Is A No Exam Life Insurance Policy Right For You?

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Ever heard of no exam life insurance?

With life moving as fast as ever, there’s a new type of life insurance aiming to solve the problem of time.

You know life insurance is important for your family, but if you’re trying to find the work/life balance everyday and can’t seem to make it work, how on earth are you supposed to find extra time in your week to schedule a medical exam?

Interestingly, no medical life insurance is very comparable to fully underwritten policies where a physical is still required, yet most people simply didn’t know it was available.

For some, time may not be as big of an issue.

However, even though they feel good, there’s a lingering uncertainty of what the results of the exam might yield, too.

Maybe you haven’t been to the doctor in a while and you’re not very confident of your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, or some other unknown factor.

Perhaps getting coverage in place first, then attempting the medical exam may be a better solution, just in case.

There are really several reasons you may want to consider life insurance without a medical.

Let’s talk about them.

No Medical Exam Life Insurance Is The Solution (Well, Maybe)

Thankfully, we’re in a new age of life insurance.

Life insurance can be approved almost instantly now, with other no exam policies taking just a few business days.

With the standard turnaround time of 4-6 weeks for a traditional, fully underwritten life policy, this is a huge step in the right direction for both insurance companies and consumers alike.

It greatly cuts down on the manpower required of an insurance company through automation, and it also gets you, the consumer, what you need as quickly as possible.

For instance, if you’re required to buy life insurance for a divorce decree, no exam is usually the way to go as it’s the quickest solution to meeting the requirements of the court and protecting your family.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but the industry is definitely making a strong step towards no exam life insurance underwriting styles with some of the best term life insurance companies entering the marketplace constantly.

What Are No Exam Policies?

A no exam policy is one that allows you to skip the normally required medical and still qualify for a standard policy.

Getting approved for life insurance is based on your age and health, so under normal circumstances, a carrier would require a third party examiner to see you in person to perform a quick physical on behalf of the insurance company.

The normal exam measures your current height and weight, your blood pressure (usually 3 times), a brief questionnaire, and both samples of blood and urine for analysis. You would verify any use of tobacco, or maybe even go through a 20-minute EKG.

This all gets signed by both you and the examiner and the two samples are sent for profiling. This can take several days, or even a week or more which only adds time to your underwriting process.

How Do You Apply for No Exam Coverage?

With advancements in technology and large amounts of data, insurance companies are able to bypass this process while charging only nominally higher rates.

The increase in premiums are due to the percentage of applicants who aren’t honest, are unaware of hidden medical issues, or other variables which can’t be accounted for with more limited information.

A no exam policy will still require a few things:

  • Medical Questions
  • Motor Vehicle Reports
  • Prescription Checks
  • Financial Justification (in some cases)
  • Doctor’s Records (in some cases)

They all have some similarities in their process, but each has some uniqueness as well, especially with which risks they’ll consider.

Until just a few years ago, non-med life insurance didn’t even exist.

But since its inception, several different no exam life insurance companies have stepped forward with new products in this market, and knowing who to choose is key to save both time and money.

Choosing from the best life insurance companies is always important, but you’ll have to be even more selective to skip the medical.

Below you’ll find the most comprehensive list of no medical exam life insurance companies on the web and their products currently available.

While this is updated frequently, companies both enter and exit, as well as modify their products as they acquire more data.

One thing to keep in mind: not all policies or companies are available in every state.

Best No Exam Life Insurance Companies in 2019

5Star Life Insurance Company

5Star Life Insurance CompanyProduct Type: Term, Permanent

Death Benefit Maximum: $300,000

Available Duration (years): Term to 100, Permanent

Additional Benefits: For the simplified issue term to 100 product, the insured can expect level premiums and death benefits all the way until age 100 as long as they keep their premiums up to date, with included critical illness benefits on top of it.

They have access to children and grandchildren rider’s, too, not common for this type of product.

The permanent coverage options are available for those aged 50 to 85 and come in different tiers based on health.

Other Notes: The simplified term product is remarkably interesting, as it not only has just 7 questions but requires virtually no database hits like other similar choices.

See our full review of 5Star Life.

Americo Life, Inc.americo

Product Type: Term

Death Benefit Maximum: $250,000

Available Duration (years): 15, 20, 25, 30

Additional Benefits: If the primary insured dies in an accident, an additional 25% of the death benefit will be paid as a part of the Accidental Death Benefit Rider.

The product also has a cash back option (CBO) allowing for all premiums to be paid back if the policy is kept to its designated duration.

Many other riders are available for spouses and children, events of disability or critical illness, and additional methods of death benefit payout.

Other Notes: There are minimal health questions asked, but with Americo, even a “Yes” marked box could still result in an approval, which is not the case for all carriers. Although we list them as a term product, it’s a universal product with a guaranteed time period.

See our full review of Americo.

American National Insurance CompanyAmerican National Insurance Company

Product Type: Term

Death Benefit Maximum: $250,000

Available Duration (years): 10, 20, 30

Additional Benefits: As with most life insurance products, the Accelerated Death Benefit Rider is available, giving access to funds should the primary insured become terminally ill.

In the first 10 years of the product chosen, the insured may elect to convert to a permanent product under the age of 55.

Other riders are also available, such as the Waiver of Premium, where a long-term disability would discontinue required premium payments.

Other Notes: While only a full application is required for many age brackets, a prescription check is required for some age groups and death benefit amounts.

See our full review of American National.

Assurity Life Insurance CompanyAssurity Life Insurance Company

Product Type: Term, Universal

Death Benefit Maximum: $350,000

Available Duration (years): 10, 15, 20, 30

Additional Benefits: In addition to a larger than industry average maximum amount, Assurity’s product boasts several available riders, such as the Accelerated Death Benefit Rider, but also a Children’s Insurance rider. Critical Illness and Disability riders are also available.

Other Notes: Assurity has very fast underwriting times because they utilize an automated system to analyze application data, but certain applications could be held for telephone interviews or additional information.

See our full review of Assurity.

Banner Life

Banner Life Insurance CompanyProduct Type: Term

Death Benefit Maximum: $500,000

Available Duration (years): 10, 15, 20, 25, 30

Additional Benefits: Banner now offers a no exam life insurance product, and it’s priced the same as their already existing term life insurance policies.

The only difference, for those who meet the criteria, are no medical exams, no lab work necessary, and no doctor’s orders needed.

Other Notes: The product is available only for those aged 20 to 50, which is a bit more strict than other companies, and it’s also limited to only the top three non-smoking rate classes.

Banner’s no exam life insurance offering can issue same day, and often in just a couple hours, with the maximum underwriting time being one full business day.

See our full review of Banner.

Bestow Life Insurance

Bestow logoProduct Type: Term

Death Benefit Maximum: $1,000,000

Available Duration (years): 2-20 Year

Additional Benefits: Bestow, a company of North American Company For Life and Health,  is a newer no exam life insurance company on the market, and it’s priced quite competitively to other market products offering the same durations.

The big idea with Bestow is how fast you can expect to have coverage, which they claim is 10 minutes! This is even faster than some of the bigger names in the industry.

Other Notes: One major drawback to Bestow is a more limited age range for which they offer products. If you want a 20-year term, the only ages available are those people between 21 and 45. For those between 45 and 55, 10-year policies are the max.

See our full review of Bestow.

Colonial Penncolonial penn

Product Type: Graded (Term/Whole)

Death Benefit Maximum: $50,000

Available Duration: Term to 90 in age bands, or permanent.

Additional Benefits: None of their products require a medical exam of any kind.

Other Notes: The guaranteed product line has a 2-year waiting period.

The term product line is advertised as renewable to age 90, but the premium increases happen often as you attain certain age brackets.

See our full review of Colonial Penn.

Fidelity Life AssociationFidelity Life Insurance

Product Type: Term & Graded (Term/Whole)

Death Benefit Maximum: $300,000

Available Duration (years): 5, 10, 15, 20, 30

Additional Benefits: Fidelity’s no exam life products are some of the faster-issued policies in the market.

They also feature a competitively priced graded product, which has 10, 20, and 30-year terms, as well as a whole life option.

The graded choice has just nine health questions and can issue extremely fast. Several riders are available, including the Accelerated Death Benefit, and Dependent Child riders.

Other Notes: The graded products have a three-year waiting period, but any premiums paid during this time are refundable with a 10% interest addition. Prescription check, motor vehicle check, and telephone interviews are common.

See our full review of Fidelity Life.

Forester’sForesters

Product Type: Term, Burial

Death Benefit Maximum: $250,000

Available Duration (years): 10, 20, 25, 30, Permanent

Additional Benefits: Policies come with a critical illness benefit which helps to ease financial distress should something occur.

As with most others, there are also benefits for terminal illnesses where a portion of the proceeds are issued for a primary insured in terminal condition.

A full assortment of riders are available.

Other Notes: Over the age of 55, the maximum death benefit for the no exam term policy is $150,000 instead of $250,000. Aside from the larger term policy, Foresters does offer a burial life insurance policy with a maximum of $35,000; the issue age goes to 85.

See our full review of Foresters.

Gerber Life Insurance CompanyGerber Life Insurance Company

Product Type: Guaranteed

Death Benefit Maximum: $25,000

Available Duration: Permanent

Additional Benefits: Gerber has some of the best life insurance rates for guaranteed policies, and their application process is extremely easy. They also allow increments by the thousand which is very convenient.

Applications can be completed over the phone or via paper applications.

Policies are also available for children.

Other Notes: Policies have a waiting period of two years, where premiums are refundable with a 10% interest accrual.

See our full review of Gerber.

have life insurance logoHaven Life Insurance (by MassMutual)

Product Type: Term

Death Benefit Maximum: $2,000,000

Available Duration: 10, 15, 20, 30

Additional Benefits: One of the only carriers to host a truly instant decision, you have the capability of knowing if you qualify right away. No medical examination, a relatively quick questionnaire, and an immediate decision make Haven Life one of the fastest growing non-medical carriers on the market.

Other Notes: Not recommended for any person with pre-existing health conditions or a high BMI.

See our full review of Haven Life.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

MetLife logoProduct Type: Term

Death Benefit Maximum: $100,000

Available Duration (years):

Additional Benefits: There are minimal health questions to apply, although they are broad in nature. With the accidental death benefit, the total death benefit could pay out twice as much.

MetLife’s Simplified Issue Term is renewable up to 90.

Other Notes: This no exam option is issued same day if approved, one of the fastest carriers in the no exam life insurance market. Issue age goes up to 70, which is 5 years more than most other carriers for this type of insurance.

Prices rise in age bands.*

See our full review of MetLife.

Mutual of Omaha Mutual of Omaha

Product Type: Term, Graded

Death Benefit Maximum: $400,000

Available Duration (years): 15, 20, 30, Permanent

Additional Benefits: A full selection of riders are available, not typical of no exam policies, which include a return of premium rider, disability income rider, and the usual accelerated death benefit rider.

There is also a cancer/stroke/heart attack provision attached to the policy, although it may not be available in all states even if coverage is available.

Other Notes: The product offered by United of Omaha (also Mutual of Omaha) only issues as Standard Non-Tobacco or Standard Tobacco, so make note when comparing to other companies if you believe you can secure top ratings.

See our full review of Mutual Of Omaha.

National Western Life Insurance CompanyNational Western Life Insurance Company Logo

Product Type: Term, Graded

Death Benefit Maximum: $250,000

Available Duration (years): 10, 20, 30, Permanent

Additional Benefits: National Western Life is one of a few carriers who will not ask for doctor’s records, one of the primary causes of long underwriting times.

A good assortment of policies also fits many different needs, from larger term policies to simple final expense policies.

Other Notes: Underwriting time could be as little as 24 hours, although it may vary from state to state.

For graded policies issued, the current payout structure is a 3 year waiting period, where the first year is a return of premium plus 15% interest, the second year a 30% payout, the third year a 60% payout, and full payout from year four forward.

See our full review of National Western.

National Life GroupNational Life Group

Product Type: Term

Death Benefit Maximum: $350,000

Available Duration (years): 10, 20

Additional Benefits: Not only is there no paperwork to apply, but you can get a lightning-fast approval all on your own; some in just 15 minutes!

Expect harsher underwriting, but great for anyone who is very healthy with no medical history or family history.

Other Notes: You will not need to work with a life insurance agent to apply or get accepted, although it may not be advised unless you are confident you will be approved.

See our full National Life Group review.

New York Life Insurance Companynew york life insurance company

Product Type: Term, Permanent

Death Benefit Maximum: $100,000

Available Duration (years): *Renewable to 80, Permanent

Additional Benefits: Permanent, no exam policy with up to $50,000 in coverage, and guaranteed policy maximum is $15,000 and has a limited benefit for two policy years.

Other Notes: Term renewable to age 80 with premium increases every five years (age bands); issue ages are 30-74. While they are one of the most reputable companies, they have yet to show themselves as a top no exam life insurance carrier.

See our full review of New York Life.

Principal National Life Insurance CompanyPrincipal National Life Insurance Company

Product Type: Term, Universal, Permanent

Death Benefit Maximum: $1,000,000

Available Duration (years): 10, 15, 20, 30

Additional Benefits: Because the product utilized is the same as their typically underwritten term, you have a full selection of riders made available to you, with the additional benefits of choosing different types of insurance or converting later.

Other Notes: While this is above and beyond the largest amount of coverage available with the no exam niche of policies, be aware it is exclusive to those with Preferred or Preferred Best ratings with Principal.

If not approved, you’re not declined, yet asked to complete a medical to proceed. Be prepared for a tele-interview, MIB, MVR and prescription check.

Yet no other company can provide one million dollars of no exam coverage. (Haven Life has now added this coverage level!)

See our full review of Principal.

Sagicor Life Insurance CompanySagicor Life Insurance Company

Product Type: Term, Universal

Death Benefit Maximum: $400,000

Available Duration (years): 10, 15, 20

Additional Benefits: No tele-interview required, and also a wide range of ratings available.

Most carriers do not allow several rating categories, and Sagicor even has rated policies for sub-standard approvals.

Several riders available, including Children’s Term, Accidental, and Accelerated Death Benefit.

Other Notes: One of the widest varieties of no exam life insurance options from any one carrier, with some of the best premiums on the market.

See our review of Sagicor.

United Home Life Insurance CompanyUnited Home Life Insurance Company

Product Type: Term, Graded

Death Benefit Maximum: $200,000

Available Duration (years): 20, 30

Additional Benefits: Child Rider, Accidental and Waiver of Premium are available to add on to policies, and several rating categories are available. For those with health concerns, like diabetes, this would be a great option to start with.

Other Notes: $200,000 only available to issue age 45, and drops to $150,000 to issue age 65.

Allows certain rated cases for those not in perfect health, including no exam policies for diabetics.

Two-year waiting period applied to graded policies with return of premium plus a stated interest amount.

See our review of United Home Life.


Advantages of No Exam Life Insurance

There are many life insurance policies which require a medical exam before purchase. Here are the three reasons you might prefer a policy with no medical exam:

  • No Trip to the Doctor’s Office: For some, a trip to the doctor is an inconvenience. For others, a trip can be logistically difficult. A no medical exam life insurance policy means you don’t have to leave your home.
  • Quick Decision: Some no exam policies go into effect the same day you’re approved. For certain life situations, getting coverage fast is a necessity (like meeting requirements for an SBA loan).
  • Less Medical Scrutiny: This can help avoid higher rates associated with certain pre-existing conditions, even if you don’t know about them.

Disadvantages of No Exam Life Insurance

If you do choose a no medical exam policy, you could experience some limits on coverage.

  • Waiting period: This includes a waiting period and often a decreased payout within the first two years of policy ownership,
  • Smaller death benefit: You may not have access to enough death benefit if you need a larger policy
  • Age limits: Depending on your age and health, you may have a difficult time securing adequate no exam coverage, or be blocked from applying altogether.
  • Cost: Don’t forget that you will likely pay more per thousand for no exam coverage than you would for a traditionally underwritten policy.
  • Limited carriers: Because of the elevated risk of insuring individuals without a medical exam, many carriers are hesitant to offer this type of policy, so you may be met with limited options.

If you’re not in great health, these types of policies may either cost way too much when compared to other fully underwritten policies, or they may not be available at all except under graded or guaranteed conditions.

Each individual will have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the no exam policy in regards to their specific health situation and coverage needs.

NOTE: If you require a specialized life insurance policy, like those for an SBA loan, and your health is an issue, there is one no exam carrier who can help.

How Long Do No Exam Carriers Take?

One of the common questions we get is how long it takes for no medical carriers to issue their products after the application is submitted.

No exam policies are almost always faster than fully underwritten term, which can take 4-6 weeks on average.

No exam policies can be issued in just a few days.

Exactly how long you’ll wait depends on the carrier and the type of policy. Some policies offer instant coverage upon approval.

If you’ve previously been denied by a life insurance provider, then you may find it harder to get approved.

Approval times also vary from carrier to carrier, but most policies are issued in less than 5 business days once everything is received in good order.

Others are instant, or nearly instant, while some applications warrant a more extensive review.

Qualifying for No Medical Coverage

Just because you don’t have to go through the entire process doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get the coverage.

In fact, it’s potentially a little more difficult than a normal term life insurance policy because answering “Yes” to any health question is going to raise a flag.

You might still be approved as applied, but the heightened sensitivity to any question answered “Yes” may spur a manual review of your application.

Those who are healthy, have a clean family history (meaning void of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc among immediate family), a clean MIB and MVR will get the best rates.

If one or more of these are a concern, you could miss out on a discount but still be eligible for coverage.

With no exam life, there are different levels, also called ratings, which you could be approved at.

Preferred Best, Preferred, Standard, and Rated are the non-tobacco ratings, and Preferred Tobacco and Standard Tobacco are for those who smoke.

For those who do have a health condition, like diabetes, you may still be able to get coverage, but you’ll get either Standard or Rated based on the carrier you apply with and your current condition and medications. You could also be declined, as well.

Tips for Getting Higher Coverage Amounts

Until recently, the highest death benefit from a single company was $350,000. Today, you can get $1,000,000 or more of coverage from top insurers like Principal and Haven Life.

One tip if you do need more than a million in coverage and want to skip the medical: apply to more than one company.

Just because you are maxed from one company doesn’t mean you can’t get more insurance from another and “stack” the policies.

You may be asked additional information to justify the coverage, like income, but this isn’t any different than if you had applied for over a million of fully underwritten life insurance.

Higher Risk Types

If you were unable to qualify for a no exam life insurance policy, you can still get coverage in a couple of different ways. If not for medical reasons, it may be harder if you’re already much older

  • Graded Life Insurance
  • Guaranteed Life Insurance
  • Final Expense Life Insurance (more on Burial Insurance)
  • If you opt for one of these, expect to need to change carriers as most of the best no exam companies do not offer both a true no exam term policy and a graded one.

    Graded Life

    A policy with level benefits is ideal. With these policies, the death benefit and cost are fixed for life. Generally, the earlier you buy, the more you’ll save.

    A simplified universal life plan, for instance, offers level benefits as long as you keep your policy current, where the term is specified to a finite period.

    A graded policy is your next best-case scenario if you don’t want to do the physical and need term coverage, but understanding how the policy works and why it’s different is crucial.

    A graded term or graded whole life policy will not pay out in the first few years, but instead pays a partial percentage or your premiums back plus interest. A two- and three-year graded benefit period are most common.

    If the company offers partial percentage payouts, expect 25-45% in the first year, up to 75% in the second, and a full payout thereafter.

    If the company offers a return of premium plus interest, you can see anywhere from 3% to 10% interest in addition to your principal payments.

    You will also be forced to lower your coverage amount if you sought more than $150,000 because the companies who offer graded understand an even higher risk profile for their applicants.

    The questions asked are limited, fortunately, to around 10 questions and they tend to be much, much more liberal than the questions asked on a no exam kind.

    Guaranteed Issue / Guaranteed Acceptance

    Even someone who applied for a graded policy may not get covered for several reasons, like health, recent DUI’s, or medical conditions which are yet to be clearly diagnosed.

    The good news is, as the name implied, you can’t be turned down for a guaranteed issue policy.

    The applications are simple, quick, and not much more than contact information, beneficiary information, and payment info.

    You can expect to have coverage in just a few business days or quicker.

    The biggest drawbacks to guaranteed acceptance life insurance are price per thousand, maximum coverage amount, and age.

    Age becomes a big factor here because until 45 to 50, there really aren’t any options of insurers to choose from.

    But once you’ve attained the age, you’re also limited to $25,000 per carrier, with limited choices of companies to choose from.

    You’ll also be paying the highest cost per thousand of any type of life insurance because you likely pose the highest risk.

    Final Expense

    Final expense, or end-of-life insurance, is a small death benefit policy which is much like a guaranteed issue policy. $10,000 or less in death benefit will be available and they tend to be permanent policies only.

    Like graded and guaranteed, there will be a waiting period of two or three years before the benefit period is active.

    These policies should be reserved for those who are looking to cover minimal expenses at death.

    Understanding both your needs and your overall risk class is top priority when choosing a no exam life insurance policy.

    It will not only determine your rates, but what type of policy you are eligible for in the first place.

    An independent agent is your friend here, especially one who focuses his or her practice on this type of coverage.

    Bottom Line

    For many people, a no exam policy is a convenient, effective way to provide at least some assistance towards their family’s financial future.

    Don’t let a trip to the doctor’s office prevent you from obtaining life insurance.

    For those who are young, in great health, and don’t mind paying a few more pennies for their policy, a no medical policy is a great choice.

    You can get insured quickly, usually all online and over the phone, and you can expect very affordable rates.

    Author:

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    Jason Fisher

    Jason Fisher is the founder and CEO of BestLifeRates.org, LLC. and a multi-state licensed life insurance agent who has helped over a million Americans seek out affordable coverage, compare quotes, or get their family and businesses covered.