What you need to know about no-exam life insurance

Have you heard of No-Exam Life Insurance? Unfortunately, many people still don’t know about it or may not know how to get it. This might be why studies show that 38% of people who want life insurance put it off.

Sadly, many delay getting life insurance until it’s too late.

The question of whether no-exam life insurance is the right choice comes up a lot. This option isn’t right for everyone, but in the right circumstances, it can be the only choice that makes sense.

So, what are those circumstances?

Age Matters

Age can be a factor in choosing no-exam life insurance, whether a person is young and healthy or “too old” for traditional life insurance.

  • No-exam policies require less information, but age will always affect rates. According to Ty Stewart, owner of simplelifeinsure.com, “Rates for a young healthy person will be only fractionally higher whether you take the exam or skip it”
  • Beyond age 70, most traditional policies won’t offer coverage. No-exam providers may offer an option called Final Expense life insurance, available to anyone 89 years or younger.

You Don’t Want an Exam

There are many reasons why someone might want to avoid having an exam for the life insurance process.

  • You haven’t had an exam in a while
  • Fear of needles, blood, etc.
  • Just too busy!
  • High-risk health conditions

If it has been a while…

If you were healthy at your last exam, but it has been a couple years, it may be smart to avoid having a new exam, because there may be new health issues the person isn’t aware of. These range from higher blood pressure or cholesterol to elevated blood sugar or urine protein levels.

Some of those are normal as we age, but any increase from the prior exam increases the cost of life insurance. Urine protein in particular can simply vary from exam to exam, but could also be a sign of kidney problems. Insurance companies raise rates a lot higher because of this increased risk.

Even worse, now the exam results are added to the Medical Information Bureau (MIB). Any future life insurance application with a different company will refer to the MIB and see those results.

Afraid of needles or doctors?

You’re in good company. About 20% of people have severe needle phobia. Another 20% have a phobia of doctors. This means that getting an exam can be an uncomfortable, panic-ridden experience.

Fear of needles or doctors can temporarily elevate blood pressure. Higher blood pressure is a top reason life insurance companies lower a person’s health bracket, increasing cost. If you’re trying to get life insurance, higher blood pressure is not what you want.

Do you have [fill in the blank]?

Perhaps you’ve been denied life insurance coverage due to a chronic health condition, or you’ve recently discovered you have a high-risk condition such as diabetes.

In these cases, no-exam life insurance may be the best option available. Policy types exist for these situations, including Guaranteed Issue and Graded Death Benefit policies. The latter type requires answering a few questions but may give a lower price than a Guaranteed Issue policy.

Fast Coverage is Needed

Sometimes, a person may have reasons why it’s not practical to wait the 6-8 weeks needed for a regular life insurance policy.

  • Obtaining a small business loan
  • Divorce decree may require life insurance to finalize proceedings
  • Leaving on vacation, especially overseas
  • Selling a structured settlement (such as a pension) may require a policy to protect the buyer


In these cases, no-exam life insurance is the ideal solution. Many providers will approve a policy in hours or even minutes.

Dangerous Job or Hobby

Life insurance companies will ask about a person’s job, and often ask about hobbies. If the company decides that a person’s job or hobby is high risk, the policy premium goes up. Sometimes, it goes up a lot.

There are some no-exam life insurance providers who don’t ask about these things, and if they don’t ask, they can’t raise rates!


You’ll need to talk to an agent, since most no-exam life insurance companies will only work through agents. But don’t worry–rates are fixed by law. The cost to you is the same whether you use an experienced agent or attempt the process yourself.

Consider the circumstances discussed above. If you fall under any of these, it’s worth looking into this type of policy, especially if you’ve been turned down for traditional coverage.

In all cases, getting a no-exam life insurance policy is faster, easier, and far less intrusive, and probably less expensive than you’d think.

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