Is a Physical Exam Required
for Life Insurance?

If you're looking to buy life insurance you may be asking yourself, "Is a physical exam required to buy life insurance?"

That’s understandable, many of us would rather not have to take a physical exam, blood tests, or urine tests in order to qualify for life insurance.

Yes, many life insurance companies may require that you take a physical exam in order to find out if you qualify for coverage. However, it depends on the insurer's requirements, your age, health, and the amount of life insurance you want to buy.


Why Do Insurance Companies Require A Physical Exam?

The life insurance company uses the results of your physical exam in order to decide if they will insure you for life insurance. The results of your medical exam, blood and urine tests help the insurance company to understand what level of health risk you present, and whether or not they should insure your life.

The medical examination is required of most applicants for life insurance to determine if they meet the underwriting standards, or should be classified as sub-standard, or un-insurable.


Do I Have To Pay For The Physical Exam?

The physical exam is administered by medical personnel chosen by the insurance company. The insurer pays for the medical examination.

Many life insurance companies have different guidelines they follow in order to determine if a physical exam is necessary. Factors considered include: your age, amount of life insurance coverage requested, and your health history.


How Does The Physical Exam Work?

On larger life insurance policies, most life insurance companies require the applicant to undergo a physical examination by a doctor, nurse or a para-medical.

During the examination samples of the applicant's urine and blood are usually taken. The insurance company will usually request the applicant's medical records from his or her physicians, and have the medical records reviewed by the life insurance underwriter.

The insurer usually will check the applicant's health history with the Medical Information Bureau, credit records, the driving record, and perform other investigations that may be needed.

The larger the amount of life insurance requested, the more intense the medical review and investigation. That’s because the life insurance company would take in only a small premium, but have to pay out a large amount if the insured dies – For example: for a person age 35 it may be possible to buy a $1 million Term Life Insurance Policy for a premium of only $1,275 for the year. If the person whose life is insured dies, the life insurance company would be out $998,725 plus whatever the insurer paid to sell and underwrite the life insurance policy.


How Do They Use The Information?

Once the life insurance application and medical information is completely gathered, the underwriters make their underwriting decision as to whether to offer you coverage, how much coverage to offer you, and at what annual premium.

First, the insurer decides whether they can offer you life insurance coverage. If you have had cancer in the past year, or have AIDS, you may or may not be insurable, depending on the life insurance company.

Next, the underwriter classifies the risk, which determines the price of your life insurance coverage. Many people receive either a "preferred" classification (intended for those who are above average risks) or a "standard" classification. If a person has a history or characteristics that suggest he is riskier than the average applicant (perhaps because he is 70 pounds overweight, or has high cholesterol, or had by-pass surgery 3 years ago) the policy would be "rated", and offered at a higher price based on that rating, given the applicant's age.


Why Should I Compare Life Insurance Plans?

Each life insurance company may evaluate an applicant differently. One life insurer may rate you as "Standard", while another may decide you fit their underwriting guidelines for a "Preferred Rate".

That’s why it is important to shop and compare life insurance quotes from several insurers before choosing a plan.

Each life insurance company has their own rating guidelines, and rates do vary by up to 50% or more between insurers.


Life Insurance Quotes


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Highly Recommended – Haven Life

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Haven Life uses the information provided in your application to make an instant decision on your application. Healthy, qualified applicants (based on the information provided in your life insurance application) can be insured immediately with no medical exam while other applicants can receive immediate coverage pending a medical exam.


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