What is Term Life Insurance?
Term life insurance is generally less expensive than whole life insurance because it only protects you for a specific term. In the event that you die before the coverage term of your term life insurance policy expires, your dependents will receive a payout. There is no other way to get a benefit from a term life insurance policy because you must die in order for the coverage to kick in. This means that a term life insurance policy does not have a cash value at any point.
This type of policy is generally available for a 20-year term. If you are young and in relatively good health, then it is unlikely that your dependents will receive any type of benefit during this period. The premium for your life insurance policy will be based on your age and your health status when you first sign up for insurance. Your policy may have a provision that allows the insurance provider to increase your premium at certain intervals as you age.
Why is a Medical Exam Sometimes Required?
Life insurance providers require medical exams for some insurance policies because they want to be able to tell if the applicant is predisposed to certain serious illnesses, which would increase the likelihood that the insurer would have to pay out a death benefit. Insurance companies work with medical providers to schedule an in-person exam of the applicant and then evaluate the results to determine if they will extend coverage or not.
In general, you will find that policies that require a medical exam are more affordable. This is because the life insurance company gets to assess the risk level of providing insurance to the applicant before extending coverage.
How to Avoid Taking a Medical Exam
A medical exam for life insurance coverage typically involves having your blood pressure taken and some blood drawn for lab analysis. If you are petrified of needles or simply do not want to go through the inconvenience of taking an exam just to get a quote for coverage, you do have options available to you.
If you are offered term life insurance through your employer, this generally means that you will not have to go through a medical exam to get your coverage. While this option may sound convenient, keep in mind that if you do not pass away during the policy term, then there is essentially no benefit that is ever paid out under this type of life insurance policy. This is typically a very inexpensive insurance option for employees.
Another popular option for getting term life insurance coverage without having to take a medical exam is guaranteed issue life insurance. With this option, you will not even be required to offer medical records to the insurance company for review. In essence, you are almost guaranteed coverage from the life insurance company just by sending in your application and paying your premium on time. You will only need to answer a few questions about your lifestyle choices and medical history before you are approved. While this type of life insurance policy will provide some sort of benefit for your dependents in the event of your death during the policy term, it is one of the most expensive options that you can find.
One of the less common ways that you may be able to get a term life insurance policy without a medical exam is through a simplified issue life insurance policy. With this application, the life insurance company will request access to your medical records. In addition, they may also ask you a long list of questions about your medical history to determine if there are any issues that would preclude you from getting coverage. This option is still more expensive than a term life policy obtained through a medical exam, but it does avoid the inconvenience of having blood drawn. Keep in mind that the life insurance company still has the option to deny you coverage with this policy option. This typically happens for applicants who are older or suffer from some pre-existing condition that could shorten their life expectancy.