UPDATED: Jun 4, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.
Life insurance policies will replace income and pay final expenses if the insured passes away, but they often pay a lump-sum payment after a specified timeframe has passed.
For some people, though, waiting is not an option. How can you get life insurance with no waiting period?
Some policies will allow you to buy life insurance that does not require a waiting period.
This article will be extremely helpful if you’re asking yourself: How can I get insurance with no waiting period? How do I get the best rates for life insurance? Will I need a medical exam? Which companies should I consider to find the best term life insurance quotes?
Don’t wait. Go ahead and click on our FREE life insurance quote tool above to get life insurance with no waiting period today.
Can I get life insurance with no waiting period?
Many people don’t realize how helpful having life insurance can be. This video will give you a crash course on life insurance.
- It covers expenses and replaces income for your family.
- Some policies will offer a cash value that you can access during your lifetime.
- It will cover funeral costs.
- It will cover your mortgage.
- It will pay for your child’s education
- It will pay for your groceries or to keep your car.
You can use a term life insurance calculator to help you determine how much life insurance you’ll want to buy.
Does life insurance go into effect immediately?
When your life insurance goes into effect depends on the policy you buy and the company you get it from.
A waiting period is a specific amount of time you must wait until your policy will pay out.
Waiting periods are normally two years but can be up to four. If you die before your waiting period is over, then the beneficiaries of the life insurance policy can claim premiums you’ve already paid or claim a percentage of the benefits.
If you are asking yourself, Do all life insurance policies have a waiting period, or What life insurance has no waiting period? No, there is life insurance with no waiting period and life insurance with no waiting period is your best bet.
Life insurance with no waiting period will give the contract holder immediate access to full benefits, but this is at the risk of the insurers. Because the risk is on the insurer, those suffering from specific medical conditions aren’t eligible for a no-waiting period. These conditions include:
- HIV or AIDS
- Heart attack or heart surgery in the last 12 months
- Stroke in the last 12 months
That doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be eligible for life insurance.
Will I need a medical exam for life insurance with no waiting period?
When applying for life insurance, there are different types of personal insurance plans to choose from. Whether there is a medical exam is usually determined by the kind of insurance plan you’re interested in.
LIMRA’s 2018 Insurance Barometer Study found that half of the consumers would be more likely to buy life insurance if they were given quotes without a medical exam.
This video explains how a 40-year-old can get life insurance without answering any health questions.
Guaranteed acceptance life insurance – no health costs and does not require a medical exam. You’re guaranteed acceptance as long as your age falls within a specific range.
Most people want life insurance – no medical exam, no health questions. Those wanting “no question asked life insurance” will find that no medical exam life insurance, or guaranteed acceptance life insurance, sounds like a good option for them.
However, many policies require a medical exam, without which insurance companies will not approve you. Don’t lie about your medical history with the life insurance company. If the life insurance company finds out, then they can cancel your policy, not pay the benefit after your death, or charge you exorbitant premiums.
It should also be noted that all of HIPPA, who offer guidance material for consumers, do not apply all of their standard rules to life insurers. Life insurers do not have to follow the HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules.
This video will explain what HIPAA is and why it exists.
If you find a policy that doesn’t require you to get a medical exam, you may still have to answer health questions. This is because underwriters will review your medical history to see how much of a risk it will be to insure you.
Your quotes are always free.
Ready to get started?
Your quotes are always free.
Ready to get started?
Your quotes are always free.
Types of Life Insurance With No Waiting Period
You must decide what kind of life insurance you are interested in buying: term or whole life insurance. Here’s a quick overview of the differences between the two types of life insurance:
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is insurance that offers coverage for a specified amount of time — usually 10-, 20-, 30-, or 40-year periods. There are multiple types of term life insurance. They include:
Level term insurance is a type of policy that offers premiums at a constant price throughout your term life, but the amount of coverage you have will increase during the term life.
Increasing term life insurance is a type of policy that allows you to purchase less coverage at a lower premium. The policy will increase the amount of coverage over the life of your policy at predetermined periods.
Renewable term life insurance is a type of policy that will allow you to extend the amount of coverage for a specified amount of time without having to re-qualify for a new policy.
Convertible term life insurance is a policy that can be converted to a permanent policy. This conversion happens during a specified time, and you won’t need a medical exam or proof of health.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance, also called permanent life insurance, is a policy that covers you for your entire lifetime. These different kinds of coverage include:
- Traditional life insurance
- Universal life insurance
- Guaranteed universal life insurance
- Indexed universal life insurance
- Variable life insurance
- Variable universal life insurance
Traditional whole life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that provides insurance coverage for the entire lifetime of the contract holder. Of direct premiums written, 25 percent are traditional life insurance products.
Universal life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that has an investment saving element. Most policies have a flexible premium option. Some universal plans require fixed premiums or a lump-sum premium that’s paid one time.
You have some options if you choose universal life insurance — either guaranteed or indexed life insurance.
Guaranteed life insurance is a life insurance policy that has a fixed rate through the life of your policy. This type of policy is set to cash out at a specific age and includes a fixed death benefit. The ages that these policies end are normally above 90.
The policy cashes out and ends before most contract holders die. Policies that last longer have higher premiums. This policy does not accrue cash value.
Indexed universal life insurance is a permanent life insurance policy that consists of two parts: a death benefit that will pay out when the contract holder dies and a cash value feature.
Variable life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that’s offered for your lifetime and offers you an investment option and a savings component called the cash value. Any interest accrued should add to the cash value on your policy.
Within variable life insurance, variable universal is an option that may be available. This insurance offers variable insurance and universal insurance in one policy. It’s possible to pay premiums through the cash value that has been accrued.
This type of policy is more complicated and normally costs more. This policy has a minimum interest rate. Interest rates are based on an index that’s chosen by the insurer. An index is a group of investments, like stock or bonds.
Burial & Final Expense Life Insurance
Many people don’t realize how expensive the average funeral can be. When paying for your funeral, you’ll not only be paying for the funeral service and casket.
If you want to be buried, then someone will have to pay for the embalming process. Many funeral homes require embalming for burial, but there isn’t much of a need for one if you’re cremated.
Caskets are also quite expensive. Caskets average about $2,000 but can be as much as $10,000. Urns cost a lot less.
Burial vaults and liners for your grave will also be an expense. Vaults and burial liners are used in traditional burial services. They go in the ground before the casket to help ensure that the grave won’t sink. It may be more cost-efficient to buy a burial container from a place other than the funeral home.
The average cost for a funeral in 2017 was $7,360.
Riders are supplemental benefits that you can add on to your basic insurance policy. Some of the more common riders are an accidental death benefit, accelerated death benefit, disability income, guaranteed insurability, and return of premium.
|Accelerated Death Benefit||This rider will allow the death benefit to be paid out before the insured party’s death.|
|Accidental Death Benefit||This rider will increase the death benefit if the death is a result of an accident, rather than death. It may also provide benefits for those who lose a limb.|
|Disability Income||This rider will pay the owner of the policy if they become disabled while their life insurance policy is in effect.|
|Guaranteed Insurability||This rider will pay for an insured party whose health declines substantially after they have their policy and need to access additional life insurance.|
|Return of Premium||This rider will allow your premiums to be returned to you in full at the end of your term or your beneficiaries will be paid the entire premium amount upon your death. You will pay marginal premiums during the term.|
There are many more rider options available, so ask your insurance company if you have something specific in mind.
What Life Insurance Companies Look For
When you’re trying to get life insurance coverage, the insurance company will conduct what is called the underwriting process.
An underwriter works for the insurance company and is qualified to assess the amount of risk a company would take by insuring individuals. Questions can be asked online, in person, or on the phone.
There are four basic categories of questions that are asked. These four categories are:
- Personal identification
Personal identification questions include:
- Your name and address
- Employer and job title
- Social Security number
Lifestyle questions include:
- What are your drinking habits?
- What is your driving history?
- Do you engage in drug use?
Medical questions include:
- What medications are you on?
- What are your current and past diagnosis?
- What is your family medical history?
Policy questions include:
- What type of insurance are you applying for?
- How much coverage are you applying for?
- How much income do you need to replace?
When the underwriter has evaluated how much of a risk you are, they will put you in a risk class.
What are the risk classes?
Risk classes are determined during the underwriting process. The classes that the underwriter will choose from are:
- Preferred Plus
- Standard Plus
All risk classes are for non-smokers unless Smoker is in the title of the class.
The Preferred Plus class is for people who are in superior health. They have no chronic illnesses and their immediate family members did not die before the age of 60 from cancer or heart disease.
Their lab results are within the normal range and their height and weight profiles are also within the average range.
The Preferred class is for individuals who are in outstanding health. High blood pressure or high cholesterol that’s being treated is acceptable in the Preferred class ranking. Height and weight may be slightly over average, and lab results may also be slightly abnormal.
The Standard Plus ranking is for those who have average health. Their height and weight may be higher than normal.
The Standard ranking is for those who have an average life expectancy and health. They may be receiving treatment for minor conditions. One or more of the applicant’s parents may have died from heart disease or cancer before the age of 60. Height and weight can be above average. Elevated lab results for blood pressure and cholesterol are accepted.
The Substandard class ranking is for those who need high-risk life insurance. If you have a below-average life expectancy, are obese, or have major health conditions, then you’ll be covered in this ranking.
It’s also the class ranking that will cover those suffering from major health conditions, including diabetes, cancer, and abnormal lab results.
Smokers are often offered a specific ranking but with their own classification. The Smoker class isn’t always reserved for smoking cigarettes but also can include many kinds of tobacco use. This would mean that chewing tobacco and smoking cigars could increase your rates.
|Risk Class Type||Qualifications|
|Preferred||This class is for non-smoking individuals who are in outstanding health.|
Treatment for high blood pressure or high cholesterol is acceptable in this class ranking. Height and weight may be slightly over average. Lab results may also be slightly abnormal.
|Preferred Plus||This class is for non-smoking individuals who are in superior health.|
They have no chronic illnesses and their immediate family members did not die before the age of 60 from cancer or heart disease. Their lab results are within normal range. Weight and height profiles are also within the average range.
|Smoker||Smokers are often offered a specific ranking but with a smoker classification. For example, you can qualify for a Standard Smoker class. The Smoker class is not always reserved for smoking cigarettes but also can include many kinds of tobacco use. This would mean that chewing tobacco and smoking cigars could increase your rates.|
|Standard||The Standard ranking is for non-smokers who have a normal life expectancy and average health. The individual may be receiving treatment for minor conditions. One of more of the covered's parents can have died from heart disease or cancer before the age of 60. Height and weight can be above average. Elevated lab results for blood pressure and cholesterol are accepted.|
|Standard Plus||The Standard Plus ranking is for non-smokers who are of average health. The height and weight of the individual may be higher than normal.|
|Substandard||The Substandard class ranking is for those who need high-risk life insurance. Those with a below-average life expectancy, are obese, and/or have major health conditions, will be covered in this ranking. It is also the class ranking that will cover the sufferers of major health conditions, including diabetes and cancer.|
It will also be the classification for those with abnormal lab results.
Certain risk classes have lower premiums than others. In this case, it pays to be healthy.
Shopping for Life Insurance Quotes
In 2018, Americans purchased $3 trillion in life insurance coverage. When shopping for life insurance, you’ll probably ask yourself:
- How much life insurance will I need?
- What will affect my rates?
- How do I get the best premiums?
Those are all normal questions to ask.
Factors That Affect Life Insurance Rates
Multiple factors will affect life insurance premiums.
There are basic demographics that affect life insurance.
Males have higher insurance premiums than women do, based on age alone. Therefore, a 40-year-old man would have higher life insurance premiums than a 40-year-old female.
Men have a lower life expectancy and are a higher risk to insure for the insurance company.
Age similarly affects life insurance premiums. Younger people are offered lower premiums than older people based on age alone.
This is because an 18-year-old has a much longer life expectancy than a 60-year-old woman. It’s a higher risk for the insurance company to insure older people since they aren’t expected to live as long as someone younger.
Current Health & Family History
Current health factors and your family medical history can affect life insurance rates. These factors can be:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Stroke, cancer, heart disease
- Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
Depending on the condition, if you’re on medication or following treatment, you may qualify for lower premiums.
When applying for insurance, you’ll be asked about your health and your family’s medical history. Many conditions are hereditary, and if one of your family members suffered from those conditions then you’ll be considered a higher risk to insure.
Weight is a common factor that’s evaluated. You can get better premiums if you have a healthy lifestyle and are within a normal weight range. If you’re overweight, then losing weight will lower life insurance rates.
There is a high correlation between weight and high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Weight gain can lead to a higher risk of health issues, so being overweight can increase your premiums.
Some conditions that increase rates are heart disease, cancer, and a history of stroke. People are surprised when they realize that you can get term life insurance if you have heart disease risk factors.
Essentially, the insurance company will charge higher premiums if you have conditions that the insurance company believes they’ll have to pay for.
Multiple high-risk habits can affect your life insurance premiums. Common high-risk behaviors that increase life insurance premiums are:
- Excessive drinking
- Reckless driving
Smoking cigarettes or being a tobacco user will increase premiums.
Many companies make sure you’ve quit smoking for a pre-set time before they’ll give you a non-smokers class. It’s often a year. If you smoke and are going to be shopping for life insurance, you’ll want to quit before buying to make sure you get lower premiums.
This same thinking goes with alcoholics. The insurance company will be taking a higher risk of having to cover health costs in an excessive drinker.
It’s a higher risk for the insurance company to provide insurance to people who aren’t in good health.
Multiple occupations are considered high-risk by life insurance companies.
This video will explain how occupations can affect your life insurance rates.
Some of these jobs include:
- Police officer
Those occupations are considered high-risk because they have an increased risk of death or serious accidents. That means that the life insurance company will be at a higher risk if they decide to insure you.
Veteran & Active Military Status
Military service members are considered high-risk because of their occupation. It’s not impossible for active military or veterans to get life insurance, though.
There are extra factors that will be considered if you have active military status. Where you’re located and the duties that you have for your occupation will be assessed. There are people with some military jobs who are denied coverage.
Military service members are automatically issued coverage from Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. The military does have burial and memorial benefits for veterans or soldiers.
If you are a veteran then you may be eligible for life insurance through the VA’s benefits.
This video will explain how to file a VA Life Insurance claim.
These benefits can range from a burial at Arlington National Cemetery to a free headstone or a cash allowance for final expenses.
Ready to get started?
Your quotes are always free.
Top Life Insurance Companies by Market Share
Like every industry, not all life insurance companies are created equal. The top five life insurance companies are:
- Northwestern Mutual
- AARP (New York Life)
- Prudential Financial
- Lincoln Financial
The market share of a company is the total industry sales over a fiscal year divided by the company’s total revenue of sales.
|Northwestern Mutual Life||$10,517,115,452||6.42%||$10,455,506,540||7.37%||$10,067,144,919||6.48%|
|New York Life||$9,925,848,300||5.68%||$9,335,442,446||5.70%||$8,714,565,090||5.61%|
|Minnesota Mutual Group||$4,422,100,028||2.70%||$4,136,007,017||2.52%||$3,902,003,708||2.51%|
Checking credit ratings is a great way to find out if the company you’re interested in is stable and legitimate. The most common rating companies are A.M. Best, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Fitch Ratings, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s (S&P).
A.M. Best’s rating scale is called the Financial Strength (FSR) Scale. The scale is composed of rating symbols and also rating notches. The rating symbols are A+, A, B+, B, C+, C, and D. The rating notches are an additional + or – added to the rating symbol. The company determines its rankings from research, both written and statistical.
The Better Business Bureau has a detailed rating system. Its ratings are on a scale of A+ to F. The company compiles information from public and business data sources to record business complaints.
Ready to get started?
Your quotes are always free.
Fitch Ratings has multiple ratings that they award.
|AAA||Exceptionally Strong||The highest rating assigned by Fitch. These companies have the strongest ability to meet financial and policyholder obligations. Economic conditions should not adversely affect these companies.|
|AA||Very Strong||Expected to meet and continue to meet financial obligations. An adverse economy also would not affect the company’s performance|
|A||Strong||Expected to meet all financial obligations and adequately perform. Higher rated companies have a higher likelihood of withstanding economic adversity than these companies.|
|BBB||Good||Indicates that all financial and policyholder obligations are being met. Negative economic conditions could impact companies with this rating.|
|BB||Moderately Weak||These companies are weak. Market changes could affect them and make it difficult for them to meet their financial obligations. They may be able to improve their finances.|
|B||Weak||Large change that these companies cannot meet financial obligations. It is possible they can still improve their financial standpoint.|
|CCC||Very Weak||Highly likely that these companies cannot meet their financial obligations. These companies have a mediocre chance of improving.|
|CC||Extremely Weak||Likely to be unable to reach financial obligations or pay their policyholders claims. These companies have a below-average chance of improvement.|
|C||Distressed||Financial Instability. Highly likely that these companies cannot meet their financial obligations. |
There is a low chance of improvement
They also use rating notches in the form of an addition of a + or -.
Moody’s offers multiple types of ratings.
Standard & Poor’s (S&P) also has many rating categories.
Let’s look at the top five companies and their credit ratings.
|Fitch Ratings||Moody's||Standard |
|New York Life Group||A++||A+||AAA||Aaa||AA+|
These rating companies make it easy to decide whether you’re willing to buy insurance from a company.
Northwestern Mutual has very good ratings. A.M. Best gave the company an A++. The Better Business Bureau gave it a rating of an A+. Fitch Ratings awarded the company a rating of AAA. Moody’s gave a rating of Aaa. Standard and Poor’s (S&P) rates it an AA+.
MetLife also has great ratings. A.M. Best awarded the company an A+ from its rating system. The Better Business Bureau gave it an A- rating. Fitch Ratings awarded the company an AA- rating. Moody’s rating system gave MetLife an Aaaa. Standard & Poor (S&P) rated the company an AA-.
New York Life is a well-known company. You may know them as AARP. Life insurance no waiting period is one of their specialties.
A.M. Best gave New York Life Insurance Group a rating of A++. The Better Business Bureau rated it an A+. Fitch Ratings gave the company an AAA rating. Moody’s rated the company an Aaa. Standard & Poor’s (S&P) rating for the company is an AA+.
Comparing New York Life’s premiums versus the average life insurance premium is a great way to see if the company has affordable rates.
|Non-Smoker Age, Marital Status, & Gender||New York Life Average Annual Rates||Average Annual Rates|
|25-Year-Old Single Female||$158.00||$164.50|
|25-Year-Old Single Male||$152.00||$183.61|
|35-Year-Old Married Female||$164.00||$170.47|
|35-Year-Old Married Male||$160.00||$190.40|
|45-Year-Old Married Female||$262.00||$247.50|
|45-Year-Old Married Male||$245.00||$274.59|
|55-Year-Old Married Female||$414.00||$417.01|
|55-Year-Old Married Male||$696.00||$543.23|
|65-Year-Old Single Female||$924.00||$589.76|
|65-Year-Old Single Male||$1,416.00||$1,308.00|
New York Life has slightly above-average premiums.
Prudential Financial is a respected life insurance company. A.M. Best gave Prudential Financial a rating of A-. The Better Business Bureau rated it a B-. Fitch Ratings gave the company an A+ rating. Moody’s rated the company an Aaaa. Standard & Poor’s (S&P) rating for the company is an A.
Comparing Prudential Financial’s premiums against the average life insurance premium is a productive way to see if the company is an affordable option.
|Age, Marital Status, and Gender||Prudential Financial Average Annual Rates||Average Annual Rates|
|25-Year-Old Single Female||$195.00||$164.50|
|25-Year-Old Single Male||$237.00||$183.61|
|35-Year-Old Married Female||$196.00||$170.47|
|35-Year-Old Married Male||$248.00||$190.40|
|45-Year-Old Married Female||$314.00||$247.50|
|45-Year-Old Married Male||$378.00||$274.59|
|55-Year-Old Married Female||$496.00||$471.01|
|55-Year-Old Married Male||$584.00||$543.23|
|65-Year-Old Single Female||$941.00||$898.76|
|65-Year-Old Single Male||$1,412.00||$1,308.00|
Prudential Financial’s premiums are higher than average.
Lincoln Financial has above-average ratings. A.M. Best gave Lincoln Financial a rating of A+. The Better Business Bureau rated it an A-. Fitch Ratings gave the company an A+ rating. Moody’s rated the company an Aa. Standard & Poor’s (S&P) rating for the company is an AA-.
Comparing Lincoln Financial’s life rates against the average life rates will allow you to determine how reasonable the company’s premiums are.
|Non-Smoker Age, Marital Status, & Gender||Lincoln Financial|
Average Annual Rates
|Average Annual Rates|
|25-Year-Old Single Female||$187.00||$164.50|
|25-Year-Old Single Male||$231.00||$183.61|
|35-Year-Old Married Female||$191.00||$170.47|
|35-Year-Old Married Male||$238.00||$190.04|
|45-Year-Old Married Female||$239.00||$247.50|
|45-Year-Old Married Male||$283.00||$274.59|
|55-Year-Old Married Female||$435.00||$417.01|
|55-Year-Old Married Male||$615.00||$543.23|
|65-Year-Old Single Female||$903.00||$898.76|
|65-Year-Old Single Male||$1,577.00||$1,308.00|
Lincoln Financial’s rates are also above-average.
AIG life insurance is affordable and they offer life insurance with no waiting period.
Colonial Penn life insurance offers a no waiting period and no exam feature.
Globe Life is also a highly rated company that offers life insurance with no waiting period. If you have heard of Globe Life and wondered, Does Globe Life have a waiting period? They don’t.
Average Male vs Female Life Insurance Rates
There will be a difference between male and female insurance rates. This is because men pay higher premiums for life insurance than women do.
A 35-year-old male will have a higher premium than a 35-year-old female. Men have a shorter life expectancy, so they are considered a higher risk to insure, and the premiums are higher.
|Age, Marital Status, and Gender||New York Life||Prudential Financial||Lincoln Financial||Massachusetts Mutual ||Aegon /|
|John Hancock||State Farm||Average Annual Rates|
|25-Year-Old Single Female||$158.00||$195.00||$187.00||$132.00||$164.00||$172.50||$143.00||$164.50|
|25-Year-Old Single Male||$152.00||$237.00||$231.00||$147.00||$176.00||$178.30||$164.00||$183.61|
|35-Year-Old Married Female||$164.00||$196.00||$191.00||$137.00||$161.00||$178.30||$166.00||$170.47|
|35-Year-Old Married Male||$160.00||$248.00||$238.00||$151.00||$171.00||$189.80||$175.00||$190.40|
|45-Year-Old Married Female||$262.00||$314.00||$239.00||$209.00||$229.00||$241.50||$238.00||$247.50|
|45-Year-Old Married Male||$245.00||$378.00||$283.00||$230.00||$255.00||$292.10||$239.00||$274.59|
|55-Year-Old Married Female||$414.00||$496.00||$435.00||$373.00||$453.00||$407.10||$341.00||$417.01|
|55-Year-Old Married Male||$696.00||$584.00||$615.00||$451.00||$527.00||$533.60||$396.00||$543.23|
|65-Year-Old Single Female||$924.00||$941.00||$903.00||$763.00||$1,139.00||$937.30||$684.00||$898.76|
|65-Year-Old Single Male||$1,416.00||$1,412.00||$1,577.00||$1,049.00||$1,367.00||$1,380.00||$955.00||$1,308.00|
MassMutual and State Farm are the cheapest options in comparison to the average life insurance rates.
Life Insurance With No Waiting Period: The Bottom Line
It’s important to shop around for life insurance. There are multiple ways to get lower premiums and increase coverage. Now that you have a basic understanding of life insurance, are you ready to apply?
Ready to get life insurance with no waiting period? Click our FREE life insurance quote tool to get started.