Do you need a medical exam to get life insurance?

A medical exam isn’t mandatory for life insurance, however insurers do have the right to request one when they deem it necessary.

Insurers could request a medical exam if an immediate decision can’t be made about your application, typically if you have a medical condition or applying for a large amount of cover.

This will allow them to gather a more accurate picture of your health, so they have all the information they need to make a decision about your policy.

A life insurance medical isn’t as daunting as you may think, so don’t let the thought of one put you off securing the protection you need.

It’s a quick and easy process that’s arranged at your convenience.

Compare life insurance quotes through Reassured, free of charge.

Our friendly and professional team can guide you through the application process and provide you with any information you need to know.

What to expect from a life insurance medical exam [Summary]

  1. Not everyone will need to undergo a medical exam when applying for life insurance. A medical is generally only required when insurers can’t give an immediate decision on your application and need to find out more information
  2. The exam will be booked for a date and location that is convenient to you (for example, your GP surgery or local healthcare centre) and the cost of the exam will be paid for by the insurer
  3. The exam will typically be a two-part health check including a health questionnaire and a physical exam
  4. Always provide the correct information and don’t withhold any answers
  5. It’s possible for insurers to request a medical report from your GP (with your permission), arrange a mini screening or nurses call instead of scheduling a medical exam
  6. If you decline the insurers request for a medical exam or to see your medical records, your application won’t be able to continue
  7. It’s possible to secure cover with no medical exam guaranteed. This would be through an over 50s plan which is available to UK residents aged 50 - 85. No medical information is required for you to secure a policy

What happens in a life insurance medical exam?

During a life insurance medical exam, you will be asked a series of questions about your health and wellbeing, as well as undergoing some simple tests.

A life insurance medical exam could involve questions regarding:

  • Your health & wellbeing
  • Your family medical history
  • Your smoking status
  • Your alcohol consumption
  • Your diet
  • How much exercise you take part in

As well as a range of procedures, such as:

  • Being weighed and having your weight checked to determine your BMI
  • A blood pressure check
  • A blood test
  • A urine test
  • Your waist may be measured

The exam will be arranged and paid for by the insurer. They will arrange the exam for a day and location that is convenient for you.

Life Insurance Calculator

Calculate how much life insurance you may need by filling in the costs you’d like your policy to cover.

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£137,934 is the estimated mortgage debt per household in the UK.

The purchase of a home is likely to be the largest financial commitment any of us will make in our lifetime. Your life insurance should cover your remaining mortgage balance to allow your loved ones to stay in the family home should anything happen to you.

Source: Moneynerd.co.uk

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The average monthly household budget in the UK is £2,548 (that’s £30,576 per year), which is spent on transport, food & drink, utilities (gas, electricity, water etc), clothing, council tax and leisure activities.

With energy prices hitting a record high and the cost of living rising sharply in the UK, you may wish to factor in utility bills and family living expenses into your cover.

Source: Nimblefins.co.uk

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The average personal debt of UK adults has risen to £34,566 (not including mortgage debt), with credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts being the most common forms of debt.

Factoring in any debts into your life insurance cover means that, if they need to be paid back from your estate after your passing, your loved ones won’t miss out financially.

Source: Money.co.uk

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According to SunLife, the average cost of a funeral in the UK is £3,953 (with the overall cost of dying at £9,200).

Funeral costs have increased by 116% since 2004 and are a significant cost which should be factored into the amount of life insurance you secure.

Source: SunLife.co.uk

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When factoring in cover for your children, you may wish to calculate the amount based on how long it is until they reach financial independence.

This could include childcare (£7,000 per year for part-time care), school expenses (£1,519 per school year for uniforms, lunches, stationary etc), as well as an additional sum for further education (this could be a contribution of up to £5,000 per year).

Sources: Daynurseries.co.uk, Primarytimes.co.uk & Savethestudent.org

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2 in 5 adults say they are relying on an inheritance to fund their retirement.

Factoring in an inheritance to your sum assured could allow loved ones to live a more financially comfortable life. Alternatively, you could leave a cash gift to a charity of your choosing.

Source: Moneyage.co.uk

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If you’re lucky enough to have your own savings or are part of the 30% of UK residents who already have a life insurance policy in place, this can provide financial protection for loved ones.

By entering your current cover, savings or death in service amount you can reduce the sum assured you require.

Source: Scottishbusinessnews.net

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Life insurance medical exam UK

In the UK, any of the following could be requested during a life insurance application:

Medical information

During the application, you’ll need to provide information about your current health and wellbeing, as well as your medical history. If no high risk factors are flagged, your application will carry on as normal.

However, if you declare a pre-existing medical condition and/or certain lifestyle factors (such as smoking and/or over average alcohol consumption), insurers will likely need more information.

They may simply ask a few more questions about your condition/lifestyle and can make a decision based on your responses. However, in some cases, they may require additional medical evidence, which we explain below.


A GP report

With your permission, insurers can request a medical report from your GP.

This will allow them to get more information on pre-existing medical conditions that you disclosed in the application.

This could be any treatments you received and/or medications you’ve been prescribed.


A phone call with a nurse

A call with a nurse could be organised to find out some more information about some of your application answers.

The phone call is usually short and shouldn’t take up too much of your time.


A mini screening

A mini screening could be conducted by a nurse at your home or workplace and includes a series of simple tests including a blood pressure check, BMI calculation and a urine test.


A medical exam

A full medical exam is carried out by a doctor and will include a range of health checks. It’s arranged and paid for by the insurer.

If any of the above are requested by an insurer when you apply for life insurance, fear not. They are only requesting this to find out more about your personal circumstances

Life insurance medical exam what do they test for?

Depending on your personal circumstances, insurers could require a general health check and/or they could be looking for the likelihood of you developing certain health conditions (such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and stroke).

During the exam, your medical professional will also likely provide advice on how to minimise the risk of developing these conditions, as well as advice on leading a healthy lifestyle.

What life insurance policies require a medical exam?

No life insurance policy automatically requires a medical exam as part of the application process.

Insurers use a process known as ‘underwriting’ to assess applications. This helps them to establish the level of risk and your eligibility for cover (and the price you’ll pay if you’re offered a policy).

With traditional forms of life insurance, you’ll be required to provide medical information as well as other key details such as your lifestyle choices, including:

  • Smoking status
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Hobbies
  • Occupation

If the details you provide flag anything that insurers deem as ‘high-risk’, they may request a medical exam to gather more information.

Policy types that require medical information include:

  • Provides cover for a specified period (for example, 40 years)
  • The pay out sum remains fixed during the policy term
  • Pay out could help to cover an interest-based mortgage and/or family living costs
  • Provides cover for a specified period (for example, 40 years)
  • The pay out sum reduces during the policy term
  • Pay out could help to cover a repayment mortgage (cover reduces at the same rate)
  • Provides cover for a specified period (for example, 40 years)
  • Provides monthly tax-free income payments for the remainder of the policy term
  • Payments could help to cover living costs
  • Available through Reassured
  • Provides lifelong cover
  • The pay out sum remains fixed throughout the policy lifetime
  • Pay out could help to cover any inheritance tax bills for your loved ones and/or provide them with an inheritance

While the above policy types require medical information, it’s not always required for you to undergo a medical exam.

Whether you need a medical exam during the application will depend on your personal circumstances.

Compare multiple life insurance policy options through Reassured to find our most suitable quotes.

Could my application be declined as a result of life insurance medical exam results?

If the results of your medical exam indicate that you’re too high risk, insurers could decline your application.

However, even If you have been declined for life insurance, there could still be options available to you:

  • An alternative insurer - The insurer you applied with may not have been suitable for your circumstances. Just because one insurer declines your application doesn’t mean all others will, meaning it’s essential to compare multiple quotes
  • A specialist insurer - If you’ve struggled to secure cover with mainstream providers, you could secure some form of cover through a specialist insurer. These are insurers that specialise in offering cover to non-standard applicants (such as those with pre-existing medical conditions)
  • An over 50s plan - If you’re a UK resident aged 50 - 85, you could secure an over 50s plan where no medical information (or exam) is required. During the application you’ll just need to provide your age and smoking status

At Reassured we can compare quotes from mainstream and specialist insurers to help you find the right cover for your circumstances.

We can also offer over 50s plans from 20p-a-day + .

Can you get life insurance without a medical exam?

Yes, it’s possible to secure a life insurance policy without a medical exam being required.

Typically, insurers only request a medical exam if they need a better understanding of your health and personal circumstances.

If you’ve struggled to secure life insurance in the past due to needing a medical exam and you’re a UK resident aged 50 - 85, you could secure a guaranteed over 50s plan.

An over 50s plan requires no medical information during the application process, therefore a medical exam isn’t required either.

However, to compensate for the lack of medical information, insurers add a ‘waiting period’ to policies.

This is the first 12 - 24 months of the policy where you won’t be covered for death due to natural causes, but you’ll be covered for accidental death during this time. Full cover will commence after this period.

To find out more about no medical life insurance, why not read our handy guide? »

Life insurance medical exam FAQs

What would stop you getting life insurance?

Typically, if an insurer deems you as too ‘high risk’ this could prevent you from getting life insurance.

This could be due to a number of risk factors such as your occupation or hobbies, drinking or smoking in excess, taking recreational drugs and/or having a health condition.

If you’ve been declined for life insurance in the past, don’t be disheartened, there could still be options available to you.

At Reassured we have a specialist impaired life insurance team who have a great track record of finding some from cover for those previously declined.

What is an example of a pre-existing medical condition?

Any condition that you have been diagnosed with prior to securing life insurance will be classified as a pre-existing medical condition.

For example, if you are living with diabetes at the point of application, this will be considered a pre-existing condition.

Even conditions that you aren’t currently living with but have been diagnosed with in the past are classified as pre-existing conditions.

For example, if you had cancer but are now in remission, cancer would be classified as a pre-existing condition and would need to be declared during the application.

What do life insurance blood tests test for?

As part of the life insurance medical exam, you may be required to have a blood test.

This will test the performance of your organs (such as your kidneys, thyroid, liver etc), as well as help to determine your risk of developing certain medical conditions.

Depending on your circumstances, a blood test may also be used to test for Hepatitis.

What do life insurance urine tests test for?

As part of the life insurance medical exam, you may be asked to provide a urine sample in order to check for nicotine or drug use.

Who pays for a life insurance medical exam?

If a medical exam is required, the cost of this will be covered by the insurer. You won’t incur any costs.

Compare life insurance quotes

As discussed, a medical exam isn’t always required when applying for life insurance and the thought of doing one shouldn’t put you off securing the cover you need.

In fact, it simply allows insurers to ensure that the underwriting decision they make on your application is based on all the information available.

Comparing multiple life insurance quotes can put you in touch with the insurers that are most likely to accept your application.

At Reassured, we work with both mainstream and specialist insurers, allowing us to find you our most suitable quotes.

We can also provide you with all the information you need to know to make a fully informed decision.

Simply get in touch for your fee-free quotes today.

Sources:

[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body

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