Life Insurance Exam - What to Expect

If the very thought of a life insurance exam causes you to clench your fists and grit your teeth, you're not alone. But the truth is that the life insurance exam are no more strenuous than a routine physical, and you don't have to be in perfect physical health to qualify for an affordable life insurance policy.

The Life Insurance Exam Process

An independent medical professional such as a nurse or paramedical is usually hired by the insurance company to conduct the life insurance exam, and it's likely that you'll be able to schedule it in your home or office.

During the life insurance exam:

  • You will be asked to provide a detailed medical history. You may want to request a medical record from your doctor if you have trouble remembering names of doctors, dates of office visits, and diagnoses.
  • Your height and weight will be recorded, and your blood pressure and pulse will be checked.
  • You will likely be asked to provide a blood sample. A simple finger-prick may be all that's necessary. If you are applying for a large amount of life insurance, you may be asked to submit a full blood profile.
  • Finally, submit a urine sample and you're all done! How easy is that?
  • Remember, exams vary by life insurance company. For older or high policy value applicants, EKGs, treadmill tests or other assessments may be required. If you are younger than 40 years of age and are applying for less than $100,000 of life insurance coverage, a few simple lab studies may take the place of a life insurance exam.

    During the Life Insurance Exam, What Are They Looking For?

    Companies conduct the life insurance exam for one simple reason: to determine if you have any condition that could shorten your life. The blood test is used to test for immune disorders, diabetes, liver or kidney disorder, and a host of other conditions. Your urine sample may be screened for certain medications or illicit drugs.

    After the Life Insurance Exam

    Life insurance exam results are sent directly to the insurance company, where an underwriter will examine the findings and determine your insurance rating. This information will help determine your premium. If you requested a copy of the results, you will be provided with a copy of your lab results.

    You don't have to be in perfect physical health to qualify for an affordable life insurance policy, but if you are judged to be chronically or seriously ill, you may be declined for coverage or offered an increased premium. If questions about your health remain, you may be requested to provide more information or undergo further life insurance exams.

    Life Insurance Exam Tips

  • Get a good night's rest the night before the exam.
  • Stimulants such as caffeine (including caffeine-containing analgesics), cigarettes, coffee, or herbal supplements should be limited.
  • Schedule a morning appointment. Your body may be worn out after a long, stressful day.
  • Avoid strenuous work or exercise at least 24 hours prior to the exam.
  • Keep yourself healthy! Eat a proper diet, exercise, visit a doctor regularly and avoid harmful habits like smoking and alcohol consumption.
  • Shopping for life insurance by no means a fun experience, but having the peace of mind that your loved ones will always be protected is well worth it. If you're interested in investing in a life insurance policy, you can shop and compare quotes for free at