ll have. Add traveling overseas to the picture, and it gets extremely complicated.

Don’t worry, there is no need to stop exploring the world and checking off bucket-list destinations, but you may want to learn more about how your specific destinations have the ability to affect your eligibility should you desire to purchase life insurance. Our agents at Diabetes Life Solutions will be able to help recommend suitable life insurance carriers that will accept your travel destinations!

It’s All About the Destination

How can life insurance coverage be affected by foreign travel? Most people don’t realize that after you answer a wide range of health and diabetes questions, life insurance companies will ask about foreign travel history. They aren’t so much worried about your past trips, but rather your future ones. The majority of carriers ask: “ Within the next two years, do you have any plans to travel outside the country”.

A trip to Ireland is unlikely to affect your eligibility for purchasing life insurance. On the contrary, a trip to the Middle East has the potential to impose a significant amount of risk towards your eligibility for the purchasing of life insurance. Possibly declining you all together.

Generally, trips within the United States or to countries like Canada, England, and Japan and Australia are not deemed a significant risk. In other words, trips to these countries are not expected to pose a potential decrease to life expectancy. Destinations that are often viewed by life insurance companies as a potential threat to life expectancy are countries that have either been consistently known as problematic or unsafe, or countries that are experiencing acute but extremely unsettling political events that pose an obvious risk to life.

For example, countries that have suddenly been plagued by terrorist activity, despite a relatively safe history, may also have the potential to affect your eligibility for purchasing a life insurance policy. This list is always changing, so it’s probably a good idea to share this type of information with our agents, so they can tell you what companies, if any, will consider you for coverage based off your travel and diabetes history.

Some countries like Iraq, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and parts of Africa are more than likely a an automatic decline with most life insurance companies. However, if you can provide specific details, such as exact areas in these countries, there is a ‘small’ chance that you may be approved. Other locations in popular tourist spots such as Tijuana, Mexico, are a red flag with lots of life insurance companies.

Some life insurance carriers may rate your policy higher, by adding ‘table ratings’ to the policy. So as an example, they would add TWO tables to your policy. Each table is an increase of 25%. This would make your policy 50% more expensive, compared to a diabetic who doesn’t travel to specific companies.  Your traveling plans are actually part of how your insurance premiums are determined.

Here’s a little known tip. Some no medical exam life insurance policies don’t ask about foreign travel. Depending again, on your complete health profile, this may be an ideal type of policy, for your situations. To determine if you may qualify, simply contact us at 888-629-3064. A five minute phone call is all it takes for us to determine your diabetes life insurance options. We’ll be up front and honest with you, and perhaps recommend you not travel to specific places to ensure you get the best rates possible.

Frequency of Travel

The frequency at which you travel to hazardous countries is also a consideration that you should be mindful of. If you’ve had a single visit to a country that might be viewed by life insurance companies as potentially dangerous, you may be viewed as less of a risk of liability to the company than someone who frequently travels to countries that have a hazardous reputation.  This generally varies from life insurance company to company. One company may postpone you for traveling to a specific location while another one would have no issues approving you.

If you’re employed by the Government, or hold employment thru a public employer and being stationed in specific companies, it’ll be tricky to secure coverage. Life insurance companies are going to want to know about specific locations you stay at, and have you provide details about employment history.

We know this may feel like an invasion of privacy, but the more information you share , the better your chances are for finding a company who may offer life insurance coverage.  It would be to your advantage to be forthcoming with details on past and future travel.

Beyond Hostility

While the majority of us immediately view countries rampant with terrorist activity as posing the most risk of liability to insurance companies, and your eligibility for life insurance, there are other potentially life threatening factors to consider when traveling abroad that may affect your eligibility for life insurance. You must know what will disqualify you from life insurance.

For example, many countries are burdened with contagious diseases that impose a threat to the well-being and life expectancy. Many third-world countries have little access to proper healthcare and sanitation, making the prevalence of illness and death from illness a more common occurrence. These countries will be viewed as equally as hazardous, both posing a substantial risk of liability to the life insurance company.

One major issue that life insurance carriers have about insulin dependent diabetics, is how will you store your insulin? Traveling with insulin, over the globe, isn’t as easy as carrying oral medications for your diabetes.

If you fly for an extended amount of time, are you able to keep your insulin cool in a cooler device? We know that if you use traveling kits like Frio Bags, certain life insurance companies will view your profile much, much more favorably.

Life insurance companies also want to make sure that you travel with all your Diabetes supplies. And in event you run low on insulin, you’d be able to re-order while being overseas. Or are you near a hospital or health clinic, should you have some type of diabetes complication?

If you are going to be located overseas for an extended amount of time, do you see a medical professional there for check ups? If you do, again this would be viewed very favorably by life insurance companies. If they know you have a medical professional where you are staying this will minimize your risk, to them. And possibly receive an offer with no ‘extra’ ratings for your travels and international stay.

When you work with Diabetes Life Solutions, we’ll help you with all of this. We have a checklist that life insurance companies love to see, from our diabetic clients. This additional information may be the difference in getting approved, and declined.

Weigh Your Options

While your travel destinations are certainly your choice, if you are considering traveling to a country deemed potentially dangerous or a threat to your health, it is recommended that you remain mindful that your travel destinations do in fact have the potential to affect your eligibility for the purchase of a life insurance policy.  Perhaps you want to secure a policy and then re-evaluate additional options at a later date.  Oftentimes it’s smart to lock in some sort of life insurance policy, and then if you can better your insurance portfolio, you could replace one policy with another.

If life insurance is a priority to you, it may be worth refraining from travel to hazardous countries in order to provide the financial security and peace of mind that life insurance provides to your family. Might be a wise decision to secure a policy, before traveling to these ‘higher risk’ destinations.  Or it might be better to postpone applying, until you have completed all your trips.  Simply share with us your personal situation, and we can help make suitable recommendations given your unique profile.

Our Final Thoughts

For most people with Diabetes, you should have options to purchase life insurance depending on your travel schedule. For example, non-medical exam policies that don’t ask about your travels may be available depending on your overall health history. Every insurance company is going to ask their own different set of questions, so if you are denied by one company, do not give up, keep looking. It’s smart to work with an independent insurance agent with Diabetes Life Solutions in order to find the best possible policy for you.

At Diabetes Life Solutions, we only work with people who have Diabetes. We’ve made it our mission to help Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics obtain affordable life insurance coverage. Nobody will work harder for you, to secure coverage. Our special relationships with life insurance companies are second to none, and we know how to get your health profile viewed in the best possible way.  We can honestly say there is no greater resource of all things Diabetes and life insurance than our website.

Contact us and have a quick phone conversation. The call takes 5 to 10 minutes. We want to help!!! Please call us at 888-629-3064. Working with us may be the difference in getting approved or not. Or perhaps we could save you thousands of dollars over the course of the life insurance policy. Let us use our expertise, and let you reap the rewards.

Matt Schmidt is a nationally licensed diabetes insurance expert. Over this time frame he's helped out over 10,000 clients secure life insurance coverage with Diabetes. He's frequently authors content to Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Simple Dollar, GoBanking Rates, MSN,, and Yahoo Finance and many more.

Matt Schmidt is also the Co-Founder of Diabetes Life Solutions and Licensed Insurance agent. He’s been working with the Diabetes community for over 18 years to find consumers the best life insurance policies.  Since 2011, he has been a qualified non-member of MDRT, the most prestigious life insurance trade organization in the USA

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