Non-Medical Life Insurance

Life insurance policies generally require a medical exam as part of the underwriting process.  This allows the insurance company to perform a risk assessment, which impacts whether your application is accepted and at what premium.  However, non-medical life insurance is insurance that does not require a medical exam.

Avoiding a Medical Exam

There are a variety of reasons why someone might want to avoid an insurance-related medical exam.  The most obvious is they have a pre-existing condition they fear will impact them negatively should the insurance company know of it.   However, most applications for non-medical life insurance will still ask questions pertaining to your health.  Failure to accurately respond to these questions constitutes insurance fraud and is grounds for policy termination, or, in the event of death, non-payment of the policy.

Moreover, non-medical life insurance should not simply be seen as a fallback in case you are denied a regular insurance policy.  This is because insurance companies can access your application history as a part of most underwriting processes.  If they know you have been turned down, you pose a more substantial risk to them.

Speed of Service

There are also other reasons for avoiding a medical exam as well.  Insurances requiring a medical exam can take several weeks to process.  Avoiding the medical exam vastly speeds up the underwriting process. Most often, they can be completely processed within two days.

Cost Effectiveness

Generally speaking, non-medical life insurance is more expensive than insurance with a medical exam because you pose a higher potential financial risk.  Also, if you are in great health, skipping the medical exam, can rob you of gaining preferred status, which will bring down your premiums.

Types of Coverage

There are three major types of non-medical life insurance. 

  • Guaranteed life insurance. This involves no medical exam and no medical questionnaire; everyone who applies will be accepted.
  • Graded benefit life insurance. It may involve a short health questionnaire, and benefits may be limited within the first two years of the policy.
  • Simplified issue life insurance. These ask the most questions about your health, but still require no medical exam. This is best for people who are generally healthy but wish to avoid the complications and time delays associated with insurance requiring a medical exam.

Non-medical insurance is not for everyone.  It’s best for people who wish to avoid the complicated forms and long wait periods associated with policies requiring medical exams.  They are also helpful when you worry medical history may preclude you from insurance or substantially raise your premium rates.  However, non-medical life insurance is not as cost effective as insurance with a medical exam, so you should seriously consider whether non-medical life insurance is the right policy, particularly if you’re young and healthy.

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