How Hard is the Life Insurance Exam?

When you apply for a life insurance policy it’s standard practice to have to undergo some form of medical appraisal. People often get it in their heads this is some kind of brutally grueling obstacle course insurance-approved medical clinicians devise to weed out ‘undesirable’ policyholders. In truth, the exam you’ll receive is much like a standard physical at your doctor’s office and, in some cases, it may be a little less stressful.                                                                                                             

As with any insurance, it is very important to keep paperwork and/or company name available to your beneficiaries when the time arises. It is as simple as registering on a life insurance database to guarantee this information will never get lost and become a lost life insurance policy.

Since you are a possible liability to the insurance company, the medical exam is used to find any underlying conditions that can or will shorten your life or adversely affect your overall health. Blood tests are used to check for conditions like diabetes, immune deficiencies or disorders or other conditions which could possible shorten your lifespan. There is also usually a urine screen to check for medications or illegal drug usage. The results from the tests are used by an insurance underwriter to set your insurance rating and determine where your policy premium is going to be. Most likely you’ll get a copy of the test results for your own records and, if there are further tests you need, a follow-up round of testing will be scheduled.

The medical exam is scheduled after you’ve filed all the introductory papers and necessary application materials. It’s possible for many people to schedule their exams at home or their workplace but sometimes it’s necessary to schedule an appointment with an independent medical profession for blood and lab work. You’ll be asked for a detailed history of your health so it’s a good idea to get a copy of your medical records from your regular physician – it will save time and end up being much more accurate than your memory! Height, weight and blood pressure are checked and, if you need a blood sample taken, it may just be something as simple as a finger-prick. But, depending on how much you’re wanting your policy to cover or how valuable the policy is, it’s possible you’ll have to get a full blood workup. Lastly, you’ll be asked to provide a urine sample and then you’re done. Not so bad, right?

You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete or a dedicated marathon runner to qualify for a comprehensive life insurance policy, so don’t worry if you’re not the model of human perfection. If the idea of having the exam worries you or you’re worried about being denied coverage because of your health, try and get a good night’s sleep the day (or days leading up to) the exam – at least 8 hours is recommended. If you’re a smoker take a short break from nicotine and other stimulants like caffeine; cut back or cut out the coffee for a couple of days. Avoid stressful exercise the day before the exam and be sure and stay on a healthy, balanced diet plan. Give your body and mind a rest from your stressful work day by scheduling your exam at home before work, if possible. If you’re already health conscious, continue to eat a nutritious and balanced diet, get regular checkups and don’t overdo it or start an unhealthy habit like smoking.

Until next time,
Michael Hartmann
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