What to Expect During Your Life Insurance Medical Exam

Before purchasing a life insurance policy, you may be required to undergo a medical exam. Insurance companies use the results to determine their risk in insuring you. Your premium costs could depend in part on the medical exam results, too. Knowing what to expect during this exam prepares you to obtain accurate results and the best life insurance policy rates and coverage. 

Do all Life Insurance Companies Require a Medical Exam?

Purchase life insurance when you don't have a serious medical condition like diabetes, cancer or HIV, and you probably will be asked to fill out a medical history form rather than undergo a complete medical exam. Additionally, certain online companies offer non-exam policies that require no medical history form or exam, but those policies often include reduced coverage and higher premium costs. 

Who Performs the Exam?

A medical professional will come to your home, office or other location to complete the life insurance medical exam. He or she will contact you to determine the best time and location as well as answer any questions you may have about the exam. 

How Long Will the Exam Last? 

Most life insurance medical exams take 15 to 30 minutes. Expect to undergo physical tests and answer a medical history questionnaire about your current health and family health history. 

What Happens at the Medical Exam?

Expect to undergo several different procedures during  your life insurance medical exam. The medical professional will measure or test your:  

*Height and weight 
*Blood pressure 
*ECG/EKG (if needed)

How Should you Prepare for the Medical Exam?

Like any medical test, you want to prepare so that you can get the most accurate results. Suggested preparation includes: 

*24 hours before: Avoid strenuous exercise.
*12 hours before: Avoid alcohol, high-cholesterol foods including eggs, fried foods and red meat, decongestants and pain medication like aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
*8 hours before: Avoid caffeinated beverages, and fast from all foods if necessary.
*1 hour before: Begin drinking plenty of water for the urine sample.

Your life insurance company may not require a medical exam, but if they do, you'll appreciate knowing what to expect as you secure the best rates and coverage. Talk to your insurance agent, too, about additional ways you can find the right policy for your needs.  

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