What You Need To Know When Taking Your First Life Insurance Health Exam

If you need a life insurance policy, and this is your first time ever exploring your options, you might be a bit surprised to learn that many insurance providers will want you to take a two-part health examination prior to extending coverage to you.

This is called a life insurance health exam (or life insurance medical exam), and its purpose is to allow you life insurance to learn more about your medical history and picture of your current state of health. This, in turn, allows them to decide whether or not they will accept your insurance policy application, and, if they do, what your annual premium will be. Here’s what you need to know about both the exam and what insurers are looking for.

Why Do You Need To Take An Exam?

Recall that life insurance numbers, like your premiums, are based upon the likelihood of you dying. In order to estimate your longevity, your insurance company needs to take a look at factors like your age, your personal medical history, family medical history, and current physical condition — which is where the exam comes into play.

That medical exam will be looking at, in addition to your general health and fitness, conditions that might increase the chances of you dying sooner, such as high blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels, signs of diabetes, recreational drug usage, or the presence of diseases like HIV, cancer, hepatitis, etc.

Insurers often use your medical information gleaned from the exam, combined with longevity charts and life expectancy statistics from across the globe to estimate how much time they think you’ll have left until you die, which will affect if they’ll approve you for a policy and how much they’ll be asking you to pay in terms of your premiums.

What Happens During The Exam?

Insurance medical exams typically take place in two parts. The first is a verbal questionnaire that delves into details on your lifestyle, habits, and a picture of your current health. A medical professional will ask you questions about your life/health history, you answer, and that’s that. They’ll also be confirming the information you put down on your application.

The second part is the physical exam, where a medical professional (typically a nurse, but not a doctor) will take measurements, such as your height and weight, check your vitals, and collect samples of your blood, urine, etc. It’s pretty much the same procedure you’ve undergone at every physical you’ve taken in your life, so there’s nothing out of the ordinary to worry about!