If I were speaking to an auditorium full of people, a specially selected audience, all of whom had type 1 or type 2 diabetes, or epilepsy, and I asked for a show of hands for everyone who had tried to buy life insurance since their diagnosis, likely I would see a large majority of hands go up. If I then asked for a show of hands from all of those who were told they were uninsurable as soon as they divulged their medical condition, I am guessing 90% to 95% of the same hands would go up.
If I dug deeper and asked for a show of hands for all of those who had persisted and had eventually found life insurance at affordable and fair rates I suspect the show of hands would be small indeed.
I shake my head at this situation every day. How can the life insurance community be so uninformed and uneducated and lazy that a life insurance agent will tell someone they are uninsurable when, in fact, that is just not true? It is possible that a life insurance agent works for a company that happens to actually have an underwriting stance that says diabetes and epilepsy are uninsurable. It is not uncommon and it is OK for them to do that. It’s a business decision they have made to stay out of that market. But how can that life insurance agent justify not helping that person with epilepsy or diabetes find an independent life insurance agent who has the knowledge and represents the companies that can come through with the needed policy? It just baffles me. It makes me angry!
Now, let’s invite a new audience into the arena. This group of people all have the same health issues as the first audience, but on their first attempt at buying life insurance they were fortunate. They happened to call an independent agent with a background in successfully filling the needs of this audience. They happened to call an agent who knew the right questions to ask and knew the right companies to shop with. This time the show of hands for those who had successfully found life insurance at fair and affordable rates would probably be around 80%.
Why only 80%? The other 20% is probably comprised of those who had more serious health issues, often collateral issues that exacerbate the impairment. That group also included those whose health problems weren’t well controlled or who weren’t compliant with their doctors treatment orders. That group included some who really didn’t take their health challenges seriously.
What do underwriters care about most? Compliance and Control!!!! Do what your doctor tells you! Educate yourself in how to take control of your health and your future. Compliance and Control!!!
Unfortunately my last audience is fictitious. There are so many poorly equipped life insurance agents and so many auto and homeowners agents that don’t know anything about life insurance, that they are the majority. My best advice is don’t take uninsurable as a final answer. Continue to shop. Do internet searches that are specific to diabetes or epilepsy, or cancer, or coronary artery disease, or hepatitis. Find agents that understand what you have and what needs to be done to get good rates. Don’t give up!!!!! My encouragement to you is that you are probably in that 80% and just haven’t found the agent that knows how to place you there.
This post is somewhat dated. Life insurance underwriting is changing and evolving continually. For more updated information check out some of the key word links. If you have a specific question or topic you need information for do a search. If you don’t find the answers you need contact me and we’ll make sure you get the information that is important to you.