I think you’ll agree with us when we say that taking a medical exam for life insurance in inconvenient and intrusive. It turns out, you don’t have to take a medical exam to qualify for affordable life insurance.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:
- 3 Best No Exam Life Insurance Companies…TODAY (we constantly update this article)
- Top “Niche” No Exam Life Insurance Companies (if you have health complications)
- How To Qualify for No Exam Life Insurance
- Who is a good candidate for no exam life insurance
- The advantages of no exam life insurance
Feel free to scroll to whatever section most interests you.
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Today, there are numerous types of life insurance coverage on the market. Depending on the type and amount of coverage being applied for, as well as the age of the applicant, a medical exam may be required for policy underwriting purposes.
Over the years, however, different policy options have been developed – some that have changed the life insurance qualification process. In order to speed up the time in underwriting, as well as to cut underwriting costs, many top rated life insurers have opted to forgo the medical exam on term life policies that have death benefits of up to $250,000.
These simple “no exam life insurance policies” can provide an easy application process, along with convenience and fast approval. And, in many instances, these policies may be conveniently applied for over the telephone or online.
This speedier underwriting can also oftentimes lead to instant approval of qualifying applicants – allowing these insureds to obtain their coverage within mere minutes rather than having to wait for weeks or months.
There are many reputable life insurance companies that offer these types of no exam plans. Such policies provide a full and immediate death benefit, and are still fully underwritten by the issuing insurance company. This means that in many cases, the full amount of death benefit will be paid upon the death of the insured without a waiting period.
InsuranceScored has “Scored” these no exam life insurance products that come to market. Here are the top 3 no exam life insurance companies.
3 Best No Exam Life Insurance Companies
Lets first talk about how we determined the 3 best no exam life insurance companies. We looked at 3 key components to each company:
- Affordability – Many no exam companies are very expensive when compared to traditional life insurance with an exam. The most weighted item in our “score” is affordability compared to the rest of the market.
- Reliability – How long have they been around? How are their financials? Are there any issues paying claims?
- Convenience – How time consuming is it to apply? How long does it take to get approved?
It’s important to preface this by saying there isn’t one company that nails all the key components above. Being consumer advocates, we weighted affordability the most since all the companies ranked are reliable…they wouldn’t make our list if they weren’t reliable.
No Exam Company #1: SBLI (Savings Bank Life Insurance)
Quick Tip: You can get instant quotes for SBLI by filling out the instant quote form on the side.
Hands down, at this point in time the best pricing of all the no exam life insurance products on the market is SBLI.
SBLI’s rates for traditional life insurance with an exam are the SAME as their rates without an exam (if applying for $500,000 or under). They’re one of a few companies doing this and they’re certainly the most competitive.
Like we just mentioned, SBLI will go up to $500,000 of life insurance with no exam. Approvals are taking anywhere from 5 days to 30 days, depending on if SBLI orders your medical records. We’ve seen reports of half the cases being approved within 1 week.
The process is you complete an application over the phone with a licensed life insurance agent. That takes maybe 7 minutes – it’s very short. Then a 3rd party source does a 15 minute phone interview with you asking about your health. After that, it goes to an SBLI underwriter to review and you just need to wait for a decision.
No Exam Company #2: Phoenix Life
Quick Tip: You can get instant quotes for Phoenix by filling out the instant quote form on the side.
Phoenix’s Safe Harbor Term Express allows you to get up to $500,000 of coverage within days.
Phoenix Life is unique in that it offers living benefits. Meaning you can access up to 95% of your entire death benefit if you have a heart attack, cancer, stroke renal failure, major organ transplant or ALS. These critical illness benefits provide a lot of families peace of mind and that’s why Phoenix Life is a very popular choice.
The downside to this company is they are a “B” rated carrier by A.M. Best. Which means there’s a “fair” ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations. We’ve researched them in depth and are comfortable recommending them.
Another downside is price – you’ll be paying more than a traditional life insurance policy for these added benefits.
If you’re willing to pay a little more for these benefits, InsuranceScored believe’s Phoenix life is a great company to work with.
No Exam Company #3: American National (ANICO)
Quick Tip: You can get instant quotes for American National by filling out the instant quote form on the side.
American National’s signature term only goes up to $250,000 of coverage without an exam but you can get an approval within 3 business days, sometimes even same day and the pricing is very competitive. Not as good as SBLI in most age bands, but typically within the same range and sometimes less expensive.
If you factor in the speed of issue and the fact you can complete the applications in one swoop with your agent, it’s a great choice. Also, they’re available in New York when most no-exam carriers aren’t approved there.
American National has an “A” rating by AMBest and has been around since 1905. It’s a reliable and stable company.
Honorable mentions: Sagicor, Americo, Fidelity. You can’t go wrong with either of these carriers either – they are just outside our top 3.
Best Niche No Exam Life Insurance Companies
There are a lot of no exam life insurance products out there. Sometimes the 3 best life insurance companies aren’t the best priced or won’t even take you because of a health complication.
Life insurance companies underwrite each risk differently. Some companies will look at a risk more favorably than other companies. If you find yourself getting more expensive quotes because of a health condition, look into these carriers.
5 Star Life Insurance Family Protection Plan
If you’ve never been declined for life insurance and are still able to work (you don’t have to be working, just able to work), all you have to do is answer “no” to 7 health questions. As long as you don’t have cancer, leukemia, recent stroke, heart attack, coronary artery disease, heart surgery, copd, emphysema, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, cirrhosis, drug problems, or have been hospitalized in the last 90 days – you’ll qualify for coverage.
5 Star only goes to $150,000 of coverage and is guaranteed level premiums to age 100. It’s written through the Health Depot association so you get other benefits as well.
You can get instant quotes by filling out the form on the side and searching for 5 Star in the list of companies. Just make sure you’re looking at $150,000 or less or else 5 Star won’t show up in the results.
I know we mentioned them above. However, we don’t talk about their tolerance for higher risks. They’re higher priced because of their living benefits…and also their tolerance for higher risks.
You have to understand that the best priced companies typically have stricter underwriting guidelines. Phoenix isn’t the cheapest, but it’s certainly not the most expensive either…which makes them a great choice for those with some controlled health complications.
As long as your risk is under control, there’s a good change Phoenix will take you. And if your risk is not under control, no one will take you but a guaranteed issue life insurance company which we discuss below.
Gerber Life or AIG Guaranteed Issue
Both carriers offer life insurance with no medical questions, BUT you can only get up to $25,000 of coverage and there’s a 2 year waiting period before benefits kick in which is called the “graded” period.
It’s an e-signature process and can completed over the phone. An agent can also send you a paper application if you prefer as well.
You have to be over 50 years old to purchase one of these plans. If you’re under age 50, see below.
Not many agents or consumers have heard of Columbian Life. However they have a guaranteed issue product for those between the ages of 25-80. The max you can get between aged 25-45 is $10,000 of coverage. Above age 45 you can get $25,000 of coverage.
However, there is a 3 year waiting period on benefits. Gerber and AIG only have a 2 year waiting period so if you’re over the age of 50, go to those carriers first.
Also, this is a paper application. You must mail the application back to your agent as they’ll need a wet signature.
Very niche carrier, but can help those between ages 25 and 45 that couldn’t otherwise qualify for coverage.
How to Qualify for No Exam Life Insurance Coverage
If you’re in excellent health, skip this section – you’ll qualify easily. If you’re monitoring any health issue ( even elevated cholesterol or blood pressure), you’ll want to read below.
No medical exam life insurance qualification is based on your health. Each company is going to have different underwriting guidelines and accept or reject your application based on those guidelines.
Qualification for no exam life insurance is based on your answers to the life insurance companies application and what many consumers don’t know, it also depends on your (1) Medical Information Bureau (MIB) report, (2) pharmacy report and (3) motor vehicle report. Most no exam carriers run all 3 of these reports after you submit an application to verify the truthfulness of your answers.
With that said, many carriers of no exam life insurance ask between 15-20 health questions on the application, while others only ask a few. Some common questions on this type of policy application include the following:
- Have you been diagnosed with a terminal illness (with a prognosis of less than 24 months to live)?
- Do you smoke or use any form of tobacco?
- Have you been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS?
- Do you currently reside in a long-term care facility or hospital?
- What is your height and weight?
- Do you take any prescription medications? What for?
- Any history of cancer, stroke or heart issues?
- Any felonies, bankruptcies or hazardous activities?
You get the idea.
The point is you’re not going to sneak anything through a no exam life insurance application.
Some carriers won’t accept you if you’re taking 2 blood pressure meds and a cholesterol medication because their underwriting guidelines won’t allow it even if you’re in great health and have it under control. Other companies will take you at their best health classification.
The best way to qualify for no exam life insurance is speak with an independent life insurance agent. Be open and honest with your agent about your health situation and let them compare the underwriting guidelines of all the no exam life insurance and simplified issue life insurance carriers.
Remember, there’s always an option. If you’re in very bad health, there’s guaranteed issue life insurance with no questions asked. We mention them above with Gerber, AIG and Columbian.
Who is a Good Candidate for No Exam Life Insurance?
There are 4 main reasons why consumers purchase no exam life insurance (as opposed to traditional fully underwritten life insurance)
1) The convenience. Most just want the life insurance process to be done with quickly and their family protected without having to jump through all these hoops and wait 4-8 weeks….and they’re willing to pay 10%-15% more for a quicker and easier process. They know they can cancel the policy when they have more time to lower their rates.
2) You don’t like getting stuck with a needle or peeing in a cup. No one enjoys getting poked with a needle, but if you’re like many consumers it can be a deal breaker. No exam life insurance makes it so those fearing the exam can still get life insurance.
3) You need coverage fast. With traditional underwriting time taking 4-8 weeks, you can take a no exam life insurance policy and get coverage within 48 hours and sometimes the same day. If you’re about to go on a big trip, your coverage expired or lapsed or need coverage to secure a loan, no exam life insurance is a great fit for your situation.
4) You haven’t seen a doctor in 2-5 years. If you haven’t seen a doctor in 2-5 years, you don’t know what’s going to happen on the medical exam. Your triglycerides, a1c levels, cholesterol or blood pressure could be problematic in securing affordable coverage. Applying with no medical exam gives you peace of mind that no matter what, you’re covering your loved one’s with life insurance. At the very least, get a no exam life insurance policy in force…and then apply for fully underwritten coverage and if your lab work is fine, you can cancel the no exam policy.
Certainly, those who are unable to qualify for life insurance due to an adverse medical condition may be good prospects for a no exam policy. Other potential candidates may be those who feel faint when faced with taking a blood test.
The Advantages of No Exam Life Insurance
Upon death, many individuals want to ensure that their surviving loved ones are taken care of financially. This issue is usually alleviated by purchasing life insurance to cover funeral expenses, as well as other debts of the decedent.
Applying for more traditional types of life insurance coverage can oftentimes be time consuming. Typically, the process involves several different steps, including that of a medical exam in order to rule out any adverse health conditions of the applicant.
A no exam life insurance plan, however, can be applied for without an individual being required to provide blood and urine samples – and may often only require the individual to answer just a few basic health related questions in order to qualify for coverage.
This makes these policies a viable option for those who have been turned down for other life insurance coverage based on medical or health issues – ultimately providing peace of mind for the insured and his or her loved ones.