Insider’s experts choose the best products and services to help make smart decisions with your money (here’s how). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners, however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page. Shoppers can complete medical exams at a doctor’s office, home, or at work. You’ll need a medical exam to get the best life insurance rate. No medical exam life insurance comes with higher premiums and lower coverage. Loading Something is loading. Thanks for signing up! Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you’re on the go. download the app When shopping for the best life insurance, one of the most significant barriers was the idea of a medical exam. Going to the doctor can be invasive, stressful, and time-consuming, not to mention expensive. As a plus-size person, I already knew I would pay a higher premium, and I worried the carrier might use the exam against me. And yet, when I finally lodged my application and booked my exam, I was impressed with how easy it was. A nurse came to my house and was in and out within 15 minutes. The exam had been a barrier between me and the coverage I needed, but it turns out there was nothing to worry about. While there are no medical exam life insurance options, you’ll need a check-up for most life insurance policies. This is especially true for a higher coverage limit. Luckily, insurance companies make these exams convenient for you. As I did, you can visit a doctor’s office or have a nurse come to your workplace or home. That makes the whole thing less of a hassle. Plus, the insurance company pays for the exam. Here’s what you should know about getting a medical exam for life insurance. The exam is part of the underwriting process It usually starts with an online application for those asking how to buy life insurance. The application asks about your health history and collects your height, weight, and age. These questions allow the life insurance company to gauge how much risk you bring. If you have risk factors like obesity or smoking, you’ll pay a higher premium. While the information in the questionnaire is helpful, insurance companies know we don’t always tell the whole truth about our health. Some things are also more challenging for a simple questionnaire to capture. This is where the medical exam comes in. It’s a way for insurance companies to get more information about your health and, by extension, the risk. In short, companies want to confirm the information and ensure nothing is missed about your health. What to expect during an insurance medical exam After you’ve submitted your insurance application, a medical professional will contact you to do what’s known as a paramedical exam. The exam is a scaled-down version of a typical annual physical. The examiner will measure your height, weight, blood pressure, and pulse. In addition, they may collect blood or urine samples or do additional tests like an EKG, especially for older applicants. When the medical company reaches out to you to schedule, life insurance agents will give you the must-have information on preparing for the physical . In some cases, for example, you might need to fast overnight before having your blood drawn. After reviewing common reasons behind life insurance denials, even a small meal at this time could cause your blood sugar or cholesterol to spike. So it’s essential to follow directions closely. What if I fail the exam? In most cases, you’ll pass the exam without any problems. If you were truthful on your initial questionnaire, the insurance company already knows what to expect. Once the exam is processed and approved, you’ll pay your first premium and have insurance coverage. However, if the exam finds something surprising or irregular, you may be unable to move forward. In some cases, the insurance company might ask for additional testing or change your premiums or amount of coverage. Companies can also deny coverage altogether. Experts find high cholesterol, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses are among the most common barricades applicants run into, and all of these things increase with age. Can I get life insurance coverage without an exam? You can still get life insurance if you don’t Don’t want to take a medical exam or know you won’t pass it. However, your options are more limited and often more expensive. Buyers with certain conditions may only have access to group coverage through their workplace. No medical exam life insurance policies allow you to get insurance without a physical if you qualify. But since the insurer has a higher risk (because your health is unknown), you’ll have to pay more and may only qualify for less coverage. A common misnomer is people with pre-existing conditions should go with no medical exam. The truth is quite the opposite. No medical exam policies go to low-risk buyers. Insurance companies still check your medical history, ask medical questions, and may use strict age cutoffs. The policies accepting seniors tend to be funeral cost policies with severe waiting periods for full coverage. Although medical exams seem like a hassle, it often works out in the customer’s favor. Excellent results on a medical exam can lower your premiums. Insurance medical exams are another hoop to jump through, but it’s free and convenient. Once you’ve completed one, you will only need to repeat it if your policy lapses or expires. You can rest easy knowing your loved ones are protected if you die.