Many, if not all, life insurance companies will require a medical exam during the application process to help determine your final costs for a traditional life insurance policy. While the exam itself is a simple process—just like a regular checkup—the result of your life insurance medical exam can have a big impact on what your rates look like. Here are some of the easiest ways to prepare for a positive outcome.
Schedule Your Life Insurance Medical Exam in the Morning
The life insurance physical exam itself takes less than an hour and can take place at an exam center, at work or even at your home—whatever is most convenient for you. Once you’ve decided where you’d prefer to take the exam, you should consider scheduling in the morning. Being in a place that you’re comfortable will keep you more relaxed, which can help keep your blood pressure low.
Don’t Drink Coffee or Smoke Beforehand
While drinking a cup of coffee in the morning can help you wake up, it might not be the right type of energy boost just before a physical exam since it can directly affect your blood pressure. Additionally, being a smoker can have a direct impact on your coverage and rates, so refraining from smoking before a life insurance health exam could be in your best interest.
Avoid Salts and Fatty Foods
During the life insurance medical exam, the examiner will likely take a blood sample for testing and he or she will also check your blood pressure and pulse. Food can directly affect blood work, which is one of the main reasons individuals with high cholesterol are sometimes told to fast or avoid processed foods high in salt and fat leading up to a physical.
Drink Lots of Water
Drinking around eight glasses of water a day can not only keep you hydrated, but also help clean out any toxins that could show up in your blood or urine sample during the life insurance medical exam. Being hydrated also makes it easier to draw your blood.
Avoid Working Out
Exercise can raise both your pulse and blood pressure, making it in your benefit to skip the gym for the 24 hours leading up to a life insurance medical exam. Working out might also negatively affect cholesterol levels and increase protein levels in your urine.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Your vital signs will reflect that you had a good (or a bad) night’s sleep in both your pulse and blood pressure, so not only will you be more alert, but you can feel more confident heading into your life insurance medical exam after a good night of rest.
Have Important Documentation Ready
On the day of the exam, you’ll need to have your driver’s license as well as contact information for any doctors you see regularly. You’ll also be asked to share any hospitalizations, medications, procedures and surgeries from the last five years.
What happens during the life insurance medical exam?
There are two parts to the life insurance medical exam:
- Medical Questionnaire: The medical questionnaire will ask basic questions regarding your medical history, health and lifestyle habits.
- Physical Exam: The physical exam is a simple checkup, similar to what you’d receive at a doctor’s office (weight, height, blood draw, heart monitoring, etc.). The exam is used to confirm your answers on the medical questionnaire.
No Medical Exam Life Insurance Options
- Simplified Issue Life Insurance: Simplified issue life insurance is a type of final expense insurance in which your coverage is based on a questionnaire about your health and lifestyle rather than based on a medical exam.
- Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance: Another form of final expense insurance, guaranteed issue whole life insurance is just as the name implies; guaranteed. If you’re between the ages of 45-85 you can’t be turned down, therefore it’s often a promising life insurance choice for seniors or individuals with health concerns as oftentimes, no medical exam is required.
- Accelerated Underwriting: Accelerated underwriting gives you the opportunity to purchase traditional life insurance on the fast track. It doesn’t require a medical exam, however, you’ll still have to provide both current and historical health-related information.
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