Life Insurance Medical History Questions, What is Asked and Why

Written by CFA Insurance

A life insurance policy acts as an agreement between the insurance company and the client, thus providing financial security so that at the time of the death of the client, a chosen beneficiary benefit from this insurance coverage. Life insurance is an important coverage as human life is faced by risks including health problems and accidents, which may lead to demise. Thus, it ensures that when this time comes, financial support can be offered to your family or loved ones. In addition to imparting financial security to people you love after your death, life insurance can give them a tax-free payment.

Life insurance policies are for everyone, especially those people with families or people they care about. This coverage provides cash to your family when you die that can service needs, such as children’s education, funeral costs, deficits in medical costs, and many more. The cost of life insurance can be determined by your age, gender, health, medical history, and lifestyle. When purchasing a policy, it is imperative first to evaluate your needs and the needs of your family to pick an affordable and most appropriate coverage. It is also advisable to research different policies to identify the most appropriate and one with inexpensive premiums, as well as discounts and terms.

To get an appropriate coverage, you will have to pass a rigorous test. Remember that insurance companies do not want to risk their businesses by offering coverage to people who are highly vulnerable to death. As such, they conduct thorough interrogation to potential applicants to ensure they offer their products to qualified candidates. One of the aspects they consider most is health. That is why your medical history is a vital aspect to them. Even if you opt for a no medical exam policy, you will have to provide some information regarding your medical history.

Life Insurance and Medical History

For you to obtain life insurance coverage, your medical background is needed. Life insurance medical history offers the opportunity for the insurance company to learn more about the person being insured. The information they get is what is used to determine if you will be insured, and at what premium. This is done in two stages. Firstly, the medical professional asks a series of questions, most of which are similar to those asked in the application. This is for one-on-one verification of the information provided in the forms. It’s easier to lie on a sheet of paper than to a person’s face. Doing this also helps in the further illustration of areas which were not understood or misinterpreted. Secondly, basic samples such as blood and urine are collected to carry out tests like HIV test and test for diabetes.

Why Medical History Questions are Asked

Life insurance companies ask medical history questions to ascertain that the information you submitted in the insurance application forms aligns with medical status.  These questions are also important to the insurance company as it helps identify underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, HIV or deviations in blood pressure, which the client may not have declared or discovered at the time. Thirdly these medical questions help the insurance companies to set premiums for different people. Since the medical history questions touch on even family background, they can gauge period or longevity before death. If a person has a short life span, the company will go for expensive premiums unlike those with long lifespans can have cheap premium costs.

A medical exam for life insurance cover can take about 15 minutes to 30minutes. This examination entails questions such as your lifestyle habits like; exercising, smoking, drinking and drug use. Exercising before the medical exam, for instance, has shown to increase the number of proteins in urine, thus necessitating a need for a recheck. This is because frequent high levels of proteins in the blood may also be attributed to disorders like that of the kidney, diabetes, heart disease, and sickle cell anemia, all of which are known to be chronic and are normally looked out for when evaluating a life insurance application. They also entail a client’s medical history like hospitalizations, medications or procedures or conditions. This help evaluates the possibility of a risk as a result of previous complications.

Examination questions may also ask about the name, address, telephone number and other vital information of the doctors that have treated you or you have consulted in the past few years. The previous medical experiences provided help to narrow down what to look for in a person’s medical exam. A wider database is provided by indulging several third parties.

These questions also help in identifying if the client might be suffering from any conditions, such as depression or anxiety. These examination questions also help identify the amount of life insurance the person is interested in. History of any form of medical disorders results in higher premiums due to the greater risks involved.

Other Life Insurance Application Sample Questions

These are asked to verify all the relevant risk classification factors and may include;

  • DUI (Driving Under the Influence) information. Used to check on the reckless driving of the applicant under the influence of alcohol or judgment impairing drugs. Multiple encounters imply higher risk.
  • Pharmaceutical records to check on any form of addiction and prescribed drugs, and also the types of drugs commonly used by the applicant and those diseases they treat.
  • Motor vehicle reports like speeding tickets issued to the applicant.
  • MIB (Medical Information Bureau) reports giving all the medical records of the applicant in the database.
  • History or plans to visit or travel to dangerous places such as deep caves or indulge in dangerous activities like skydiving.
  • The level of the applicant’s income, although not a risk factor, affects the amount to be covered by the company and thus the premium to be charged.

Always Tell the Truth

The insurance company will always seek third-party validation if there are any detectable signs of dishonesty, or simply as a means of being sure. There exist different penalties for lying to an insurance company. The penalties vary depending on the insurance company in question, the type of insurance and the state. Life insurance companies normally have a contestability period of one to two years, depending on the state. The period is used to investigate and verify an applicant’s claims actively.

At a minimum, the insurance company will charge higher premiums after unveiling the truth. The policy with the higher premiums may be approved in place of the lie originally presented. Also, the company may decline your application. Lying diminishes a person’s image, which may result in the company entirely denying going through with the application.

The insurance company may also reduce or cancel your death benefit. The lie may be detected after a person’s death. This is probably the worst since the fate lies on the terms of the company or the laws of the state. The beneficiaries are the ones to face the consequences since they may either lose the money entirely or get a lower amount than the expected.

Surprisingly, intentionally lying to an insurance company to get lower premiums can also be shortlisted as a fraud. Thus, legal actions can be taken against an individual whose lies can be proven without any reasonable doubt. The consequences may vary depending on the type of insurance and the category of the alleged fraud. The court hearings and all will result in the person losing more money than that which could have been gained.

Why You Should Engage an Independent Life Insurance Agent

Even though every life is important, people are different. What best suits me may not work for you. As the saying goes, ‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison’. The same principle may apply when it comes to selecting an insurance company. This brings about the relevance of having an independent life insurance agent. Many people nowadays may choose to buy their insurance covers online as it is easier and faster while they escape the added commissions brought by an agent.

If you decide to work with an independent agent, you will not only save on your life insurance, but you will also avoid the stress associated with shopping around for your policy. The agent knows the market pretty well and can, therefore, explore the market on your behalf and find the right policy for you. The good part of it is that the agents have vast knowledge about different insurance companies and know which ones have the best products.

But it is good to know that not all agents are created the same. When hiring one, you need to be extremely cautious. Make sure you go for an agency with vast experience in the field. Ask if they have represented many clients in the past and if possible as for some references. By so doing, you will sure that the selected agency is going to do a great job.

Do Agents Add to the Cost of Insurance?

The truth is, what they bring to the table is more than what they take. Insurance agents help find better coverage and also cut down on the costs of insurance policy. The benefits of having an agent include:

  1. Smoother insurance claims – Following up on insurance matters after losing a loved one can be a hectic task, and very depressing to anyone who is a close family member. This is where the agent comes in, a neutral party who is not emotionally attached, who can follow up on everything without losing their cool.
  2. Better insurance policy – Agents are important in ensuring that a fair amount of coverage is provided and that your family will enjoy the benefits for a fixed period. An agent will also assist in offering guidance to the client that helps you to understand different coverage and compare them thus you can choose affordable coverage.
  3. Insurance guidance – A life insurance agent will guide you on changes that occur in the insurance laws and advice you accordingly on which law benefits and suits you better depending on your condition, situation, and stage in life.
  4. Planning of finance and tax – life insurance agent helps you meet your financial goals and save on tax by choosing the best insurance policy. They help in finding the important tax saving options that benefit you most.
  5. Help in identifying discounts and insurance premiums – premiums may differ across insurance plans and the policy terms which the agents identify. The agents will help you to determine premium discount rates payable and the mode of payment. They may also help you in identifying other ways, such as joint policy and a universal life insurance policy that cut the cost of life policy.

Conclusion

Life insurance coverage is a pole of a family’s household life. This insurance coverage helps your loved ones not to suffer at the time of your demise by assuring them financial security. This security is ascertained by cash flows that arise from the benefits of your savings and are provided as promised for a fixed period. This coverage can, therefore, allow for children educational fee such as college and also can cover for funeral costs and uncovered medical expenses, thus relieving your family of money burden and stress. The coverage, therefore, allows for a better life for loved ones even when the source of income is not there anymore.

Obtaining a life insurance cover will require an examination, and it is advisable that during this exam you do not give false information as this will lead to increased premium costs if falsification is detected. The use of an agent helps you obtain insurance premiums and discounts, thus making insurance claim smoother by ensuring better insurance coverage. A life insurance policy can be affected by age, gender, health, medical history, and lifestyle and therefore lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking, and use of drugs can increase your insurance costs. The main benefit of this type of insurance is that it ensures that the monetary needs of your loved ones are protected should you lose income due to critical illness or death.

About Jason Hill
About Jason Hill

Jason is the founder of CFAinsure. His years of experience in the business have helped him serve and represent hundreds of clients. Jason ensures his clients are well educated and informed by putting their needs first. Each appointment is tailored to individual needs, via specific materials and educational tools. The real benefit for his clients is the end result: peace of mind.

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