Is a Physical Exam Always Required to Obtain Life Insurance? What Happens if I Fail the Physical Exam?

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Is a Physical Exam Always Required to Obtain Life Insurance? What Happens if I Fail the Physical Exam?

19404618_sIs a physical exam always required to obtain life insurance? What happens if I fail the physical exam?

Not every type of insurance policy requires that you begin the process with a physical exam. Guaranteed issue policies and simplified term life insurance policies, for example, do not require exams. These are the policies you often see advertised on television for purchase by those 45 and older. This type of policy may be sold to someone who has a pre-existing condition, or to someone who is just looking for enough to cover funeral expenses. The rate for guaranteed issue policies may be a little higher than the average policy depending on the scenario.

What to Expect During a Life Insurance Physical

If you’re in good health or have minimal health issues, the life insurance physical exam shouldn’t be much of an issue. Your insurance company will send a representative to your home to do the exam, which only takes 20-30 minutes on average. The insurance company covers all associated costs. They may request blood and urine samples and will often check your height, weight, and blood pressure. Depending on your age and background, your insurance company underwriter may also ask your doctor to send copies of your medical records.

Most insurance companies will ask you to fast for at least 8 hours before your exam so that they can run certain blood tests. Make sure you drink plenty of water so that you are hydrated for both your bloodwork and urine samples. Try to avoid caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and major stressors before your exam. Your examiner will give you specific instructions when your appointment is made.

What Happens if I Fail?

This depends on the results and how the insurance company defines a “failure.” Minor medical conditions or unsavory lifestyle habits may simply result in higher insurance premiums. A great example is the chemical test for the substance cotinine. Cotinine remains in your urine for 4-5 days after you quit smoking and if it is detected in your tests you will end up paying the tobacco rate for your life insurance policy.

No matter what the reason, there are plenty of guaranteed life insurance companies willing to give you a policy, even if you are considered a high-risk. The terms and conditions may be limited, as well as the amounts you’re able to purchase. The premiums will definitely be higher than a traditional policy. Even if you have to pay more, though, you’ll still be able to rest easy knowing your final expenses are taken care of.

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