Traditionally, getting an insurance coverage requires one to undergo a lengthy and tedious underwriting process. This usually consists of an interview and a medical exam.
Essentially, the interview is designed to assess your medical history. For this purpose, you might be asked about your previous illnesses, family’s medical history, occupation, lifestyle, vices, driving record, and even military service record. You have to understand that the goal of the insurer here is to get a clear picture of your full medical history and health risks.
The medical exam is meant to evaluate your current health and discover any existing ailments. In this process, a nurse or a medical professional might visit you at home to check your vitals, get your measurements, and get a blood and urine sample.
Using all the data from these processes, the insurer will decide whether you are qualified to get coverage for the type of insurance that you’ve applied for. Believe it or not, the insurers want you to be in good of health. If you live longer, it means you will pay them the monthly premium as long as it takes. That’s just how the business works.
Now, conventional insurance also entails a waiting period, which means you can’t claim benefits until your applied coverage has reached its maturity period. An insurance waiting period is a mandated period that is typically set at 2-3 years. In other words, you will need to keep paying the premium for at least a couple of years or more before you can claim the benefits.
To be fair with the insurance companies, the waiting period protects them from losing money. If this policy is not in effect, anyone can simply get a coverage, quickly file a benefits claim, and then just cancel the coverage afterward.
So, what if you badly need a coverage but you don’t want to wait too long to claim your benefits? What if you’re too busy to deal with the cumbersome underwriting process? Or if you’re like most people, what if you dread getting poked by a needle?
Luckily for you, the insurance companies finally realized that the medical exam is turning people off. And they also recognized that the insurance waiting period doesn’t always work for people who are in situations where they need the benefits right away.
As a result, many insurers now offer a life insurance that doesn’t require a medical exam and a policy that doesn’t have a waiting period.
Here are the different types of no exam life insurance if you’re looking for one.
Simplified Issue Life Insurance
As its name suggests, this type of insurance is a simplified version of the traditional life insurance policy. It has a very simple and quick underwriting process. It doesn’t require a medical exam. All you need to do is to answer a few questions that pertain to your medical history. Take note that these are very straightforward and specific health-related questions and you can finish them in just a few minutes.
To compensate for the absence of a medical exam, the insurers usually check your medical record in the Medical Information Bureau (MIB), your prescription record in the prescription drug database, and your driving record in the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). More or less, they want to have your full medical profile so they can identify your mortality risk. Your life expectancy profile helps them determine if you are eligible for the type of policy that you have applied for.
Now, does this mean that your health condition would be an impediment to your simplified issue life insurance application? Not exactly.
With a simplified issue life insurance, your application can be easily approved even if you’re not in a very good health. The caveat, however, is you’d be paying a higher premium depending on your condition.
The best thing about the simplified issue policy is you can get a coverage right away once your application is approved. No insurance waiting period, either. As long as you’re paying the premium, you can claim for the benefits any time you need to.
In most instances, the approval just takes a few minutes or a just a few hours. In some instances, the insurer might request a physician’s record, but a few days delay caused by this request wouldn’t make a great difference. The simplified issue’s underwriting process would still be faster than the traditional life insurance policy.
Take note that there is no absolute guarantee that everyone who applies for a simplified issue insurance gets approved, but it is safe to say that your chances of getting the coverage is very high.
Being quick and easy, a simplified issue insurance has a few trade-offs. Aside from its limited policy features, the most obvious among these trade-offs are the high premium on the policy and the lower face amount when compared with the traditional insurance. Normally, the coverage amount is capped at $250,000 to $500,000. You would be lucky if you can find a million-dollar coverage, although some insurers also offer this amount.
You should know that the low face amount makes sense because the insurers are taking risks financially when they give you a coverage even if you have a frail health.
Basically, age and health condition is a factor that influences the amount of premium that you’ll have to pay. In other words, if you’re older and have a medical condition, you might be approved for a policy with a higher premium. But if you’re relatively young and in a very good health condition, then you might get a policy with a very small premium.
In terms of the length of the policy, the simplified issue life insurance is usually offered from 10 up to 20 years for a term life insurance coverage. For a permanent insurance policy, you might have to choose whole life insurance or universal life insurance.
For your insurance carrier needs, here are a couple of the best companies that offer a simplified issue policy:
Founded in 1896, Fidelity Life is a stock life insurance carrier that operates all throughout the United States, except New York and Wyoming. It is a subsidiary of the Lifestory Interactive and both are under the umbrella of Members Mutual Holding Company. Currently, Fidelity Life is among the top 10 life insurance companies in the country.
Fidelity Life is an industry giant with more than $31 billion worth of life insurance policies in force and $61 million worth of new life insurance premiums. Its total assets amount to $406 million with a statutory capital and surplus that’s worth $128 million. A.M. Best rates this company with A-, which is an excellent grade.
Fidelity Life’s simplified issue life insurance or no exam life insurance policy is focused on its RAPIDecision® term policy which has a very fast underwriting process. You can be approved in a matter of days. It requires no exam or tests except for a few simple medical history-related questions. It has no waiting period either.
This product, which is convertible to a permanent insurance, is a level death benefit term life policy which provides a coverage of up to age 95 with a face amount of up to $300,000. It offers a term period of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 years. It also provides an accelerated death benefit and a few optional riders which include a dependent child rider, waiver of premium rider, return of premium rider, and an accidental death benefit.
American National Insurance Company (ANICO)
Founded in 1905, the American National Insurance Company (ANICO) is one of the oldest, largest, and most stable life insurance companies in the country. Based in Galveston, Texas, this company boasts of 5 million policyholders from across the different U.S. states and territories.
The company has a rich portfolio of insurance products, which include the fixed and permanent whole life insurance, the fixed rate term life insurance, the permanent and flexible universal life insurance, the indexed universal life insurance, and the credit life insurance.
In terms of its no exam life insurance, American National offers a wide range of options. These include the Freedom Term Life Insurance, ValueGuard Whole Life Insurance, and the Legacy Whole Life Insurance.
American National offers a term policy with a length of 10, 20, and 30 years and a face amount that ranges from $50,000 to $250,000. It is eligible for individuals who are between 50 years old and 80 years old.
The application process is quick and easy. No medical exam needed although the company would check your medical history. In fact, you can be approved within 48-72 hours.
For your other insurance company options, you can also consider Forresters Financial, Assurity Life Insurance Company, American-Amicable Life Insurance Company of Texas, Phoenix Life Insurance Company, Sagicor Life Insurance Company, North American Life Insurance Company, Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance Company, and Americo Life Insurance Company.
Guaranteed Issue Life insurance
A guaranteed issue life insurance also doesn’t require a medical exam, but unlike the simplified issue policy, it takes the quick underwriting process up a notch—no medical questionnaires. In other words, no questions asked. As long as you can pay the premium, you’re guaranteed to get a coverage.
A guaranteed issue life insurance is ideal for people who are 50 years old and above who have very poor health and can’t find any other options to get insured. That’s why this is called the insurance of “last resort.” This type of insurance provides benefits to cover debts, medical bills, and burial costs. This is also the reason why it is also referred to as the “burial insurance.”
Depending on the insurer, the face amount of this policy usually ranges from $5,000-$30,000. It is a small benefits amount when compared with other types of policy, but it is nonetheless a good option if you cannot be eligible for any other insurance. The little drawback with this policy is the very high premium. This is intended to protect the insurers because they are practically taking risks in giving out a coverage even if the clients have medical conditions and can claim benefits at any given time.
A guaranteed issue life insurance is usually enforced with a graded death benefit. It’s a type of limitation for claiming the benefits. This means that the death benefits can’t be claimed in full if the insured died before a prescribed amount of time, which is normally two years. If the insured died before or within that two-year period, the beneficiaries will only get a refund of the premium that was already paid plus a 10% interest. In other words, no full death benefit payout. This would not be the case if the insured died of accidental death or murder. In this case, the beneficiaries will get the full face amount of the policy.
If you’re shopping around for a guaranteed issue life insurance, here’s a couple of good options:
Gerber Life Insurance
Founded in 1967, Gerber Life Insurance is one of the top carriers for no exam policies. Although it provides other insurance products, it is popular for its guaranteed whole life insurance product which has a face amount that ranges between $5,000 and $25,000. This amount of coverage is offered at $1,000 increments. Take note that the policy comes with a graded death benefit.
Gerber Life’s guaranteed life insurance is eligible to individuals who are between 50 years old and 80 years old. The underwriting process is also very simple and fast. Regardless of your health condition, you can be approved as long as you can pay the premium. You also wouldn’t have to undergo a medical exam or fill out a lengthy questionnaire. Once you applied, you can be approved in a matter of minutes or hours at most—and that’s guaranteed.
While the premium may be high, one of the best things about Gerber’s guaranteed life insurance is the cash value that’s attached to the policy. This is an amount that the company sets aside from the premium that you pay each month. This money grows and accumulates over time. It means the longer you own the policy, the more cash value you can accumulate from the insurance.
Now, the best part is you can use this money any time you need to, especially when you need a fund during an emergency. There are many ways you can use this money. In fact, you can get the whole cash value and cancel the policy or you can opt to just borrow an amount from it to cover some personal expenses. You can even use it to pay your monthly premium.
Just remember that when you borrowed an amount from the cash value, you will have to pay it back with an 8% interest. In case you die, your owed amount will be deducted from the total benefits that will be given to your beneficiaries.
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) Life Insurance Company
Founded in 1919, the American International Group or AIG is a certified heavyweight in the insurance sector. With several other companies under its umbrella, it is present in more than 80 countries and offers a rich portfolio of financial products and services, including insurance.
As of last year, the AIG has a total asset worth $498,301 million and boasts of more than 88 million policyholders in different parts of the world. It is a publicly traded company with stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
The AIG Life Insurance Company is one of the leading carriers of guaranteed issue life insurance. These policies, including other insurance products, are issued by its subsidiary company named American General Life Insurance Company (AGL).
The AIG provides the Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance. It is a policy that is available for people who are between 50 years old and 85 years old and it offers a coverage that ranges from $5,000 to $25,000.
As a guaranteed issue, this policy has fast underwriting process. You don’t need to undergo a medical exam or answer health-related questions either. As long as you applied, you’ll get a coverage right away even if you have a medical condition. The policy comes with a graded death benefit (2 years) and some free-living benefits, which include a chronic illness rider and a terminal illness rider.
For your other insurance company options, you can also consider the Mutual of Omaha, New York Life Insurance Company, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), and the Americo Financial Life And Annuity Insurance Company, Inc.
Graded Death Benefit Life Insurance
A graded death benefit life insurance is a type of no exam permanent policy with a waiting period that is usually two years.
Just like the guaranteed issue life insurance, it doesn’t require a medical exam and no medical questions either. Anyone can almost get approved even if the person has a serious medical condition. Although it has a very quick underwriting and approval process, it tends to be a very expensive form of insurance. But it’s a downside that you can accept if you have no other options elsewhere to get an insurance coverage.
With the graded death benefit life insurance, a waiting period of two years is usually prescribed. This means that you can’t claim a full death benefit payout until this period elapsed; and unless you died through an accident.
If you die within the two-year limitation period, your beneficiaries will only receive the total amount of premium that you have already paid plus a certain interest. The amount of interest is typically pegged at 10%, but it still depends on the insurer. The face amount for a graded death benefit life insurance usually ranges from $5,000 to $30,000.
Graded death benefit life insurance is typically offered to people who are between 50 years old and 85 years old. It is a great type of insurance if you are uninsurable, have a medical condition, and living on a small fixed income.
For your carrier options, here are two of the best insurance companies that provide a graded death benefit life insurance:
Assurity Life Insurance Company
The Assurity Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of the mutual holding company Assurity Group, Inc. which has a beginning that dates back to 1890. It is one of the most established and oldest insurance companies in the industry, and after 128 years in the business, it remains among the top providers of all types of insurance in the United States. With over $2 billion in assets, this company is also one of the most stable insurance carriers that you can find.
Assurity’s graded death benefit life insurance is under its LifeScape Simplified Whole Life product which is also a no exam policy. It also doesn’t require the applicants to answer health-related questions. As for the underwriting process, you can be assured that the application is easy and the approval is fast.
The policy is eligible for individuals who are between 40 years old and 80 years old. It has a coverage amount that ranges between $5,000 and $35,000. This face amount will be paid partially in the first two years of the coverage.
During the first year, the amount of payout is equal to 40%. In the second year, it will be 75%. In the third year—which is the period when the policy matures—you can already get a full 100% payout.
American-Amicable Life Insurance Company of Texas
The American-Amicable Life Insurance Company of Texas has a heritage that goes back to 1910, which also make this company one of the oldest in the insurance sector. It is a subsidiary of the American-Amicable Group which is now owned by the Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services, Inc. after a successful acquisition in 2010.
In terms of financial strength, this company is very solid and stable. A.M. Best gives it an A rating which is excellent. Like the rest of the companies with no exam policies, the company also provides a very quick application and approval process. No medical exam needed. This company has several life insurance products, but in terms of its graded death benefit life insurance, you might have to look at its whole life insurance offering.
The policy has a maximum coverage amount of $15,000 and it is paid partially during the first two years. This means that your beneficiaries will get 30% of the face amount if you die during the first year of the policy and 70% if you die during the second year of the waiting period. In the third year and beyond, the face amount will be paid in full to your beneficiaries in the event of your death.
For your other options, you can also look at Gerber’s Life Insurance Company, Farmers Insurance, Security National Life Insurance Company, Aetna, and the American International Group (AIG).
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