Life Insurance Articles

Life Insurance Medical Exams

Article 7 of 12 in What to Know Before You Buy Life Insurance

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Some insurance companies require a medical exam in order to apply for a life insurance policy. Rules vary from company to company, and even from policy to policy, on whether a life insurance medical exam is needed. For very small amounts of insurance or association or group plans, usually no life insurance medical exam is needed. If you want higher death benefit amount or on whole life policies over a certain amount, company underwriters need to examine and collect medical information in order to properly classify the level of risk and set the appropriate premium charge.

TIP: Life insurance companies use the results of a medical exam as part of their underwriting criteria which is used to determine your life insurance costs.. The more healthy you are, the lower your premium payments will be.

Personal Information Life Insurance Application

The first requirement on your life insurance application is to answer questions about your health, job and sometimes financial information (have you every declared bankruptcy, your salary, etc). Depending on your answers to these questions the company may determine if a life insurance physical examination is required. If an exam is needed, the company should arrange a convenient time and place for you to meet the doctor or paramedic at no charge to you. Usually, the exam will involve only basic medical tests and medical history.

In addition to the life insurance medical exam, an insurance underwriter could check your credit, get authorization and pull your medical records and pull a report from the Medical Index Bureau (MIB). The MIB is an insurance industry organization located in Boston which helps provide accurate medical information concerning your medical history. It helps an underwriter to check the accuracy of some information you provided on application forms. The insurance company must get your written approval before submitting any data from your application to the MIB or getting any information about you from the MIB.

TIP: You are able to get a copy of your report on MIB. Ask your insurance company contact or go to the MIB web page at mib.com. Or you can call or write MIB, whose address is at the end of this article. They give details of how they use information, show a sample report, and tell you how to get a copy of your own report (if one exists).

Preparing for Your Medical Exam

A basic medical exam could consist of drawing blood for HIV test, swap of the mouth to check for smoking, blood pressure check and recording your weight. If you are applying for large amounts of insurance, then you could be required to take a complete physical (companies have learned that an inappropriately large amount of life insurance is sometimes associated with an increased risk of suicide, hidden health history, or the possibility that the applicant may be murdered.)


If you have been told by your insurance company that you have to take a medical exam, there are
things you can do to prepare. First ask the company will the exam come to you or will you go to them! Insurance companies contract with medical contractors that go out to customer and perform their exams on the spot. This could be your home or your office. They even carry portable scales to get your weight! Then do following:


  • Ask the appointment maker for your life exam will you need to have a fasting blood sugar taken? – This means they are checking your sugar levels. You are required not to eat for 8 hours. In this case try to make your appointment early morning so you do not have to do all day without a meal.

  • Drink plenty of fluids- this will flush your system of old medication or impurities.

  • Eat healthy-You definitely cannot change your health in a week. But eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables could lower your cholesterol by a point or two.

  • Do not smoke- Some people thing that just an occasional or celebratory cigar is not smoking. IT IS and it will show up on a nicotine swab. Don't smoke.

  • Alert the medical examiner of any drugs you take or anything that you have eaten that could show up on a drug test. A poppy seed muffin or cold medication will show up on as positive on a drug! Don't eat items that are out of your normal diet or take medication at least 7 days before the exam.

  • RELAX! The last thing you need is an elevated Blood pressure check.


If you are currently unhealthy, but have time before you purchase life insurance, you can save money by getting in shape! If you have additional questions about how to prepare for a medical exam for your life insurance company, consult an experienced agent.

Companies That Advertise No Exam Life Insurance

No medical exam life insurance is a policy that is sold to people who do not want to take a medical prior to getting the insurance. Such policies that tout no medical exam for life insurance are often offered through newspaper or magazine ads or made available to members of professional or fraternal associations or through and online pop up. There are a few things to keep in mind:


  • The amount of coverage may be limited to small sums.

  • You will still need to provide medical information, and you cannot withhold anything. As with other life insurance policies, there will be a period of a year or two (called the contestable period) when the company can modify or cancel the policy if it finds that the application did not fully reveal any relevant medical problems.

  • Rates are usually higher


Because the premium rates are sometimes rather high and the available coverage low, these no medical exam life insurance plans are often are used to supplement existing coverage, rather than provide the basic insurance.

If you are looking for life insurance, taking an exam is not a bad thing. Many of the good policies and companies require you to take a medical exam, so be prepared to have one before you can get life insurance. It is best to be up front about any medical issues, and talk to an agent who can help you find an affordable policy with your health in mind. To find a quote on life insurance, click here to visit the Free Advice quote center.

Read more articles to help you understand life insurance by clicking here.

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