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Now there's accessible life cover for diabetics who manage their condition

Laura du Preez—Personal Finance
February 23, 2009

A local life assurer has launched a policy for diabetics committed to managing their condition. This follows its launch, about four years ago, of an affordable life insurance product for HIV-positive people who are committed to managing their illness.

Diabetics are often denied traditional life insurance or are charged very high premiums, and cover for death from related conditions may be excluded from their policies.

AllLife says the reason insurance for diabetics is costly and often has complex exclusions is because of the risk that you, as a diabetic, won't follow recommended medical treatment.

In 2005, AllLife developed a health monitoring system to provide cheaper life cover to people who are HIV-positive. As long as you are willing to commit to AllLife's adherence programme, which includes taking anti-retrovirals (if your CD4+ count requires it) and having regular blood tests to prove it, you can take out an AllLife policy.

The policies for diabetics work on the same principle - AllLife will monitor your control of the condition by checking your blood sugar level, through a test known as HbA1C, every nine months .

"Our ability to monitor the health of the people we insure and to make them aware of potential health problems as they arise means we can reward our policy holders for good health management and provide cheaper and more straightforward insurance products," says Ross Beerman, AllLife's managing director.

Quote over the phone
Diabetics are able to get up to R5 million in life cover from AllLife without any waiting periods or exclusions on health conditions.

Loan protection policies, in which the cover amount reduces in line with the expected repayment of your loan, are also available.

Diabetics can obtain a quote on life cover over the phone without providing medical test results, although policies are subject to underwriting, which is completed after the quote has been accepted.

The monthly premium on the AllLife policy will be based on normal underwriting criteria and whether you have type-1 or type-2 diabetes, the number of years since your diagnosis, whether you are a smoker, as well as a commitment to follow the diabetic control monitoring programme.

Type-1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults under 30, when the pancreas stops producing insulin. Type-2 diabetes is usually diagnosed later in life when the insulin produced by the pancreas does not work properly or is insufficient.

Beerman says a policy offering R500 000 cover to a non-smoking 35-year-old man recently diagnosed with type-2 diabetes and with a blood sugar level reflecting that the condition is controlled (an HbA1C test result of less than 10 percent) would cost R230 a month.

AllLife's market research showed that other insurers charge anything between R280 and R400 a month for the same cover for someone with the same profile.

AllLife administers the HIV and diabetic policies, which are underwritten by Centriq and reinsured by Gen Re, one of the world's largest reinsurers. Top
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