Traditionally, life insurance is based on a hefty analysis called underwriting, which includes a medical examination. However, not everyone is willing to go through this rather lengthy process, so insurance companies have created no-exam life insurance policies. They are valuable options for young people who are looking for speedy, simplified insurance solutions, and for older individuals whose health may not allow them to qualify for standard term or permanent coverage.
In this article, I’ll have a look at life insurance medical exams, no-exam life insurance options in Franklin, TN, and the pros and cons of each.
About Life Insurance Medical Exams in Tennessee
Life insurance is essentially a bet between you and your carrier: you wager that the insurance payout will be bigger than what you pay on the policy, while the carrier says it’ll be the other way around. And like with all bets, you need to understand all the variables to properly assess risk. The medical exam is the gold standard of risk assessment for insurance companies, as they rely on it to calculate rates and coverage limits.
The medical exam is just one part of the life insurance underwriting process – the second is a medical questionnaire. If you’re interested in life insurance in Franklin, TN, you should expect the following to happen.
Life Insurance Medical Questionnaire
The life insurance company will most likely send a technician your way to conduct the medical assessment. First and foremost, you’ll have to answer a series of health-related questions, such as:
- Do you suffer from any health conditions?
- Are there any health conditions that run in your family? Do your parents suffer from diabetes, heart disease, etc?
- Do you have any dangerous hobbies, such as skydiving or race car driving?
- Do you smoke?
Life Insurance Medical Exams in Tennessee
Once the questionnaire is completed, the technician will measure your height, weight, and blood pressure, collect blood and urine samples, and – if you’re an older adult – perform an EKG.
This whole process shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes, but you may have to wait a while for the results to be assessed. All in all, you can expect to get your final quote and find out what type of rates you qualify for in a few weeks. From healthiest to least healthy, these can be labeled: preferred plus, preferred, select, or standard.
As a general tip, if you plan to purchase life insurance, it’s best to work toward getting in shape a few months before your medical exam. So, if possible, watch your diet, lose the extra weight, and get moving. Your overall health (pre-existing conditions included) will improve and this, in turn, will help lower your insurance rates.
No-Exam Life Insurance in Tennessee
There are three main types of no-exam life insurance in Tennessee: simplified issue life insurance, guaranteed issue life insurance, and accelerated underwriting insurance. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.
Simplified Issue Life Insurance
Probably the most popular of the bunch, simplified issue coverage doesn’t require a medical exam, but it does involve a medical questionnaire. You will most likely be asked questions about your medical history, lifestyle, smoking habits, and drug usage. In terms of coverage, most simplified issue policies have a maximum coverage limit of $100,000.
As a key takeaway, simplified issue life insurance policies are fast and noninvasive, but coverage isn’t necessarily their strong suit, so if you’re looking for substantial protection and are in good health, you’re better off with a traditional policy.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
Guaranteed issue life insurance grants protection regardless of health status, provided you’re under 80 (or 85 in some cases) and don’t have a terminal illness. Other than that, it’s no questions asked, but coverage is usually limited at $25,000, and it’s also graded, which means that your beneficiaries won’t be entitled to the full death benefit if you pass away during the first two to three years of the policy. In that case, they’d receive a refund of the premiums you paid, plus interest.
The downside of guaranteed issue life insurance – aside from the limited coverage – is that it’s very, very expensive. The carrier undertakes a huge risk when issuing a no-questions-asked policy, so they more than make up for it through pricey rates. Guaranteed issue life insurance should only be viewed as a last resort and should be avoided by young, healthy adults.
Accelerated Underwriting Life Insurance
Last, but not least, there’s accelerated underwriting life insurance, which uses AI to evaluate your health. All you have to do is grant the carrier access to certain medical records, and you can be issued a comprehensive life insurance policy in a matter of minutes. Coverage is still limited, but it can go much higher than simplified or guaranteed issue insurance. Rates often gravitate toward the higher end of the spectrum, so standard life insurance is usually a better option if you’re under 50 and in good health.
Should You Get No-Exam Life Insurance?
Now that you have a clearer picture of what Tennessee no-exam life insurance entails, you need to ask yourself if it’s the right option for you. While no-exam insurance is noninvasive and accessible, it offers limited coverage for more expensive rates. My advice is to opt for a traditional life insurance policy if you’re young and fit, and to view no-exam life insurance as a safety net for when your health starts declining or you become ineligible for standard coverage.
There’s one exception to this rule: If you’re young, healthy, and a smoker, simplified issue or accelerated underwriting insurance may be worth looking into, as your rates for standard coverage will be significantly impacted by your habit. To lower your rates, you would have to be smoke-free for at least three years, so the best thing you can do, both for your health and for your wallet, is to quit smoking as soon as possible.
If you have other life insurance questions, feel free to get in touch. I’d be more than happy to help you make better sense of your insurance options.