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When you buy life insurance, companies that offer standard policies that are fully underwritten will assess your physical and mental health before issuing a policy with a high death benefit. The applications process may involve answering a long list of medical questions and then submitting to a medical examination depending on the company that you choose to do business with. It is critical that you are as honest as you can be when answering application questions to avoid a misquote or being found guilty of material misrepresentation. It is also important to prepare for life insurance exam so that you are offered coverage and you pay the lowest possible rates. Start comparing life insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above!
It might not be possible to ace a life medical examination, but there are preparation tips that will help you get the best results. As you should with any type of exam, familiarize yourself with what you are being tested on will help you build your confidence. You should know what the life exam entails and why the results of the exam are so important to the insurer before you even schedule your appointment time. Read on, and find out more about medical exams and how to prepare for them.
Why does life insurance companies require you to take a medical exam?
If this is the first time you have applied for life insurance, you might be shocked to learn that part of the application process is to take a medical exam. The medical examination requirement is so common because it helps the company underwrite an application, assess risk and verify whether or not the picture that the answers on the application paint are accurate.
An insurance agent can not just look at an applicant and tell whether or not they have medical problems. It can also be difficult to read whether or not someone is being 100% percent honest while they answer medical questions. As the policy application is being underwritten and the underwriter is trying to decide if the applicant is a satisfactory risk, they will order different tests and records.
What type of tests are ordered?
The tests that are ordered depend on the age of the applicant, the type of policy being applied for, the face value of the policy, and the answers given on the application. The company will typically review your physical measurements, vital signs, saliva, blood and urine specimens. They may also order an EKG or other tests if you have a family history of diabetes or other conditions.
If the past or present condition is discovered, the rates and class can change.
After the results are sent to the underwriter, the professional can make an educated decision when it comes to choosing a risk classification. If everything comes back clear and you are in good health, your risk class and premiums should remain the same.
What is the insurer testing for?
It is only natural to ask why a company is poking and prodding you before they will offer you coverage. The entire purpose of a medical exam is to give the insurer a snapshot of your health. The results of the tests could come back completely fine or could indicate that you have a problem you may or may not know about. The paramedical service that takes your samples and vitals will order a full workup of the samples given.
If they detect nicotine in your saliva, elevated glucose in your blood, or you have high cholesterol, your rating on your application can change. Height and weight can also have an effect on your body composition and ultimately on your life expectancy. The insurer is technically looking for signs that you will not live your full life expectancy, but the actual conditions that are tested for depend on the company.
What You Need to Know to Prepare for your Impending Medical Life Exam
You cannot lower your blood pressure or battle high cholesterol in days to avoid being classified as a high-risk insured, but you can prepare for an exam so that you are calm before the nurse comes to your home or place of business. There are specific steps that you can take to improve your chances of acing the test when you are already in good health. Here are the tips that you need to keep in mind from the start of the process:
Tip 1: Choose the Right Carrier Before you Take an Exam
Every company has their own set of underwriting requirements. Some companies will sell substandard policies to people with medical conditions that eliminates the need for an exam. Other companies have very strict qualifications and will not offer anyone with diabetes or other conditions even a table-rated policy. The key to avoiding a policy denial is to read up on the underwriting requirements first. If you know you have a certain condition or you participate in a hazardous occupation, find out how this is viewed by the company before starting the process.
Tip 2: Avoid Certain Activities and Substances 24 Hours Prior to the Exam
Certain activities should always be avoided prior to a medical exam. Some of the things to avoid may be obvious and others may be surprising. Medical experts recommend that you avoid all supplements to avoid traces in your urine that can affect results.
You should also avoid exercise for at least 24 hours so that your pulse and blood pressure are not temporarily affected by the activity.
Other more obvious things to avoid include: caffeine, beer, liquor, and foods that will elevate your blood sugar. Consuming caffeine can affect your heart rate and consuming alcohol can have a direct effect on your triglycerides. By detoxing your body from these substances, you can be sure that the substances will not interfere with your tests.
Tip 3: Fast For 8 Hours or More Before Exam Appointment
Blood tests will test your blood sugar and blood cholesterol. Eating before your test will not affect all results, but it can have an effect on these results. The main reason that you should have a window of 8 hours where you have fasted is because you will have elevated blood sugar. This level is normal when you earn sugars or carbs, but it is not normal if you have not eaten. The paramedical service is assuming that you have not eaten, and any elevated blood sugar levels will be taken seriously. Not only can it delay the application process, it can become a hassle when you need to give blood again so that you can retest.
Tip 4: Drink as Much Water As Possible
Water is your friend. You should avoid caffeinated sodas and coffee, but you are more than welcome to have an extra cup or two of water in the morning. In the days leading up to your examination, you should increase your water intake. The water will help you flush out toxins in your system and can even make the process of having your blood taken less painful. About an hour before your test, drink a full cup of water so that you can easily give your urine.
Tip 5: Shed the Added Weight
During winter months, you layer up to stay warm when you are leaving your home. This keeps you comfortable but can be the difference between a standard and preferred rating. Companies review your height and weight to determine if you are average, overweight or obese, and one pound can make all the difference when you are on the borderline. If you have a sweater, take it off. Choose light clothing and shoes that do not weigh down the scale so that your outerwear for the day does not put you in an expensive rate class.
What happens after the medical exam?
The medical exam will only take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete. When the examiner is done, the underwriter will review your health history and the results of tests that were administered. The processing company will send results to your insurer and the insurer will order medical records. After all of this has been reviewed, the underwriter will decide if they have enough information. You may be asked for a physician statement or other documentation if the results are inconclusive. This is why it is best to prepare before your exam.
Life insurance is an important product that provides you with a level of protection and peace of mind that most others cannot. When you are buying coverage, you need to begin by pricing the cost of coverage through more than one carrier. You can do this by using an online rating tool that instantly shows you price quotes. Find out about underwriting guidelines so that you can choose a policy that you will qualify for. After you choose the best policy, you can start the application process and select a life insurance medical exam appointment. Start comparing life insurance rates now by entering your zip code in our FREE tool below!