No Medical Exam Term Life Insurance
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UPDATED: Sep 9, 2020
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Absolutely no…medical exam. Period.
No Medical Exam. Period.
No medical exam term life insurance does not require an in-home exam like traditional term life does.* It’s the same great coverage, without the fasting, needles, and inconvenience.
Much Faster Process
How does 48 – 72 hours sound? Yes, some companies are that fast. Depending on your age, amount, and company, your new policy could be in force from two days to a few weeks
Coverage up to $1 Million
Amounts range from $25,000 to $1 Million, depending on your age and the company you choose. And if that’s not enough, combine two or more policies to get the amount you need.
If you do not qualify for the no-exam process, the insurance company may require an exam to continue.
Buying term life insurance online should be like ordering a book. Or a movie. Okay, maybe not that easy, but it should certainly be easier than the purchase of a car.
Sadly, it’s not. Not even close. Sure, it’s easy to get term life insurance quotes online. There’s no shortage of websites offering them. But that’s the easy part. There’s a whole application process that comes after the quote. And that process can take 4-6 weeks to complete. Some people can wait that long, either because they have other coverage or want to save money by going through underwriting. But others can’t wait. They need it now. For a trip, bank loan, or just because they’ve put it off for too long already.
No medical exam term life insurance was made for this select group. It was also made for people who simply do not want to complete an in-home medical exam.
How No Medical Exam Term Life Insurance Works
These are the most important things to know:
- No medical exam required – No exam means no blood or urine samples. And no examiner visiting your home.
- It’s faster – Way faster, like a cheetah racing an elephant faster.
- Coverage is limited – $1 Million is the current maximum. But you can buy more than one policy from different companies.
- There are age limits – Age restrictions vary by company and amount. The maximum age ranges from 60 to 70.
- It may cost more – Depending on your age, the coverage amount and other factors, you may end up paying more for a no medical exam term life insurance policy. But not always. It’s worth the time to take a look. And remember, with a no medical exam policy you’re paying for speed and convenience. You’ll need to decide how much that’s worth to you.
- You may not qualify – Some no medical exam term life insurance policies are tougher to qualify for. Without the exam, the company has less information to go on. If you have specific medical conditions or history, the company may ask you to complete an exam or even decline your application.
No Medical Exam Term Life Insurance Options
We offer no medical exam term life insurance policies from many different companies. Compare life insurance quotes today!
$25,000 – $99,999
Up to age 65
2 – 4 week process
$50,000 – $350,000
Up to age 65
1 – 2 week process
$50,000 – $250,000
Up to age 65
2 – 3 day process
$100,000 – $500,000
Up to age 60
1 – 2 week process
$25,000 – $250,000
Up to age 65
2 – 4 week process
$200,000 – $1 Million
Up to age 65
$50,000 – $1 Million
Up to age 65
3 – 5 day process
$25,000 – $250,000
Up to age 75
2 day process
$25,000 – $99,999
Up to age 70
2 – 4 week process
No Medical Exam Term Life Insurance: What’s the Catch?
While it’s not the most exciting task on your to-do list, buying life insurance might be one of the most important. Even a small policy to pay for last expenses can be a huge help to your beneficiaries. More coverage can pay off the mortgage and your kids’ college tuition.
Still, 43% of Americans don’t have life insurance coverage at all. There are many reasons for this — a lengthy process, affordability, lack of education, etc. — but a big one is the medical exam. People don’t want it.
Insurance companies have noticed. Today, you can shop for a term life policy without a medical exam online. Same type of coverage, different application process. Sounds perfect, right?
The truth is, getting a term life policy without a medical exam isn’t necessarily easy, nor is it for everyone.
How Does No-Exam Term Life Insurance Work?
Term life insurance with and without a medical exam works the same way. The difference is in the application. Both must go through the underwriting process to determine whether the insurance company can offer you a life insurance policy and for how much.
For fully-underwritten policies (term life with a medical exam), you may have to complete questionnaires, provide physician’s statements, undergo a medical exam, and lab tests. These extra measures may seem tedious, but these policies often tend to be the most affordable.
People assume “no medical exam” term life to mean “no medical questions asked.” That’s not the case. These types of policies just go through other types of underwriting. Simplified-issue, accelerated, and algorithmic are only a few names you’ll see. They use third-party data vendors to check things like your medical and prescription history, financial history, driving history, and more.
But here’s the thing: Although no-exam policies are advertised as such, you may find that you still need to undergo the medical exam for a no-exam policy! If your medical or prescription history raises some concerns, the insurance company may require a medical exam to make a better assessment.
Insurance is about risk. If you’re seen as a low-risk individual to insure, you can expect lower rates. If you’re high risk, you’ll either pay more or get declined for coverage. And the more information available during underwriting, the more confident insurance companies feel about insuring you.
Is No Medical Exam Term Life Insurance Right for You?
Underwriting for a term life policy without a medical exam is pretty strict. Generally speaking, you have a good chance of qualifying if you meet these three criteria:
- You’re in general good health (few or no pre-existing conditions).
- You’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s or 50’s (sometimes early 60s).
- You need less than $1 million in coverage.
However, keep in mind that your health is part of the picture. There are other non-health-related reasons (like bankruptcy) that may prevent you from qualifying for a no-exam policy.
And be honest on your application. You may think you’re clever, but companies these days have access to data that can be verified in milliseconds. LexisNexis, MIB, and driving history reports are just a few examples. They can even confirm whether you’ve been a tobacco user, among other things.
Not only that, but there is also the contestability period to consider. It’s the two-year period after buying the policy that gives your insurance company the right to investigate your death and see whether you provided false information on your application. If so, they could deny the claim. Don’t do that to your loved ones!
Pros and Cons of Buying Term Life Insurance Without a Medical Exam
If you’re a great candidate for a no-exam term life policy, then the choice really comes down to personal preference.
- Fast application process
- Affordable (compared to products like whole life)
- No medical exams or lab tests
- Buy completely online
- Stricter underwriting makes it harder to qualify
- The coverage amount is limited
- Can cost more than traditional term life
- May require medical exam anyway
Would you rather save time (and stop further procrastination), knowing that you may be paying a higher premium throughout the term? Or would you rather go through the lengthier, in-depth underwriting process and try to get the lowest rate possible?
Do you need a lot of coverage to help your family pay the mortgage, living expenses, and tuition? Or do you need just a small amount to cover funeral expenses and a maybe little more?
Whatever you choose, make sure you select a life insurance company with high ratings. You want a company with a strong financial outlook. After all, they need to be around for a long time if you’re buying a policy to last the next decade or more.
Don’t let a medical exam stop you from getting life insurance. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Whether you choose to go with no-exam term life or traditional, the most important thing is to get covered.
5 Reasons you Won’t Qualify for No Exam Life Insurance
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.
As for the specific reasons you may not qualify for no exam life insurance, these are the top five.
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
- Ages 18 – 50: up to $500,000 in coverage available
- Ages 51 – 65: up to $350,000 in coverage available
- 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).
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).
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? They want to price your policy if you are attempting to buy a life insurance policy with a medical condition.
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.
3 Reasons You Should Buy No Medical Exam Term Life Insurance
You’re busy. I get it. If you’re like me, you probably feel stuck in a constant tug-of-war between all the things you have to do and those you want to do. My guess is buying term life insurance falls in the ‘have to’ category.
If the last thing you want to deal with is a long, drawn-out life insurance application process, you’re in luck. Life insurance companies created no medical exam term life insurance for people like us. It’s fast, simple, and convenient. Apply today, have coverage tomorrow (in some cases). If not tomorrow, then soon after that.
How do they do it? They start with an electronic application that includes an electronic signature. So there’s no printing, signing or mailing paper forms. Next, they streamline the underwriting review by pulling all reports electronically. These include a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR), a prescription drug history report, and a Medical Information Bureau report (MIB). From these reports and the application, the company determines if you qualify for coverage immediately. If not, your application may be reviewed by a real person.
Still not sure if this type of policy is right for you? Consider these distinct advantages.
Did I mention it’s fast? I hope so because I can’t overstate that no matter how many times I say it. We’re talking hours (24 – 48) versus weeks. The quick process is the number one reason people choose no medical exam term life insurance. Busy people like you and me.
Here are a few reasons you might have the need for speed.
Loan Collateral – Banks, credit unions, and even personal lenders regularly require term life insurance policies as business collateral for loans they issue. Unfortunately, they often wait until the end of the underwriting process to ask you for one, which leaves you scrambling at the eleventh hour to get a policy in place before the loan offer expires.
Business Trip or Vacation – Traveling overseas can be a harrowing experience with the current state of world affairs. Heck, even a domestic trip can be risky these days. A no medical exam policy may be a good idea if you loathe flying (or, at least, the falling part), don’t like rough seas, or just want to play it safe and have coverage.
However, if you find yourself facing a last-minute business trip to the Middle East, you’re likely out of luck. When considering companies offering term life insurance and upcoming foreign travel, know most companies will not issue a policy if you are traveling to a country on the US State Department’s Travel Advisory List.
Court Order – Divorce settlements will often include a provision for one or both parties to carry a life insurance policy with the other spouse as the beneficiary, especially when the couple has minor children or when alimony is awarded. As with loan collateral policies, the courts don’t always provide adequate time to apply for coverage. And even if they do, you may prefer to get a policy quickly so you can finalize and move on.
2. Did You Say Exam? Umm – No, Please.
Not a fan of needles, eh? Well, you’re not the first belonephobia sufferer we’ve ever met. And you’re certainly not alone. The CDC estimates that 20 percent of the general population has some degree of fear associated with needles and injections. I think it’s higher than that. Regardless, the biggest advantage of a no medical exam term life policy is you don’t have to meet with an examiner or doctor. And no exam means no needle in your arm, or anywhere else.
For some people, it’s not about the needle (or so they say). Other reasons you may not be overly excited about an exam are:
- You’re just too busy (see number 1, above).
- You don’t like strangers coming to your house.
- Fasting for eight hours sounds as enjoyable as chewing light bulbs.
3. You’re a Student. Or the Parent of One.
Student loans got you down? It’s no secret that the cost of a “higher” education is doing just that: getting higher and higher. As a result, an overwhelming number of college students are taking on student loan debt. And in may cases, their parents are cosigning for those loans. So what happens to those loans in the event of the student’s death? You can probably guess the answer: The parents who cosigned are responsible for repayment.
A no medical exam term life policy can help protect students and their parents from becoming saddled with these student loans. It can also be a very convenient option for these reasons:
- The student is young – Rates are very low for younger applicants.
- The student is healthy – If this is true, then approval at a low rate is almost guaranteed.
- The student attends school out of state – Scheduling and coordinating a paramedical exam for a busy college student in another state is no easy task. Especially considering that the examiner is almost always mobile and completes the exam in the applicant’s home. That doesn’t sound like much fun for a college student living in a dorm.
Now Available in XL
If any of these examples ring a bell for you, remember… There is a better way. We now work with three life insurance companies that offer no medical exam term life insurance. Our newest, Principal Financial, has policies from $50k up to $1M — depending on your age. It won’t always be the least expensive way, but convenience often comes at a cost.
One more thing to note… No medical exam term life insurance provides the same coverage as regular term life insurance. Despite the absence of an exam, you will be covered for death by accident and by natural causes. I like to think of it as regular term life insurance on Xanax: 50 percent less likely to cause an ulcer.
How to Buy Term Life Insurance With No Medical Exam
We live in a fast-paced world. One where two-day shipping is the norm and waiting five seconds for a website to load feels like forever. We’ve become accustomed to getting what we want quickly and moving on to the next item on our to-do list.
So it’s no surprise that many people scoff at the idea of waiting weeks to get a term life insurance policy. And although buying term life insurance online has become relatively easy to do, the hard truth is it still takes time.
But what if you don’t have a few weeks to wait? What if you need the policy right now?
Fortunately for those who don’t want to or just cannot wait to get coverage, there is a faster option: no medical term life insurance.
What is No Medical Exam Term Life Insurance?
No medical exam term life has been around a while and goes by a few different monikers:
- Nonmedical term life insurance
- Simplified issue term life insurance
- Rapid issue term life insurance
- Express term life insurance
Despite these name variations, all of these have one important thing in common: they do not require a medical exam.
With fully-underwritten – or regular – term life you must complete a brief paramedical exam. The paramed as it’s often called, includes these things:
- Body measurements – These include height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, etc.
- Health questionnaire – This covers your medical history, family history, current health, and lifestyle.
- Blood and urine samples – The examiner collects these from you and sends them to a lab. The results become a part of your application.
The paramed exam is harmless, and the insurance company pays for it. But there is the whole blood sample thing. And for some, the thought of needles and blood – especially when mixed – is enough to make them risk living without life insurance.
So no medical term life is often a good fit for people in a rush and those with no desire to complete a paramed.
A Simple Comparison
This is likely what you’re after. But before we dig into the similarities and differences between normal term and no medical exam term, keep in mind they are both term life insurance policies. The coverage they offer is the same. They both offer different term periods (e.g. 10 years, 20 years) and both pay a death benefit to your beneficiary if you die during the term period.
That said, here are the highlights for each.
No medical exam term life insurance:
- Faster – The entire process takes 24-48 hours. Everything is done electronically, which saves time.
- More convenient – The process is entirely electronic, including the application, signatures, and payment. Occasionally a physical signature is required when the policy is delivered.
- No medical exam – This is the biggie. Skipping the paramed can shave 2-3 weeks off the process!
- No medical records – The life insurance company does not request medical records from your doctors. You either qualify, or you don’t.
- Often more expensive – This is the biggest disadvantage of no medical exam term life. It is usually more expensive than regular term life. This is because the life insurance company assumes more risk when it’s not able to look at paramed exam results and medical records.
- Fewer company options – Not many companies currently offer it. And of those that do, few are A-rated companies, which is what you should look for.
- Coverage amount limited – The most you can get is about $400,000. Anything more and you’ll need to look at regular term.
Regular term life insurance:
- Takes longer – Full underwriting takes time. The paramed exam alone adds 2-3 weeks. And if you have medical history that requires a review of your medical records, it could add a few more.
- Requires a paramed exam – This isn’t a big deal for most people, but it may be for you.
- Usually less expensive – You can almost always find better prices on regular term life. That’s the reward for taking the paramed and showing your good health.
- More company options – There are hundreds of life insurance companies that offer term life. And many of them are A-rated.
- Coverage available in larger amounts – You can buy a policy with a death benefit from $25,000 and up. There’s virtually no limit to the amount of term you can buy — if you qualify.
Deciding whether or not to buy no medical term usually comes down to two questions: (1) do you need it now and (2) do you mind taking a paramed exam? If you don’t need it right away and you don’t mind the exam, you’re likely to save money with regular term. But if you answered yes to either question, no medical term might be the best choice for you.
Start by getting a quote and comparing the cost between the two. That’s usually what it comes right down to anyway.
The Myth of No Medical Exam Life Insurance
We live in a fast-paced world. Internet access and mobile technology have made immediate gratification the new standard. Social media allows us to follow news and world events in real-time, stay in touch with family and friends and publish our thoughts and experiences with the touch of a screen. Online shopping and next-day shipping are expected, demanded even.
We’ve come to expect things to happen quickly and on our terms. And the term life insurance industry has taken notice.
Many companies have developed new term life insurance policies to fit the demands of today’s consumer. They are designed to move applications through the long, traditional process quicker. The goal is to reduce processing time and get a new policy into your hands sooner.
These new policies go by a variety of names like no-medical exam life insurance, simplified issue life insurance, accelerated underwriting life insurance, and others. For simplicity, we’ll just call them accelerated underwriting life insurance as that’s the common end goal.
As a group, these products have the same basic goal of speeding up the process. Individually, they attempt to do this in different ways. It’s important for you to understand these difference so your expectations are realistic and you don’t end up frustrated with a process that’s not what you thought it was.
Types of Accelerated Underwriting Products
No Medical Exam Life Insurance
The name says it all. With no medical exam term life, you are not required to complete a paramed exam to apply for a policy. From there, the process can vary from completely online/electronic, to a telephone interview, to a paper application. Because of these differences, the process can range from as little as one day to several weeks. So, although you will not need an exam, you may still have a long process on your hands.
Products with a simplified underwriting process often have requirements removed from the traditional underwriting process. One of those may be the paramed exam. Some companies will require them and others will not. Medical record review is another requirement that companies may remove. Eliminating the need for medical records can save weeks, even months, from the application process.
Speed is the primary focus of accelerated underwriting. Companies typically do not remove underwriting requirements from the process to speed it up. Instead, they may create dedicated teams or internal processes that move applications along faster. These teams may have a smaller case load to work with, or they may only process applications with fewer requirements. Companies may also screen applications initially and assign some to the accelerated teams and others to the traditional groups.
Some people avoid getting term life insurance because of the dreaded medical exam. Perhaps they hate needles, they are too busy to schedule the appointment, or they have medical problems and don’t think they would qualify for life insurance. Whatever your reason for avoiding the paramedical exam, you can still give your family the peace of mind they deserve. Many insurance companies offer a quick and easy no medical exam term life insurance policy.
What is it?
No-exam term life insurance is the fastest way to get a term life insurance policy. It is a time-efficient way to get the benefits you are looking for in an insurance policy. Like all life insurance, term life insurance no exam policies provide financial security for your loved ones in the event of your death. Below are several additional benefits to no medical exam term life policies.
- It does not require a doctor’s visit. Individuals who simply prefer to avoid visits to the doctor often choose to apply for life insurance with no exam online and avoid the need for blood tests or a medical examination.
- It shortens the application process. Many people choose to invest in no-exam life insurance for ease and convenience. By shortening or eliminating the underwriting process, many no-exam life insurance policies can be issued the same day you apply for coverage.
- You have the option for guaranteed coverage. Guaranteed issue life insurance enables applicants with health risks to obtain life insurance coverage. Before issuing a traditional life insurance policy, carriers evaluate an applicant’s insurability based upon a variety of risk factors including age, health complications, tobacco use, family medical history, occupation, hobbies and more. Those who are unable to qualify for life insurance based on this and other health factors may be able to purchase a guaranteed issue life insurance plan.
Pros and Cons
It is important to note that term life insurance with no medical exam does usually cost a bit more than fully underwritten life insurance policies requiring a physical examination. But if you find it necessary to avoid the paramedical exam it is your best option. A life insurance policy is the best way to secure your family from financial burden in case of an unforeseen event or tragedy. Having a good life insurance policy will ensure financial relief for your family even in your absence. A no-exam policy may offer many of the same benefits available through medically underwritten coverage, without the hassle that goes along with the application process.
Many life insurance policies require an in-home medical exam. For some people, it’s no big deal. But plenty of others want nothing to do with an exam. Maybe you’re perfectly healthy and believe it’s a waste of your time. Or perhaps you just don’t like being poked with needles or hopping onto a scale for a perfect stranger. All good reasons. But before you pull the plug on an exam completely, you should consider these three reasons why it may be worthwhile to take a life insurance exam.
1. You Can Save Money
Most of the time, regular term life insurance with an exam is cheaper than no exam life insurance. This is because an exam gives the life insurance company a better opportunity to evaluate your health, which means they can price these policies lower. In the absence of an exam, the company has to rely on other methods to determine the risk they are taking by approving your application. And while the other methods still provide a good picture, they are not as reliable as a current health exam and lab results.
35-year old male / $500,000 / 10-year policy / Preferred Plus rate
- With exam: $13.98 monthly
- Without exam: $15.57 monthly
40-year old female / $500,000 / 15-year policy / Preferred Tobacco rate
- With exam: $80.53 monthly
- Without exam: $92.66 monthly
45-year old male / $500,000 / 10-year policy / Standard rate
- With exam: $37.29 monthly
- Without exam: $57.05 monthly
Sometimes the difference is minimal, but not always. It’s a good idea to check rates on both regular term life and no exam term life before applying.
2. You’ll Have More Options to Choose From
Regular term life insurance with an exam offers higher coverage amounts and longer term lengths than no exam life insurance. You can buy a regular term life policy in any amount you want really, up to $100M or more, as long as you have the income and assets to justify it. By contrast, the largest no exam policy available is $1M. Of course, you can buy multiple no exam policies if you need more than that, but for one single policy, the current maximum is $1M.
The maximum term length you can buy for a regular term policy is 35 years, compared with 30 years for no exam term. Five years difference is not a big deal, especially since very few people buy term life beyond 30 years. The problem is the very few companies offer a 30-year no medical policy (only two we know of). Most companies stop at 20 years, so your options beyond that are limited.
Perhaps more important than coverage amount and term length options is the number of companies you can choose from. Although many traditional life insurance companies are starting to offer some form of no exam policies (e.g., true no exam, accelerated underwriting), not all companies do. Your options for a no exam policy from a decent, A-rated company are limited to about ten. Whereas your options for a policy with an exam are practically unlimited. You can buy a regular term policy from literally dozens of A-rated companies.
3. Free Exam and Lab Work? Yes, Please!
Health care is expensive. According to Healthcare Bluebook, a 15-minute office visit with a physician for an established patient costs $96 on average in Reno, NV. Throw in these common lab tests usually completed for an insurance exam and things start to add up:
- General Health Panel: $130.00
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel: $34.00
- Kidney Function Panel: $28
- Lipid Panel: $43
- Liver Function Panel: $27
Healthcare Bluebook also notes that lab tests can cost 3 – 5 times too much, depending on where you get them done (doctor’s office, hospital, etc.). Wow. Even with insurance, you’re potentially looking at some hefty out of pocket costs.
So, when we tell you that your application includes a free in-home exam, try to remember there is tremendous value in that. Sure, you’re busy, and the idea of fasting and having an examiner come to your home may not be the most pleasant thought, but $150+? Not a bad deal, especially if you have not had a routine physical exam or lab work in a while. We’ve seen way too many cases of people discovering a medical condition for the first time on their insurance exam.
No exam life insurance isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Its popularity is likely to continue growing. But if you find the cost is too high or your options are limited, consider taking an exam and getting the coverage you need at a price you can afford.
Depending on your age and the amount of coverage applied for, a non-medical policy may be an option for you. Let us know if you are interested, and we can provide you with more information and a non-medical term life insurance quote.
The Truth About Accelerated Underwriting
We should clarify some myths, or misconceptions, about accelerated term life insurance products.
- Myth – You will not need to complete a paramed exam.
- Reality – This is not always true. You may not have to take an exam initially to apply. However, if you don’t qualify due to medical history or something else, the company may move your application to a more traditional process and ask you to complete an exam.
- Myth – Term life insurance without an exam is easier to qualify for. After all, no exam, right?
- Reality – Quite the opposite is true. No medical exam policies are harder to qualify for. The underwriting guidelines are stringent because the company is limited in what it can review. For example, the application may ask if you have high blood pressure, but the company cannot see how high it is without an exam. Or you may have diabetes, but the company cannot confirm your current A1C level. These restrictions force the company to be more strict with its underwriting.
- Myth – Accelerated means I will get my policy faster.
- Reality – This is always the goal and only sometimes the case. Even though your application is on a faster track, there’s always the chance something could derail it. For example, an item on your motor vehicle report may require additional review, including a written explanation from you. Or, a previous application with another company may appear on your MIB report showing recent tobacco use. This could force the company to order medical records from your doctor and require you to submit a urine sample.
- Myth – All no-medical exam life insurance policies are the same.
- Reality – Life insurance companies put limitations on these policies. Restrictions include:
- Coverage amount – This can range from a minimum of $25,000 to a maximum of $1,000,000. Most companies max out around $500,000.
- Term length – Policies are available for 10 – 30 years, but some companies only offer up to 20-year policies.
- Age – Most policies are only available to applicants age 65 and younger. A limited number of policies in smaller amounts are available for older applicants.
- Rating Class – Some companies make these policies available only for people who qualify for the best rating class. This means if you have a medical condition, family history, or anything else that disqualifies you from the Ultra-Preferred class, you won’t qualify and will have to go through full underwriting.
- Myth – The cost is the same.
- Reality – In general, no medical exam policies cost more. Companies often charge more because they take on greater risk with these policies. But sometimes the difference is small. Make sure you review your quotes closely.
Tips for Choosing a Policy
- Figure out what’s most important to you. Is it speed? Convenience? Cost? Are you willing to sit for an exam if it will save you money? Or would you rather skip it, even if it will cost you more?
- Once you know what you want, find a company that offers it. Look closely at the product descriptions and talk with one of their representatives, if you can.
- Be realistic. You’ve done your homework, and you know what to expect. There shouldn’t be any surprises, but if there are, work with your agent or company representative to keep your application moving along.
Simplified underwriting policies are here to stay. Although these policies are new, life insurance companies will continue to figure out what works best and how to price it so you will buy it and they will make money. Expect to see new offerings roll out periodically and, if they are consumer-friendly and competitively priced, we’ll add them to our website. Because a faster, easier process is good for all of us.