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10 Questions About Life Insurance Medical Exams

10 Embarrassing Questions About Life Insurance Medical Exams
Georgia Carter Updated: 22 March 2021
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Are you thinking of applying for cover for the first time but have been too afraid of going for a life insurance medical exam to take the plunge? Fear of the unknown is only natural, but it shouldn’t prevent you from providing your loved ones with adequate financial support after you’ve passed away. 

Fortunately, you won’t necessarily need to go for a health check before applying for life cover. Several insurer’s offer no medical life insurance policies. Although life insurance medicals aren’t mandatory, you may be required to go for a medical before completing your life insurance application in certain circumstances.

If you’ve found yourself in this position, you’ve probably got several questions you don’t have the answers to and may be too embarrassed to ask someone else. In this article, we’ll answer ten of these questions and empower you to make the decision that best suits your requirements.

About life insurance medical exams

Life insurance medical exams are, as the name suggests, a health assessment which your insurer might ask you to undertake. The information which they collect in this test is used to validate the medical history that you have provided while also assessing the risks involved when insuring you. Typically, these tests are minimally invasive and consist of a quick check-up with a medical professional, most often a mobile nurse.

3 types of medical exams

There are three different medical checks that your insurer will pay for. These include:

  • Quick Check: This is typically completed by a mobile nurse and includes height, weight, and blood pressure checks, along with a urine sample.
  • Blood Test: A mobile nurse also completes these exams. They generally check your fasting MBA 20, including HDL/LDL Cholesterol and any other specific blood tests, based on your medical history or sums insured.
  • General Practitioner Medical: This is an exam with your GP and generally requires you to complete a questionnaire with your GP. This exam confirms the information being requested or asked by the insurer.

Common Questions about Life Insurance Medicals

1. Do I have to have a medical to get life insurance?

Generally speaking, you do not have to attend a medical examination to purchase life insurance. You will have to answer several medical questions. If you apply for a high sum insured or have a relevant medical condition/history, they need to get more readings. However, they can often request a report from your doctor as an alternative to an exam. However, this is not always the case.

2. Why do I need to go for a medical check?

A life insurance medical exam analyses your lifestyle and health to help insurers make the best and most informed decision on which premium best suits your risks. Attending a medical exam also helps with your compliance with your Duty of Disclosure, ensuring smoother claims processing.

3. What happens during this exam?

What happens during your medical exam typically depends on the type of tests required.

4. Should I lose weight before going for my exam?

No, it would be best if you didn’t go on any extreme weight loss programmes before your medical. While a healthy BMI could help you get lower premium rates, you’ll be asked if your weight fluctuated dramatically in the past year. Your answer to this question may impact your premiums. Remember to be as honest as possible during the examination.

5. Can I go to my own doctor for this?

Yes, you can go to your Doctor. However, most people prefer to use a mobile nurse as they’ll meet you at a time and location (your home) to get the relevant checks completed. Either way the tests and or appointment is paid for by the insurer.

6. Is it a good idea to quit smoking before the medical?

Yes, it’s always a good idea to quit smoking. However, it may not have an immediate impact on your life insurance premiums. You need to be nicotine-free for at least 12 months before your premiums are lowered to non-smoker rates.

7. What happens if I lie about my lifestyle?

If your insurer discovers that you’ve been dishonest about your lifestyle during the application process, they’ll typically reduce the benefits they pay out or reject the claim entirely. When it’s time to claim, your insurer will typically request your medical history as well as information from Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS). They’ll also investigate your online presence for inconsistencies in your application.

8. Do I have to pee into a cup?

While it’s not always necessary, you may be required to provide urine samples. You may need to if you are doing a quick check. If you’re feeling nervous, don’t be afraid to speak with your examiner.

9. Will I still go for a medical check if I have pre-existing conditions?

Not necessarily. It depends on the condition, the level and the type of cover being applied for. They’ll potentially ask you several questions around the pre-existing medical condition and follow this if required, ask your doctor for a report on this, copy of your file. Alternatively, if required, they may need a quick check, blood test or GP medical.

10. What happens after your medical exam?

Once you have completed your tests, your application will continue to be assessed with this information. You will then be advised on the conclusion, and if all is well, you’ll be sent a Policy Schedule when the policy is issued, or alternatively they may look to alter the offer for insurance, and or decline the application.


Preparing for your medical exam

The nurse will provide you with a full list of things to do to best prepare for your life insurance medical exam; however, here are a few tips to help you prepare:

  • Book your medical appointment for the morning as you may be required to fast for six or more hours beforehand.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine so you can receive accurate blood readings.
  • Drink plenty of water to help draw blood when getting blood samples and tests.
  • Get a good night’s rest. Not only will this help relieve any anxiety you may be experiencing, but it’ll also help to keep your blood pressure stable. 

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

  • What is underwriting?

    Underwriting is the process of analysing your medical history to determine what risk you are to ensure and what premium would best suit your lifestyle.
  • Do you need to answer questions during a medical check?

    Yes, you will need to answer a few health questions asked these range based on the checks requested by the insurer.
  • Is it compulsory to go for a blood test to get life insurance?

    No, typically, you won’t need to go for a blood test unless requested by the insurer.
  • How does my family’s medical history affect my life insurance?

    Depending on the condition, your life insurance premium may increase, or that condition could be excluded. However, your policy will typically require two family members to be diagnosed with the same condition for it to count as a hereditary illness.

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