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Your Life Insurance Medical Exam: What To Expect

So you have decided to purchase life insurance and now the insurance company is making you take a medical exam! What is that all about? Is the medical exam really necessary? The truth is that all life insurance companies have a requirement for a new person applying for coverage to be checked-up by a doctor or nurse affiliated to the company for almost all of their life insurance policies (with a few exceptions). The reason for this is that the life insurance company needs to evaluate you in order to know how much of a life insurance risk you are for the company.

The life insurance medical exam helps the insurance company’s underwriters determine what rate class you will be assigned (i.e. preferred plus, preferred, standard, tobacco, etc.). The rate class you are assigned will then determine what your premiums will be. However, you can get out of a medical exam with many life insurance companies if you are purchasing less than $100,000 of coverage (death benefit) and you are below the age of 40. As your age increases then the amount of life insurance that you will be able to buy without a medical exam generally decreases.

What life insurance underwriters and actuaries do is try to estimate how long a policy holder will live relying on Longevity Charts and his/her medial exams and history. It’s quite simple in concept although complex in practice; longevity charts are statistics on the mortality rate of people. This information allows the life insurance underwriters to see how many men, women and children die at certain ages. Of course, this is why it is relatively very low cost for a child to get life insurance. The low cost is based on the low mortality rates that children have in comparison to adults.

Your medical exam and history will reveal to the insurance company how well you are doing health wise, hence giving them much detail for them to be able to estimate your predicted life expectancy. Some medical exams can be done in the privacy of your home or office, however; if they ask you to have laboratory exams done they will refer you to a clinic or a hospital of their convenience. The exam is divided in parts to make it easier for the life insurance company to evaluate the results once the testing is finished.

Part A will consist of some questions that will help evaluate your general medical history and well being. Some of the topics usually asked include your general medical history, your family’s medical history, information on how to contact your primary care doctor, how much insurance you will be interested in purchasing and lifestyle habits (smoking, drinking, exercise and recreational drugs). Don’t try to alter your medical history at all, since most life insurance companies will find out through your medical exam or by contacting the Medical Information Bureau (MIB).

Part B of the exam will consist of the laboratory testing and the other regular check-ups that might be of interest to the life insurance company. It usually consists of diagnosing your height and weight, measuring your blood pressure and pulse, taking a blood sample (this is important since it shows your glucose level, cholesterol, proteins and HIV), and a sample of urine (to check for glucose levels, protein, creatine and any recreational drug use).

Your blood sample can be acquired in one of two ways: through your fingertip or a needle. If you are a young person you might only be required to give little blood, but if you are purchasing a considerable amount of life insurance then you will more than likely be required to give a full sample of blood. If for any reason you decide to decline testing then the life insurance company has the option of denying you coverage. From this exam the life insurance company is only interested in any health condition that would affect your lifespan.

Some tips that will prepare you to have a more positive exam experience are listed below:

1. Sleep at least 7 hours the night before you take the exam (and preferrably at least 7 hours for 2 nights before the medical exam).

2. Don’t drink alcohol for about 12 hours before the exam just to be safe from alcohol in your urine.

3. Don’t smoke or chew tobacco for at least 3 days before the exam (Just remember: you still need to answer all of the questions truthfully!)

4. Avoid caffeine drinks at least an hour before the exam.

5. Limit salt intake and high-cholesterol foods for about a day before the exam.

6. Don’t engage in any tough physical activities at least a day before the exam.

Life insurance exams can be a little stressful since you are in a sense totally subject to the criteria and whims of the life insurance company and your life insurance premium will be decided. It is important to follow the tips in order to have a better exam. Remember, the more you take care of yourself before this medical examination the better off you will be in the long run (you may even save yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars in life insurance premiums just by doing a few simple things to achieve the best rate class possible).

Now that you know what a life insurance medical exam consists of you are better prepared to take it. There is nothing to worry about. Just go with the flow, relax, and prepare to show your life insurance company great exam results!

If you are concerned about your medical history and have reason to believe that you will not have a great medical exam then keep in mind that there are insurance companies that have no medical exam life insurance policies. Whether that is true of you or not; use our free life insurance quote finder at the top of the page or on our home page to compare free quotes from many life insurance companies side by side to get the best rate.

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