If you’re considering purchasing life insurance, you must go through an application process to qualify. Understanding what to expect during this process can help you secure the coverage you need at a price that suits your budget. Gaining familiarity with the steps, from the application to the medical exam and beyond, can go a long way when applying for life insurance.
Determine Your Coverage Needs
Before applying for life insurance, you should decide on the type of policy you want. There are two main categories: permanent life insurance, which provides coverage for your entire life, and term life insurance, which covers you for a specific period. Consider your financial situation, the needs of your beneficiaries, and your ability to pay premiums.
Complete the Application
When applying for life insurance, you’ll need to fill out an application form, either with a broker, agent or directly with an insurance company. This form will require personal information such as your name, address, occupation, and employer. The form is much easier to complete with the help of an agent. It will also ask for:
- Height and weight
- Date of birth
- Lifestyle habits (e.g., smoking, drinking, exercise)
- Health histories of immediate family members
- Current medications
- Financial information (annual income and net worth)
- Information about risky hobbies or criminal convictions
It’s crucial to be honest throughout the application process. Any false or incomplete information, whether intentional or accidental, can lead to consequences. If the insurance company discovers you lied about a health condition or lifestyle, it may deny your application or increase your premiums after the policy is issued.
Prepare for a Medical Exam
In most cases, life insurance policies require a medical exam. A paramedic, a licensed healthcare professional, will conduct this exam. They will:
- Record your medical history, including conditions, surgeries, and medications
- Ask about your immediate family’s medical history
- Take your blood pressure
- Listen to your heartbeat
- Measure your height and weight
- Collect blood and urine samples
Additional tests, such as an EKG or chest X-ray, may be necessary, depending on your age and coverage amount.
After the medical exam, the underwriter at the insurance company will review your application and medical results. They may request your medical records from your physician. This information helps them assess the financial risk you pose to the company and determine your premium.
Approval or Denial
Once your application and medical exam are reviewed, the insurance company will decide whether to approve or deny your coverage. This process can take days or weeks, depending on various factors. If you are approved, you’ll receive your policy details.
If Your Coverage Is Denied
If your application is denied or if you receive a high premium due to the medical exam results, you have options. You can:
- Inquire about other insurance companies willing to work with your health status
- Apply for a no-exam policy (though it may be costlier with lower benefits)
- Purchase the policy temporarily and seek re-evaluation later
- Pursue group term life insurance through your employer
Reduce Your Premiums
You can lower your life insurance premiums by adopting healthier habits and making wise choices:
- Quit smoking to increase your life expectancy
- Lose weight for improved overall health
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Improve your driving record to avoid premium hikes
Other strategies include choosing term insurance, switching insurers, eliminating optional policy riders, looking for low-load policies, exploring payment discounts, and reviewing your credit report for accuracy.
The time it takes to obtain a fully underwritten life insurance policy varies but typically takes several weeks. No-exam or “instant” policies offer quicker feedback, often within 24 hours.
Understand the Legal Aspects
Your life insurance application is a legal document. By signing it, you confirm the accuracy of the information provided. Any deliberate misrepresentation may be considered fraud. Insurance companies can verify the data extensively, including medical records, prescription drug records, DMV reports, and credit history.
Understanding the life insurance application process helps you get the coverage you need while minimizing surprises. By being honest and making lifestyle improvements, you can secure an affordable policy that provides financial protection for your loved ones.
Importantly, attaining peace of mind may not have a price tag. That is why finding a quality life insurance product is essential for easing your worries for the future. Our agents can help you find a life insurance plan that fits your needs. Reach out to our team in your area to learn more!