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I written several times about a major term life insurance company that took the unprecedented step of saying they would allow, in the absence of other risk factors, their preferred plus rate class for some people over 60 with type 2 diabetes.

Their only other criteria? They had to have been diagnosed within the past 5 years and have an A1c of 7.0 or less. I’ve seen several approvals come through on this with other agents I know, but hadn’t had a chance to actually present an application until recently. My client is 63, had an A1c of 6.9 on his insurance exam and his doctor has had him on diet control for the past few years since they originally ran across high glucose on another insurance exam.

We already had the medical records on this case, so with the exam and labs in hand it was off to the underwriter who swiftly hit it with a table 2 approval. I’m thinking this guy didn’t get the memo from the chief underwriter so we questioned why my client wouldn’t qualify for preferred rates.

His answer was that my client had never really been diagnosed, although his records clearly show a link between his first elevated glucose and being put on a specific diet. He said that my client wasn’t really being treated, as in he wasn’t taking any prescribed medicine. As far as I know diet control of diabetes has always been considered treatment. At least the people that are on the diet feel like they are being treated and if the result is that the doctor is expecting some change in the glucose level, well, it kind of sounds like treatment….

And then he blurts it out! He thinks it’s stupid that an insurance company would make that kind of an offer. He states that there simply isn’t the mortality experience to back it up. Furthermore he stated that there was nothing inherently fair about whacking someone one rate class for well controlled high blood pressure and not for well controlled diabetes.

I have to admit that I don’t disagree with what he feels, but the guys signing his paycheck are paying him to big bucks to uphold their wild marketing ideas. Fortunately there is some check and balance in the underwriting world. If a rogue underwriter doesn’t want to go with the flow perhaps his boss will remind him which way feces flows.

Bottom line. I think we will prevail on this and I’ll post the end result. In the meantime the door does still appear to be open (just route it around the underwriter I got) for well controlled 60+ year old diabetics to get rates that are less than 1/2 of what they would get through any other company.