Getting life insurance is a smart decision. It provides a level of comfort and security for your family and peace of mind for you. You may be asked to undergo a life insurance medical exam by the insurance company during the application process. The medical exam will determine if you have any underlying health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart conditions, or a chronic illness. Part of the medical exam will include a urine sample and a blood test. You’ll also be asked questions about your medical history.
While it’s natural to feel nervous about the test results, undergoing a life insurance medical exam is the best way to get the lowest life insurance rates. Medical exams are common for both term life insurance and permanent life insurance. You won’t have to pay for the test, as costs are covered by life insurance companies.
Let’s look at what’s involved with a life insurance medical exam.
What is a life insurance medical exam?
Life insurance medical exams are tests that insurance companies request before you are offered a life insurance policy. There are two main reasons you’ll be asked to complete the medical exam:
- The test results will verify the information you gave in your application.
- It gives insurance underwriters an idea about your medical history, current health, and future health risks.
Some of the medical tests will include:
Blood pressure reading
High blood pressure puts you at a higher risk for life-threatening problems like heart attacks and strokes. Your life insurance company will want to know if you are a greater risk to insure, which will mean you’ll pay higher premiums for your life insurance policy.
Weight and Height
Measuring your height and weight is how your body mass index is calculated. That determines whether you have a weight problem leading to bigger health issues.
Another part of your life insurance medical exam may include an EKG. These tests are used to see if you have any potential heart problems like abnormal heart rhythm.
Health professionals will screen for signs of kidney problems, diabetes, and HIV. A urine sample will also show any drugs in your system, like cocaine or cotinine, which is what nicotine becomes after it enters your system.
Tips to prepare for your life insurance medical exam
It’s normal to be nervous or anxious over your life insurance medical exam. But you shouldn’t let it bother you too much as you could alter the results. For example, stress can cause a higher blood pressure reading. Instead, focus on ways you can prepare for your medical exam.
Here are a few tips you can try.
Your life insurance medical exam begins with the application questionnaire. Be honest when you answer the questions about your health and medical history. This will prevent embarrassment if the medical exam uncovers something you did not disclose. It will also mean the life insurance rate you’re offered is closer to what you will pay.
Drink plenty of water
Eight glasses of water are good for your health. As you prepare for your medical exam, drink plenty of water. This can help reduce toxins in your body, which will lead to better test results.
Although salt can add flavour to your food, don’t overdo it as you prepare for your life insurance medical exam. It causes dehydration and can impact your urine test.
It’s always good to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and more so in the weeks leading up to your life insurance medical exam. Eating the right foods can lower your blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Avoid drinking and smoking
We’ve all heard that getting at least eight hours of sleep a night is good for you. Did you know that less than six hours can increase your blood pressure? Aim to get a good night’s sleep before your medical exam.
Can you fail a life insurance exam?
Failing a life insurance medical exam is the equivalent of being declined for coverage by your life insurance company. So, what equals a failed exam? Here are some things that can cause you to fail your medical exam:
Drugs in your system
If your blood or urine test finds any illegal substances in your body, you’ll likely be denied by your insurance company. Illegal substance use puts you at a higher risk for life insurance. However, life insurance companies view marijuana differently. So, if your tests reveal marijuana in your system, it doesn’t mean you’ll fail the exam. Talk to your life insurance agent or broker about the policies of different insurance companies. When it comes to nicotine, it may not rule you out for life insurance depending on the life insurance company. But you won’t be offered the lowest life insurance rates.
What you can do if you’re denied life insurance
It can be disheartening to hear that the test results from your medical exam are preventing you from buying life insurance. But don’t give up. There are some things you can do to qualify for life insurance. Here are some steps you can take if you’re denied life insurance.
1. Consider the results
Review the medical exam results to see if anything seems incorrect. For example, if your blood pressure was high that day, but that was an unusual blood pressure reading for you. You can talk to your life insurance company or broker about getting a second medical exam in this scenario.
2. Know your options
If your medical exam results were accurate, consider other life insurance options. Were you applying for permanent life insurance? Talk with your life insurance broker about term life insurance, which will still give you coverage for several years. Your life insurance agent may even be able to suggest other insurance companies that will sell you coverage.
3. Consider simplified issue life insurance
Simplified issue life insurance is offered without a medical exam. It’s not only faster to get approved for this type of life insurance, but you can also apply and be approved without medical testing. Life insurance companies will still require you to answer a medical questionnaire. The life insurance rate you’re offered will depend on your answers.
Why buy life insurance from Shelter Bay?
At Shelter Bay, we know life insurance. Our life insurance brokers have over 200 years of collective experience in the industry. We also know that choosing a life insurance policy can feel overwhelming and intimidating. That’s why we’re here to help.
When you’re ready to buy life insurance, contact Shelter Bay for a consultation.