No Medical Exam Life Insurance

A no medical exam life insurance policy is a great option for those who may have a medical condition. Find out why.

WRITTEN BY
Priya Correia
Updated October 26, 2020

A traditional life insurance policy typically requires that you undergo a medical exam so your insurer can verify your health. Generally speaking, those who are in better health are more likely to get approved for a policy at lower premiums. 

But there may be cases where you may not want to have a medical exam conducted, whether you have a medical condition or you simply don’t want to take the time to go through an exam. Luckily, there are certain policies that do not require a visit from a nurse or doctor.

No medical exam life insurance policies do not involve examinations in order for a policy to be granted. Instead, they usually involve a questionnaire that is filled out about your health. However, these policies are usually more limited in coverage and come with higher premiums than traditional policies.

Let’s take a closer look at no medical exam life insurance policies to help you determine if this is the right type of policy for you.

What is No Medical Exam Life Insurance?

As the name suggests, “no medical life insurance” is a type of life insurance policy that does not require a medical test. It works in much the same way as a regular life insurance policy but allows applicants to avoid a medical examination.

In lieu of the exam, you can fill out a questionnaire that requires you to provide detailed information about your health. In some cases, a questionnaire isn’t even needed. 

This type of insurance is more attractive to many Canadians specifically for this reason. Without a medical examination requirement, it’s easier to and less time-consuming to obtain. Those with pre-existing medical conditions may find this type of insurance particularly appealing because they risk being denied coverage for a conventional policy. 

It should be noted, however, that no medical life insurance is typically more expensive compared to a standard policy simply because insurance providers do not have as much information to go on to assess your health. Further, people who are generally healthy more often go for standard life insurance policies that require a medical exam.

How Does No Medical Exam Life Insurance Work?

While a no medical exam life insurance policy may not require you to visit with a physician, you will likely need to fill out a questionnaire, as mentioned above. The questionnaire is usually pretty straightforward and will include questions about your health conditions and any family history of health issues. 

Some questions that may be part of the questionnaire include:

  • How often do you see your doctor?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you drink alcohol? If so, how often? 
  • Have you recently undergone surgery?
  • Are you currently on any medication?
  • Do you currently suffer from a medical condition? 
  • Do you have a family history of health issues?

The more accurate and honest you are with your answers, the more accurate your premium will be. Plus, honesty will be required anyway – if your insurance provider discovers any untruths in the questionnaire, you could be denied coverage.  

Types of No Medical Exam Life Insurance

A handful of variations of no medical life insurance exist, which you may want to take a look at before you apply for a policy:

Simplified Issue Life Insurance

This basic form of life insurance requires a few questions to be answered, but no medical exam. There is no guarantee of approval, but if you do get approved, your policy could take effect in just a few days after application. 

It should be noted that there is generally a 2-year waiting period before the entire death benefit is paid out to your beneficiaries when you pass away. If you die before that waiting period is up, your beneficiaries would receive a partial payout worth the amount of premium paid up until that point. 

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

This type of policy is guaranteed to anyone who applies. Life insurance providers cannot deny coverage to anyone despite their health condition. No medical exam or questionnaire is required. Coverage amounts are usually much less than the average policy and are meant to help cover the cost of funeral and end-of-life expenses. 

Instant-Approval Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is finite in its coverage and lasts only up until a specified date, unlike permanent life insurance which lasts a person’s entire life, no matter when they pass away. 

With this type of insurance, you can gain instant approval if you are relatively healthy and are under a certain age according to the terms of the insurance company. You may still have to complete a questionnaire about your health and your family’s health history. 

Group Life Insurance

Employers typically offer a group life insurance plan as part of their benefits package to employees. To enroll, you won’t have to undergo a medical exam or complete a questionnaire. Premiums are usually paid for the most part by the employer, though employees may still need to cover some of them. 

Regardless, group life insurance is an affordable option for this specific reason. That said, coverage is usually capped at very low amounts, which are often not enough for many Canadians’ needs. 

What Do You Need to Qualify For No Medical Life Insurance? 

The only thing you need to do to qualify for a no medical exam life insurance policy is to fill out the questionnaire you will be provided with. Your ability to get approved will not only depend on your health but on the exact type of policy you are applying for. Some policies do not guarantee approval, while others do.  

The most common reason why people would be denied coverage for a no medical exam life insurance policy is because of age at the time of enrollment. Generally speaking, people over the age of 75 will have a much tougher time securing a life insurance policy.  

Pros and Cons of No Medical Life Insurance

Pros

  • Quick approval. Since there is no medical exam required, a policy can usually take effect within a few days. Compare that to the weeks that you may be waiting for a traditional policy.
  • Easy application. It’s a lot easier to go through the application process without having to undergo a medical exam. Instead, a quick questionnaire can be filled out. And in some cases, not even that would be needed. 

Cons

  • Expensive. There is a bigger risk for insurance companies to accept clients without knowing the full scope of their health. Without a medical exam, it is difficult to verify the overall health of policyholders. To mitigate this risk, insurers typically charge more for no medical exam life insurance policies.
  • Lower coverage amounts. No medical exam life insurance policies are typically limited in terms of coverage. 

Is a No Medical Exam Life Insurance Policy Right For You?

A no medical exam life insurance policy may be suited for you if you find yourself in the following situations:

  • You cannot qualify for a traditional policy because of a serious medical condition
  • You have a chronic medical condition that is difficult to manage, such as high blood pressure
  • You are not comfortable with being poked and prodded
  • You want to make sure your funeral and end-of-life expenses are covered

Are There Cases Where No Medical Exam Life Insurance is Not Suitable?

If you fall under any one of these categories, then a conventional policy may be better: 

  • You’re in very good health
  • You are looking for a lot more coverage

Can Insurance Providers Deny Coverage?

While some policies guarantee coverage without the need for a medical exam, there may be times when you could be denied coverage. For instance, if any of the answers you provide in the questionnaire raise a red flag, the insurer could turn you down for coverage. Otherwise, you could be left with very high premiums to offset the insurance provider’s risk.

Final Thoughts

A no medical exam life insurance policy sounds great for those who may have a medical condition that would disqualify them for traditional coverage. That said, these policies may be more expensive and may not provide as much coverage as you may like. Be sure to compare life insurance providers and policies before you buy coverage.