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Life insurance policies that don’t require a medical exam
Yes! It's possible to get a life insurance policy without the medical exam or blood test.
If you’re looking to get life insurance in place quickly and are in good medical shape without any pre-existing medical conditions, you may be eligible for a policy that requires very little, if any, medical underwriting. Many online insurers have a short questionnaire and if the entry level requirements are all checked off, coverage can usually be put in place without further documentation.
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How does no medical exam life insurance work?
No medical exam life insurance works the same way as a regular policy, but it lets you skip the process of getting a medical examination and instead assesses your health via a simple questionnaire.
What’s on the questionnaire?
With no medical life insurance, there’s usually minimal medical underwriting when you apply. Generally, you’re required to answer questions relevant to your health — details like if you’re a smoker or heavy drinker, your height and weight, and your recent medical history.
Make sure you disclose carefully
It’s crucial that you answer all questions accurately for two important reasons:
- To avoid your potential claim being rejected
- So the insurer can determine the appropriate level of coverage for you
What if I have a pre-existing medical condition?
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, most insurers will exclude it automatically. However, some policies may allow you to undertake additional medical tests in order to further examine your current health condition and determine whether or not they can cover you.
What are the different types of no medical exam life insurance?
- Simplified issue life insurance. There’s no medical exam required, but you do have to answer some questions about your medical history.
- Guaranteed issue life insurance. Also known as guaranteed acceptance life insurance, this is where you’re not asked any health questions and don’t have to complete a medical exam — it may be pricier, but you cannot be refused coverage.
- Instant-approval insurance with accelerated underwriting. This type of instant decision life insurance requires you to answer a few questions about your medical history, and if the insurer feels they need to inspect your health further, they can ask you to take a medical exam before insuring you. This type of no medical exam life insurance uses algorithms that gather your personal data to give the insurer a clearer look at your medical background.
Why consider a no medical exam life insurance policy?
- Short approval process. By the time a standard life insurance policy is assessed — meaning your medical tests are taken and examined, and the underwriting process is completed — the application can take anywhere from four to six weeks. However, if you want coverage right away, a no medical life insurance policy can be approved in just days.
- Guaranteed acceptance. You should consider no medical life insurance when you’re unable to find a policy because of health complications, pre-existing conditions, your age, your lifestyle or other risk factors. No medical life insurance is often used by people with a short time to live who want to use the life insurance benefit for pay for their funeral expenses.
- No medical. No medical assessment can be good news for a number of people — not just those with medical conditions. For example, you may be uncomfortable around doctors or needles, you may not have a family doctor you trust or you may simply not have the time to undergo a medical exam.
How is a no medical exam policy convenient?
Life insurance underwriting has changed quite significantly over the years in that many providers will provide coverage without the need for medical underwriting if the person presents no significant risk. A no medical life insurance policy can be convenient for a policy holder if:
- They don’t smoke.
- They aren’t excessive drinkers.
- They have no pre-existing medical conditions.
- They understand what their life insurance needs are
If the insured satisfies these conditions, an underwriter is generally happy to continue with the application process without medical underwriting. There are other types of insurance where no medical underwriting is required regardless of the person’s condition.
- Accidental death insurance: A benefit is paid for and accident only — not medical complications.
- Personal accident insurance: A benefit is only paid for an injury caused by an accident not related to a medical condition.
- Funeral insurance: These final expense policies typically require no medical underwriting.
Why is a medical exam required if I have a pre-existing medical condition?
A medical examination is often required when applying for life insurance, especially if you’re looking to be approved for a high level of coverage or have a pre-existing health condition. Medical exams are often necessary if the insurance provider needs more information regarding your health. With this important medical information in hand, they can decide whether or not to approve you.
What’s considered a pre-existing medical condition?
A pre-existing medical condition is generally defined as:
- A health condition that was diagnosed, investigated or treated.
- Any symptoms that’ve led to a diagnosis in the past.
Where can pre-existing medical conditions stem from?
To give you accurate coverage, insurance providers need to determine any underlying health issues that you may not be aware of and assess the level of risk you carry. They’ll likely ask whether or not the following conditions are relevant to you:
- Family history. Certain hereditary traits or medical conditions could result in higher premiums. For example, if there are two or more deaths in your family under the age of 65 as a result of heart disease and you’re showing symptoms of high blood pressure, this could be a red flag for insurers.
- Smoking habits. If you’re a heavy smoker, the insurer will want to know if you’re showing signs of any respiratory disease or related conditions that could be damaging to your health. Even if you’ve stopped smoking, the insurer could ask the reason for quitting, which might be due to medical reasons, such as a recent heart attack or chronic bronchitis.
- Alcohol consumption. You’ll be asked about the amount of alcohol you consume on a weekly basis. Often, moderate to heavy drinkers may not provide an accurate or true answer of how much they actually consume. This can lead to insurers requiring a physical medical examination to uncover symptoms that may indicate alcohol abuse, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Finger clubbing
- Enlarged liver
- Pitted nose
- Digestive disorders
- Specific medical conditions, such as:
- Heart trouble and high blood pressure: Your insurer will want to know if you’re experiencing hypertension and if and how the condition is being treated.
- Chest pains: These symptoms could indicate other serious health issues such as ischaemic heart disease, pericarditis or other conditions.
- Lung disorders: If you’re an asthma sufferer, your life insurance underwriter will require a medical report to understand the severity of your condition.
- Bronchitis: If you have chronic bronchitis, you will be required to go through a medical examination and provide a medical record.
- Chronic indigestion: Depending on the severity of your indigestion, an underwriter might require either a medical report or a full examination. This is to ensure that your condition is not caused by an ulcer.
- Diabetes Type 1 or 2: A urine sample is usually taken to determine whether or not you have diabetes. There are two types of diabetes — Type 1 and Type 2. Both typically require a medical report, a medical exam and a diabetes questionnaire completed by the applicant.
- Malignant tumors or cancer: The underwriter will ask for any relevant information on the type of tumor you have, its staging, treatments you undertake and results of check-ups. A medical exam, medical report and a questionnaire will be required.
- Kidney, bladder, liver disorders or stones: Any loss of kidney functions, inflammation of gall bladder (including stones), colon and liver issues will require you to undergo a medical examination and any other tests if necessary.
- Hepatitis: Any declaration of hepatitis will prompt the underwriter to request more information. So, a medical attendant’s report, full medical exam and any other test may be required.
- Mental illness: Mental diseases are often quite difficult to assess by life insurance underwriters. Therefore, they’ll require additional information on the treatment, the response to treatment and if there are any attempts of suicide.
- Epilepsy: Underwriters will require information on the type of epilepsy that you have, the lifestyle and any treatments that you’re taking. Having epilepsy will generally result in higher premiums.
What type of details will be needed if I have to take a medical test?
Life insurance providers will generally require a blood and urine test. These samples are then used to discover any traces of illness that you may be unaware of, which might influence their decision on whether or not to provide you with a policy.
You may also need to go through a medical test that’ll usually record your height and weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. Additional tests may be required depending on your age and the amount of coverage you’re applying for. If you’re older, you may be required to complete a electrocardiogram or a treadmill stress test.
What conditions will the medical exam test for?
A medical exam for life insurance is generally quite straightforward. Your insurer is only looking for signs that could indicate underlying health conditions that would reduce your life expectancy and increase the likelihood of a payout.
Your samples will be used to test for:
- Presence of antigens which can indicate HIV.
- Cholesterol and related lipids.
- A liver or kidney disorder.
- Antibodies which indicate hepatitis.
- Prostate specific antigens which can indicate prostate cancer.
- Immune disorders.
Your urine sample may also be tested routinely and screened for medications, cocaine and other drugs to indicate your lifestyle. Providing blood for the tests can be as simple as a finger prick, or with a needle.
Tips for your life insurance medical examination
The better the results of your medical exam, the lower your premiums and the higher the coverage you can apply for when looking for life insurance. Therefore, look after yourself before the exam to ensure a good result by:
- Getting a solid full night’s sleep the night before.
- Not drinking any alcohol at least eight hours before the exam.
- Avoiding caffeine, including coffee, soda and chocolate at least one hour before the exam.
- Limiting your salt intake and reducing high cholesterol foods for 24 hours before your exam.
- Not doing any strenuous activity for 24 hours before the exam.
Taking all factors into consideration — meaning your health, your coverage needs and how much you can afford — make sure that if you’re planning on purchasing life insurance, that you’re going with a policy that offers adequate protection for yourself and your family.
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