What Is No-Exam Whole Life Insurance?

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Key Takeaways

  • Medical exam life insurance requires comprehensive evaluation, while no-exam policies offer a quicker alternative without a medical evaluation.
  • No-exam whole life insurance has two types: guaranteed issue for serious medical conditions and simplified issue for moderate health risks.
  • It functions as a contract between the policyholder and the insurance company, providing a death benefit to the beneficiary.
  • Pros include a faster application process, fixed premiums, non-termination of coverage, and flexible options. Cons include potential denial, lower coverage caps, and higher premiums for guaranteed issue.
  • Consider coverage limits, age requirements, payment options, and expert advice when choosing the best no-exam whole life insurance.

Obtaining whole life insurance coverage can be a comprehensive process. Generally speaking, to be approved by a life insurance company for whole life coverage, you have to undergo an application process that includes a medical evaluation.

Understanding No-Exam Whole Life Insurance Policies

Medical exam life insurance policies require applicants to answer questions about their job, hobbies, habits and behaviors that could be seen as risky. You may also have to undergo a medical examination by a doctor of the insurance company’s choosing and even undergo urine, blood and saliva testing. Then, it can take several days to a month for the insurance company’s medical underwriting team to get back to you with an approval or denial.

Fortunately for many people, there’s an alternative: a no-exam life insurance policy. With these types of policies, you might be able to bypass the underwriting process that requires a medical evaluation and get the coverage that you need in a much shorter time frame.

Whole life insurance policies with no medical exam are available in two types:

How Does No-Exam Whole Life Insurance Work?

Generally speaking, life insurance is a contract between a policyholder and the insurance company. Under the terms of the contract, the life insurance company promises to pay a death benefit in the form of a sum of money to the designated beneficiary — often a spouse, child(ren) or other family members or loved ones — upon the insured person’s death.

Whole life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance. It never expires in the way that term life insurance does.

As long as the policyholder pays the premium in the allotted time frame, the insurance company will pay the beneficiary the agreed-to amount.

Did You Know?
Just as the name implies, a no-exam whole life insurance policy is a type of life insurance that doesn’t require a medical exam to be approved.

After contacting the insurance company for a quote, you’ll be asked to undergo an initial telephone interview. During this call, the insurance agent or company representative may ask some preliminary questions about your age and your overall health.

It’s at this initial phase that your insurance representative will discuss how much life insurance you think you need and the threshold requirements for a no-exam whole life insurance policy. The insurance agent will also give you an idea of the life insurance rates you may have to pay if your application is approved and other considerations, like any waiting periods certain policies might require before your death benefits can be paid.

After providing an overview of your potential options for the policy coverage amount and premium you can expect to pay if approved, the insurance company will want to know if you are in good health and explain the difference between simplified issue life insurance and guaranteed issue life insurance. Insurance companies explain coverage options and premium amount for guaranteed issue policies.

If you are eligible for a no-exam simplified issue policy and are willing to accept the overall parameters of available coverage amounts, the insurance company will move on to ask you more in-depth health-related questions. You may also be asked to provide certain medical records and other information the insurance company deems relevant to meet the underwritten policy.

Once you complete this intake process, you’ll likely have a decision about your application in just a few days.

Is No-Medical Exam Life Insurance Worth It?

Whether no-medical exam life insurance is worth it to you and your family depends on several factors, including what other coverage amounts you have and what the needs of your dependents and heirs will be.

Being able to avoid medical procedures and exams might be reason enough to opt for a no-medical exam policy. Usually, however, people pick one of these policies because they want to make sure their loved ones receive adequate cash to cover funeral costs and any unexpected final expenses like medical bills, a mortgage on a home, other unpaid bills, probate costs and legal fees.

For many people, the premium costs mean little when weighted against ensuring their loved ones have peace of mind that they can carry on financially after they’re gone.

Pros of No-Exam Whole Life Insurance

  • Life insurance with no medical exam is noninvasive. By answering just a few simple health questions and providing other health information, you could be covered in a matter of days.
  • You lock in your premium amount. Whole life insurance premiums remain the same and don’t change. Most insurance providers allow you to pay your premium monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually.
  • There’s no termination. Once the policy is issued, as long as you pay your premium, coverage can’t be terminated, even if you develop new severe or life-threatening health issues.
  • You have flexible options. You decide how much you want to pay for what coverage. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, you have a lot of options for coverage amounts and premium costs.

Cons of No-Exam Whole Life Insurance

  • You might be denied. If your application for a simplified life policy is rejected, you’ll have to explore a guaranteed whole life policy or start over and go through the whole exam process.
  • Coverage caps are often lower. Even if you’re approved for a simplified life policy, coverage caps might be lower than available through other whole life insurance policies that require a full medical workup before underwriting can occur.
  • Guaranteed whole life can be costly. Older people or those with certain serious pre-existing conditions may have to go with guaranteed life insurance coverage. Guaranteed life insurance can be expensive. If you have a terminal illness, have a significant health condition or are healthy but have passed the age of 80, you’ll have to pay a higher premium for coverage.

What’s the Best No-Exam Whole Life Insurance?

The best whole life insurance for you is the one that meets your needs and budget while at the same time allowing you to forego the medical exam requirements of other types of whole life and term life insurance policies. Ask insurance company for options to protect loved ones' financial futures after death.

For example, you should ask about:

  • Coverage amount limits
  • Minimum age requirements and age caps
  • Payment options

Determining which type of whole life insurance product is best for you can be a big process. Western & Southern has experts on hand to help you find the right type of coverage to meet your particular needs.

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