What to Expect During Your Term Life Insurance Exam
Once you have decided to purchase a life insurance policy, you may be required to undergo a medical exam. The reason most life insurance companies need these medical exams is to determine the premium to be charged to the policy holder. If your medical exam results indicate that you have a greater risk of dying at an early age, the insurance company will want to collect higher premiums early on in your life. However, if your exam results show that you are in good health, the company will not collect as much from you early on in the policy for the simple reason that you will be around longer and will continue to make premium payments.
Life insurance companies use two factors to judge how long a potential policyholder will live. These are Longevity Charts and Medical Exams and History. The mortality rates of people are the statistics found in longevity charts. They indicate to an insurance company, how many men, women, and children die at particular ages and help them determine the risk involved in accepting you as a policy holder. The second factor is your medical exam and history.
Generally, insurance medical exams are carried out by paramedicals. These are licensed health professionals and most often independent contractors, who are hired by the insurance company. They will come to your home or office to conduct the medical exam unless the insurance company will require additional tests then you may be referred to a clinic to complete your medical exam. The questions on a life insurance application are divided into two parts. Part I (or Part A) consists of questions that are usually completed by your agent in your presence, or online by you. Part II (or Part B) is the medical form completed by the paramedical. Once you submit your application for life insurance, your agent or the life insurance company will give the paramedical service all your information and the amount of insurance that you are applying for.
As part of your life insurance medical exam you will be asked about:
Your personal medical history
Your family’s medical history
Contact details of your primary doctor
Information on your lifestyle habits. It is imperative here not to lie if you smoke, drink, or use recreational drugs. Your exercise regime is also important to your medical status
What and how much life insurance you are interested in purchasing
The following are the procedures that you can expect during your life insurance medical exam:
Weight and height measurement
Measurement of blood pressure and pulse
Blood work (to check on cholesterol, glucose, protein, and HIV)
Urinalysis (to check on protein, glucose, creatinine and cocaine)
Keep in mind that exams vary from insurance company to insurance company. If you are older or are applying for a high value policy, you might be required to undergo EKGs, treadmill tests or other assessments.
What is your insurance company looking for?
Basically, the insurance company needs to know what risk you pose to the company in terms of any health condition that could shorten your life. When the medical practitioner collects samples of blood and urine, they will be testing for HIV, cholesterol, liver or kidney disorder, diabetes, and other immune disorders. Urine samples will also be analyzed and screened for certain medications, cocaine and other drugs. If you plan to buy a large amount of life insurance, you might be required to submit a full blood profile as well.
The results of your medical exam are sent directly to the life insurer’s office for the next process where the underwriter reviews the information. In case you want a copy as well, you can send a written request to the insurance company. The underwriter will decide your insurance rating which in turn determines your premium rate. If there are still questions regarding your health, more medical tests or information may be requested from you. If a medical problem is discovered, you may be offered a policy with a higher premium.
And in case you are unknowingly chronically or terminally ill, your application will be declined. In such situations, it would be better to look for a specialized high-risk carrier or a company that guaranteed issue life insurance. If your test results are normal and correlate with the original premium rate quoted to you, you policy will be processed accordingly.
If you end up declining the life insurance policy after your medical exam, remember that your test results might still be recorded in the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) Group’s database. This is a clearinghouse of medical information, jointly owned by around 470 insurance companies that stores information for seven years after you apply for an insurance policy. So, if you plan to shop around, your medical information is remains available to a number of other companies as well. If you want to check your MIB file, or dispute any information in it, you can obtain a free report annually at www.mib.com.
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