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There’s always a little hesitance on my part to proclaim an underwriting breakthrough to actually be an underwriting breakthrough for a couple of reasons. First, life insurance underwriting guidelines have been known to change for the better and back again and kind of like buying stock, I don’t want to be attracting customers on the downside of a good deal. A few years ago I jumped on the news from ING/Reliastar that they would offer preferred plus to a limited group of people with type 2 diabetes. They changed that stance about the time the word was really out. The other is that, just like me, people who read my blog read what they want to hear and don’t necessarily qualify for approval when all the facts are in.

That said this thing with type 1 diabetes is strong for a couple of reasons. First there isn’t one company that is set way apart from others in their underwriting stance on type 1 diabetes. On any given quick quote (shopping) I can have 4-5 companies who are actually competing for the business. And second, while all of the approval criteria have some things in common, good control, no complications, etc, the approvals are coming from very diverse situations. We’re not just talking about adult onset type 1 with good control for 10 years, but juvenile onset adults.

There was one case I wish I could have found a company for that I thought was the perfect mix of modern medicine rendering type 1 toothless. That client had a pancreas transplant and went from being a life long type 1 diabetic to non diabetic in one fell swoop. Unfortunately the idea of getting a new pancreas to beat diabetes doesn’t have a great track record….yet. But I shopped that one until I dropped from exhaustion. It just seemed like the perfect slam dunk but the success rate beyond two years wasn’t something that underwriters were buying.

From a recent post I offered this list of places where approvals were happening. Please keep in mind that none of these would have been approved if they didn’t have great compliance and control and no collateral diabetic health issues.

1. Several companies will approve juvenile onset type 1 if the insured is at least 30 with no complications. Most of those require the onset to be after age 5

2. A few companies will approve with the onset prior to age 5

3. A few will approve with the current age under 30

4. Teen onset with good control and adult under 40

5. Adult onset type 1 with insured still under 40 and no complications

6. The most recent was a 57 year old diagnosed type 1 twelve years prior. A1c’s in the low 7?s and no complications. This one brought quotes comparable, if not a bit lower than type 2 with the same age and age of diagnosis.

Let me put this in perspective. To talk about an approval at all 10 years ago was, well, crazy talk. Rest assured this isn’t because life insurance companies are getting soft, but medicine and science are controlling the previously uncontrolled. Battles and wars are being won.

Bottom line. If you have type 1 diabetes and have just shied away from trying to buy life insurance or even if you have applied and have been declined, it’s worth a look. It’s certainly worth a few minutes on the phone to talk about what if. If you’re there and need to talk, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. I’ve got time to get to the bottom of it with you.