What you Need to Know About Life Insurance Medical Exams
If you’re ready to buy life insurance, you’ll have to undergo a routine life insurance medical exam first. Insurance companies need to gauge the state of your overall health, which is used to determine the rate of your premiums. Insurance is all about risk management. The insurance company needs to determine their risk of paying a claim for you in the future. Healthier candidates get the lowest rate because they pose the least risk to the insurance company, while the least healthy candidates receive the higher premiums.
Insurance Health Classifications
In most cases, there are four risk categories that candidates can fall under: the cheapest and healthiest insurance health classification is known as “preferred plus,” next down you have “preferred,” then comes “standard plus,” and finally, you have “standard.” The insurance companies bases their selection on numerous health-related and behavioral factors. Below, you can find out what a life insurance medical exam entails and what you can do to prepare for it.
What to Expect During a Life Insurance Medical Exam
The insurance company will send a traveling nurse or a paramedic to your home or office to conduct the exam. The entire procedure only takes about 30 minutes. First, they’ll ask for a photo ID (a driver’s license, state issued ID or a passport will do). Next, they’ll ask for a list of your current and previous healthcare providers including addresses and phone numbers. They’ll also ask you about your health upfront including your height, weight, whether you drink, smoke or do drugs and how often. They’ll also ask about current medications, vitamins, and whether or not you participate in extreme sports, such as cliff diving or ice climbing.
Once you’ve answered their questions and presented your paperwork, the examiner will check your pulse, blood pressure and collect a blood and urine sample. They’re testing for all the major health complications such as heart disease, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, diabetes, and HIV. They will also test for cotinine, a by-product of nicotine, to see if you use tobacco. So, there’s no point in lying.
After the Medical Exam
The results of the life insurance medical exam will be available a few weeks after the exam. Both you and the insurance company get a copy of the results for your records. The insurance company will then alert you on their decision in terms of what category you’ve been placed in and how much your life insurance premiums will cost. At this point, you’ll be able to ask questions about the results of your exam and how it impacts the cost of your policy. If you’re unhappy with your results, you can always re-apply and retake the life insurance medical exam (at your own expense)at a later date. You can also talk to other life insurance providers to see if they will insure you at a lower rate. If you work with a broker, they can consult with other companies to see how they might rate you, based on your medical exam.
Improving the Results of Your Exam
If you decide to retake the test or if you’re worried about your upcoming life insurance medical exam, there are several things you can do beforehand to improve your score. There’s only so much you can do in a few days or a few weeks such as getting plenty of rest, drinking plenty of water and cutting out fatty foods. In the long run, you can quit smoking and drinking alcohol. Nonsmokers usually pay one third of the cost compared to tobacco users. Staying healthy will save you a significant amount of money in premiums over the years.
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At Intramark Insurance, we believe in giving individuals the opportunity to research and compare life insurance rates so they can get the best premiums and coverage possible. Using the health analyzer will give you the most accurate quotes available. Click here to get quotes from the top-rated life insurance companies we represent.