Life Insurance Medicals Explained
Life insurance is one of the best ways you can plan for your family’s financial security should you become seriously injured or ill or pass away. However, some Australians are hesitant to purchase this financial safety net. One of the main reasons for this because they don’t want to go for a medical exam.
You might be scared of what the exam could reveal, or have a profound fear of needles, but most people simply consider the process inconvenient and a waste of time. The good news is that you can get life insurance without a medical exam.
Generally, life insurance medicals aren’t mandatory in Australia. However, there are exceptions where you might have to undergo an exam to complete your insurance application.
In this article, you will discover:
Can I get life insurance without taking a medical exam?
Yes, generally, you can get term life insurance without undergoing a medical exam, and you’ll usually only need to answer a few medical questions. However, your premium may be higher based on your answers, as well as if it’s a direct, retail or a group policy. Whether you need an exam is also dependent on the insurer’s underwriting guidelines, for example, if you have a pre-existing medical condition or apply for a very high amount of coverage the insurer may request an exam.
If you have a pre-existing condition and the insurer requests that you go for a medical exam and/or blood tests, you can check to see if they will accept a copy of your doctor’s report on your condition and possibly avoid the exam altogether.
Direct vs retail life insurance
Generally, the following applies to direct (non-advised) and retail (advised) life insurance policies.
|Direct Life Insurance||Retail Life Insurance|
|Also referred to as non-advised life insurance. You can apply for via the telephone, online or it might be available through your bank.||Also known as advised life insurance, which can be purchased face-to-face or over the phone.|
|You usually won’t receive any financial recommendations or advice which could influence or possibly improve your purchasing decision.||Advice from a broker will usually be provided, and they’ll complete a 15 minute to an hour’s session with you to help you make an informed decision.|
|Quick and easy to apply, with nil or minimal medical information required. Typically underwritten at claim time, this is referred to as retro-underwriting and could lead to uncertainty during claim time.||Extensive underwriting during application. Requires your medical history and might include blood tests and perhaps a medical exam if you have a pre-existing condition or apply for a high amount of coverage.|
|Generally more expensive than retail (advised) policies.||Might be more affordable with fewer exclusions due to being fully underwritten.|
|Limits the maximum amount of cover you can purchase.||You can choose the amount of cover you want.|
What are the advantages and disadvantages of non-exam life insurance?
Many people prefer streamlining the underwriting process because of its convenience. In addition to the shorter application time and ease of acceptance, many people specifically seek out life insurances quotes with no medical exam because they:
- Have specific concerns about certain medical tests and what it might reveal.
- Have a medical phobia, for example, fear of hospitals, blood phobia, or a fear of injections.
- Want to be covered quickly, within days, without ‘wasting’ time and possibly having to wait for weeks.
Should your insurer request a medical exam, due to your medical history or because you’ve applied for a significant amount of coverage, then it might be more favourable for you to undergo a medical exam and/or blood tests, especially if you want:
- Your cover type and amount to accurately reflect your unique requirements;
- More affordable premiums;
- Fewer exclusions and limitations;
- More assurance that your claim will be paid.
While you might prefer not to disclose your medical history and family health issues, or be subject to a medical exam, the lengthier underwriting process provided by retail life insurance companies allows you to be more confident in the insurer’s decision to offer you cover at a lower rate.
8 Tips to help you prepare for your medical exam
Anything you can do to prepare beforehand will make your exam go quicker.
FAQs about life insurance without a medical exam
It’s incredibly important that you read through your product disclosure statement (PDS) and familiarise yourself with what exactly you are and aren’t covered for.
Compare life insurance quotes with no medical exams
Because each life insurance company is different, they are going to look at your application differently. To find a company that will work with you to get a policy suited to your specific needs and circumstances you might want to compare a variety of quotes before making a decision and seek the advice of a specialist.
Compare Life Insurance Quotes
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