Before you dig too deep into this post let me clarify that I am not talking about juveniles with juvenile onset type 1 diabetes. I still don’t know anyone that will cover them and I am still actively lobbying companies to be the one to step out of the dark ages and be that company. I’m referring to Adults seeking life insurance who were diagnosed with juvenile onset type 1 diabetes before they were adults.

What I did see today when I shopped a case was something that would not have happened 3 years ago or more. Frankly it’s not a result I’ve ever had. The case involves a 32 year old who was diagnosed type 1 at age 9. He’s never had any serious problems, has no diabetes related health issues and on an insulin pump has his A1c dialed in pretty consistently at 7.5. The normal result of shopping this case in my experience has been that I might get one offer and almost all companies would “prefer not to participate”. The offer I would get would hedge their underwriting by saying that we should expect, for instance, a table 8 to decline pending review of records.

Out of 13 companies I received quotes from today there was one company that preferred not to participate, 4 that said highly rated to decline and 8 companies who gave solid offers ranging from table 7 to table 12. Now I know it doesn’t sound like I’ve found a bag full of home runs here, but I have to tell you, this is a young family guy who needs life insurance and it is affordable. He’s happy with the results after having been declined several times.

I think it’s especially important to note the age. My guess is if he was 10 or 15 years older we might not have received the offers we got. If he had any collateral health issues such as impaired kidney functions we wouldn’t have had any offers and if his A1c had been over 8 I don’t think we would be choosing the best rate out of several offers. He had stuff going for him, but that’s the case with all tough impaired risk cases. In spite of the health issue the client is controlling it and monitoring it and being proactive in treatment and followup.

Bottom line. Things are changing. Maybe it’s life insurance underwriters becoming more realistic in their old age, or maybe the older underwriters are being replaced by youthful boldness. Whatever the scenario, it bodes well for people with diabetes. We now have strong underwriting for type 2 diabetes, adult onset type 1 and adults with juvenile onset type 1.