FROM THE LEARNING CENTER

No Medical Exam Life Insurance: What to Know

by Bestow Team | August 10, 2021

5 Minute Read

If 62% of Americans don’t want a medical exam to get life insurance, then why do most insurance companies require it?

The life insurance industry is not just old, it’s centuries old. In fact, the first life insurance policies in the U.S. were written in the 18th century. Obviously, we didn’t have the technology then (or even just a few years ago) that we do now, so medical exams have been a necessary step in the underwriting process. But times have changed, and technology along with it. Is it still necessary to undergo a medical exam to buy life insurance? For many of us, the answer is actually no.

What is No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance?

It’s exactly what it sounds like: a life insurance policy that does not require a medical exam to qualify or buy. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the world of life insurance, this may seem like no big deal. But in reality, this is unique, and dare we say, disruptive.

The traditional way of buying a policy involves doctor’s appointments, lab tests, in-person interviews… it’s a lot of manual work in a manual underwriting process that can sometimes take weeks just to get a rate.

Now, accelerated underwriting is all about using technology to make the process of buying life insurance exponentially more efficient. As in, buy a policy in minutes — not weeks. Pretty cool right? 

As with all types of life insurance coverage, whether or not a policy is the right fit for your needs depends on, well, your needs. Some may have higher premiums, some may have differences in the application process. There are a lot of options. Here, we’ve gathered some helpful info on some of the most common life insurance coverage options which may not require a medical exam.

What Are the Different Types of No Medical Exam Life Insurance Policies?

Term life insurance can be a solid choice for many families because of its simplicity and affordability, but there are a few other types of no medical exam life insurance options, as well.  

Term Life Insurance Medically Underwritten With Fast Approval

This option lets you skip the medical exam while generally offering a wide range of coverage options. Instead of bloodwork and physicals, applicants will answer health questions and provide information about their medical history to see if they qualify for a policy.

Bestow is an example of this kind of insurance product. It could be a smart option for someone in good health looking for up to $1,500,000 in coverage. Applicants receive an instant decision and can buy right away if approved. And you can get a fast, free quote in seconds. 

Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance

In some ways, simplified issue is similar to the above. There’s no medical exam, and you’ll instead provide information about your lifestyle and general health, including disclosing any health conditions you may have. It’s an option worth considering if you’re generally in good health and are looking for coverage fast. 

One key difference, though, is just how much life insurance coverage you can get. Simplified issue insurance typically caps off around $100,000 (although some life insurance providers do offer more coverage). Plus, a simplified issue policy may have graded death benefits, which means that your beneficiaries only get the full value of the policy if you pass away at least 2 years after you purchase. 

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a kind of whole life insurance policy (also called permanent life insurance) that doesn’t require any health qualifications. There’s no medical exam or health questionnaires. Coverage amounts are quite limited though — usually between $2,000 and $25,000. So, enough to serve as final expense insurance. 

Guaranteed issue life insurance probably works best for people who can’t qualify for any other type of life insurance. That’s a smaller group than you may think. Those with a terminal illness who have a life expectancy of fewer than two years, people living in a nursing home or who are in hospice, and people who need —or have had— an organ transplant are usually good candidates for guaranteed issue coverage. 

There’s a two or three-year waiting period with this type of coverage. If the insured person dies during the waiting period, there’s no death benefit, but the insurance company typically issues a refund of premiums paid plus interest to the beneficiaries. 

Group Life Insurance

Your employer may offer group life insurance with a coverage amount equal to your salary. This coverage is generally inexpensive or free and there’s usually no health exam. It’s a nice perk if you can get it, though it’s important to remember that you usually can’t take your coverage with you when you leave the company. 

Moreover, some people find that a simple one-time salary replacement is not an adequate amount of coverage. You may be able to purchase extra coverage through your employer, but consider getting a quote for a term policy before you do. You may be surprised at how much coverage you can get for the same price.  

Who Can Buy Life Insurance Without a Medical Exam?

Generally speaking, healthy individuals between the ages of 21 and 45 may be eligible to buy a term life insurance policy online. (Bestow can underwrite policies for individuals up to age 60 for 10-year terms if approved.)

No one will vet your yoga class attendance record or that 26.2 sticker on your Subaru’s rear window. But if you are in overall good health, a no-medical-exam life insurance policy might be the right fit for you.

However, there are certain criteria that may prevent you from purchasing a policy without a medical exam. If you have a serious health condition (such as heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, or blood pressure issues) or risky hobbies (like hang gliding, for example), you might need to speak to a licensed insurance agent to help you find a life insurance policy that fits your needs.

How To Get a Fast, Free Quote Right Now

Bestow is life insurance for today’s busy families. We believe that everyone should have access to the financial protection that life insurance can provide, and that it should be convenient, affordable, and fast — and that means eliminating hassles like medical exams. We work with an A+ (Superior) rated insurance industry giant, so you know you’re getting coverage from a trusted company.