Life insurance with type 1. Experience - good, bad, ugly or indifferent?

As a type 2 the prospect of getting a real life insurance quote (not the accidental death sort) was daunting given a history of “uncontrolled” diabetes. Now I am joyfully a type 1.5 on a pump and with soon-to-be stable A1C I’d be interested to see how feasible this would be.

Does anyone have good experience with getting life insurance?

i’m working on it now, this reminds me i need to call my agent tomorrow and see how it is going. i’ll let you know.

I have had no problems at all getting my life insurance policies. Of course, they’ve always been provided through my employers and couldn’t turn me down since it is a benefit of the company (or maybe they could… I don’t know). Good luck with it anyway!

I had great difficulty getting an individual policy at a reasonable cost. The life insurance companies rate each applicant, based upon health status. I guess the ratings go from low risk (low cost) level A to high risk (high cost or no insurance) level H.

At the time, I was a 30 year old, with no other problems other than DM1, with an A1c at goal and no complications. When the insurance companies saw “diabetes” the responses were dissapointing. State Farm would not even give a quote. Finally, an accountant friend of mine, who knew an underwriter, got me a policy with an “F” rating. It was about 4 times the cost of my wife’s policy. When I started a new job, they offered a policy through work and the cost was the same - similar to Stacie’s experience.

The ADA has a link about life insurance. I think the important thing they recommend is:
“Apply for a policy with a life insurance carrier that uses “clinical underwriting” – a process that looks at your total health, not just what health conditions you may have.”

Hope this helps! Mick

Thanks for the responses. I too have the usual corporate AD&D insurance through my company which is great for death through accidental means (traffic in Atlanta makes that an ever-present possibility). It’s cheap and cheerful and you can but additional coverage ($) at very little cost.

It’s the whole life policies that become prohibitive cost-wise. Thanks for the link Mick - the insurance brokerage houses tend to lump everyone together and those with diabetes of any flavour tend to get unfavourable treatment (no pun intended). I think dealing with an individual agent with a track record of getting quotes that do look at individual health records will make this a less painful process.

I can’t get life insurance through my company or independently because of my pre-dispositioned Type 1 diabetes. The crazy thing is I’m very healthy, keep it in check, and was diagnosed at 25? How is that pre-dispositioned? My husband has 2 policies, but I don’t!

It’s definitely not a level playing field. For some it’s uphill with a 100lb sack of rocks on their backs. I’ll post feedback from a variety of agents as I get the research done.

Not me. I keep getting refused life insurance except for that policy that my mom got when I was like 2 I took diabetes at 10 so well I can’t get it now!

I have my work one and thats it. When my dad tried to renew the policy that I was automatically given when I graduated college, they denied it. He sells insurance as part of employment benefit packages and when anyone w/ D comes to him they always deny it, even for the young, well controlled type 1s. Yet the company will issue policies to late middle aged people with morbid obesity and high blood pressure.
Its rather unfair.

I have a whole life policy my folks set up when I was born. You can add value to it at specific intervals. I started with $20000 and now have $40000 - the intervals seem to be about 3-5 years I think. I’ve thought about getting term life once I’m working full time, but that’s a fair bit away for now.
Moral of the story? Buy your kids cheap life insurance when they’re young and healthy, they may need it :confused:

Life insurance…well, I think term insurance when one has young kids, is a necessity. For childless people or for those whose kids are 24 y.o. or more, life insurance is really not needed. That’s my opinion. It’s not a good investment…you can do better with other investments. I’d make sure I’d have enough liquidity to cover funeral expenses—and I’ll be relatively cheap, 'cause I’d prefer cremation. If you have major assets to leave, I’d start gifting them at or under $10,000 a year. Otherwise, you’ll have lots of estate tax to pay, for which a life insurance policy is handy. It’s handy, but it’s not required.
Clear as mud?
Really I’d consult an investment advisor (at an hourly rate) who DOESN’T sell life insurance or anything else, for that matter!

:slight_smile: Elaine

That’s definitely decent advice and some I have heard elsewhere too. Avoiding those with a vested interest in sucking away your money is a good plan.

The upside of insurance (ok, so there has to be one) is that if you die when the policy is in effect, your estate gets the amount insured. With an investment strategy, you have to fund that egg by sitting on it before it hatches.

Plan for the worst. Hope for the best.

It took me 2 years to get a policy that costs $1.43 for every hundred dollars of coverage as a 20+ year T1 without material complications. My ex-wife (no health issues) has a policy for which she pays $0.09 for every hundred dollars of coverage. That is in addition to the life insurance I get through work and that I have gotten through prior jobs that I have been able to convert to a personal policy.

If you are ever leaving a job, as whether the life insurance that you have there can be converted to a personal policy. It can usually be done without a medical exam. The premiums are not as low as the group policy at work, but it is certainly better than what I currently pay for my personal policy.

The secret, for me, was a policy placed near the end of the year (apparently, some insurers have some excess capacity at the end of the year and may be able to take a little extra risk) and an agent who knew he needed to do a good job for me because of the source of the referral.

I’m reviving an old thread a bit, now that this concern has become reality for me (first, because I’m considering changing jobs to one which doesn’t offer a group plan, and second, because I’ve been negligent in obtaining additional coverage since my son was born!).

There is some great information here, but can anyone provide some specific information on what steps to take? Such as: what insurance company has been helpful, or a waste of time, to you?. Such as: can a person find short-term disability or long-term disability that is comparable to employer-provded? Such as: how long would it take to get a quote, or even a ballpark figure, that I could factor into my salary negotiations?

Even better, if anyone has a similar experience to me (I’m 34, would live in New Jersey under the new job, and have no other major medical problems other than controlled Type-1 diabetes), please let me know. You can send a private email message through the site (I think) if you don’t feel comfortable mentioning dollar amounts here.


I was denied in August.

Life and disability insurance are big issues for us. Before you leave your current job, check to see if the group life insurance that you have there is portable. Often, it is. The life insurance has been portable in my last two job changes, and, were I to leave my current employer, it would also be portable.

Several years ago, I increased my life insurance coverage (shortly after my daughter was born). It was very difficuly to get a policy (20 year+ type 1, around 40 at the time, with ok control and an irregular heartbeat), and what I have is very expensive – $1,400 per year for every $100,000 of coverage.

You are best served by a good broker who knows the insurance market and has good relationships with the insurers. There is some feeling that insurance companies are willing to take a little more risk during the last quarter of the year if they are looking to write more policies. I have no idea if that holds true in the current economic environment.

Unfortunately, I have no experience with private disability insurance, since I have that at work, too. And, a good portion of it is portable.

Thanks for the great information Jonathan! I always knew of the typical risks involved with changing jobs – financial security, professional satisfaction, family relocation, but now it seems that the diabetes may limit my career growth (as hard as that concept is to stomach!).

Right now, I get coverage equal to 1.5x my salary provided by my company at no cost to me, and I pay an extra $163/year for an additional 2x coverage. Now it looks like I’d end up paying in the thousands, not the hundreds (and no short-term/long-term disability. I’ll have to see if I can hop on my wife’s policy for that).

I’m willing to take professional risks – to a point – but when it comes to the health and well-being of my family, it might just break the deal. (Note to self: Welcome to the real world).

I got life insurance through Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. I don’t believe you have to be Lutheran to buy a policy through them. I think the rate I’m paying is not too much. I’ll check on the details. I think I got the policy a couple years ago at age 42 with 36 years of T1 under my belt. It seems the health check was not too extensive. I pay as much as my husband, who is a smoker.
Thrivent is a non-profit organization. They put all of their monies back into charity.

It’s doable, but you’ll pay for it.

New York Life. Term Insurance. Just did it a few months ago.

See an agent. I’m 52, non-smoker. It’s costing me nearly 2500 year for 10 years, guaranteed premium, 500k policy.

I’m quoting those figures from memory and will correct them if I need to.

Isn’t the real world grand? Check the portability issue (though you may not want to let your current employer know you are thinking of leaving – you can call the insurer if you need to). If you want a recommendation for the broker who got me my policy, email me at and I will be happy to send along a reference. Guy is in NJ, and he got me a good, but expensive, policy. He may be able to help with disability, too.