Substantial private term life insurance for T1Ds?

There was a thread about a year ago on life insurance and I didn’t see the info I was looking for so I thought I’d see if anyone has new info:

Has anyone out there recently had luck getting a substantial ($1+ million) term life insurance plan for a type 1 adult?


I pay a fee with each paycheck for life insurance through my work. It’s a MetLife plan. I was informed that there would be no underwriting as long as I enrolled in life insurance when I was first hired. There’s a basic amount, and then I could choose a multiple of my salary in addition to that- not millions but still a high value. I’d have to look at it again to check the exact amount. I chose pretty close to the highest option because I was told that if I decided to increase the value, I’d have to undergo underwriting unless it was a life event like marriage or having a child (in which case I could only increase it by one step (e.g. 3x to 4x) without underwriting).

My coworkers have frequently said that the life insurance offered through my work is more expensive than if you paid for it elsewhere (likely due to the lack of underwriting), but I don’t think it’s that bad. I imagine it’d be more expensive for me elsewhere once they found out I had D- if I could even obtain it at all.

Edit: Just looked it up. I pay $20 biweekly for $500,000 of insurance. I can increase it a bit if I get married or have a child.

Same here but it doesn’t amount to near what my insurance needs should be.

Excellent topic @ned I find myself in the same boat of not knowing how it all works and I’ve been kicking the can down the road on this one, which isn’t good…

When I was younger (in to mid 40’s) I had a 1 million dollar policy as a contingent of my practice loan. It was not difficult to get, but the $1200/mo premium was difficult to pay. I dropped it as soon as the loan was retired.

I now have pretty much the same policy as @Katers87. Except my employer pays for the first 100k, and I pay $30/mo for the next 200k. If you can get into a large group the costs a are minimal.

This is a really important point. i.e. if you are Type 1 and want life insurance, you are capped at whatever your employer is allowing for maximum and have little ability to get a policy on the individual market without huge expenses. That is really a tough one, because Type 1’s with young families have life insurance needs that are far in excess of whatever I have been offered by my employers. I don’t really think there is a great solution to this.

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For me , it’s waaaaaaaaay more than my current life insurance needs. I felt a bit trapped when I enrolled because I knew I wouldn’t be able to increase my life insurance enough if my needs changed substantially. It felt like I had to either choose high coverage when I was first hired or never be able to get it. Still not really sure if I made the right choice…

It sounds like a reasonable choice: you’ve bought and preserved the ability to protect/benefit someone in the future, whether it is your parent, spouse, child, or other.

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I think the best route is to learn more about about what types of policies and insurers are the most reasonable in this particular context… I suppose this is where brokers who know the biz might really pay off

That’s the gnarley thing is how quickly being being overinsured can change to being grossly underinsured, and you don’t ever want to find yourself in the position of being grossly underinsured and very concerned, frustrated, and worried about what options do or don’t exist…

My wife and I got in excess of that amount. If you are married (maybe even if not married?), look at second to die coverage. Pays out only if/when both of you die, but rates are therefore much better than would be the case for either spouse by themselves. They checked my medical records and got an A1c, cholesterol (and maybe other blood tests - I don’t remember), but otherwise no issues getting coverage even after having T1 for 35+ years at the time.

I also get as much personal coverage as I can from work, but that isn’t much relatively.


Can I ask how old you were whenthe policywas issued / the term/ assuming it was a term policy? Was this a significant part of the discussion? Or was it just the same process everyone else goes through? I bought a 20 year term $500,000 policy at age 28 (the year before D-day) which seemed like a long time and a lot of money at the time— now it seems like very little of either. I have a comparable amount of coverage through my employer but at $1m I’m still grossly underinsured in my family situation—- and it’s so important for everyone to realize that employer life insurance is about 94% total BS because in most cases unless someone walks out in the street and get hit by a bus they end up losing their job before they lose their life—- employer based coverage almost shouldn’t even be considered at all in total life insurance needs imo (although it’s still a good idea, just don’t consider it “real” insurance)

It seems to me that last to die policies make a lot of sense in certain cases/families but not so much in others

I’m not sure what you mean here. If I’m diagnosed with a terminal illness where my physician states my life expectancy is 9 months or less (and can no longer work), then my life insurance policy would pay out immediately. I’m not sure if other employer’s policies are like that, but I’m having a hard time thinking of a time where I wouldn’t be able to use my policy…maybe my plan is just different.

Yes, but what if you get cancer, it isn’t short-term terminal but is going to kill you in 3-5 years. I have more than one friend that was laid-off in such circumstances. Companies do what is their best interest, not their employees.

My employer based life insurance would only pay out if the date on the death certificate was while employed there…

Hmm? I thought “Life Insurance” was just that…it’s paid in exchange for your life (harsh, but that’s what it means). I’ve never heard of any life insurance policy paying out before someone actually dies. I need to get me some of that!

What would happen in a situation, say, where someone was diagnosed terminal and given only 5% chance of living longer than 2 months, then life insurance pays out, and the person goes on to live another 50 years?

“Life insurance is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer or assurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money in exchange for a premium, upon the death of an insured person.

I think I may have some employment benefits that aren’t offered in other jobs. I failed to consider that when I replied. Sorry about that.

I think Sam’s point is valid. I wonder what other options are available outside of employment for people with D.

I think it’s called a living benefits rider, and you pay an extra fee for it. Not sure on all the particulars.

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Very cool! Just looked it up and had never heard of it before.

“The Living Benefits Rider (LBR) can help offer peace of mind at a critical time. It entitles the policy owner to an early (accelerated) payout of policy death benefits,1 if the insured is diagnosed to have a life expectancy of 12 months or less.”

Thanks for the info! I wish my job offered this…the closest thing they have to any benefits in the event I can’t work is Short Term and Long Term Disability (which most employers provide.) But I am able to get 10x my salary in life insurance, so that comes in handy. But as @Sam pointed out, it’s only good while I’m employed with them…if you job hop, this definitely isn’t a reliable option. I’ve been there 16 years and hope to retire there…and even though my contract is ending on July 1st and I haven’t even began a job search yet, I am hoping to stay with them.

I found out something cool, though…because I’ve been with them a long time, I’m getting a sizable “severence” package. We can live off of this for a while, while I search for a new job. I found out with my company that I can get re-hired after being let go and not have to pay any of that severence money back (and not lose my tenure if I get re-hired within a certain period of time), so that’s a plus.


Is your life insurance policy cancelled if you have to claim the short term or long term disability benefits?

No, they’re two separate things. One is for if I die, and the other is if I have a life event that takes me out of commission for either a short period of time (STD) or a long period of time (LTD). The only way anyone gets paid out with the life insurance is if I die (no riders attached to the policy)