Type 2 diabetes
Underwriters are notoriously wary of Type 2 (or adult onset) diabetes because of the toll it takes on the body's vascular system. It can lead to coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, renal failure and blindness.
"It absolutely can affect risk class because there are a lot of potentially life-threatening complications that can result from diabetes," says Goldstein. "Most carriers will look through the rest of the overall application to see if there is any history of those complications that can arise as a result of the condition."
Contrary to most factors that affect life insurance rates, youth works against the Type 2 diabetic. "The younger they are, the higher the risks as they get older," says Goldstein. "If I get diabetes at age 70, I might already have coronary artery disease or a stroke anyway, so the impact of the diabetes might not affect my life expectancy in the way it might a 40-year-old. A 40-year-old is unlikely to qualify for preferred in my experience."
Bloom says the key to affordable coverage is control and management.
"We would take into consideration whether the proposed insured is under the care of a medical professional and whether the condition is well-controlled. Some conditions may require a period of time after diagnosis -- for example, six to 12 months -- before we could insure the client," he says.