Life insurance is a type of insurance that financially protects a policy holder’s family after their death. Life insurance payouts can also be triggered when a policyholder has a terminal or critical illness.
Financial experts recommend taking out a life insurance policy before you reach 35, as the older you get, the more health problems you will experience. You will struggle to find a life insurance policy if you are in poor health. To filter out people who are in poor health, insurance firms hire third-party healthcare providers to conduct life insurance exams.
In this article, we will tell you what a life insurance exam entails and how they are useful:
When you are filling in your life insurance application, you will be asked questions about your health. A life insurance exam takes place to verify the answers that you have given.
They also take place to take a full medical history of the person applying for life insurance. The doctor will dig a little deeper in your exam, than on the initial form. You will be asked questions about your medical history, your family’s medical history, and any dangerous habits you have (smoking, drinking).
The aim of the life insurance exam is to estimate how long you will live. If the doctor decides that you’re going to die young, then the insurance company will either refuse your life insurance application or alternatively offer you one with higher premiums.
The exam also seeks to uncover any underlying medical conditions you might be experiencing, which the doctor will check for through blood work and a series of other examinations. These tests will check for underlying conditions that were deliberately or mistakenly not declared on the initial application.
It’s very important that you answer the doctor’s questions truthfully and in a straightforward manner, so as to avoid confusion. To familiarise yourself with the examination process, you may want to take a free insurance practice test online. If you’re nervous during your exam, you might answer questions incorrectly and jeopardise your exam’s outcome.
From an insurer’s perspective, life insurance exams are very useful because they assess how long a person will live. The longer, the better. Life insurance companies use charts called longevity charts, which give statistical information on how old people tend to live, with or without health conditions. These charts help insurance companies to determine how much risk they are taking, by granting a life insurance policy to a person.
They are also useful for the applicant because they essentially receive a free health check. The health check is very extensive, which means that if you pass it you receive a clean bill of health. If you don’t then the doctor who is conducting your examination will refer you for further tests or recommend that you visit your own doctor.
During the examination, you will be asked a number of questions, including:
- The doctor will begin the examination by asking you about your medical history, including any serious illnesses, medications, operations, hospitalisations, or health problems that you have had;
- You will be asked about your family medical history and if they are prone to specific diseases;
- Your physician’s name, surgery, and phone number, as well as the contact details of any other doctors you have had in the years preceding your appointment;
- What habits you have, such as smoking, drinking, drug-taking, or conversely exercising and healthy eating;
- If you suffer from mental health disorders, like anxiety or depression.
- You will also have your height and weight measured, your pulse and blood pressure checked, your blood taken, and urine samples taken to test for diseases like HIV and see if there is any protein present in your urine that can indicate kidney disease.
After your life insurance examination has been concluded, the company that you have applied to will review your application. If the company decides that they will offer you a policy, then they will take a while to decide what premium they will charge you.
It can take several months for a decision to be made. If you have passed your exam and insurance is going to be granted, then you can expect your coverage to start from the time that you started the original application. However, this is not true for every company.
Some companies will start later. If you paid a premium when you initially made the application, then your policy might begin from the date that you applied for it. If you want to find out when your policy starts, then you should contact the agent who dealt with your initial application.
If the information that you provide during your examination doesn’t match the information you submitted on your initial application, then you could be denied coverage. This is why it’s very important for you to be as honest and forthcoming as possible. Make sure you don’t omit anything on your application either because this will impact the outcome of your application if mistruths are discovered (which they probably will be). If there is a mistake that isn’t your fault, you can contact your own doctor and ask them to fix the situation, correcting the mistake. This may salvage your application.
If you fail your exam because of health concerns, it’s important that you go and see a doctor to have these addressed. The doctor responsible for managing your health exam will tell you specifically what they’re concerned about. Because of the pandemic, many people haven’t had health exams for quite a while. If this is your first and something new flags up, make sure you see that it’s addressed immediately. Allowing your health to deteriorate is a very bad idea. If you allow health problems to go unchecked, they can worsen and result in you dying prematurely.
Life insurance exams shouldn’t be stressful. As long as you’re honest and open (and you haven’t got any health problems), you should pass your exam with flying colours. Make sure you study this article extensively, and if necessary, attend practice exams beforehand.