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Medical Exam Requirements For Term Life Insurance

Apr 10, 2008
As the masses use the internet to shop out just about everything in their lives, hundreds of insurance companies have followed suit by offering online services. Many companies make their offers appealing and seemingly easy by giving rapid quotes with an online application. Some insurance companies even offer term life insurance with no medical examination required. Many people, especially those with a pre-existing medical condition, would certainly find these policies enticing. However, it is important, as with all things that sound too good to be true, to read the fine print or disclaimers. Some insurance carriers will require applicants who apply for no medical exam policies to pay much higher premiums or extra monthly fees. Additionally, applicants may be required to go through physical exams one to five years after their policies have started. Non-reputable companies may even refuse to pay out benefits or withdraw coverage unexpectedly once an applicant gets older. Ultimately, insurance companies share information amongst each other and any pre-existing medical conditions may be disclosed to potential new carriers anyway. Generally, it is best to apply for traditional term life insurance and undergo the required medical exam.

Medical Exams are Usually Required

When you apply for term life coverage, some insurance companies require a medical exam for all policies, while others require the exams only for policies with substantial face values. The medical exams are quite basic and done in the comfort of your own home or office. Examinations usually measure your height and weight. You will be required to give a brief medical history as well as blood and urine samples. Your blood and urine are tested for very specific medical problems and positive results could affect your premium. If an insurance company does not like the results of your medical exam, they may choose to deny coverage altogether.

To get the best medical examination results, it would be best to schedule your physical early in the morning or during the weekend so that you can sleep in and are more relaxed. Avoid drinking coffee, soda, alcohol and eating heavy, sugary foods prior to the exam. The goal is to reduce stress, keeping your blood pressure in check.

Other Factors that May Affect Your Coverage

Aside from medical results, your lifestyle may also affect whether or not a carrier will choose to cover you or how much you will be charged for your premium. For example, smokers pay more for term life insurance. Some insurance companies do not distinguish between cigarette, cigar or marijuana smokers. If you smoke marijuana, but not cigarettes, you still must admit to being a smoker on your application. Because marijuana users must also disclose their drug use, their applications are under additional scrutiny.

Age is also a factor in getting accepted for term life insurance coverage. As you get older, the likelihood you will die sooner increases. Hence, older individuals pay more for life insurance. Many term policies give you the option to renew your coverage at the end of the term without undergoing another medical exam. Locking in low premiums is not impossible. Just ask your carrier for a "level premium" term life policy. That means for a specific time period, say 10 or 20 years, your premium rate will remain the same. After that term expires, your rates will increase. However, by that time the need for life insurance may no longer be a necessity.
About the Author
Sharon Taylor writes life insurance articles for eQuote Life Insurance, a leading Internet resource for life insurance rates, quotes and information. Serving customers online in 42 states since 1999.
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