5 Reasons you Won’t Qualify for No Exam Life Insurance

UPDATED: Mar 26, 2020

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No exam life insurance is hot. Everyone wants it. And why not? After all, it offers a faster, easier process than regular term life insurance, with no peeing in a cup or needles in the arm. So, what’s not to like? Well, how about… You might not qualify for it?

Due to its very nature of a simplified, accelerated process, no exam life insurance is tougher to qualify for. Life insurance company underwriting guidelines are more strict because the companies have a limited amount of time and resources to verify your health and asses the risk of providing you with a policy.

Haven Life
Coverage Length: 10 - 30 Years
Upper Limits: $100k - $3M
Ages: 18 - 64
Backed by MassMutual
See Rates
Ladder Life
Coverage Length: 10 - 30 Years
Upper Limits: $100k - $8M
Ages: 20 - 60
Flexible coverage
See Rates
Coverage Length: 10, 15 & 20 Years
Upper Limits: $100k - $5M
Ages: 21 - 60
Backed by Vantis Life*
See Rates

* Vantis Life is a Penn Mutual Company

As for the specific reasons you may not qualify for no exam life insurance, these are the top five.

1. Age

All companies have age limits for new term life insurance policies, with limits for no exam policies usually lower than those for regular term life. Also, these age limits vary by company, amount of insurance and term length. The combinations are endless, and it would be impossible to list every conceivable scenario. But this should give you an idea of what these limits look like:

Principal National Life

  • Ages 18 – 60:  up to $1,000,000 in coverage available

Assurity Life

  • Ages 18 – 50:  up to $500,000 in coverage available
  • Ages 51 – 65:  up to $350,000 in coverage available

Sagicor Life

  • Ages 18 – 45:  up to $1,000,000 in coverage available
  • Ages 46 – 55:  up to $750,000 in coverage available
  • Ages 56 – 65:  up to $500,000 in coverage available

You may have noticed these companies have upper age limits around ages 60 – 65. This is common of all no exam term life insurance policies. Beyond these ages, the options are very slim. Foresters Financial is the only company we’re aware of that will offer a no medical exam term policy beyond age 65. In fact, you can buy a 10-year policy up to age 80 and a 15-year policy up to age 70 (both at a maximum of $150,000).

2. Height/Weight

Height and weight, or build, is another reason we see applicants not qualify for no exam life insurance. Most companies have strict height/weight guidelines for these policies. If you fall outside of those limits, you won’t qualify. For that reason, we always ask for your height/weight before we recommend a no exam policy or company.

Since there will not be an examiner to measure you, companies want to ensure your build is within their guidelines. They will ask for your height/weight on your application and may choose to verify this through medical records or the Medical Information Bureau (MIB).

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3. Medical Conditions

The presence of certain medical conditions will automatically exclude you from a no exam life insurance policy. This varies greatly by company and depends upon a company’s underwriting process. For example, some companies may obtain medical records as part of their process, thus allowing them to review details of any medical conditions. Other companies rely solely on automated reports and background checks, making it more challenging to view details.

Regardless, these usual suspects will disqualify you for a no exam policy with any company:

  • Alcohol/Drug Abuse
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Cancer
  • COPD
  • Heart Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Stroke/TIA


Medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes (Type II), sleep apnea and others may be allowed by some companies. This will depend greatly on the diagnosis, treatment, and stability of the condition.

4. You Haven’t Seen your Doctor Recently

Without an exam, life insurance companies need other ways to ensure you are healthy. One way is to see that you have had routine visits with your doctor. In the insurance world, these are known as “age-appropriate exams,” and they are exactly what they sound like. As with everything else on our list, age guidelines vary by company. But if you’re age 50 or older, most companies want to see that you’ve seen your doctor recently.

We often hear applicants state they haven’t seen a doctor because they’re perfectly healthy and have no reason to see one. Life insurance companies are not going to take your word for it. And do you really expect them to, considering the potential health issues you may have but are not aware of? Bottom line: See your doctor regularly, even if you are not applying for life insurance.

5. You’ve Filed for Bankruptcy

Again, guidelines vary by company, but if you have a history of bankruptcy, here’s what you can expect:

  • Current bankruptcy – You may qualify with Fidelity Life. They are the only company we are aware of that will consider a current bankruptcy.
  • Recently discharged – You may qualify with Sagicor Life.
  • 2 years since discharge – You may qualify with a few companies, including Assurity Life and Transamerica Life.
  • 5 years since discharge – You should qualify with most companies, including Lincoln National Life, Principal National Life, Banner Life, and Foresters Financial.
  • Multiple bankruptcies – Fidelity Life may approve an application with multiple bankruptcies, depending on your overall financial situation.


As you can see, underwriting guidelines for no exam term life insurance vary greatly, making it very difficult to find the perfect fit for your unique circumstances. Generally speaking, if you are within the age limits, have no significant medical or financial history and visit your doctor regularly, you can apply for coverage with any company. However, if you fall into any of the above five categories, you’ll want to discuss your options with an experienced agent or company.

When you view no exam term life insurance quotes on our website, factors such as your age, general health and the amount of coverage you desire are taken into consideration, so that you will only see quotes from companies available to you. Once you select a company and complete the application, we will review your eligibility for the no exam underwriting process and, in some cases, recommend a different company if we believe there is a better fit.

It’s also important to note that, even though you may not qualify for a no exam policy, not all companies will decline your application outright. Some will merely require an in-home medical exam to continue with the underwriting process. This may seem like a real bummer, but it’s better than being denied entirely.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Tim Bain

Tim is a licensed life insurance agent with 23 years of experience helping people protect their families and businesses with term life insurance. He writes and creates stuff for QuickQuote and other insurance and financial websites. You can find him on Twitter.

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