Top pick: Bestow
- Up to $1 million coverage
- Get covered in 10 minutes
- No medical exam needed
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A health exam is required for traditional life insurance policies, but traditional isn’t the only option on the market. Depending on your insurer, you may only have to answer a health questionnaire, or you could get coverage with no questions asked. But no-exam policies are expensive, and coverage is limited.
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.
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.
It depends on your insurer. Some carriers won’t allow you to customize your no-exam policy with riders, while others may offer common riders such as:
If these situations apply to you, a no-medical exam policy might make sense:
In these cases, you might be better off applying for a traditionally underwritten policy:
You have a few options for life insurance that skips the exam. Generally the more info you give your insurer and the healthier you are, the cheaper your insurance rates.
With a simplified life insurance policy, you can choose between a term or permanent policy. You won’t have to undergo a physical, but you’ll need to answer some questions about your medical history and potentially submit to a phone interview. Approval isn’t guaranteed, but if you do pass the test, your policy could be issued within hours or days.
Also known as guaranteed acceptance life insurance, this type of policy is open to anyone. It forgoes both the medical exam and health questionnaire, and insurers can’t refuse coverage. Typically, guaranteed issue policies are whole life policies that are capped at small amounts, like $50,000. They’re often ideal for seniors as a way to cover funeral costs and end-of-life expenses, or for people who have serious medical conditions that would exclude them from getting a standard policy.
Group life insurance policies are offered through the workplace as part of your employee benefits. If your employer participates and you want to enroll, you won’t need to fill out a health questionnaire or take a medical exam. The employer typically pays all or most of the premium – making this a cheap and easy way to get life insurance.
While it’s convenient, group life coverage usually tops out at one to two times your annual salary, which may not be enough coverage.
Fintech startups like Ethos and Fabric offer term life policies online with accelerated underwriting. They use algorithms to scan your personal data such as your driving record and prescription drug history. Depending on the insurer, you may also need to answer a few questions about your health and family medical history. If the insurer needs more information or wants to investigate your health further, your insurer may schedule a phone interview or request a medical exam.
Yes, once you submit the application, you’ll immediately find out if you’re approved.
The goal of instant-approval term life insurance is to make the buying process as quick and easy as possible. After you answer a few questions about your health and lifestyle, providers pull your data from public records (with your permission). They might look at prescription databases and DMV records. They then use complex algorithms to calculate your risk. In most cases, this gives the insurer the information they need to make an informed decision.
|Accepts previous health conditions|
|Requires health questionnaire|
|Assesses personal data like medical records|
|Capped at small coverage amounts|
|Option to buy more coverage|
|Immediate approval or denial|
While you won’t have to take an exam, you’ll still typically need to answer a few basic health questions, unless you choose a guaranteed issue policy.
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.
For the most accurate rate, it’s important to answer all questions as best as you can. And be honest – if your insurer discovers you lied on an application, they may deny your beneficiaries’ claim later on.
If you’re applying for a simplified issue policy, you may be required to do a phone interview. The purpose of the call is so the insurer can verify your medical history and the other information you provided in your application. You can also take this opportunity to ask your insurer any questions about your coverage. The phone interview usually takes between 10 and 30 minutes, and everything you say is confidential, though it can affect your rates.
The life insurance agent will likely ask about the following:
No-medical exam policies are ideal for people who have a serious health condition working against them, as well as those who need coverage quickly or don’t want to see a doctor. While these policies can be issued within hours or days, the coverage is capped and you can expect to pay a much higher premium.
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