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Should You Get Life Insurance With No Medical Exam?

Life insurance—it’s been on your to-do list for years. You’ve been meaning to knock it out but . . . life happens. Well, here’s some good news: These days there’s one less hurdle between you and getting covered.

Over the past couple of years, some insurance companies have started offering an exam-free life insurance application option—and it doesn’t come with sky-high premiums. If you’re under 65 and in the market for a policy worth $2 million or less, you may be able to skip the lab work and apply without a medical exam.

This new flexible option means one less hoop you need to jump through on the way to peace and security for your loved ones. Here’s what you need to know about getting life insurance without a medical exam.

Whole vs. Term: Which No Medical Exam Life Insurance?

Before looking at how much coverage you can get, or the cost, we have to talk about the differences between whole and term life insurance.

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First up, with or without a medical screening, term life is always better than a whole life policy. Why? Because the only job of a life insurance policy is to replace the loss of income from someone’s death. With term life, you’re putting yourself and those you love in the ideal position—with the ability to replace your income should the unthinkable happen, all at a really affordable price. As for whole life? It’s a major rip-off! It’s not only way pricier than term coverage, it also mixes in bad investment products with the life insurance, but ends up helping you with neither. Quite separate from the question of medical exams, avoid whole life policies at all costs.

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What Is No Medical Exam Life Insurance?

Back to the no medical exam thing. It’s a way to purchase a policy that does not require you to go through a medical exam to get covered. But there are some conditions. In certain age groups, customers shopping policies of $2 million or less can sometimes skip the exam completely and still get the most competitive term life rate available. Typically we’re talking about healthy people. These policies are great if you want to get coverage as soon as possible.

But are you guaranteed a no medical exam policy if you fit the right criteria? Not necessarily. Even if you feel really healthy and you’re under 65, you’ll still need to answer questions about your medical history and disclose any conditions you have on your application for a term life policy.

Based on your answers, the insurance company will decide if you still need lab work or medical records to be approved for a policy. Honest and complete answers are a must because if they find you’ve hidden something on your application and you end up dying, your death benefit will most likely be withheld from your beneficiaries. And . . . that’s the whole reason you're getting the insurance in the first place, right? Honesty is the best policy, and it will help you get the right policy for you and your family.

Types of Life Insurance With No Medical Exam

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Is life insurance with no medical exam sounding pretty sweet? Great! But which one’s for you? Let’s go over the major types of life insurance coverage you can get without doing a medical exam.

Simplified Term Life With No Medical Exam

The name says it all. These simplified term life policies let you get term life insurance (the kind of coverage we always recommend for both price and simplicity), but they don’t require a medical exam. That’s awesome! But even without the medical step, these policies do require applicants to answer a health questionnaire.

Simplified Whole Life With No Medical Exam

Again, the name helps here: You can apply for this policy without a medical exam by answering a health questionnaire. But we don’t recommend this type of coverage at all. Why not? Because whole life insurance is one of the suckiest financial products on the market! It mixes two important jobs—life insurance and investing—and gives you a horrible payoff in both departments. Don’t just skip the medical exam—skip this whole life thing completely.

Guaranteed Issue

Guaranteed issue is another no medical exam option, but the catch is that it’s also one of the most expensive ways to get life insurance. To get a guaranteed issue policy, you not only skip the medical exam, you also skip the health questionnaire!

But the market for this kind of policy is pretty limited. It’s designed to help people who would otherwise be uninsurable. Beyond the high price, there are a few basic limits that many companies impose for this type of coverage:

  • Age minimum: usually 40 years old
  • Age maximum: usually 80 years old
  • Coverage limits: typically from $5,000–100,000

Those aren’t hard and fast rules, but if you’re in that four-decade window of life, guaranteed issue could be within your reach and a helpful option.

Now there’s another wrinkle with this policy type you should know about. Guaranteed issue comes under something known as a graded death benefit. What’s it all about? It means that if you’re the policyholder and you die shortly after getting the policy—say within three years—your beneficiaries would only get a portion of the full death benefit. But it’s life insurance coverage, and it’s got the fewest strings attached of any type. If you’ve been declined for other kinds of life insurance because of health problems, a guaranteed issue policy could get you enough coverage to take care of your final expenses.

How Does No Medical Exam Life Insurance Work?

Remember when we mentioned the lower price point of term life as one of its main attractions compared to whole life? Maybe you’re guessing that by avoiding the usual medical exam, you’ll be required to take on way higher premiums. But that’s not necessarily so.

If you go for a term life policy without a medical exam, the price should still be pretty affordable—and it will sure as heck beat any rate you’d get for a whole life policy!

It’s also reasonable to wonder how these companies decide whether to cover people for life insurance without giving them the normal exam for height, weight and other basic health measures. Here’s your answer: technology. Yep! Using statistics and algorithms, these companies have found a way to offer the same competitive rates that used to require an exam with one less hurdle to leap.

Who Qualifies for Life Insurance With No Medical Exam?

If you fall into one of the categories below, you could be a great fit for getting a no medical exam life insurance policy: 

  • People who are basically pretty healthy and don’t have an extensive medical history.
  • Busy people who just want coverage fast but don’t want to fool around with appointments and needles. (Relatable!)
  • Young smokers who don’t have any other medical conditions.

How Much Coverage Can You Get and What’s the Cost?

If you qualify for no medical exam life insurance, you can now get coverage up to $2 million. That sounds like a lot—and it is. But you’ll need 10–12 times your annual salary in term life insurance to make sure your family can replace your income if something happens to you. So, if you make over $200,000 per year, you’ll need more coverage than a no medical exam policy can provide.

Life insurance with no medical exam used to be costlier than traditional policies, but not anymore! These policies are now about the same as medically underwritten policies. The exact monthly payment you’ll get will vary depending on your age, medical history and other factors. Once you fill out your application, the insurance company figures out not only your insurability, but also how much they’ll charge you for your policy.

Should I Get Life Insurance With No Medical Exam?

The short answer? Yes—as long as you don’t need more than $2 million in coverage. If you meet the insurance companies’ criteria, no medical exam policies are great. They can save you time and the experience of a medical exam. Plus, the cost is affordable. It’s a win-win-win.

Use a Provider You Can Trust

Getting life insurance just got easier. You now have one less excuse to go ahead and get your family set for life if something ever happened to you. For a small amount of money per month you can get coverage that will give you peace of mind knowing your family’s protected. We recommend RamseyTrusted provider Zander Insurance. Get your term life policy started today.

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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