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Can I get a Life Insurance Policy Without the Medical Exam?

By Brian Hartstein MSFS, CLU, ChFC | 10/10/2013

Non Medical Term Life Insurance? No Problem.

We are constantly asked if it is possible for someone to obtain a term life insurance policy without having taking a medical exam, and if so, can we help? The short answer is yes. However, it is important to understand these products to know whether pursuing this option is the proper course of action. First, let's examine the background of these policies to determine whether or not they are a good fit for one's needs and budget. In many cases the choice to pursue a non medically underwritten term life insurance policy, in which no complete medical exam is required, is dictated by the fact that many people do have some type of health issue and therefore are reluctant to go through a thorough medical exam. This might preclude them from getting a traditional term life insurance policy or make it much more expensive annually to purchase one. However, the main reason these policies are popular is the lack of desire to go through the process of a comprehensive medical examination as well as giving blood and a urine sample for testing. Regardless of whether it is the former or the latter, neither of these reasons should be an impediment in purchasing term life insurance for family protection, to cover debt and other expenses, or any other need.

There a variety of life insurance companies who offer non medically underwritten term life insurance. Not all have the same requirements and amounts of coverage. Therefore it is important to understand the differences between the companies and the products to find the one that is the best fit for you and your needs. One area they do have in common is a greatly simplified underwriting process which will commonly just consist of a series of questions such as:

  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you currently or previously have had cancer?
  • Have you ever experienced a heart attack or stroke?

Most if not all of the questions are very general in nature. However, they are trying to discern whether you do have health risks without having you submit to a full blown medical exam. You still will have to fill out a application which will the usual series of general questions. Many insurance companies will also require a phone interview, which commonly takes 20-30 minutes to complete, as well. It is always best to be completely honest about your current health, previous health issues, and the health of those in your immediate family if asked. You must also be honest about your lifestyle choices such as smoking.

Now - let's examine (yes this is an obvious pun sorry I couldn't resist) some of the differences between the companies:

  • Company #1 - Will issue a maximum of $400,000 of death benefit up to age 60
  • Company #2 - Has a "rapid decision" system in place to quickly approve a policy with a minimum of $25,000 of death benefit to a maximum of $250,000 of death benefit. Will issue up to a 10 year term.
  • Company #3 - Minimum of $50,000 of death benefit to a maximum of $350,000 of death benefit up until age 65.
  • Company #4 - Has several products. One example is minimum of $25,000 of death benefit to a maximum of $100,000 of death benefit up until age 60. For ages 61-70 a minimum of $25,000 of death benefit to a maximum of $50,000 of death benefit.

There are other companies but the above should suffice in illustrating some of the differences between the companies and products. Obviously an important factor is that non medical term life insurance will generally cost more than a fully underwritten policy. How much more can vary greatly from company to company. This is the trade-off for not having to go through the full medical underwriting process as the insurance companies have to take on greater risk. Also, the older you are the more expensive the coverage. As illustrated above there are also strict limitations on how much coverage can be purchased and maximum ages for coverage. If the goal is to obtain the cheapest possible coverage then you must submit to an exam. If not, then choosing to purchase a non medically underwritten term life policy may be the right decision.

You still need to do your due diligence in finding the right insurance company and products to fit your needs and your budget. We are here to help, can answer your questions, and help you obtain free quotes. Do not pass by the opportunity to protect yourself and your family's financial future and well-being simply due to the fact you have some type of health history or are unwilling to submit to a thorough medical exam. The solution is right at your fingertips.

Recommended Reading

Changes Within the Life Insurance Industry: Will You be Affected?

Obtaining a Life Insurance Policy: Part I

Obtaining a Life Insurance Policy: Part II

How to Prepare for a Medical Exam

Is "Buy Term and Invest" Really the Answer?

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