Applying for a life insurance plan is recommended to individuals of all ages. As you grow older, the eligibility criteria for getting a life insurance policy become more stringent. Nevertheless, all providers make sure that they have plans catering to all segments of society.
People with serious health conditions usually have a difficult time applying for coverage. This is why the medical exam has immense importance when applying for life insurance.
Every provider has different questions and tests that you will have to answer and go through to become eligible for the plan. Depending on what plan you choose, the requirements will vary.
Hence, you should be familiar with the standards set by providers before choosing the right plan.
There are generally two parts of the medical exam. The first one involves filling a questionnaire or providing verbal answers and the second part is where you undergo all the different tests.
Most of the providers only ask you to undergo routine procedures, such as urine and blood tests. Other than that, your weight, height, blood pressure will also be checked during the medical exam.
Why Medical Exams Are Necessary For Life Insurance Companies?
A medical exam is generally very straightforward and takes place in a medical facility. If you are wondering why insurance companies ask you to take these tests, here are some reasons:
- One of the first things that your provider would like to assess is your life expectancy. For this very reason, your initial medical exam may include yours and your family’s medical history. If the insurance company expects that you may die early, they will charge you higher premiums to recover their cost as early as possible.
However, if your medical reports suggest that you can have good health and will live long, then the premium amount might go down.
- Another important reason for conducting a medical exam is to verify if the health information you provided earlier is accurate.
- Through their medical exam, they can assess if you have contracted any long term disease, like HIV or diabetes. Your medical reports will also determine the drug or nicotine level in your blood. Hence, you should be upfront about any health-related questions posed by the insurance agent.
- After assessing the current situation of your health, the providers are able to decide on a premium amount that suits your case. Therefore, the medical exam is a vital and integral step in the life insurance process.
The type of medical exam you go through varies depending on the kind of insurance you want. Some life insurance policies do not have strict standards and only require you to undergo routine checks. Guaranteed Acceptance plan, as the name suggests, lifts stringent requirements and is available for individuals with serious health conditions as well.
Questions To Expect During Your Life Insurance Medical Exam
Your health is the most important topic for the life insurance provider. Apart from asking you to take certain tests, there is also a long list of health questions you might have to answer. To prepare you better, here are some questions you should be ready to answer:
- You should expect the medical examiner to start with some basic questions like how often you smoke, drink or take any other drugs.
- Your family medical history may come second. They might ask you if any of your family members have high blood pressure, diabetes or any other health problem.
- The medical examiner may then go into further detail about your own medical history, like any prescribed drugs you take and have you ever been hospitalized. At this point, the examiner may expect you to tell them if you have had any surgical procedures in the past.
- You will also be asked about the last time you went to see a doctor. They will ask you what the reason was for the visit and whether or not you recovered from the illness. You will need to provide with details about the treatment method used and the diagnosis you received.
- They can also ask you for the contact information of doctors or hospitals that you have visited in the past few years for special purpose consultation. This is done in order to make sure that the information you provided is correct.
- The provider will also inquire whether or not you suffer from any abnormality in your digestive system or any other important function, such as kidney or respiratory.
- Your history of drug use is another one of the concerns for providers. The provider will inquire whether or not you previously received counseling for drug use or alcoholism. If you received the right treatment, however, it will not affect your application.
- They would also want to know if at any point you were advised to undergo a surgery which you decided against. This will help them understand the consequences of your decision and whether or not it affected your health in a negative way.
- You will have to provide all the dates of your visits to the health professional so the company can reconfirm at any time.
- You will also have to answer questions about health conditions during this process. If you suffer from depression or any other problem, you must let the provider know and disclose any events that required hospitalization.
Apart from asking about your health, the insurance providers also want to know if you have a high-risk job or hobby you enjoy. People that work as firefighters, for example, are high-risk.
Moreover, individuals that enjoy activities such as skydiving and whitewater rafting are also termed high-risk cases. The provider will also dig deeper and check your criminal record if you have on. DUIs, bankruptcies, or felonies all come under this category and change the way your life insurance provider looks at you.
Things to Do Before Applying For Life Insurance
You might think that getting life insurance is a straightforward process. While it is easy to find many providers out there, it is better to carry out a full assessment of your own needs before you start the process.
Here is a list of steps you should take in order to make the right decision:
1. Assess Your Needs
Before doing anything, you must make sure you are aware of what your requirements are. While life insurance offerings are the same across different companies, the needs for each individual vary considerably. If you have many dependents and/or carry a lot of debt, you will need a policy that accounts for all these responsibilities.
Also, you should take into consideration the funeral costs and ensure your policy will be able to pay for all these final expenses.
If you are the sole earner in the family, you will need a policy that has a higher benefit so your loved ones do not have to suffer financially after your demise. We always recommended our senior clients to get a final expense policy as it is a low-cost one.
2. Consider Your Budget
At the same time, it is also important to consider your current financial situation. It is not recommended to put yourself in financial stress in order to pay for life insurance.
Come up with an amount that you can pay comfortably while carrying out all your other financial responsibilities. There is no point in deciding on a premium that is not affordable for you.
If you are unable to pay the monthly amount, you might end up losing your life insurance policy. Have a look at this post about the grace period.
3. Compare Rates
Most people make the mistake of settling on the first policy that they see. This is the wrong approach since every company charges different rates. Therefore, you should be patient enough to shop for the right policy. You have to compare providers before you can decide on one.
4. Seek the Right Provider
You might have the ideal policy with a great premium, but if your insurance provider is not financially stable, your loved ones might face challenges when trying to get the benefit. You must make sure that the provider you go with is the right one. To understand how to decide on one, read the next section.
What to Look for in a Provider
You will be amazed to witness the number of companies in the market today that offer life insurance policies.
Nevertheless, not every provider will have the right standing in the market. You must look for the following features in a company before choosing them for life insurance:
In today’s world, finding out what people have to say about a particular provider is fairly easy. Find reviews online and discuss on forums whether or not you should choose a certain company. Also, ask your friends and family about the life insurance policies that they hold and their experience with different companies.
The provider you choose should offer competitive rates. For this purpose, you will have to research a lot about the different offerings. A company with a great reputation in the insurance industry and provides rates that are affordable is one you should select.
3. Financial Standing
You might find a great company that provides all the flexibility you need but if it isn’t stable financially, it is not a safe choice. This is because life insurance policies generally last for a long period of time.
While you cannot predict what will happen to the company’s financial situation in 10 to 20 years, you should at least choose one that has a solid standing right now.
Every person applying for life insurance has a different set of requirements. This reason is why it is important that the company you choose offers a range of products and services.
You will need to go through the details of each policy and decide if it is the right one for you. Nevertheless, go for a provider that offers multiple policy options with greater flexibility.
Once you take into consideration all these factors, you can make the right decision. Don’t consider buying life insurance a simple task but rather a process that needs careful analysis. If you feel you do not have the time to make the right decision or go through the different providers, you can also seek help from an insurance agent.
Why Consider Hiring an Insurance Agent
An agent can help you make the right decision, at the right time. Many people delay the process of getting life insurance just because it requires a lot of research.
To save time and make the right choice, you should talk to an insurance agent. This person will not be inclined towards one particular provider and will give you honest suggestions. He/she will start by assessing your needs through a questionnaire and will inquire about your current health condition.
An insurance agent will let you know what kind of amount you should be looking for in benefit for your loved ones and tell you about your options.
After letting you know about the right policy, the insurance agent will also research the different rates available and share this information with you.
You can decide on the duration of the policy (Term) or whether it is suitable for you to apply for a Whole Life Insurance plan. You can apply for life insurance on time with the help of an insurance agent.
Knowing that you need a life insurance plan is not enough. You must also make sure you are aware of the right provider.
Moreover, you should also have the time to compare the rates and offerings of each company to make the right decision. This reason is why experts recommend hiring an insurance agent and seeking their assistance with the legwork and research.