What Is No Medical Exam Life Insurance?
No medical exam life insurance is a type of life insurance policy you can obtain without undergoing a medical exam. Although the most commonly known form of no medical life insurance is what’s known as guaranteed issue life insurance, other types of no medical life insurance use medical underwriting but do not require lab work or an exam including:
- Simplified issue
- Accelerated underwriting
- Algorithmic underwriting
Note that no medical exam life insurance does not refer to a type of insurance but rather the process by how the insurance company determines whether or not it will insure you (commonly known as underwriting). No medical exam life insurance underwrites the policy without requiring a doctor visit or lab work, but there might be medical questions asked, and policy issuance is not guaranteed.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many insurers have opted to make applying for life insurance without a medical exam easier. According to LIMRA, more than 25% of U.S. life insurers have expanded their automated underwriting processes and approximately 30% have waived paramedical requirements.
What Does No Medical Exam Life Insurance Include?
Since there are various types of no medical exam life insurance, what is included in your policy will depend on the type of policy you purchase and the features each insurance company includes in the plan.
For instance, most permanent or whole life insurance options offer both a death benefit and cash values that you can borrow from over time. If you purchase a no medical exam term life insurance policy, there will not be any cash values, but you will have a death benefit for a set time (the term). And in addition to the basic life insurance coverage, some insurers offer insurance riders or perks to supplement the insurance plan.
Accelerated death benefit riders can include options to access the death benefit even while you’re still alive if you get a critical, terminal, or chronic illness. There are also many more optional riders available that can help you cover costs temporarily, such as sudden employment.
These riders are not standard among all insurers.
What Does No Medical Exam Life Insurance Cost?
No medical exam life insurance can be more expensive than traditional medically underwritten life insurance, especially in the case of guaranteed issue policies that use no medical underwriting. Life insurance with a medical exam has a lower cost because the insurance company has a more accurate picture of your health.
Fortunately, due to technological advances and the medical information available to life insurers when you authorize them to access your medical records, you can still get good rates on coverage with simplified, accelerated, or algorithmic underwriting that uses medical underwriting.
There are some significant advantages to choosing no medical exam life insurance over traditional-issue life insurance. One of those is the time it takes to underwrite and issue a policy. No medical exam policies that use simplified or accelerated underwriting are generally issued much faster than policies that use traditional medical underwriting, sometimes reducing the time from 45 to 60 days to immediate coverage.
Depending on whether the policy and insurer you choose uses medical underwriting as part of the process, you may even be able to get very similar pricing to traditional issue policies.
How We Chose the Best No Medical Exam Life Insurance Providers
To choose the best no medical exam life insurance providers, we looked at over two dozen of the top life insurance companies and checked for how many options they offered for no medical exam life insurance. Rather than sticking to insurers who only offered guaranteed issue policies, we also looked for no medical exam options that were more affordable, provided simplified issue, instant issue, and accelerated or algorithmic underwriting.
Once we identified the companies offering no medical exam coverage options, we looked into company stability and financial strength through AM Best, the company complaints history with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, consumer reviews, independent surveys such as the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, and online customer reviews.
Our top choices showed the most stability and offered numerous policy options with varying coverage at affordable prices.