I was considering just re-posting some old information about life insurance underwriting of diabetes, but let’s just hash our way through it. There is new information and new opportunities that wouldn’t have been there even a year ago.

Let’s save type 1 diabetes for another day and focus on just what it takes to get good life insurance rates with type 2 diabetes. The good news here is that one company broke through, albeit in a limited way, and now offers their best rate class for type 2. So, what does that take.

A quick rundown is this. The applicant needs to be over 60 and has to have been diagnosed within the last 5 years. They have to have good control exhibited by an A1c of 7.0 or less and they can’t have any other risk factors that would normally bump you out of the best rate class, so no obesity, high blood pressure, and no history of heart problems to name a few.

But as I said, a narrow window of opportunity. For the average client what underwriters would like to see for approvals in the standard to standard plus range is onset after age 50, an A1c of 6.5 or less and of course a lack of risk factors that would otherwise knock you out of the rate class you’re applying for. In other words, if you have the first two but poorly controlled blood pressure, you’ll pay what the blood pressure drives the rate to. If you have the first two and you’re 5/10, 280#, you’ll pay what the weight drives the rate to.

But here’s the thing. Most life insurance companies will decline you if you are a type 2 diabetic no matter what the rest of the story is. There are a handful, maybe 20 companies that really have an open mind to underwriting the whole picture. This is one of those classic cases where if you pick the wrong agent who uses the wrong company you lose. If you think your Farmers agent is going to get you life insurance, forget it.

How do you know you’ve found the right agent? Ask questions. If they don’t understand type 2 diabetes. I mean if they really don’t know the difference between that and type 1, move on. If they don’t know what questions to ask concerning medication, age of onset, A1c history and other risk factors, they don’t know how to find you good rates and if they aren’t willing to educate themselves, they don’t deserve your business.

Bottom line. There are more people with type 2 diabetes that can get reasonable life insurance rates than people that can’t. The problem is they hear from people that don’t know, that they can’t get it. And they use agents who don’t know how to get it.