Life Insurance Medical Exams: What Do Insurers Look for?

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So, you’ve decided to sign up for a life insurance plan, and the insurer is asking you a lot of medical questions. Don’t worry, it’s normal. The insurer takes risks to insure you, so they need to know a few things to determine the level of risk you represent. Classic life insurance companies will therefore ask you to pass a medical examination to approve and insure you. The approval usually happens after two steps: a questionnaire and a medical exam. The questionnaire concerns your health, your lifestyle, and your profession. Sounds like a bit much right? You should know that it is possible to buy life insurance without a medical exam online, but we will tell you about it at the end of this article. Concerning the medical exam for life insurance: how does it work? What is the purpose of the medical exam to be approved for life insurance? What does the insurer verify with these medical examination results?

The medical questionnaire before the medical examination

Here are the most frequent questions asked by the insurer:

- Do you have or have you had a hereditary disease?

- Do you have high cholesterol?

- Have you had a heart attack or stroke in the past?

- Do you have diabetes?

- Have you undergone any recent medical treatments?

- Have you had surgery in the past?

- Do you use alcohol and drugs?

- Have you smoked, and do you still smoke?

- What is your weight and height?

- Do you play risky sports?

- What is your occupation? Is it a high-risk occupation?

- Have you had cases of cancer in your family?


You see, in absolute terms, these are nothing more than questions that your doctor may ask you to get a general idea of your health status.

You have answered the medical questionnaire. Now the insurer wants to verify if what you said is true and accurate. Most of the time, people have been truthful in their answers, but it is possible to ignore any family health history that will come to light at the medical exam time.


The medical examination to qualify for life insurance


The medical examination you will be asked to take by the insurer will typically include:

- A blood test,

- A blood pressure test,

- A stress electrocardiogram,

- A urine test.

This medical examination will reflect your state of health more accurately, and your results will naturally reflect your lifestyle, habits, and medical history. These results cannot lie about your life expectancy!


The medical examination will allow the insurer to determine :

- Your blood pressure and cholesterol level,

- Your diabetes potential,

- The trace of drugs, tobacco, medication in your blood,

- Cancer (blood, prostate).


Beware as a small infection could falsify your medical test results: a cold or the flu could make you postpone the medical examination.


How the insurer uses these results

The whole principle of this medical exam is to evaluate the risk you represent. Life insurance companies have statistics on longevity based on pre-existing conditions and lifestyle habits. The insurer will cross-reference the data from these statistics with the questionnaire and the medical exam results. It is these results that will determine whether the insurer accepts or rejects your request for a quote. And legally, the insurance company has every right to refuse to insure a person it considers "at-risk."

It is also these results that will allow the insurer to calculate the premiums. That's why premiums vary from person to person.

This method is how almost all life insurance companies operate except ours.


To conclude

Going for a medical exam consists of many hassles: you have to fast at least 12 hours, schedule the nurse's visit, and you may not have access to the results, which are sometimes sent directly to the insurer. The blood test can be fatal for your results, too: you can't hide anything. And the concern is that if you haven't taken care of yourself over the last few years, you can't make up for it by adopting a week's diet of fruits and vegetables. It would be best if you took care of your health daily.

Many other things can hinder good medical results: orange juice in the morning will spike glucose in your blood, clearing snow from the car will cause your blood pressure to rise because of exercise. The body is a great machine, but you don't understand all the mechanics, and the medical results may surprise you.


At Insurance Supermarket International, we don't see it that way. We want to make life insurance available to all residents of Canada. That's why we offer a simplified plan: the goal is to simplify your life and eliminate the most stressful parts of the life insurance application. We offer a life insurance plan that is much more easily accessible. This policy requires only a few health questions. If you have been denied coverage in the past or don't want to go under a medical exam, we'll be happy to help! Please contact us with any questions you have, and our team of professional, licensed advisors will assist you every step of the way.


Written by Diane Taes

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