That phrase is usually followed by a conversation that you may end up feeling you really didn’t need to have, but I’m here with a breath of fresh air, a talk we need to have about how to get better life insurance rates when you have diabetes. Why now? Why do need to have a talk about something I have truly beaten to death in the past? Well, it’s always a good time to refresh memories on life insurance underwriting and also to bring up changes in how type 2 diabetes mortality risks are evaluated.

Type 2 diabetes has been on the health and life insurance radar the past 20 years as it has gone from a relatively obscure presence to what many call an epidemic. Tied to many cases of diabetes and just as much an epidemic, if that’s the right word, is obesity and more specifically morbid obesity. So you have a disease in type 2 diabetes that can get its’ teeth into the meat of a declining American lifestyle, one with a lack of exercise and poor eating habits. diabetes onset and chronic nature can be directly linked to obesity, not in all cases, but in enough that no one questions the links. How do we know for sure? The proof for me lies in clients I have helped with life insurance who were morbidly obese and had type 2 diabetes, went through a gastric bypass operation and within a few weeks were off of medication for diabetes, blood pressure and other weight related ailments. And as their weight plunged more and more toward prudent and manageable, their diabetes disappeared.

Life insurance underwriters are arguably all over the map on how they treat applications involving type 2 diabetes. It can be an exceptionally brutal outcome if the diabetes has not been well controlled and is joined by one of its’ ugly mortality step sisters, coronary artery disease or kidney disease. When not well controlled, consistently and constantly well controlled, diabetes has an insidious path of breaking down the body. That is one of the primary concerns of underwriters when they review cases of early onset type 2, those diagnosed under age 50 and especially under age 40. The longer a person is holding the disease at bay the more likely that it will break something down and those who have undiagnosed diabetes and are therefore not treating it at all, have a higher risk of increased mortality.

So what would a life insurance underwriter really like to see The life insurance sweet spot is someone who was diagnosed at age 50 or over, never really had glucose levels running out of control high, are methodical and compliant about testing, monitoring and treating, make the lifestyle changes that are prudent and look like me. Except for the last one, those criteria should end up with someone who has an A1c consistently under 7 and usually under 6.5 and they will live a normal life span unchanged by the diabetes.

Bottom line. As with all impaired risks, diabetes underwriting revolves around compliance and control, and avoiding collateral health issues and exacerbating life style. If you have questions or aren’t sure you got the best service on life insurance because of your diabetes, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.