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When someone applies for a standard life insurance policy, they must pass a medical exam proving that they are in good health, and therefore, a “good” risk. While there are other types of policies that people who are not in good health can apply for, the most affordable option for anyone who can qualify for standard coverage is to apply for insurance that is fully underwritten with a medical exam. To some, it feels intrusive, but to most it is easy to understand why life insurance companies want to look into your health to assess how likely you are to live a full life free of medical issues. Essentially, before a life insurance company commits to you for 10, 20, 30 years or a lifetime, they are going to run a medical background check just to be sure you are being as honest as possible on your application. Start comparing life insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above!
If you were not prepared to be tested just to get a low-priced life insurance policy, it is time to study so that you can pass the exam with flying colors. You cannot erase pre-existing medical conditions that you know are present, but you can prevent the event of being denied for insurance just because you decided to eat the wrong breakfast or go for your routine jog before you had your blood taken. Most insurers are not going to give you life insurance medical exam tips that can help you get the best risk classification possible. If you are searching for real tips that will really help, read on and learn what to do and what not to do before your underwriting medical exam.
What is a risk classification and why is it determined by your medical exam?
A life insurance medical exam is not just like a quiz that you can retake if you do not like your score. The medical exam is an important part of the underwriting process and actually help determine what risk classification that you will ultimately be assigned for years or for the remainder of your life if you never apply for insurance again.
In the life insurance industry, risk classification is very important. The insurer must assess an applicant’s risk level to ensure that they charge the right premiums so that they do not take on a large population of policyholders with short life expectancy rates. Applicants can answer application questions to see if the policyholder will disclose medical issues or has bad habits that can reduce their life expectancy or affect mortality tables, but there is not telling whether or not the answers are honest and accurate.
A medical exam is a window into the life of the applicant and may even find signs that the applicant has a medical condition they are not yet aware of.
In exchange for allowing the company to peek into your life and review medical records and lab results, the company will charge you lower premiums. If something is found, you may be table rated or denied for coverage altogether depending on the companies underwriting criteria. When this happens you do have the option to apply for an alternative but more expensive plans that do not require a medical exam.
Understanding the Life Insurance Process
Before you really can review life insurance medical exam tips uncovered, you need to learn about the application process.
- Filling Out Your Application
When you apply for life insurance the first thing that you will do is fill out an application form. The form may ask you a long list of questions about your medical history, medications that you take, prior diagnoses, physical composition, lifestyle habits, and behaviors. You must be honest as possible with all of your questions because this information will be verified.
- Assessing Your Application
Once you submit the application, it will be sent to an underwriter who will review the information, order medical records, review your profile through the Medical Information Bureau, and then order a paramedical exam. There are so many electronic databases that can now be used that help insurers make the best business decisions. During the underwriting process, professionals basically look for signs that the picture that you painted on your application is distorted. This is why preparation is so important when you are asked to complete a medical exam.
- Taking Your Life Insurance Exam
When you are asked to take a life insurance exam, you typically will make an appointment with a paramedical service who will come to you. They will take your blood, collect a urine sample, weigh you, measure you, take your vitals and an oral swab. If you are older or you are a high-risk because of your past issues, you may be asked to take more tests than the average person.
- Assessing Your Results and Issuing the Policy
After your samples are sent to the lab and the results come back they are sent directly to the underwriter for review. If anything comes back abnormal, you may need to take more testing or your risk classification can change from preferred or super preferred to a more expensive class. As soon as the policy is fully underwritten you will find out the rates that you will actually be charged and the policy will be issued once payment is made.
How to Ensure the Best Medical Exam Results
There is nothing worse than taking a routine medical test to find out something is wrong with you. Medical tests are not perfect and they can come back with abnormalities when you eat the wrong foods, take prescribed medications or get inadequate sleep before your samples are taken. Here are some tips that can help you avoid the errors and the false alarms that can lead to delays and some underwriters may not even verify.
- Detoxifying Your Body
Your diet, medications, supplements and even what you drink throughout the day can leave toxins in your body. The key is to flush the toxins out of your body that can show up in tests or even alter the results. You should not consume alcohol or smoke for at least 24 hours before a test. Make sure you also avoid supplements and any medications that you can avoid taking. Up your water consumption as much as possible to help aid in the detoxification.
- Watch Your Diet
What you eat for breakfast or dinner the day before the test can also have an effect on your labs. You should avoid greasy, sugary or even overly salty foods that can affect your sugar levels or cholesterol. You should also say no to that coffee or caffeinated drink that you depend on every morning for a boost. If you eat the wrong diet it could show that you have kidney, heart or hypertension issues that you may not really have. If these types of problems appear, it could have a permanent effect on your life insurance profile and your premiums. Try not to eat for at least 8 hours before a blood test to prevent common issues.
- Get a Full Night’s Sleep
Being well rested is very important when you are having your vitals taken. You might not know this, but a lack of sleep and high stress levels can lead to high blood pressure that could just be temporary because your body is on overdrive. Avoid going to the gym or going for that long jog before the test. Strenuous activity can have the same effect on your reading as being anxious, stressed or exhausted because of a lack of sleep. Because high blood pressure can lead to heart disease or other serious medical conditions, a bad reading could become a permanent issue with your insurer even if it is an error.
- Wear Light Clothing and Shoes
It could be hard to wear light clothing in the winter, but if you are layered be sure to don the layers before you step on the scale. Insurers will take a close look at your height and weight to determine your body composition and body mass. There are body mass tables that are very strict and most insurers follow these guidelines. Being just one pound heavier than you actually are without clothes on can affect you is you are just on the borderline. This is why you should wear very light clothes and shoes that will not weigh you down. It could be the difference between a good rating and one where you are considered slightly overweight.
With individual life insurance, reviewing your medical history is part of the standard process. You should learn about what you should expect prior to the exam so that you are not anxious for the process. Once you do this and you curb your habits just before your appointment time, you can feel confident in your results. Start comparing life premiums online with an online comparison tool and then you can apply. Start comparing life insurance rates now by entering your zip code in our FREE tool below!