Many term life insurance policies require a medical exam when you initially apply. This helps the insurer determine your monthly premiums. But if you’d prefer not to go through a medical exam, there are other options available so you can still get the coverage you need. Keep reading to learn more about how term life insurance works, life insurance medical exams, and your options.
What is term life insurance?
Term life insurance is short-term life policy that guarantees a death benefit payout to your beneficiaries if you pass away while insured. This form of life insurance usually ranges between 10 to 30 years and is typically less expensive than other forms of life insurance, so you may be able to find a term life insurance quote within your budget. And some life insurance providers allow you to convert your term life policy into a whole life insurance policy if you want more coverage.
Why is a medical exam important?
A medical exam helps life insurance companies determine the rate of your life insurance premiums. Your age, health status, and life expectancy are all factors that can affect how much you’ll pay. Your medical exam results will let the insurer know how much of a risk they may be taking depending on the state of your health. If you have preexisting health conditions like diabetes or a form of cancer, the insurer is taking on a higher risk by insuring you, so your premiums will likely be higher. Your rates will also typically be higher if you’re a senior. A 70-year-old buying term life insurance, for instance, will pay much more in policy premiums per year than a 30-year-old.
During a life insurance medical exam, you’ll be asked for general health-related information like a list of medications, dates of diagnoses, any treatments you’ve received, and the contact information for any doctors you may visit. They’ll also check for your weight, height, pulse, and blood pressure, and may take urine samples. Many life insurance health exams will test for the following:
- Recreational drugs
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
No medical exam life insurance policies
If you want to get life insurance without going through a medical exam, two types of no-exam life insurance may be at your disposal:
Simplified issue life insurance
This form of life insurance doesn’t require you to get a medical exam, but you may have to provide your medical records and complete a health questionnaire during the application process. Unlike other life insurance policies, you can get coverage immediately instead of waiting an extended period for approval. Simplified issue life insurance offers an easier process of getting the coverage you need, and it’s a great alternative if you’ve had trouble getting approved in the past due to an existing health condition. The premiums are a bit pricier, but may be worth the peace of mind you’ll have knowing your family will have extra financial security.
Guaranteed issue life insurance
Guaranteed issue life insurance is another option for those that may not qualify for other life policies due to health issues. It offers a small death benefit that gives your beneficiaries enough funds to cover your end-of-life expenses. There’s no medical exam required, and you may only have to answer a few health-related questions. Guaranteed issue life policies are typically more affordable than simplified issue life insurance, but are still more expensive than term life policies.
The bottom line
You may need to complete a medical exam for a term life policy, depending on the type of life insurance you’re applying for and your personal preference. If you have existing health conditions that may disqualify you from term life coverage, consider getting a no medical exam policy like guaranteed issue or simplified issue life insurance. Just keep in mind that these policies can cost more than life insurance that requires a health exam. Do some research, compare your options, and consider your health status to figure out which option is right for you.