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How Long Does It Take to Get Life Insurance?

How Long Does it Take to Get Life Insurance?


If you are considering the purchase of a life insurance policy, you may be wondering how long it takes to actually get insured.


The Process of Purchasing Life Insurance Includes:


  1. Selecting a Plan
  2. Applying for Coverage – About 15-60 minutes.
  3. Underwriting of Application – Up to 4-6 weeks.
  4. Approval for Coverage
  5. Payment of Premium


Once you have filled out the application for a life insurance policy, It typically takes 3-6 weeks to get life insurance policy, if you are accepted/approved for coverage. 

However, if you choose a non-medical life insurance policy (life insurance that does not require you to take a physical examination), you can get life insurance in as little as 24 hours, or less. 


With accelerated underwriting, it is even possible to get life insurance instantly – in about 15-20 minutes you can be insured.


The length of time it takes to get your policy approved depends on the type of policy you want to buy and the company you purchase it from.

What the Life Insurance Application Process Involves


The first step in purchasing life insurance is getting a "Premium Quote".

You can compare pricing online just a few minutes and once you’ve gotten a quote, you can move on to the more time-intensive step of filling out the application for insurance.

Depending on which insurance company you’re going through, you might have the option of applying for coverage online as well. 

Some life insurers, however, require you to fill out the forms by hand. In either case, completing the actual application itself can take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours, depending on how detailed it is.

Once you’ve finished completing the application you have to send it back to the insurance company for their review

If you’re doing it online or faxing it, they’re obviously going to get it much more quickly than if you mail the application to them. 

Within 24 to 72 hours of receiving your application for life insurance, the insurance company will review it and schedule your medical examination.

The medical exam usually takes place within a week or two and it can be conducted in your home or at a doctor’s office. 

During your life insurance health exam, you’ll be asked questions about your health and the person conducting the exam will measure your height, weight and blood pressure. 


You’ll also have to provide a blood sample and in some cases, a urine sample, too. Overall, the exam itself is relatively short, usually lasting less than an hour

How Long Does It Take to Underwrite an Application for Life Insurance?

After you’ve completed the application and gone through the physical exam, the insurance company begins the underwriting process. 

How long this takes depends on how quickly the lab is able to process the results of your examination, whether the exam turns up any serious pre-existing health conditions and whether the insurer decides to pull the complete history of your medical records.

In terms of the processing time for health exams, it can take up to 4 weeks for the underwriter to get these results. If they request your medical records, they can be delivered in as little as one day or take up to 6 weeks to find their way to the insurance carrier, depending on how quickly your doctor responds. This is usually the main factor that determines how long it takes to get insured for life insurance.

The insurance company begins the final review process once all of your information has been received. At this stage, the life insurer is analyzing the numbers to determine how much of a risk you pose, based on your age, profession and overall health – compared to the average person your age and gender. 

If you have to answer follow-up questions because you have a health issue; such as, high cholesterol or diabetes, that can slow down the underwriting process.

When you’re approved, the insurer will write up the policy and contact you with the final paperwork. You’ll need to review the terms, conditions and exclusions of the insurance policy and select an option for payment of premiums on your policy.

This can take between 5-7 business days to coordinate, depending on whether you’re paying via check, bank draft, or credit card. Once you’ve signed on the dotted line and paid the premiums you’re covered by the life insurance policy.

How Long Does Life Insurance Approval Take?

From start to finish, the approval process for life insurance can take up to 2 months to complete. 

If you want to get coverage sooner than that or you just don’t want to go through the trouble of taking a physical examination, a no exam life insurance policy might be your best bet. However, these policies may be limited to $2,000,000 of coverage.

With this type of coverage, you can complete the application online in about 15-20 minutes and there’s no doctor examination required. Instead, the insurance company uses your answers to the health questionnaire on the application to determine your risk level. 

In terms of the turnaround time, you can get approved for life insurance in as little as 24 to 48 hours and the policy can take effect immediately once payment is received. 

When you’re comparing no exam policies to traditional term life or whole life coverage, one key difference is the pricing of these plans.

If you don’t take a doctor’s exam, the insurer compensates by charging more money for your policy. 

No health exam policies are a much quicker and easier alternative if your focus is on saving time but it’s important to balance that against the long-term additional cost of your policy.


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