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Can you buy life insurance without taking a medical exam?

Here at IBUSA, we’re frequently asked by clients whether or not it’s possible to purchase a life insurance policy without having to take a medical exam. Most of the time, we’re asked this question because, let’s face it, having to take a medical exam and provide a blood and urine sample to an insurance company isn’t on most people’s “bucket list”.

But that’s not…

The only reason why some folks are going to be interested in avoiding taking a medical exam when purchasing a life insurance policy. You see, having to take a medical exam takes time. It’s going to take time to schedule your exam, and then it’s also going to take time to get those results back from a lab and reviewed by an underwriter!

Which means that…

If you’re looking to get insured right away, which is often the case for folks without any current insurance or who are looking to meet some type of loan or court requirement, waiting several weeks before you can be approved for your coverage isn’t “ideal” to say the least!

It’s also not…

An ideal situation if you’re looking to purchase a life insurance policy on someone else such as a parent, sibling, or ex who may be willing to allow you to purchase a policy on him or her but isn’t all that thrilled about going out of there way to allow you to do so. In cases like these where it might be possible to “skip” taking an exam, the process of getting coverage put in place may become infinitely less complex!

Which is why…

We wanted to take a moment and discuss when purchasing a life insurance policy without taking a medical exam is possible and talk about what one should know about before they apply for a no medical exam life insurance policy.

Questions that will be addressed in this article will include:

  • Can you buy a life insurance policy without taking a medical exam?
  • Are “no medical exam life insurance policies” legit?
  • Are all “no medical exam life insurance policies” the same?
  • Since no medical exam life insurance companies won’t require one to take a medical exam, how will they determine who they will and won’t insure?
  • What can I do to ensure that I find the “best” no medical exam life insurance policy for me?

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Can you buy a life insurance policy without taking a medical exam?

Yes, it is possible to purchase life insurance without having to take a medical exam. In fact, some applicants may even be able to qualify for up to 1 million dollars in coverage! The only problem is that some no medical exam life insurance policies can be a “bit” more difficult to qualify for, particularly if you have been diagnosed with a pre-existing medical condition in the past.

Are “no medical exam life insurance policies” legit?

Yes, most “no medical exam life insurance policies” are legitimate, assuming, of course, that you purchase yours from a “legitimate” company.  

Where some folks…

May get “confused” about the legitimacy of a “no medical exam life insurance policy” when they are incorrectly comparing an Accidental Death Policy with a true life insurance policy that won’t require one to take a medical exam to qualify for coverage.

This is because…

Like a true No Medical Exam Life Insurance Policy, Accidental Death Policies won’t require an insured to take a medical exam when applying. However, Accidental Death Policies won’t provide coverage for Natural Causes of death, like a true No Medical Exam Life Insurance Policy will.

For this reason…

Let’s now take a moment and examine what a true no medical exam life insurance policy is and describe the two major types one will likely encounter when considering their options.

Are all “no medical exam life insurance policies” the same?

No, not all “no medical exam life insurance policies” are the same. In fact, some “policies” aren’t even considered true life insurance at all! For this reason, we want to take a moment and describe the three most common “types” of policies that will often get “lumped” into the NO MEDICAL EXAM group and highlight some of the most important differences between the different types of products.

Starting first with an Accidental Death Policy, which isn’t an actual life insurance policy at all!

Accidental Death Policies.

The first thing that one needs to understand about accidental death policies is that they are NOT life insurance policies. This is because the DO NOT and WILL NOT provide a death benefit to a policyholder if they do not die from an accident.

Which means that…

If your death is caused by some type of NATURAL DISEASE process or just “old age,”,” your family WILL NOT receive any benefit from the insurance company. Instead, for your accidental death policy to provide a “death benefit” to your family, you MUST die from an ACCIDENTAL CAUSE such as a motor vehicle accident, a fall or perhaps in a natural disaster.

This is why…

These “types” of policies aren’t going to concern themselves about your current health status because it’s irrelevant. It’s also why these “types” of policies tend to cost the same across large age segments as well since a 35-year-old and a 55-year-old55-year-old probably have the same statistical chance of dying by an accidental cause.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Policies.

Unlike Accidental Death Policies,, which will NEVER provide a death benefit to an insured who dies from a NATURAL CAUSE of death, Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Policies ultimately will (providedd the insured lives long enough for the policies to go “fully in force.”)

You see…

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Policies are small life insurance policies that will provide full and complete coverage up to about $25,000 without requiring an applicant to take a medical exam or answer any health-related questions because they contain a graded death benefit CLAUSE, which will limit WHEN full coverage will go in force.

Most graded death benefits…

Will state that a newly insured individual will need to own his or her policy for a minimum of two years (sometimes three depending on the carrier) before the policy will provide any coverage for NATURAL CAUSES of death. This is because guaranteed issue life insurance policies will accept any applicant who is a US citizen, who meets certain age requirements and lives in a state where these “types” of policies are offered.

Which means…

That the insurance company isn’t going to have any idea how “healthy” or “unhealthy” an applicant may be. Which is why they use a Graded Death Benefit as a way to “weed out” any truly unhealthy applicants from purchasing these “types” of life insurance policies immediately before passing away from some type of pre-existing medical condition or NATURAL CAUSE.

Simplified Issue Life Insurance Policies.

Generally speaking, when someone is asking whether or not they can purchase a life insurance policy without taking a medical exam, what they’re really looking to do is purchase a simplified issue life insurance policy.

This is because…

For the most part, simplified issue life insurance policies will function the same way as a traditional life insurance policy would (insurance policies that require a medical exam) in that they will provide a significant amount of coverage (up to 1 million dollars in some cases) and they will provide immediate and full coverage once an individual has been approved.

Where they will…

Differ from a traditional life insurance policy is in the fact that most (if not all) simplified issue life insurance policies will only offer a Preferred rate (no Preferred Plus), only provide up to 1 million dollars in coverage, and in some cases, they will be a bit more “selective” on who they will and won’t insure.

Mainly because…

Unlike a traditional life insurance policy, which would have access to one’s medical exam results, simplified issue life insurance policies will have to rely 100% on “alternative sources” of information to ascertain an applicant’s medical history.

This brings us to our next topic which is…

Since Simplified Issue Life Insurance Policies won’t require one to take a medical exam, how will they determine who they will and won’t insure?

OK, now that we’ve established that a simplified issue life insurance policy will provide an insured with a significant amount of coverage immediately upon approval (without requiring an applicant to take a medical exam), it makes sense to ask the obvious question, which is…

“Why, are they willing to do this?”

And the answer to this question is simple. Some insurance companies have concluded that a medical exam ISN’T ALWAYS REQUIRED to understand the current health status of an applicant, particularly if the applicant is young.

So…

Instead of requiring a medical exam, insurance companies offering simplified issue life insurance policies will rely on “alternative sources” of information about an applicant to determine whether or not they wish to approve an individual’s application.

Top Seven “alternative sources” of information about you!

#1. Life insurance application questions.

The primary source of information that a life insurance company will rely on when not requiring a medical exam will be the actual application itself. This is because, in addition to asking many questions, a life insurance application acts as a legal contract, thereby requiring the applicant to be completely honest when completing it. 

This is why…

Insurance companies will use this opportunity to be quite thorough in their questioning. 

For example, don’t be surprised if your application asks some of the following questions:

  • What is your date of birth?
  • What is your current height and weight?
  • Have you been diagnosed with any pre-existing medical conditions?
  • Are you currently taking any prescription medications?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, or diabetes?
  • Have you ever suffered from a heart attack or stroke?
  • Have any of your immediate family members (mother, father, brother, or sister) ever been diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, or diabetes?
  • Have any of your immediate family members (mother, father, brother, or sister) ever suffered from a heart attack or stroke?
  • In the past two years, have you been admitted into a hospital for any reason?
  • In the past 12 months, have you used any form of tobacco or nicotine products?
  • In the past 12 months, have you used any type of marijuana products?
  • Do you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor?
  • Do you have any issues with your driving record? Issues such as DUI, multiple moving violations, or a suspended license?
  • Do you have any set plans to travel outside of the United States in the next 12 months?
  • Do you actively participate or plan on participating in any dangerous hobbies or activities such as skydiving, hang gliding, or bungee jumping?
  • In the past 12 months, have you filed for bankruptcy?
  • Have you ever had a life insurance application denied or postponed?
  • Do you currently have any other life insurance applications in process?
  • Are you currently working now?
  • In the past 12 months, have you applied for any type of disability benefits?

#2. Prescription database.

Insurance companies will also request access to an applicant’s prescription medication report, which will provide a complete history of all the prescription medications you have been prescribed over the years.

With this report…

Insurance underwriters will be able to “gleam” certain information about you, such as:

  • WHAT you have been diagnosed with in the past (based on what kinds of medications you have been prescribed).
  • WHEN were you originally diagnosed with a particular medical condition (based on the date you were initially prescribed a medication).
  • HOW well your condition is being treated (within reason, based on the consistency and types of medications being prescribed).

#3. Medical Records.

In some situations (typically based on one’s prescription medication history), an insurance company may choose to obtain copies of one’s medical records before making any decisions about one’s life insurance application. Although in fairness, most simplified issue life insurance policy applications will be denied (out of an abundance of caution) if an underwriter feels that they need to see one’s medical records before choosing to approve one’s application.  

This would be…

A situation where an applicant would actually have a better chance of qualifying for a policy that would require one to take a medical exam vs. applying for a simplified issue policy.

#4. Credit Report.

Insurance companies may also choose to run a “credit report” on an applicant. And while one might question whether having “bad credit” is a credible indication of one’s health, we should note that one of the leading causes of bankruptcies in the United States today is due to unpaid medical bills.

#5. DMV Report.

Reviewing one’s driving record is also the standard practice among most life insurance companies because aside from health issues, driving recklessly is one of the leading causes of death in healthy individuals. Additionally, driving records can also indirectly shed light on other “issues” one might have, including “issues” with drugs and/or alcohol dependency.

#6. Criminal Background Report.

Many life insurance companies will automatically choose to deny any applicant who has been previously convicted of a felony. Now there may be many reasons behind “why” this is the case; however, the most reasonable one to assume is that they (the insurance company) don’t want to find themselves insuring anyone that may potentially go to jail in the future. 

And…

If you have been convicted of a felony in the past, to them, this makes many companies assume that you are an unacceptable risk. The good news is that not all life insurance companies feel this way. You’ll just need to make sure that you disclose this fact right away so that your insurance agent can avoid any company that will automatically decline your application.

#7. Previous Life Insurance Applications.

Another valuable source of information that many individuals may not be aware of is called the Medical Information Bureau or MIB Report. This “source” of information allows different life insurance companies to “share” information with each other about previous life insurance applications.  

Which means that…

If you previously applied for a life insurance policy, the results of that application (excluding specific details) will be made available to any company you are currently applying with. Now we say “excluding specific details” because the MIB won’t share “why” a life insurance company made a particular decision about your application. They’ll only share what decision they made.

For example…

If you applied for insurance six months ago and were DENIED coverage, the MIB won’t provide details on “why” you were denied; it will only say you were DENIED.  

But that alone will be enough for most life insurance companies to want to take a moment and “re-evaluate” whether or not they want to approve your application.

We should also point out that…

If you have been previously approved as a “tobacco user” and are now applying as a “non-smoker,” this information will be available to the current company you are applying with and will be used in determining how long you have been “tobacco-free”.

So, as you can see…

Even though a Simplified Issue Life Insurance Policy isn’t going to require one to take a medical exam, it’s not as though the insurance company isn’t going to be able to “gleam” quite a bit of information about you without one.

This is why…

Even though a Simplified Issue Life Insurance Policy isn’t going to require a medical exam, once approved for coverage, your policy will be essentially INDISTINGUISHABLE from a traditional term or whole life insurance policy that will require a medical exam! This is why so many people like these “types” of life insurance policies.

Which brings us to that last topic we wanted to discuss here in this article, which is…

What can I do to ensure that I find the “best” no medical exam life insurance policy for me?

The first thing that you’re going to want to do is make sure that the insurance agent that you choose to work with is familiar with “how” most no medical exam life insurance policies so that they will be able to determine whether or not you would be a good “candidate” for one BEFORE you apply for coverage.

The second thing…

That you’re going to want to make sure is that this “experienced” agent that you choose has access to a wide variety of different insurance carriers when helping you find the “best” no medical exam life insurance policy for you. Because the last that you want your agent to do is have to apply a…

“One Size Fits All”

Approach to your needs. 

The good news is that here at IBUSA, we have plenty of experience helping people find and qualify for the coverage that they’re looking for, and with dozens of different insurance companies to choose from, we’re usually quite successful in helping even the most difficult cases!

So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today, and let us show you what we can do for you!

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