Some time ago I started on a quest to find out the facts about mortality experience of children with type 1 diabetes. The issue I had initially run into was that insurance companies simply would not offer life insurance to children with type 1 diabetes, almost across the board. A few said they would consider it as a highly rated policy if they were over age 15 or over age 19, but most just said no thanks.

I enlisted the expertise of Mike McFarland with Prudential to help me understand why insurance companies were so freaked out by this age group with this problem. I was thinking that surely 1 in every 5 must die before age 20 or there would be at least some high priced product for them. Mr McFarland clued me in that the problem wasn’t the death rate at all, it was the lack of statistics on which to base rates. Insurance companies use mortality tables that go from 0-100, not 0-20, 20-40, etc. They simply didn’t know what mortality experience they would be looking at, making it impossible to design and price a product.

Today the Center for Disease Ccntrol released a study that really centered around the difference in mortality in children with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, depending on whether they were white or black.

The point I would like to take from this 25 year study is not the difference in deaths per ethnic background, but the fact that compared to other causes of death, death due to diabetes is minuscule. Even using the higher level for blacks, we are talking about 2.5 deaths attributed to diabetes per million.

A child is 60 times more likely to die in a car accident than due to diabetes, 10 times more likely to die of heart disease, 3 times more likely to die from influenza, 4 times more likely to die of respiratory disease, 4 times more liikely due to falling or poisoning and 40 times more likely due to drowning.

Bottom line. It’s time for insurance companies to quit crying wolf, or ignoring the wolf or whatever they are trying to do. There is no fact that would lead to the conclusion that a type 1 diabetes child is uninsurable.

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