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Life Insurance Exam – Do I Have to Take One? What It Involves, FAQs

Doctor writing a medical prescription in hospitalNot all life insurance policies require a medical exam. Smaller policies – like final expense insurance (also known as “burial insurance” or “funeral insurance”) – typically only require answers to health questions.

For larger policies – like term insurance – several factors determine whether a life insurance exam is required. These can include the consumer’s age, the coverage amount being applied for, the type of policy, the consumer’s family history, and any pre-existing policies the consumer has.

Getting accurate health information is an important part of the insurance process. In fact, some insurance providers will deny coverage for those who refuse to answer health questions or get an exam. Some insurance companies will require a blood test and urine sample.

While this may seem inconvenient, it can work in your favor if you are in good health. For example, if you’re able to answer “no” to all of the health questions on the application, you may qualify for lower premiums.

Even if you have health problems, most insurance companies have a special policy you can qualify for, which helps ensure the death benefit is processed smoothly when the time comes.

What to expect in a life insurance medical exam

A typical health exam is conducted by a nurse or other medical professional and can often be completed in your home or office as an added convenience.

In most cases, the medical professional will measure your height and weight, take your blood pressure, and collect blood and urine samples. The most important component of the exam is the blood test, which helps confirm the answers you provided on the insurance application. Your blood will likely be tested for:

  • Cholesterol levels
  • Indications of heart, liver, or kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Tobacco use
  • AIDS and HIV

Some insurance companies may also request an electrocardiogram (EKG) – especially if you are over 50 – to gauge heart health. Some insurance medical exams may test your blood for tobacco, marijuana, and other drugs, so it’s important to be honest when you first complete your insurance application. Finally, the examiner may ask about any medications you are currently using, so it’s a good idea to prepare a list ahead of time.

What happens after a life insurance exam

Results of the medical exam can take several weeks to process. Once completed, you and the life insurance company will be sent copies of your results. The results will also be sent to an underwriter who will evaluate your risk factors and determine whether you are eligible for coverage and the cost of your monthly premiums. The higher the risks identified in your exam, the higher your premiums will be once your policy is issued. Some companies may also look at factors such as your criminal background and drug use to determine eligibility and premiums.

Is a medical exam always required?

You should know that not all life insurance policies require a medical exam. There are options for those who do not wish to undergo a physical. In these cases, the coverage is usually issued based answers to health questions on the application.

Carefully read the terms of a life insurance policy to ensure it meets your needs. There are many life insurance policies available where there is no requirement for a physical that provide comprehensive coverage and ensure your loved ones will not be left with financial burdens (like burial costs or funeral expenses) after you pass.

Next steps

If you’re looking for a policy that doesn't require a life insurance exam, consider getting a final expense life insurance quote from Funeral Advantage. We offer an affordable final expense insurance policy that can help families cover funeral costs and other final expenses.