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, and no peeing in a cup or needles in the arm. So, what’s not to like? Well, that’s easy… 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 they have limited resources and time to verify your health and asses the risk of providing you with a policy.
These are the top reasons people do not qualify:
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 two examples should give you an idea of what these limits look like:
Principal National Life
- Ages 18 – 60: up to $1,000,000 (Preferred rating classes only)
- Ages 18 – 50: up to $500,000 (all rating classes)
- Ages 51 – 65: up to $350,000 (all rating classes)
Most companies have upper age limits around ages 60 – 65. Beyond that, 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).
Height and weight, or build, is the number one 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).
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
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
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 Principal 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.
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.