Top 10 health hazards for life insurers

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Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes © Ververidis Vasilis/

Type 2 diabetes

Underwriters are notoriously wary of Type 2 (or adult onset) diabetes because 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. "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," Goldstein says. "A 40-year-old is unlikely to qualify for preferred, in my experience."

Bloom says the key to insuring a diabetic is how the condition is being managed.

"We would take into consideration whether the proposed insured is under the care of a medical professional and whether the condition is well-controlled," he says.


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