Life Insurance Companies differ in their “underwriting philosophy” when it comes to diabetes. Offering life insurance for diabetics can be risky if the underwriters are not fully trained. Underwriters at the insurance companies that are fluent in underwriting diabetes have the ability to look at all of these factors and determine if the company will accept them as a risk. Moderately controlled diabetes cases would usually merit a “rating” or an increase in the premium, but not necessarily a declination for coverage. If the client with diabetes that is looking for life insurance is not controlled, then there are options – it will just cost them more for coverage!
Diabetic Life Insurance can be obtained no matter how severe the diabetes condition is. If the proposed insured has well controlled diabetes and a history of compliance with what the Doctor reccomends, then the rate for insurance will naturally reflect that. The better the control, the better the rate. Clients with well controlled diabetes have a great chance at getting a lower rate from a regular insurance carrier and would qualify for a policy that is fully underwritten. If, at the other extreme, the client has very poor control over the diabetes, the rate will be higher and the client will have to go with a life insurance plan that guarantees acceptance. This type of life insurance is called “guaranteed issue life insurance”.
Guaranteed issue life insurance for diabetics is more expensive than regular (fully underwritten) life insurance and is only sold as “whole life insurance”. This type of insurance can be advantageous, though, because it builds cash value and is intended to cover the client for their “whole life” as opposed to a “term” period of time. Another provision of guaranteed issue is that the premiums paid into the policy would be paid to the beneficiary PLUS 10% interest if the insured dies within the first 3 years of the policy’s inception. After that 3 year period of time, the guaranteed issue policy would pay the full death benefit to the beneficiary.
Fully Underwritten policies take the client’s full medical records into account. The doctor’s records are ordered, blood is drawn, a urine sample is taken, and a full screening is done to evaluate the client. If the insurance company decides to insure this applicant, it is after the company’s underwriters look at the case. If the client is fully underwritten and passes through underwriting, then they would have more options than just whole life insurance (in the case of those who are in need of guaranteed issue whole life insurance). Term insurance, Universal Life Insurance, Survivorship Universal Life Insurance, and regular Whole Life Insurance would be available to these applicants that are fully underwritten.
When evaluating a client with diabetes, the underwriters at the insurance company take into account whether the client is a type one diabetic (type I diabetic, type 1 diabetic, type 1 diabetes, type I diabetes) or a type two diabetic (type II diabetic, type 2 diabetic, type 2 diabetes, type II diabetes). Another thing that the underwriters look at is whether the client is a juvenile onset diabetic or an adult onset diabetic. And yet Another determining factor is the Hemoglobin A1C level (this is a more comprehensive test, showing the blood sugar levels over about a 3 month period of time as opposed to a quick “snapshot” blood level test).
If the client’s A1C level is below 8, then fully underwritten life insurance may be available subject to the client’s full medical file. If the client’s A1C level is above 8, then guaranteed issue life insurance is a more realistic goal.
One of the things that applicants fear in the case of insulin dependent type 1 diabetics is whether or not their insulin pump will prevent them from getting a life insurance policy. An insulin pump is actually a positive factor where life insurance underwriting is concerned because the client’s insulin level is kept at a constant level.
How often the client monitors their sugar or glucose levels in their blood is another factor. If the client habitually monitors their glucose level, then this is seen as evidence of compliance on the part of the client. If, on the other hand, the client does not monitor these sugar levels, then this could be seen as a negative in the eyes of the insurers and underwriters.
Have there been any low sugar episodes? Have there been any high sugar episodes? Is the client taking glucovance, glucophage, insulin injection, or other type of medicinal treatment? Is the client controlling the diabetes with “diet and exercise”? These are all questions that will be asked during the underwriting process (unless you opt for guaranteed issue).
By the way…ANYONE can get guaranteed issue; you don’t have to be “uninsurable”. Guaranteed issue is available for clients between the ages of 46 and 80 and up to $35,000 in coverage. Again, this is the more expensive type of life insurance and it is advisable that if you CAN make it through an underwriting evaluation, you should try unless you just want to pay more and be done with it!
So what kind of companies will accept clients with diabetes? Personally, I broker only with “A” rated companies that have the right combination of price, customer service, product variety, and recognition in the market. I deal with companies that take clients on a case by case basis as opposed to categorizing them “by the book”. I have fully researched the market, I am in touch with the underwriters personally, and I assure you that these companies have the proper credentials to back up their policies. My clients are provided with full company backgrounds and financial profiles. I deal with several companies that are in the market to insure diabetics. The reason why I am witholding exactly what companies I deal with is because I want to earn your business and represent you as your life insurance agent. Contact Me for a free consultation!