What You Need to Know About No Exam Life Insurance

person having medical exam for life insurance

While many life insurance carriers provide traditional policies that require a medical exam, you may be considering no exam life insurance policy. Perhaps you want to avoid the hassle of an exam or perhaps you are concerned about a medical condition you have. These are good reasons you should find out more about life insurance options

Keep in mind that with the option of a no medical exam life insurance, there are pros and cons. We can help show you what you need to know about what impacts forgoing the exam will have.

Why Life Insurance?

Purchasing life insurance is a big financial decision. And there are many reasons why you may be considering it including:

  • Replace lost income
  • Burial expenses
  • Estate Taxes
  • Pay for College
  • Diversify Investments

If you’ve decided it’s time to apply for life insurance, you may not know where to start and you might wonder what is up with medical exams. A no medical exam policy may be something you are considering.

What is a Life Insurance Medical Exam?

When applying for many life insurance policies that are available, most likely you will be asked to submit a medical history as well as to a medical examination. This exam is usually performed by a nurse or other medical professional either at your home or workplace. This exam determines whether there are any medical conditions you have which could adversely affect your life expectancy. Usually, the exam takes about 30 minutes or less. It should consist of checking your vital signs, a blood test, urinalysis and sometimes additional tests like an EKG.

When are Medical Exams Required?

When you apply for life insurance, you’ll usually be asked for some medical and lifestyle history. Many carriers may opt for a medical exam only if your responses raise some concern. Here are some examples of medical or lifestyle history may require you to do an exam:

  • Your age
  • If you are or have been a smoker or heavy drinker
  • If you have or had a serious illness
  • If you are currently taking a prescription drug
  • If you are applying for a high level of insurance coverage

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a medical exam?

If you are young and in good health, having a medical exam should not be concerning. Here are some examples of why a medical exam can be advantageous:

  • Lower in cost – It is logical that if you are good health, you are less risky for the insurance carrier. Therefore, they will offer you a policy with lower premiums.
  • The medical exam may uncover an unknown health condition which you then can treat.*

*While it is a good thing to learn about a medical condition so you can treat it, keep in mind that this could be a disadvantage. Specifically, you could be refused the insurance because of it and it may affect your applications going forward.

Why Would I Try to Avoid a Medical Exam?

  • To get a life insurance policy quickly and easily.
  • You haven’t seen a doctor in a while.
  • You are young and healthy.
  • You are anxious about medical exams.
  • You have a condition where you may be denied coverage.

What Are the Types of No Exam Life Insurance?

If you would like to shop around for a no exam life insurance policy, it is good to know what types there are.

Simplified Issue Life Insurance

This is a true non-medical underwriting policy. A Simplified Issue Life Insurance policy does not require a medical exam under any circumstance.  Usually, these policies are limited from $25,000 to $500,000. Premiums are comparably higher than fuller underwritten policies. Usually, these policies are quickly turned around with no waiting periods.

Accelerated Underwriting Life Insurance

Reserved only for very healthy individuals (who do not smoke), Accelerated Underwriting policies offer a quick application and review process. Many times underwriting uses things like pharmacy checks, medical information database checks, motor vehicle reports and credit checks to underwrite your life insurance policy. 

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

If you have an existing medical condition that makes it difficult for you to get insured, you can opt to purchase a no medical exam policy called Guaranteed Issue or Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance. Usually, there is a limit to $25,000 and there is also usually a waiting period before the benefit is paid out.


As we have outlined here, there are many factors when considering no exam life insurance. A no exam life insurance policy may be a great option for you if you have a medical condition or are healthy but want a quick policy but willing to pay for that at a higher premium. You should compare plans though to make sure you get the coverage you want for the lowest cost. We hope you have learned more about the no medical exam option and have the time to invest in making the best choice for you.