The Top Life Insurance Options When You Can’t Pass a Medical Exam
People who cannot pass a medical exam can still qualify for life insurance policies.
Life insurance is a great way for someone to ensure that their family is financially secure in the event that they would pass away prematurely. From paying for final expenses like a funeral to ensuring that their family would have the means to afford their major finances like mortgage payments, a life insurance policy can help ease the financial strain of losing a loved one and buy them extra time to readjust their lives financially.
For people who want or need a life insurance policy but know they are unable to pass a medical exam, finding a life insurance policy can feel impossible. However, that’s not the case—plenty of life insurance carriers offer life insurance policies without a medical exam. For people with pre-existing medical conditions or people who may have a fear of going to the doctor, there are still policy options available so that they can rest assured knowing they have a level of financial protection for their families should they pass away prematurely.
How Medical Exams Impact Coverages and Premiums
Life insurance underwriters consider your medical health when determining your risk factors
When someone applies for a life insurance policy, it is the responsibility of life insurance carriers to determine the applicant’s risk of dying to determine how much coverage they can offer and at what price—a process called underwriting.
Underwriting is a process that involves considering the risk of a few different factors which may include but are not limited to:
Because health is a large determining factor, life insurance carriers will often ask about an applicant’s current health, health history, and even family health history. In many cases, life insurance carriers require applicants to undergo a medical exam so the company can better understand current risk factors.
Someone young with little to no health issues will have a much lower death risk factor compared to someone who is in their 40s with some health issues. In this case, the younger person in good health will have a much easier time getting a life insurance policy with good coverage at an affordable premium rate. Of course, that’s not to say that someone in their 40s with less-than-ideal health can’t get a life insurance policy—it just may be more expensive with coverage that isn’t as good.
Now, because of how big of a factor medical history is when getting a life insurance policy, some people may assume that they will never qualify for a life insurance policy. However, that’s not the case. There are indeed life insurance policies that do not require a medical exam, so there’s still a possibility that someone in poor health can qualify for a health insurance policy.
Instances When Someone May Opt For Life Insurance With No Medical Exams
Health concerns may deter people from life insurance policies with medical exams, but other factors play part in that, too
While life insurance policies with a medical exam are generally the top option for someone looking for a life insurance policy, it may not be the best solution for everyone.
For someone with serious medical issues, an insurance option with no medical exam is almost always the only option. Serious medical issues that may disqualify someone from medical exam life insurance may include but are not limited to:
- AIDS or HIV
- Alzheimer’s or dementia
- Terminal illnesses with a short life expectancy
While health does play a big role in why many people may opt for no medical life insurance policies, those aren’t the only factors that play a part. For people with risky careers, like a firefighter or construction workers, it can be difficult to find an insurance policy. Beyond that, some people may simply have a fear of going to the doctor. Some may not have the time to go through a medical exam. Others may need a life insurance policy quickly without a long underwriting period. No matter what reason someone may have, they can rest assured that they still have life insurance options available to them.
Types of No Medical Life Insurances
Forgoing a medical exam limits life insurance options, but plenty of plans are still available to those who are looking for no medical exam life insurance policies
Opting out of a medical exam for a life insurance policy—no matter if that’s because of health reasons or extenuating lifestyle circumstances that may disqualify someone from getting covered—there are still life insurance options available. Though this does limit the options, there are still quite a few types of life insurance that may make sense to get depending on the circumstances including but not limited to accelerated term life insurance, guaranteed life insurance, and simplified life insurance.
Accelerated Term Life Insurance
Up until recent years, it was almost always a guarantee that getting a term life insurance policy required a medical exam. Now, as life insurance becomes much more accessible with plenty more options, it’s possible to qualify for term life insurance with no medical exam. While not every life insurance carrier offers this, accelerated term life insurance could be the answer for people who need or want life insurance without a medical exam.
Since it’s been the norm to take a medical exam to qualify for term life insurance, how exactly does accelerated term life insurance work? Well, depending on the life insurance carrier, when applying for this life insurance, a detailed list of information is required. That may include:
- Health history
- Financial history
- Lifestyle information
As the life insurance carrier considers all of this information, they can potentially approve an application without requiring a medical exam if they determine that both the financial and health situation of the applicant is acceptable. This means that some people can get a fully underwritten term life insurance policy quickly.
While this is a great option for people in good health and a solid financial situation, it’s not a guarantee that everyone will qualify for term life insurance. People with pre-existing health conditions or even a family history of health conditions may be denied coverage. That’s why this type of life insurance is best for people in relatively good health—both medically and financially.
Guaranteed Life Insurance
Of course, there will always be instances when people who cannot pass a medical exam still need or want life insurance. Luckily, there are other options for those who can’t qualify for life insurance through a medical exam. One of those options is guaranteed life insurance.
Guaranteed life insurance is a type of whole life insurance policy, meaning it will cover the policyholder for the duration of their life. This type of life insurance requires no medical exam and doesn’t require any type of historical medical records. While guaranteed life insurance is a great option for people whose medical histories and issues prevent them from getting other types of life insurance policies, guaranteed life insurance policies do come at somewhat of a price: the waiting period.
Because many of the people who seek out guaranteed coverage have serious medical problems, life insurance carriers generally have a waiting period of 2-3 years depending on the company. While the insurance provider will repay the premiums—almost always with a certain percentage of interest—the benefit will not be paid out if the policyholder passes away before the waiting period is over. The premiums for guaranteed life insurance tend to be fairly high and the benefits are significantly lower than that of other insurance policy types. Because of this, guaranteed life insurance is the best option for people who absolutely cannot pass a medical exam.
Simplified Life Insurance
Aside from accelerated term life insurance and guaranteed life insurance, simplified life insurance is another option for people who either don’t want to or can’t undergo a medical exam. Compared to other types of life insurance, the application process for simplified life insurance is fairly straightforward. In this instance, a few medical history questions will likely be required during the application process but a medical exam is not required. Because there is no need for a medical exam, the underwriting process is much simpler and coverage can be approved much more quickly, though it’s not always a guarantee.
Simplified life insurance will almost always require a higher premium cost for a lower amount of coverage. As opposed to guaranteed life insurance coverage, there is no extended waiting period. So, for people looking to get life insurance quickly to help their families cover final expenses or people who have serious health conditions and still want a health insurance policy, simplified life insurance may make the most sense.
Pros and Cons of No Medical Exam Life Insurance Policies
With any type of insurance policy, you should be sure to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each to see which is right for you
The decision to get a life insurance policy is a big step for anyone. So, of course, anyone shopping around should do their due diligence when it comes to understanding the advantages and drawbacks of any insurance type. Just like any insurance policy type, all come with their own pros and cons.
For no medical exam life insurance, of course, the biggest advantage is that there is no medical exam. In fact, depending on the type of life insurance policy, carriers may not even ask for any medical questions at all. Because of this, the approval process for no medical life insurance is much quicker and simpler in comparison to life insurance policies that require a medical exam.
With all of this being said, there are some drawbacks to be aware of when searching for no medical exam life insurance. Because life insurance carriers are not considering health as a risk factor, insurance companies take a bigger risk themselves by providing someone with life insurance without a medical exam. That’s why more often than not, people who opt for this type of insurance tend to have higher premiums and lower coverage amounts. Depending on the type of insurance, the application may still require someone to disclose medical information in a questionnaire, so approval is not always a guarantee. On top of that, some have a long waiting period which could be troublesome for people who need coverage as soon as possible.
No matter the reason why someone may not want to undergo a medical exam, that doesn’t mean they cannot get a life insurance policy. With how accessible life insurance policies are nowadays, it couldn’t be simpler. While someone with a no medical life exam insurance policy may have more limited options, options like accelerated term life insurance, guaranteed life insurance, and simplified life insurance—to name a few—are still great options to consider when thinking about financially protecting their families.