A Life Insurance Medical Exam: What to Expect from It


Susan Kelly

Mar 09, 2022

Your life insurance company will conduct a medical exam to ensure that you are a good candidate for a life insurance policy. Life insurance medical examinations are often conducted by a certified medical practitioner, a nurse, rather than a doctor.

Medical and statistical longevity statistics are merged with the information on your life insurance application to decide whether or not you will be accepted for a life insurance policy and how much your yearly premium will be.

Getting a Medical Exam for Life Insurance

Life insurance companies use a technique known as underwriting to establish how big of a risk a person is for them to cover. The insurer must calculate an applicant's life expectancy. For this reason, insurers can price life insurance plans more correctly.

Additionally, it keeps healthy people from subsidizing the costs of those who aren't. Insurance prices tend to be cheaper for candidates in better physical condition. And individuals with pre-existing medical issues or who are above the age of 65 may not be able to get insurance.

Consequently, acquiring health-related data from applicants is an essential element of the underwriting process. Your medical history, medications, and family members' health histories (parents and siblings) will be requested in an insurance application. You'll also be asked about harmful hobbies and plans for overseas travel.

A medical exam is often required to verify the information you supply and evaluate whether or not you have any health concerns that might impair your life expectancy in a fully underwritten policy (which considers all medical and personal information).

Stages of a Medical Exam for Life Insurance

There usually are two phases to the medical exam for life insurance:

  • An interview with a medical practitioner in which you are subjected to a series of probing questions
  • During the life insurance medical exam, you may be asked to provide a urine and blood sample for testing. In many cases, these tests may be performed at home. Your life insurance agent or broker should tell you what tests they will be doing in advance.

How Do Insurance Companies Determine Life Expectancy?

Life insurance firms utilize longevity charts to track the mortality rates of individuals. Insurers use longevity charts to see how many men, women, and children die. Insuring companies can use this data to assess the level of risk they are willing to take on.

Insurance companies assume a greater risk by insuring a guy rather than a woman; for example, if a lifespan chart shows that men at 29 die more frequently than women at 29.

When Is Life Insurance Coverage Begun?

Each insurance company has its own set of criteria, and the beginning threshold for coverage may vary from company to company. It's worth noting that many life insurance companies will begin paying benefits as soon as you sign the application for coverage.

The time it takes to get all of the results are covered if the information from your original application and the information gathered during the exam are correct.

You might be able to begin your insurance coverage on the date you applied for it if you paid your insurance premium when you applied for it, as indicated above. Your insurance policy might commence after being accepted if no payment was paid when the application was filed.

This information is best confirmed by your life insurance agent, who should explain it to you when you apply. Consider that life insurance plans have a clause that permits them to refuse payouts for several reasons in the first two years of any policy. 11 Waiting for the official confirmation that a policy has been issued, make sure you are familiar with the conditions of your coverage.

What Happens If You Fail a Life Insurance Exam?

Suppose the data acquired during your medical exam does not match the information you provided on your initial application. In that case, you may be refused coverage or be asked to undergo additional testing. Due to a change in circumstances, your life insurance coverage may no longer be valid.

Ask the insurance provider to email you or your doctor copies of your medical exam results if you think something is wrong with the results. Your doctor will be aware whether you failed the exam due to a health issue.

However, if the insurance company made a mistake and you failed, you and your doctor may promptly correct the issue. That way, you won't be unable to get new insurance because of inaccurate test results.

An insurance broker who has access to numerous life insurance policy types and firms can help that denied coverage because of a failed medical test. It's possible that a broker can help you locate a policy.

If You Die Before Exam Results

In principle, if you had been accepted and the policy term began at the time of application, the beneficiary would likely get the payout. However, this is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Nevertheless, if you were refused, the insurance would not have been considered issued, and your beneficiary would not have received payment.

The insurance would not pay out because of a language in the policy like the suicide provision or any other phrase that eliminates coverage for death. Discussing this with your life insurance agent is a good idea.

It would help if you made sure that you are familiar with all of the insurance policy terms for which you have applied. The terms and conditions and the date on which the policy goes into effect are unique to each life insurance provider.


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