What is No Medical Exam Life Insurance (Term and Whole)? Who Is It For?

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

Do you want to get life insurance, but would rather avoid the extra time and effort involved in the underwriting process? You may want to consider a life insurance policy without medical exam.

What is No Medical Exam Life Insurance?

Medical exam is a requirement as part of the buying process of life insurance. This requirement has been one of the main reasons why not everyone who should have life insurance doesn’t have life insurance (expensive premium is another main reason). Removing medical exam requirement will enable more people to buy life insurance. However, it might not be possible for all cases and all life insurance policies.

If you don’t want to mess around with getting a medical exam and having tests done to get approval for life insurance, you can find alternative policies on the market. You can find both term life and whole life policies without medical exam.

However, if you are interested in universal life insurance, either guaranteed universal life, indexed universal life, or variable universal life, there is no “no medical exam” option, you have to take medical exam to get universal life insurance policy.

Term Life Insurance No Medical Exam

Term life insurance has become more and more popular thanks to its simple nature and affordable premium. The last thing that still makes it hard for consumers to buy it with one click as we are buying grocery online nowadays is medical exam. As insurance companies, especially insuretech startups like Haven Life, Fabric, Bestow, or Ladder, are trying to make it as easy as possible for consumers to buy term life insurance policies, they are trying to streamline the buying process, getting rid of unnecessary steps whenever possible. As a result, more and more companies offer term life insurance without medical exam.

The way it works is that you still apply for term life insurance policy online as usual. After you submit your application, the underwriting engine at the insurance companies will determine if you qualify for no medical exam. Usually, if you are in good health and your medical record and prescription record is clear, you will be offered term life insurance without medical exam.

Since not having you do medical exam might increase risk to insurance companies, they usually increase your premiums a few dollar a month to account for this risk. They should have a good understanding of your health based on your medical and prescription records. However, it is not up to the level of a medical exam. So essentially, you buy your convenience with a few dollars a month. It might or might not worth it, but at least you have a choice.

What are the Benefits of No Medical Exam Term Life Insurance?

There are many reasons to get a term life insurance policy with no medical exam. It’s easier to find compared to whole life insurance no medical exam. You’ll also be able to get a larger policy, which means more protection for loved ones and an actual inheritance they can use. A term life insurance policy is also more affordable than whole life insurance with lower monthly premiums. You also won’t have a waiting period for the policy to pay out if you pass away soon after getting insurance.

Whole Life Insurance No Medical Exam

Whole life insurance without medical exam is usually a small whole life policy, usually from $5,000 to $50,000. The policy is meant to cover the basics, like a funeral, paying off debts, and leaving a small sum for the family to inherit. It is often referred to as final expense life insurance.

When applying for no medical exam whole life insurance, you will still have to answer a few health-related questions and the insurer may ask permission to review your medical records. There are two main types of life insurance that don’t require a medical exam:

  • Simplified Life Insurance: This policy doesn’t require a medical exam, but will involve detailed medical questions and a review of your medical records.
  • Guaranteed Life Insurance: This life insurance offers guaranteed acceptance, no medical exam, no review of your medical records, and only a few simple questions. For instance, you may be asked if you smoke or are terminally ill. There is also a waiting period of 2 – 3 years for the policy to reach its full face value. 

If you are in a long-term care facility, a senior, or living with a major illness, your policy premiums will be high. Of course, the payoff is that you are able to obtain life insurance for your family.

What are the Benefits of No Medical Exam Whole Life Insurance?

If you want the peace of mind that comes with a guaranteed payment, you might prefer whole life insurance with no medical exam. Whole life means that your policy is permanent and covers you for life with no need to renew. You may also be able to get a small loan on your policy whenever you need it. Additionally, these policies have no waiting period before they achieve their full value so you are covered for the full amount right away.

What to Be Aware of With No Medical Exam Life Insurance

A no medical exam life insurance policy is incredibly convenient for those who are short on time or are worried they wouldn’t pass a traditional medical exam. Such policies are also more accepting of those with chronic or potentially fatal health conditions, but you will end up paying a lot more in premiums for coverage. It may be tempting to fudge the answers of your medical questions to get a lower monthly premium, but don’t do it.

Insurance companies have many ways of researching the answers to your medical questions. They can check out your driving record, criminal record, health records, and prescriptions. If the insurer feels that you lied on any of the medical questions they could potentially cancel your policy without a refund of premiums within the first two years. You may also have a hard time getting another company to provide life insurance coverage if they find out why your last policy was canceled.

Who Should Consider No Medical Exam Life Insurance?

As mentioned briefly, no medical exam life insurance is a great choice for people who just don’t want to or don’t have the time for a medical exam, especially when are looking for a term life insurance policy and willing to pay a few extra dollars for the convenience benefits.

If you are looking for whole life insurance without medical exam, you are probably in the following groups:

  • Terminally Ill/Chronically Ill: You may not qualify for traditionally underwritten insurance if you go through a medical exam. Or else, the premiums might be too high to even consider paying.
  • Smokers: According to PolicyGenius.com, smokers may be able to benefit from a slightly lower premium on a no exam life insurance policy compared to a traditional policy, especially if the cash-value is small.
  • Low Benefit Needs: If you are only looking to get a smaller policy with enough for funeral expenses and debts, a no medical exam policy is a quick and easy way to get covered.

With the many requirements in place for traditional life insurance policies a no medical exam life insurance policy looks very appealing for consumers. Just make sure you understand all of the benefits and limitations of these policies before applying for one. You may also want to learn more about the differences between term life and whole life insurance in order to choose the right policy for your needs.

Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at realtor.com, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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