The increasing trend for more and more life insurance companies to embrace different accelerated underwriting models represents one of the few situations where the life insurance industry is modernizing itself.
As a result, many prospective buyers on now finding it possible to quickly purchase a traditional term or whole life insurance policy without having to take a medical exam and/or wait weeks for their approvals. Instead, many individuals are finding it possible to become fully insured in just a few hours or days after submitting their application.
This may not seem all that shocking, however, given how slowly life insurance companies like to make changes, this “overhaul” of the industry is really quite impressive. We should note however that accelerated underwriting or no medical exam life insurance policies (as they are commonly referred to) aren’t always the best options for everyone.
This is why we wanted to take a moment and discuss some of the most common questions we receive about these new types of life insurance products.
Questions that will be discussed will include:
- What is an accelerated life insurance policy?
- Which life insurance companies offer the best-accelerated life insurance products?
- What does the application process look like when applying for an accelerated life insurance policy?
- What are some potential “knockouts” that may disqualify you from being able to qualify for an accelerated life insurance policy?
- What can you do if you’re not eligible for an accelerated life insurance policy?
- How do I know which life insurance company is best for me?
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
What is an accelerated life insurance policy?
Accelerated underwriting is a term used to descrbie the “process” that allows life insurance companies to make a decision on a life insurance application more quickly than with traditional underwriting. In accelerated underwriting, the insurance company uses advanced analytics and data sources, such as medical records and prescription databases, to make a decision on your application. This allows the company to bypass some of the traditional underwriting steps, such as ordering a medical exam or obtaining a paramedical exam (ie: collecting a blood and urine sample).
This can be especially useful if you:
- Need coverage right away.
- Don’t want to take a medical exam or provide a blood and/or urine sample.
- Are healthy and haven’t been diagnosed with any pre-existing medical conditions.
- Or are trying to obtain a policy for someone who may find it difficult to schedule a medical exam (ex-spouse, interstate truck driver, or individuals living in remote areas).
Accelerated underwriting is not available for all types of life insurance policies, and not all insurance companies offer it. Additionally, accelerated life insurance policies are also not suitable for everyone which is something that we will address specifically later on in this article.
Which life insurance companies offer the best-accelerated life insurance products?
The following top rated insurance companies offer what we believe to be the best accelerated underwriting programs.
We are impartial as to which company is best, as different ones are better for different situations based on your particular needs and goals.
As a result, we did not rank the companies, but instead, we have listed them in alphabetical order.
And finally, not all the companies below are 100% no exam, as some companies may require a medical exam if you do not fulfill certain criteria.
|Company||Program Name||Ages||Face Amounts|
|American National||Xpress Plus||18-60||$250K - $1 million up to age 50; $250K - $500K ages 51-60|
|Equitable||Accumulation Streamlined UW Program||18-55||Up to $2 million|
|Fidelity Life||Rapidecision Life & Express||18-65||Up to $1 million|
|Foresters||Your Term||18-55||Up to $400k|
|John Hancock||ExpressTrack||18-60||Up to $3 million|
|Banner Life||Appcelerate||20-50||Up to $1 million based on age|
|Lincoln National||LincXpress||18-60||Up to $1 million|
|Minnesota Life||WriteFit||18-54||Up to $2 million|
|Nationwide||Intelligent Underwriting||18-60||$100k up to $1 million|
|North American||Write Away||18-60||Up to $1 million (Ages 51-60 up to $500k)|
|Pacific Life||Accelerated Underwriting||18-60||Up to $1 million|
|Penn Mutual||Accelerated Client Experience (ACE)||20-65||Up to $5 million|
|Principal Financial||Accelerated Underwriting||18-60||Up to $2.5 million|
|Protective Life||Protective Life Underwriting Solution||18-60||Up to $1 million (Ages 46-60 up to $500k)|
|Prudential||PruFast Track||18-60||Up to $3 million|
|Sagicor||Accelewriting||18-65||Up to $1 million|
|SBLI||Accelerated Underwriting||18-60||Up to $750K|
|Symetra||Accelerated Underwriting||18-60||Up to $2 million (Ages 51-60 up to $1 million)|
What does the application process look like when applying for an accelerated life insurance policy?
With accelerated underwriting, your life insurance approval can be as quick as 24 hours. Contrast that with more traditional underwriting, requiring a medical exam, which takes 27 days on average.
The Primary end goal of accelerated underwriting is to get a policy in the hand of the consumer quicker, while also increasing the satisfaction of the consumer and meeting their expectations. Source.
What is Underwriting?
When you apply for life insurance, you go through a process called underwriting.
Different underwriting programs are available, which include:
- Fully Underwritten (traditional)
- Accelerated Underwriting
- Simplified Issue
- Guaranteed Issue
Underwriting is basically the time the insurance company’s underwriters can find anything about your health and lifestyle when deciding what health rating to give you, if you are even approved.
An underwriter is going to look over all your details, including your application, and give you a health rating.
Your health rating will ultimately determine what your life insurance premium will be.
The good news with accelerated underwriting is that carriers are willing to give the same health rate classes as with traditional underwriting. Contrast this with many simplified issue life insurance policies, where standard is the best health rating an insurance company will offer.
And with guaranteed issue life insurance, there is no underwriting involved other than making sure the prospective applicant meets the age and residence criteria.
Underwriting has traditionally began with a paramedical exam, where an examiner would come to your home or place of business and do a medical exam,
Traditional paramedical exams include:
- Blood work
- Urine Sample
- Blood Pressure
- Measure Height
- Record Your Weight
- Ask Additional Application Questions
- And Perhaps an Electrocardiogram (EKG)
However, for better or worse, much of your data now exists in various databases.
So, rather than have to send a nurse to your home, the insurance company can do a comprehensive background check to determine your health and lifestyle risk level.
If you qualify for automated underwriting, the underwriter will check with some or all of the following:
- Medical Information Bureau (MIB)
- The Medical Information Bureau (MIB) is a nonprofit organization that maintains a database of medical and lifestyle information on individuals who have applied for life, health, or disability insurance. Insurance companies can access this database as part of the underwriting process to determine an applicant’s risk of future medical issues
- Prescription Database
- Motor Vehicle Records
- Credit History
What are some potential “knockouts” that may disqualify you from being able to qualify for an accelerated life insurance policy?
Now, before we list some red flags that would make you ineligible for accelerated underwriting, we must let you know that these rules are general and not universal.
Instead, different companies have their set criteria, with some companies being lenient in one area or more strict in another.
Roughly about 50% of applicants ages 18-50 applying for accelerated underwriting are approved. The other 50% are required to take a life insurance medical exam.
Those aged between 51 and up, depending on the eligibility requirements, have around a 25% chance of being approved for accelerated underwriting.
To be accepted for accelerated underwriting, you must meet the age and face amount requirements (listed in the table above).
You must also avoid potential red flags that could pop up along the way.
Some potential red flags that may hinder you from going the Accelerated Underwriting route would be the following:
- Your Build Is Outside Weight Limits
- You Have A Major Medical Condition
- Recent Tobacco Use
- Recent Bankruptcy
- No Felonies in the last 10 years
- No more than One DUI or Reckless Driving in the last 10 years
- No Marijuana Use In the Past 5 Years
All of these could be potential “knockout” questions with some companies, but maybe not with others.
For example, some companies will allow certain people with diabetes to go through accelerated underwriting, while others would require you to take a paramedical exam.
The key is finding an experienced agent, like the team at IBUSA, who can align you with the right company for your specific background.
What can you do if you’re not eligible for an accelerated life insurance policy?
If you are not eligible for accelerated underwriting then one of two scenarios will present itself.
Scenario one, you simply agree to take a paramedical exam and proceed with the traditional underwriting process.
Scenario two, you are not deemed an acceptable health risk, in which case your only option may be some type of final expense whole life insurance product, where there are few With so many companies out there it can be overwhelming.
At the end of the day, the company that will best meet your need will be the one that caters to your unique needs and goals, while also taking into account your specific health and lifestyle.
The good news is the team at IBUSA is here to help you locate the company that will best meet your need. We work with dozens of the best accelerated underwriting companies and can align you with the one that is most favorable to your unique profile.
So, what are you waiting for? Give our team a call today and experience the IBUSA difference!