If you apply for life insurance, chances are that you will have to take some type of medical test. Each policy and insurance company requires different things, but in general, they want to know your level of risk of a payout. In other words, they want to know how healthy you are or aren’t to determine if you are a good candidate for life insurance with them.
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Understanding the Life Insurance Medical Exam
The insurance company you apply with will likely hire a third party to conduct your medical exam. You can usually do the exam at home or at their clinic – whatever is convenient for you. In most cases, you will need to fast for at least eight hours before you can undergo the exam. You will then be asked to submit blood and urine samples and you’ll answer a host of healthcare-related questions. The practitioner will also take your height and weight measurements as well as your blood pressure. In rare cases, you may be asked to do an EKG, but that’s not common.Shop and compare insurance quotes.
Using Your Measurements
Life insurance companies use the basics from your medical exam to determine your predisposition for certain illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes. Using your height and weight, they determine your level of obesity. They combine this with your blood pressure readings to determine your likelihood of chronic disease. This will determine your ability to secure insurance as well as the premiums you will pay.
What Blood and Urine Tests Look For
The life insurance company also uses the readings from your blood and urine tests to determine your likelihood or current presence of any of the following:
- Cholesterol issues
- Diabetes indicators
- Kidney disease indicators
Most insurance companies also test for use of drugs, whether prescription or street drugs. They also test for tobacco use, as this is another indicator of potential disease and usually causes your premiums to be much higher than someone that doesn’t smoke.
Using the Answers to the Questions
Life insurance companies put together the answers to the questions you ask with the results of the tests. It’s important that you answer the questions honestly and to the best of your ability. For example, if you smoke, but you answer that you don’t, the blood and urine tests will show otherwise, which leads to application fraud and denial of your application.
Keep in mind that if the medical tests show illegal drug use in your system, it’s an automatic decline for insurance benefits. Some insurance companies make an exception for marijuana use, but this varies by state and insurance company. It’s best to be upfront and honest with your agent if you use marijuana so that you can know before you undergo the tests if it’s something the insurance company will accept.
Ensuring Good Results
While you can’t change your predisposition for certain illnesses immediately, there are ways that you can ensure the best results possible given your health. A few months before you apply for life insurance, start preparing your body. Drinking enough water and eating as healthy as possible will help lower your cholesterol and keep your blood glucose in good standing. It’s important to remain calm during the entire procedure too, as nervousness can set off your blood pressure, sending the insurance company the wrong message.
If you don’t pass the life insurance medical exam the first time, consider your options. If your results were just slightly outside of what the insurance company requires, you may be able to make a few changes and apply again. You may also be able to try again with a different insurance company. If the results are bad enough that you can’t get insurance at all, you may want to consider an independent insurance agent with more options to help people in situations like yours.Get the right insurance coverage.