11 Reasons to Consider a No Exam Life Insurance Policy

11 Reasons to Consider a No Exam Life Insurance Policy

You don’t need ALL of the below to apply to you.

But if ANY of these 11 situations sound familiar, you will want to at least consider a no medical exam life insurance policy.

  1. You need coverage in place fastReasons why skipping the medical exam for your life insurance policy makes sense
  2. You haven’t seen the doctor in a while
  3. You are afraid of needles, blood, and/or doctors
  4. You are young and healthy
  5. You are just too busy to schedule a medical exam
  6. You have a dangerous job or hobby
  7. You are OK with paying a little more in premiums
  8. You don’t need a very large dollar amount of insurance coverage
  9. You are a student or unemployed
  10. You have a high-risk health condition
  11. You are considered “too old” for traditional policies


1) You need coverage in place fast

The traditional life insurance underwriting process takes 6-8 weeks on average.

There are several reasons you may not be able to wait that long:

Don’t want to wait to protect your loved ones

You don’t need any other excuse. Some people just feel more comfortable knowing things are done quickly and taken care of.

Securing an SBA loan

Most SBA loans require the borrower to have a life insurance policy in place before the loan can be funded. If you have a loan already in process or will be applying soon, a non-med policy will satisfy this requirement quickly.

Divorce decree

A divorce settlement will sometimes require one spouse to have life insurance in place on themselves with the former spouse as the beneficiary. Often times the proof of insurance coverage must be given before the divorce is considered final.

Depending on the state of the relationship, this is not something people want to wait around on. A no exam policy (like e.g. Foresters) can be in place within days and allow the divorce to be finalized without delay.

Income stream advance

If you are selling/assigning the rights to a pension or other structured settlement income stream, the factoring company or purchaser will often require the seller to have a life insurance policy on themselves with the purchaser as the beneficiary. This protects the purchaser from loss if the seller dies before all the assigned payments are made.

Leaving on vacation

Some of our clients are leaving town soon on a vacation but need coverage fast. Scheduling a medical exam and filling out forms just won’t work in time before leaving.

What is the quickest no exam coverage available?

If speed is your #1 concern, there are companies that can have you approved in a few short days. These are the fastest in the industry currently.

  • Sagicor – 15 minutes to 24 hoursfastest approval times for no exam life insurance companies
  • Metlife – within 24 hours
  • National Life Group – Same day to 72 hours
  • Fidelity Life – 24 to 72 hours
  • Principal – 48 hours if qualify for AUP program
  • Phoenix Life Insurance Company – immediate/same day

In addition to these simplified issue policies, most guaranteed issue and graded death benefit policies can be approved very quickly. See our comparison to learn which type is best for you.

2) You haven’t seen the doctor in a while

This one is very important.

It can greatly impact the rates you pay or even be the difference between an approval and a denial of life insurance.

If you have not been to the doctor for more than 2 years, you MUST seriously consider applying for a no exam policy first. Often times people applying for life insurance will THINK they are in excellent health yet be unaware of recent changes that don’t show up until the lab results from a paramedical come back.

Even if your last check up gave you a perfectly clean bill of health, how do you know for sure things haven’t changed a bit?

A small change in what is on your medical exam results can mean higher life insurance rates

The answer: You don’t

Here is how things work…

A small change for the worse in any of the levels that are checked on a medical exam can mean higher rates. You may THINK you are still in excellent health but since you haven’t been to the doctor in a few years, any of the following may have changed:

You could also show a little bit of extra protein in your urine. This can be normal and fluctuates. But it can also be a sign of kidney disease. This is a possible denial of your application or best case, you are paying higher premiums to account for the risk.

So if your levels and health were in good standing a few years ago, why take the chance? For a non-med policy, you are only judged on the most recent information in your records.

To make matters worse

Life insurance companies subscribe to a service called the MIB (Medical Information Bureau). Think of this as a credit bureau for insurance carriers. It was designed to minimize fraud and increase efficiency.

The MIB maintains health and application data on individuals. This is shared with other member insurance companies. Now that you have taken the exam, that information is on record and will be shared on future insurance applications.

Insiders Tip: If you have not been to the doctor in a while, apply for no exam coverage first. After you are approved, you can go through the full underwriting process if you want to try and get a better/lower rate.

If your lab results on the medical exam show something that results in a higher rate, you don’t have to accept that policy. You simply keep the non-med one.

BUT…if your exam shows no concerns, and you are still in perfect health, you can always keep that one and cancel the no exam policy.

You can’t go back in time if you do it the other way. Once that information about your health is stored in the MIB, it will be available to every other life insurance carrier.

3) You are afraid of needles, blood, and/or doctors

You are not alone.

Trypanophobia may sound funny but it’s a real thing affecting 20% of people. The fear of needles not only causes anxiety but causes many people to put off or avoid routine medical procedures. If this is you, a life insurance policy with no physical.

Hemophobia affects about 3% of the adult population. The reactions can range from fear and anxiety to fainting. With a non-med policy, you will NOT have to see any blood.

White Coat Syndrome is the fear of being in a hospital or seeing a doctor. Nobody really enjoys going to the doctor but for around 20% of people, it can cause high levels of stress, fear, and anxiety. Those experiencing white coat syndrome will routinely avoid and delay necessary appointments.

Not only is this an uncomfortable experience for these people, but the trauma it causes them can raise blood pressure levels temporarily. If you are taking a medical exam for the purpose of obtaining life insurance, higher than normal blood pressure readings are NOT a good thing.

Blood pressure levels are one of the top reasons that life insurance applicants receive offers for a lower health class than they were expecting.

What is the answer then?

Consider skipping the medical exam and look into life insurance policies that don’t require it.

4) You are young and healthy

You don’t HAVE to be young and completely healthy to choose a no exam life insurance policy. These days the options are plentiful for many types of people.

You don't HAVE to be young and completely healthy to choose a no exam life insurance policy

However, if you ARE young and healthy, it is one of many reasons you may want to consider it strongly.

Let me tell you why….

When a life insurance carrier issues a non-med policy, they do so with less information on you than if you were to submit to take a full physical and traditional underwriting period. The statistics say that young people are generally healthier than older people. To account for this additional risk, the premiums for all people increase as we age, no matter the type of policy you are seeking.

Since there is less info available when going the non-med route, the gap between traditional and no exam policies is smaller for those of a younger age.

Let’s compare:

The below rates are the lowest available at the Standard health class on a 10-year term.

This illustrates the difference for both a 35-year-old male and a 60-year-old male.

Traditional policy (with medical exam) 35 yrs old$10.49/mo$16.01/mo
No exam policy – 35 yrs old$11.58/mo$17.97/mo
Price difference$1.11/mo$1.96/mo
Traditional policy (with medical exam) 60 yrs old$50.60/mo$96.33/mo
No exam policy – 60 yrs old$54.69/mo$104.20/mo
Price difference$4.09/mo$7.87/mo

5) You are just too busy to schedule a medical exam

You also like convenience, and who doesn’t?

Applying for non-med life insurance is MUCH simpler than traditional, fully underwritten policies.

With traditional life insurance, you will need to schedule a time for a paramedical exam. If you are like most people, time is a precious commodity and juggling work, family, friends, etc is all you have time for. Constantly delaying the medical exam is one of the top reasons people don’t end up getting the coverage and protection they need.

I hate seeing this.

You’ve already made the decision you need insurance. Get it done and off your plate, so you don’t have to worry about it any longer.

You will also never be as young and healthy as you are today. Rates rise for everyone as we age. Putting things off for another 2 months could mean you are considered 1 year older. You will now pay higher rates across the entire term of insurance you purchase.

In addition to the scheduling aspect, it is suggested that you eat clean and healthy for a couple days prior to the exam. In the 8 hours right before, you should ideally fast. This will allow the natural levels in your body to regulate and not spike abnormally high.

Hint: This would be bad for your application.

Quite simply, you just may not want to deal with all that. Well…. then a no medical exam policy may be very interesting to you

Once you apply, you just sit back and wait for the decision. This can be in as little as a few minutes depending on which insurance company you apply with.


6) You have a dangerous job or hobby

Traditional life insurance underwriters will ask questions about your occupation and any potentially risky hobbies such as:

skydiving can affect rates on your no exam life insurance policy

  • Skydiving
  • Rock Climbing
  • Scuba Diving
  • Base jumping

If there is increased risk, you will pay more, sometimes MUCH more depending on the activity and the frequency.

Good news! Some medical exam policies also do NOT ask about your lifestyle, avocations, or job. If they don’t ask about it, you can’t be penalized (have to pay more).

Each insurance company has their own underwriting guidelines and disclaimers. Please consult a knowledgeable independent insurance broker to determine which company is right for you.

7) You are OK with paying a little more in premiums

If price is your #1 concern, you will always find a lower rate by taking the medical exam.

We do still suggest considering a non-med policy first to secure coverage quickly and then applying for the traditional policy afterward to see if you can do better.

In return for the convenience of the no exam process, insurers do need to charge a little more to account for the extra risk they are taking on. The great news is that today, the cost difference is not nearly what it used to be.

Some insurance companies even offer the EXACT same rates for exam vs no exam policies in certain health classes.

How much more will no exam coverage cost?

This is going to depend on your age, coverage amount needed, and health class. Below are a few examples:

Example #1

Male age 40 in perfect health applying for a 20-year term and $200,000 in coverage.

Lowest no exam policy price available – $16.71 per month

Lowest exam policy price available – $16.71 per month

Difference = $0

Example #2

Female age 50 in average health applying for a 10-year term and $250,000 in coverage.

Lowest no exam policy price available – $37.17 per month

Lowest exam policy price available – $40.53 per month

Difference = $3.36 per month – 9% higher

Example #3

Male age 55 in average health applying for a 10-year term and $500,000 in coverage.

Lowest no exam policy price available – $135.56 per month

Lowest exam policy price available – $142.93 per month

Difference = $7.37 per month – 5% higher

Rates mentioned are subject to change and may not be available to everyone depending on your state of residence and specific health history. Consult a trusted independent broker for up-to-date rates.


Receive a free quote using our tool or get in touch with us to help.


8) You don’t need a very large dollar amount of insurance coverage

If you are seeking close to $1 million in coverage or more, non-med policies may not be a good fit. Principal life insurance company will offer up to $1 million in no exam coverage but you must be in excellent health so it’s not for everyone.

The highest coverage limits for most no exam policies is $500,000.

You can, however, stack policies from multiple non-med policies with different companies to get higher coverage. There is nothing wrong with doing this.

Work with your independent broker to figure out what is the most cost-effective plan to meet your specific needs.

9) You are a student or unemployed

Your current income is among the many questions asked on a typical life insurance application.


  1. Insurance companies need to be able to justify the amount of coverage you are applying for. If you make $50,000 per year and request a 10 million dollar policy, it doesn’t make sense and they can’t approve it.
  2. They are a business like any other. If you can’t pay the premiums, they would rather not undertake the upfront costs to put your policy in place if it is likely to lapse soon for non-payment of premiums.

Depending on the particular company, your lack of a current income may be an issue with getting approval. People have been flat out denied despite being in excellent health.

The scaled down and simplified application process for non-medical policies will typically NOT be concerned with your income level for most coverage amounts.

10) You have a high-risk health condition

If you have been diagnosed with a high-risk health condition and/or denied previously for traditional life insurance, a certain type of no exam policy may be right for you.

illustration showing high risk medical conditions that have trouble getting life insurance approval

Hooray! You can still get life insurance.

Under the no exam umbrella, there are 2 types of policies that are designed for those who would otherwise be uninsurable. Guaranteed Issue and Graded Death Benefit.

Guaranteed Issue

Is just what it sounds like, you cannot be declined no matter what. No questions are asked. You fill out the application, make your payment and have a policy in place very quickly.

There are, however, low limits on coverage amounts, high premium costs, and a waiting period (usually 2 or 3 years) before the coverage would actually kick in. Basically, if you die in the first 2-3 years, they will return the premiums paid + interest. After the waiting period, the full death benefit will be paid out.

Graded Death Benefit 

Is a “cousin” of Guaranteed Issue. There are a few questions that will be asked. As long as you can answer “NO” to those questions, you are approved. These are questions like:

“Have you been declared terminally ill?”

While still expensive, the premiums will be lower than Guaranteed Issue because you “passed” those few questions. The difference here is that the death benefit will be phased in over the first 2-3 years.

For example, you might see something like this….

  • Year 1 – Death benefit = 25% of policy face amount
  • Year 2 – Death benefit = 50% of policy face amount
  • Year 3 and beyond – Full death benefit paid out

Bottom line: There are always coverage options but they have limitations and/or cost more.

If you are confused or have questions, we can walk you through it in a quick and easy chat. Just contact us for help.

11) You are considered “too old” for traditional policies

It should not be a shock that generally speaking, people are more unhealthy as they age. For this reason, life insurance carriers charge more if you are older.

There comes a point where most traditional policies will no longer offer insurance. It varies by company but this is typically around 70 years old.

What if I still need life insurance past 70 years old?

There is a type of no exam policy known as Final Expense life insurance. It can also sometimes be referred to as “burial insurance”.

These are smaller, whole life policies that are typically intended to cover funeral and other final expenses. There are insurance companies that offer final expense insurance options all the way up through age 89.


  • Ty Stewart

    Ty Stewart is a founder and contributor of SimpleLifeInsure.com. He started researching and studying about life insurance when he got his first policy for his own family. He has been featured as a life insurance expert speaker at agent conventions and in top publications. As an independent licensed life insurance agent he has helped clients nationwide to secure affordable coverage while making the process simple.

  • Bennett Bier

    I’m Bennett Bier, owner, author and fact checker of Simple Life Insure. I believe working with a small independent broker offers consumers more personal attention and superior customer service. As an independent agent licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia I have access to many of the top A+ rated life insurance carriers. This lets me locate a plan that you will qualify for while saving you money at the same time. Over the years I have mastered the art of underwriting, getting approvals even for my highest risk clients. I’m also likely the person that will answer the phone when you call.