How Long Can Underwriting Take?

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How Long Can Underwriting Take?

Underwriting is the process in which a life insurance company performs a risk assessment of an applicant. Simply put, they figure out how good of an investment you are. The length of this process depends on the type of policy, the speed in which information is submitted, and the specifics of that information.

Fastest Option: No-Medical Life Insurance

Non-medical life insurance does not require a medical exam and, thus, significantly reduces the amount of time necessary for underwriting. The fastest form is a guaranteed insurance policy, which can take just one or two days. Other forms of the non-medical policy will likely take a couple weeks as there will still be some health questionnaires and other information to be processed, but it will still be quicker than a policy with a medical exam.

Providing Information Quickly

For most policies, there will be a variety of information you’ll need to provide. You will also need to submit to a medical exam and give permission for your doctor to share medical records with the underwriter. Providing this information in a timely manner will help speed along the process. However, you can still expect things to take four to six weeks.

Thankfully, the timing of this process is improving. Now, customers can submit a variety of things electronically. In addition, many things on the underwriter’s side are also digital, with software designed to quickly identify problems. These advances are speeding up the procedure through improved efficiency.


There are a variety of complications that can stretch the process into months rather than weeks. This includes:

  • Incomplete paperwork
  • Delaying the medical exam
  • Problematic medical issues

While these issues can be frustrating, it’s important to remember that thoroughly working through these complications is the quickest way of getting an application back on track.

While the underwriting process can be lengthy and sometimes frustrating, life insurance is an important purchase and deserves the time and energy in order for you to get the policy that best serves you at the lowest price.

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