If you need life insurance but having your blood drawn makes you faint, you don’t have time to have your blood pressure taken, or you have potential health issues, you may want to explore life insurance that doesn’t require you to take a physical exam.
“There are several ways to get life insurance without a health exam,” says James Galli, a senior vice president with MetLife in New York. “First, life insurance products made available to employees through their employer generally do not require any exam.”
If your employer doesn’t offer life insurance in your benefits package or you want to supplement your coverage, you may still be able to apply for life insurance without a physical.
What is no medical exam life insurance?
No medical exam life insurance is exactly what it sounds like: life insurance without a physical.
Instead of being poked and prodded — and running the risk of paying sky-high premiums or even being denied life insurance if your exam turns up health problems — you can fill out an application on your tablet or laptop and get a quick quote for a life insurance policy. However, no-exam life insurance generally isn’t cheap either, and the coverage is often limited.
It’s worth noting that if you get life insurance without a medical exam, your policy will most likely include a waiting period. For example, your death benefit might not payout in full until you’ve held your policy for two full years.
That’s not to say you won’t get anything in exchange for your premiums. Many insurers offer 110% of the value of your accrued monthly premiums if you pass away before your waiting period expires.
Types of no-exam life insurance
Consumers have three primary options for obtaining life insurance without a medical exam.
Simplified issue life insurance. “Simplified issue products are generally available to adults over 18 until about age 75, but this varies by insurance carrier and state,” says Galli. “You’ll usually just have to answer a brief series of questions about your overall health, but no exam is necessary.”
The industry’s standard upper limit on coverage is generally $500,000, Galli says, but the amount varies by insurance company.
New York Life offers simplified term life insurance policies of up to $100,000 without a medical exam or lab tests for consumers up to age 75; applicants must answer 3 medical questions. Simplified whole life (permanent) insurance policies of up to $50,000 are available for consumers up to age 75 without a medical exam or lab tests, and 3 medical questions must be answered.
Guaranteed acceptance life. Also known as guaranteed issue or final expense life insurance because the limited proceeds are often used to cover burial costs. “Guaranteed acceptance whole life is offered to individuals ages 45 to about 75, which again varies by carrier and state and is a permanent life insurance policy,” says Galli.
Guaranteed issue whole life is generally available up to $50,000, but some companies restrict it to lower amounts. For example, New York Life offers guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance policies for up to $15,000 for consumers ages 50-80.
- Group life insurance. You’ll most commonly see group life insurance in the form of an employer-sponsored plan. Basically, this is a single policy that covers a number of different people. Because of that, group life insurance often doesn’t require a physical.
Where to get life insurance without a medical exam
Galli says you can buy these life insurance products online, by snail mail or through a call center, depending on the insurer. Sometimes insurance agents and financial advisers sell the policies.
“For example, at MetLife, we sell and service these products through several of these channels, as well as through associations and affinity groups, such as financial institutions, alumni associations, hobbyist groups, and more,” says Galli. “Just check your membership mailings or newsletters for offers about life insurance.”
Keep in mind that you should always compare quotes from several companies before making a life insurance purchase.
How much does no exam life insurance cost?
It’s important to note that you’ll usually pay more for this coverage than someone who buys the same level of protection but does get a medical exam. That’s because your insurer takes on a risk when they issue you a policy without knowing much about your health history and current level of wellness.
They pass that increased risk on to you in the form of higher premiums. Generally, it only makes sense to try to score cheap life insurance without a medical exam if you know you have an existing health condition that will turn up during a physical. Smokers may be able to get more affordable coverage by skipping the physical, for example. But if you’re generally healthy, you can usually get cheaper coverage by getting a physical as part of the life insurance underwriting process.
To get the best life insurance without a medical exam at the best price, get quotes from at least a few insurers. That way, you can compare your options and make sure you get the most affordable coverage possible.
Is life insurance without a medical exam worth it?
Generally, no medical exam life insurance is worth it when you have an underlying health condition that you know will result in high premiums. Still, though, it might be worth getting a quote for life insurance without a medical exam and a quote for a policy with a physical. Compare the costs to find out if you’re actually saving by skipping the exam.
If you need a policy fast, you might also want to consider life insurance without a physical purely because it removes one to-do between you and getting coverage. However, remember that many no medical exam life insurance policies include a waiting period. While you might be able to get a policy in place quicker without the physical, you’re probably looking at a couple of years before the full death benefit kicks in.
Frequently asked questions
Can I get life insurance without a medical exam?
Yes, several insurers offer no medical exam life insurance. You can skip the physical, but expect to pay more for your policy.
How do I get cheap life insurance without a medical exam?
Generally, if you want to get life insurance without a physical, you should plan to pay higher premiums than someone who gets the same level of coverage with a medical exam. That said, you can still keep your costs as low as possible by reviewing policies from multiple insurers.
Do I have to be a certain age to get life insurance without a physical?
It depends on the type of life insurance you want to purchase. Simplified issue life insurance is generally available once you reach age 18. But you may need to be 40, 45, 50 or older to get guaranteed issue life insurance. Review age limits from specific insurers to find the best life insurance without a medical exam for you.