Will I Qualify for Term Life Insurance?

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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.

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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Relax. Most of our applicants qualify For term life insurance.

Yes, life insurance companies have a process called underwriting where they assess the risks of carrying your policy. But no, it won’t hurt. The process calls for reviewing health and lifestyle factors such as:

  • Your health
  • Medical history
  • Family history
  • Nicotine use
  • Driving record
  • Hazardous activities

We’re here to help.

QuickQuote will gladly help you estimate your rating class before you submit an application. Keep in mind, however, your official rating class – and costs – are determined by the life insurance company.

Here’s how the process works.


To determine risk, life insurance companies collect and analyze information about you and compare it to a set of underwriting guidelines.

Think of it like auto insurance. A company guideline may allow you to have up to four moving violations in the past five years. More than four may mean your application will be declined. Simple, right?

Perhaps you have no moving violations. You’re the epitome of safe driving. You may qualify for a lower price on your policy.

For term life insurance, super healthy, low-risk applicants receive lower rates.

Rating Classes

The life insurance company will assign a rating class to your policy based upon the risk you present. In our example, your excellent driving record is one reason you may be classified as “preferred.” Preferred risks save money compared to standard risks.

Your rating class determines the cost (or premium) you pay for the policy. Rating classes vary by company, but all companies use the same basic convention, as illustrated by the following table.

Rating Class Policy Risk Policy Premium
Preferred Low Least Expensive
Standard Average Average
Sub-Standard High Most Expensive

The Big Picture

Term life insurance underwriting is a bit like putting a puzzle together. The puzzle pieces can include any of the following items:

  • Formal application
  • Paramedical exam
  • Medical history
  • Motor vehicle report
  • Additional medical tests
  • Health/lifestyle questionnaires
  • Attending physician statements (APS)
  • Medical Information Bureau (MIB) report
  • Corporate documents (for business coverage)

It’s smart to estimate your rating class.

We’ll make it easy. Simply choose one of the following:

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