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Can You Get Life Insurance Without a Medical Exam?


Do you get anxious thinking about medical exams for life insurance? Don’t want to get up close and personal with an unknown doctor — then deal with needles, to boot? Or do you just not have enough time in your day to juggle one more thing?

You wouldn’t be the first person to put off getting life insurance for any of those reasons. With the advent of online insurance agencies, applying for coverage is easier than ever, but medical exams can still be a stumbling block.

Whatever your reason for wanting to skip the extra doctor’s appointment, you have options for life insurance coverage that won’t hinge on an exam.

Do insurance companies offer no-exam life insurance policies?

Yes, you can get coverage without sitting through a medical exam, although you may end up paying higher premiums or settling for less coverage. Insurers don’t include the exam to make your application process more complicated, after all. They do it to assess how risky you’ll be to insure.

The exam may feel redundant when you already have to answer health questions for your insurance application. But let’s be honest. How many of us make that appointment for our recommended yearly physical or get routine blood work and tests done? Certainly not all of us.

You can answer every question about your medical history honestly and still not know if you have more minor risk indicators like high blood pressure. Health exams help insurance agencies identify those unknown risks, so they’ll know how much of a death benefit to offer you and where to set your premiums.

Without the exam, you’re riskier to insure, but insurers can still use advanced algorithms to analyze your health information and offer you appropriate coverage. And some lower-benefit policies have no medical exam by default.

What type of life insurance policy is offered without an exam?

You have several options for life insurance policies with no medical exam, depending on your age, medical history, lifestyle, and employment status.

Term life insurance

Term life insurance is an affordable way to provide for your loved ones after you’re gone. You’ll pay much lower premiums for the same death benefit with term life than you would with whole life or permanent life insurance, with the caveat that your insurer will pay out only if you die within your term limit.

And thanks to advances in the underwriting process, certain applicants may be able to skip the medical exam entirely and still get medically underwritten term life insurance from Haven Life. If that includes you, you could secure a policy with a death benefit ranging from $250,000 up to several million — all without having to sit through that extra doctor’s appointment.

Simplified issue term life insurance

Simplified issue life insurance is a type of term life insurance that lives up to its name. To apply, you fill out some questions about your health, and then the insurer uses accelerated underwriting to decide if you’re eligible for a policy. It’s that simple, no medical exam required. As with all life insurance policies, your insurer paying out your death benefit will depend on you answering all those health questions honestly.

A simplified life insurance policy will typically cost more than a traditional one because the insurer knows less about you. They’re taking on more risk by insuring you, so you’ll pay higher premiums for the same amount of coverage. Also, available death benefits are typically lower, and some simplified issue life policies limit term lengths to 20 years or less.

Haven Life offers just such a policy, called Haven Simple. There are some limits — policies are only available for up to 20 years; coverage is limited to $1,000,000; and applicants must be between 20 and 55 years old; Haven Simple isn’t offered in some states. And again, you must be truthful on your application, or you risk non-issuance of the policy (or even non-payment of the death benefit).

Learn more about Haven Simple, and get a free online quote, today.

Guaranteed issue life insurance

When you apply for this type of life insurance, you’re guaranteed coverage, no matter your age or health history. But because anyone can get approved, even without a medical exam, you’ll also face some significant limitations on your coverage.

A guaranteed issue life insurance policy typically limits death benefits to $50,000 or less, and you’ll pay higher premiums to secure that amount. They’re not practical policies if you’re younger, especially if you have dependents, because this probably isn’t enough coverage to provide for your family after you’re gone.

They’re considered final expense policies for this reason. The death benefit won’t replace your lost income, but it will help pay for funeral expenses and other costs associated with your death.

If you’re a senior looking for life insurance with no medical exam, a guaranteed issue life policy can be a great fit. Just bear in mind that these policies also include a “graded death benefit,” meaning your benefit will pay out only after a certain number of years have passed, usually two or three. If you die before that, your beneficiary will receive only the premiums you paid plus interest.

Group life insurance

Companies and organizations may offer group life insurance coverage to their members or employees. You don’t need to take a medical exam to qualify. You just need to be an eligible group member.

Everyone covered by the policy will pay the same low premium, which makes them a great, affordable option for older people or those with preexisting conditions.

They have two major downsides: Your coverage only lasts as long as you remain with the company or organization that owns the policy, so if you leave, you’ll lose your death benefit.

And typically, they don’t offer enough coverage to fully provide for your loved ones if you die. Group life benefit amounts can be higher than guaranteed issue life, but they’re typically much smaller than what you’d get through medically underwritten term life or even simplified life.

So while these policies make good temporary coverage for some, if you’re young and in good health, you may want to seek out other types of life insurance with higher benefits while you can still lock in low premiums. (That’s because most term life insurance policies, like those offered by Haven Life, offer level term premiums, called that because they remain level throughout the term of your policy.)

How do you determine if non-medical exam life insurance is right for you?

As you can see, getting a no-exam life insurance policy comes with some trade-offs. You’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of these policies before deciding which is the best no medical exam life insurance for you.

The pros

You get some significant upsides when you opt for a no-exam policy. The application process is easy, you won’t have to wait to find out if you’re approved, and they can be a great option for people with no preexisting conditions.

There’s no waiting period: You may wait weeks to find out if you’re eligible for a medically underwritten policy that requires an exam. With a no-exam policy, on the other hand, you can hear back from the insurer within a few days or even 24 hours. So if you want or need coverage quickly, no-exam life insurance is the way to go.

(That said, some policies, including Haven Life policies, also offer temporary coverage to term life insurance applicants while you complete a medical exam, which lasts until you receive full coverage, decide to cancel your application, or your application is declined. In other words, you’ll wait, but you’ll still be covered.)

It’s easy to apply for: With no-exam policies, you can usually apply online, from the comfort of your home, and you’ll only have to answer some questions about your medical history and lifestyle. And certain types of life insurance, like guaranteed issue, will even let you skip the questions in exchange for a limited death benefit amount.

(Again, it’s worth noting that term life insurance applicants for Haven Life also enjoy a fast, online application — you can apply for coverage over lunch.)

The Cons

As with everything, no-exam life insurance also has its downsides. Policies tend to cost more and have higher premiums, and your coverage may be limited.

It may cost more: Insurers have to run a cost-benefit analysis anytime they approve someone for a policy. Given enough information, they can offer you a death benefit and set your premiums with confidence. But when there’s no medical exam, your insurer takes on the risk of some unknown variables, and they’ll pass the potential cost of that risk onto you upfront.

Life insurers balance the risk of no-exam policies partly by raising your premiums. Guaranteed issue life policies tend to have particularly high premiums because anyone can get approved, regardless of age or health.

You might get less coverage: Most no-exam policies come with reduced death benefits due to the added risk that the insurer is taken on.

There might also be age limitations — simplified insurance might not be available to those over 55; the high premiums on guaranteed issue life insurance probably don’t make sense if you’re younger.

And again, with group life insurance, you can also lose coverage if you leave the company or organization that owns the policy.

Pay more, get less? No one wants to do that, whether it’s life insurance or something else.

What to know about Haven Term and Haven Simple

Thanks to Haven Life’s innovative InstantTerm process, some Haven Term applicants can receive nearly instant approval, even without undergoing a medical exam. (Just keep in mind that issuance of the policy or payment of benefits may depend on your truthfulness during the application.) Start by getting a free online quote.

But those who do not qualify, and do not wish to undergo a life insurance medical exam, can explore coverage through Haven Simple, a simplified issue, no-medical-exam-required life insurance option. It’s a strong play, even if your premiums might be slightly less affordable, and coverage is limited to a still-generous $1 million or less. (Again, truthfulness is key.)

Whatever you choose, having a life insurance policy in place is a critical step toward making sure your loved ones are protected financially in case something happens to you. Medical exam or no, that peace of mind is always worth the hassle.

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