What to Expect on a Life Insurance Medical Exam

Navigate the medical exam process when applying for a life insurance policy with the help of SelectQuote

When applying for life insurance, more often than not, you’ll be required to take a medical exam. It’s a quick and simple process that usually takes less than an hour and can be conducted in your home, work or wherever is most convenient. 

Here’s a guide on what you can expect during a life insurance medical exam. 

Why do life insurance companies require a medical exam? 

The medical exam is part of the underwriting process, which determines the premiums for your insurance. The underwriter looks at applications and calculates risk—as in what’s the likelihood  an applicant will pass away and how soon. The medical exam allows the underwriter to cross reference the details on your health questionnaire and confirm the final price for the selected coverage. 

There are two parts to the medical exam:

  1. Medical Questionnaire

    The medical questionnaire will ask basic questions regarding your medical history, health and lifestyle habits.

  2. Physical Exam

    The physical exam is a simple checkup, similar to what you’d receive at a doctor’s office (weight, height, blood draw, heart monitoring, etc.). The exam is used to confirm your answers on the medical questionnaire.

Procedures Performed During a Life Insurance Medical Exam

Similar to an annual physical, the tech will perform routine health checks such as checking your pulse, blood pressure and height and weight to determine your body mass index. You also might have to provide a blood test and/or a urine sample. 

How long until I receive my medical exam results?

You should expect to hear back from your exam within four to eight weeks. 

How long after the medical exam until my life insurance starts?

Each company’s process is different, but in many cases, your coverage begins as soon as your first premium payment is submitted. 

What to Do If You Don’t Receive the Results You Want

If you don’t get the results you want from your life insurance medical exam, there are a few options to proceed. 

One option is to purchase the policy for preliminary coverage and ask the life insurance company to reconsider in a year or two, once you feel as though your health has improved. 

Another option is to consider no medical exam life insurance options, such as accelerated underwriting, simplified issue and guaranteed issue life insurance. Simplified issue life insurance typically replaces the medical exam with a health-related questionnaire, while guaranteed issue doesn’t require a medical exam or health questions, and you can’t be turned down for coverage if you’re between the age of 45-85. 

The most viable option is to shop around, as other life insurance companies may have better rates for your unique health history. This is something SelectQuote can help you do, as we work with some of the most trusted life insurance carriers in the nation. We can compare coverage and prices available in just minutes to help you find the right plan for you.  

SelectQuote Can Help You Find the Best Life Insurance for You With or Without a Medical Exam

While a medical exam is necessary to obtain traditional life insurance, there are many options to consider if the exam is a concern of yours. Whether you’re concerned about your health, have been turned down before or would just like to avoid a medical exam altogether, SelectQuote can help.

We do the shopping. You do the saving.