I recently applied for a 100,000 whole life insurance policy via the National Education Association. They took a home blood test and did the usual questions. I waited a week and just got my rejection letter. It stated your request for life insurance is rejected based on your type 1 diabetes since 1972. O.K. Let's stack my vitals with other 48 year olds. I do not smoke. I have excellent a1c levels my entire life. I have no history of CA in my family. I have excellent blood presssure and very good cholesterol. Yet I am rejected. I will of course fight this rejection. In the past I had a similar experience and fought a rejection and after my Dr. challenged the previous rejection with a different insurer based on trace protein..I was accepted. I hope this goes the same. Does anyone have any insight into this life insurance world? I am married with one child and have a steady career and take extreely good care of myself. What is the deal? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated on others experiences with diabetes and life insurance. Thank You!

Views: 1270

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I am fortunate to have a policy through my employer now, but previously I had tried to get an individual policy and was turned down like you were. Diabetes was one of the top 10 questions they asked, along with cancer, smoking, or motorcycle riding. I was intimidated by the paperwork and didn't fight the rejection. But I learned something from the experience: I will not get a motorcycle.
Good luck fighting this. I hope that someone can look past the standard policy of rejecting persons with diabetes!
Hi Phil!
I had a similar experience a few years back (about 8 years ago). I'm type 1, married, two kids, excellent care (except for a rebellious period at the age of 15), regular doctor visits and consistent A1c's in the 7's, which at the time was "acceptable".

I had to present back up documents to the life insurance company. Basically, I had to go to the 2 doctors who had cared for me for the previous 10 years and present "evidence" of my excellent care. I was able to obtain Life Insurance for 250, 000. My husband is sound asleep and I can't think of the name of the company, but can let you know later.

Basically, the explanation I received was the old "pre-existing" condition excuse. They just want you to do more leg work and prove you're "worthy" and not going to die tomorrow.

Hope you're well and I'm sorry I've missed your online times the past few days! : )
It's a numbers game, Phil. According to the numbers as a Type 1 diabetic you're going to die sooner than the guy who is exactly like you in every respect except that he doesn't have Type 1 diabetes. Die sooner = fewer premium payment < benefits paid. Simple math. You'll cost them money. Few insurers take the time to look at the individual risk.

My insurance guy got me a term insurance policy via New York Life. Try them if you need it.
Hi Phil,

Sorry to hear about this!

I read about life insurance on the ADA website (at this link) and they recommend looking for an insurance company that has "clinical underwriting", which means that they actually care about the results of the blood test more than whether you have diabetes or not.

I'm not sure if the one that you applied for had clinical underwriting, but it might be a good thing to look into. Also there are other ideas at the ADA link that I posted above. Let us know if you figure something out as there are many people facing the same struggle!!

Best wishes!!
If I have this right, you were 12 when diagnosed, and your current a1c is 6.2(excellent by clinical underwriting standards) with no other medical conditions. You're ballpark should be a Table-6 rating. translates on a $100,000 policy at 10 year term - $39.59/month *** 15 year term - $53.16/month *** 20 year term - $66.50/month *** 30 year term - $121.41/month. I would probably shop to make sure this is the most competitive, but feel free to let me know if you aren't able to reach these numbers. But you are on the right track of going through the underwriting, just the wrong company.
Can you name a couple of better company choices? Thanks.
And if you weren't diabetic, they would take your money for years then when you developed a condition such as diabetes, they'd either drop you or not cover care.

Where are our legislators on this? This is discrimination based on an illness. Of course, the implication is that somehow we are at fault, when we know this is not true.
Not in Life insurance, once you are covered, it is bound and they can't drop you. Think of underwriting as the claims adjuster for auto insurance. You buy a policy and when you are in an accident the adjuster comes out and figures out how much to return things to normal. But in life insurance they have to assume total calamity, death, and they are required to adjust before you make any payment. This is why most diabetics find the getting into the policy so hard. After that it is simply keeping up your premiums.

Be careful throwing around the discrimination card though, because the insurance companies will slam you with the liability card. Theirs is the bigger card here. They are under no legal requirement to give up 100's of thousands of their dollars to you for investing $30/month. As long as they treat similar risks similarly, then they are okay. Typically what insurance companies really want to do is understand the risk, for the right price they will insurance anything. But we don't want what one company feels is the right price if another company understands the risk better and will do it for 75% less.
Well i look at it this way. I've had Type 1 diabetes for 11 years. My A1c's range between 6.5 and a little over 7's no other complications I know im not dying anytime soon from medical conditions. I eat good and exercise. Quite frankly i feel good... I don't need regular life insurance. Why should i pay these people anything anyway when i know im not going any were in the next 20 years. And i have accidental insurance with Wells Fargo, the people that i pay my home mortgage too.
Thanks to all who have responded. I will check out Principal and New York Life and a few ohther clinicl underwiters - great tips!
Use a broker. Mine got me insured with New York Life.

I don't think appeals are worth it. If they don't want me, F* them. There's other fish in the sea.





From the Diabetes Hands Foundation blog...

DHF Joins Diabetes Advocacy Alliance

Diabetes Hands Foundation is incredibly honored to join the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance, an organization with the drive and potential to affect a powerful, positive impact on diabetes and healthcare policy. Diabetes Advocacy Alliance is a 20-member coalition of leading professional Read on! →

Helmsley Charitable Trust Renews Support for DHF

HELMSLEY CHARITABLE TRUST GRANTS SUPPORT TO DIABETES HANDS FOUNDATION FOR FOURTH YEAR  Funding in 2015 to support major transitions in programs and leadership at Diabetes Hands Foundation BERKELEY, CA: February 18, 2015 – The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Read on! →

Diabetes Hands Foundation Team


Melissa Lee
(Interim Executive Director, Editor, has type 1)

Manny Hernandez
(Co-Founder, has LADA)

Emily Coles (Head of Communities, has type 1)

Mila Ferrer
(EsTuDiabetes Community Manager, mother of a child with type 1)

Mike Lawson
(Head of Experience, has type 1)

Corinna Cornejo
(Director of Operations and Development, has type 2)

Desiree Johnson  (Administrative and Programs Assistant, has type 1)


Lead Administrator

Brian (bsc) (has type 2)


Lorraine (mother of type 1)
Marie B (has type 1)

DanP (has Type 1)

Gary (has type 2)

David (has type 2)


LIKE us on Facebook

Spread the word


This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

© 2015   A community of people touched by diabetes, run by the Diabetes Hands Foundation.

Badges  |  Contact Us  |  Terms of Service