Q

Can I get life insurance faster with accelerated underwriting?

A

Accelerated underwriting can help healthy people age 18 to 60 get life insurance faster by forgoing a medical exam and using existing records to set policy rates.

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By 

Nupur Gambhir

Nupur Gambhir

Senior Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Nupur Gambhir is a licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert and a former senior editor at Policygenius. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service Cake.

 & Amanda Shih

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih is an editor and a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about life insurance and disability insurance. Her expertise has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Little Spoon, and J.D. Power.

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Expert reviewed

This article has been reviewed by a licensed Policygenius expert to ensure that sources, statistics, and claims meet our standard for accurate and unbiased advice.

Learn more about our editorial review process.

by

Eloise Spinello

Eloise Spinello

Associate Director, Carrier Relationship Management

Eloise Spinello is a life insurance expert and the Associate Director of the Carrier Relationship Management team at Policygenius.

Updated January 5, 2022 | 3 min read

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Typically, getting a life insurance policy takes between five and six weeks. Most of that time is dedicated to underwriting, when your potential insurer evaluates the risk you pose of dying while your policy is active.

If you want to get life insurance faster, accelerated underwriting (AU) life insurance could get you approved for a policy in under two weeks or, with certain insurance companies, even one day. Accelerated underwriting allows 18- to 60-year-olds to forgo the medical exam, using readily available data and previous medical records to set your premiums for term life insurance coverage.

Here’s how accelerated underwriting works, who qualifies for coverage, and the best companies for an AU policy.

What is accelerated underwriting?

Accelerated underwriting is a type of no-medical-exam life insurance that speeds up the typical underwriting process by dropping the medical exam and APS request requirements for term life insurance policies.

You'll still have an initial medical interview over the phone and the insurance company still checks various reports, including medical records, Medical Information Bureau information, your motor vehicle report, and your prescription history. If there are no concerns about the riskiness of your health or finances, you’ll likely be approved.

Accelerated underwriting is different from simplified underwriting, which doesn’t include a medical exam but is used for more costly burial insurance policies.

Who should get accelerated underwriting life insurance?

Accelerated underwriting policies are a good option if you: 

  • Need coverage as soon as possible 

  • Prefer to avoid blood tests

  • Prefer to avoid medical exams in general

  • Want to continue social distancing due to COVID-19

Who qualifies for accelerated underwriting?

You are not guaranteed to qualify for accelerated underwriting just because you’re in good health, but you are more likely to be approved if you are:

  • Age 18 to 60 years old

  • Generally healthy with no family history of serious medical conditions

  • In good financial shape with no recent history of bankruptcy and good credit

  • Clear of serious criminal charges, including felonies and moving violations

  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident

  • Someone who has not been declined insurance coverage in the past

If you’re in poor health or have a risky hobby, like skydiving, you may not be eligible. Heritable health conditions in your family health history, like breast cancer, will automatically disqualify you.

Being disqualified from accelerated underwriting doesn’t mean you can’t get life insurance. You’ll just go through traditional underwriting with a full medical exam. Approval percentages vary among accelerated underwriting insurers. Sixty-nine percent of Lincoln Financial TermAccel applicants are approved without submitting additional lab tests or an APS, according to 2021 Policygenius data. 

→ Learn more about getting life insurance

Where can you get accelerated underwriting life insurance?

You can get an accelerated underwriting life insurance policy through six of Policygenius’ partner insurers: Banner/William Penn, Brighthouse, Lincoln, Prudential, SBLI, and Transamerica. Here’s a quick comparison:

Life insurance companyTerm lengths availableAgesCoverage amount limitsRiders available
Banner/William Penn: Horizon AU10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, & 40 years20 to 60$100k to $2 millionAll riders
Brighthouse: SimplySelect10, 20, & 30 years25 to 50$100k to $2 million †Accelerated death benefit only
Lincoln: TermAccel10, 15, 20, & 30 years18 to 60 ††$100k to $1 millionAll riders
Prudential: FastTrack10, 15, 20, & 30 years18 to 60$100k to $3 millionAll riders
Transamerica: AU10, 15, 20, 25, & 30 years18 to 60$25k to $2 millionAll riders
SBLI: No-Med10, 15, 20, 25, & 30 years18 to 60$100k to $750kAll riders

†For Brighthouse Simply Select, coverage limits vary by risk class.
††For the Lincoln TermAccel 30-year term, the maximum issue age is 55 for non-smokers and 50 for smokers.

Methodology: Information based on policies offered by Policygenius in January 2022 and is subject to change.

For a comprehensive overview of each insurer’s customer service record and financial standing, take a look at our life insurance company reviews.

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The best accelerated underwriting policies in 2022

The right policy for you will vary depending on your individual circumstances. We recommend two options offered by our insurance partners, Brighthouse SimplySelect and Lincoln TermAccel, for their affordability and flexibility.

Brighthouse SimplySelect

According to Policygenius data, Brighthouse SimplySelect offers the lowest premiums for eligible AU applicants and some of the highest coverage amounts — up to $2 million. Most people receive an application decision immediately after their phone interview.

Check out the chart below to see how much you might pay for a Brighthouse SimplySelect policy each month. 

Sample rates: Brighthouse SimplySelect  

AgeSex$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
25Female$12.65$19.29$30.91
Male$15.36$24.31$40.93
35Female$14.55$22.69$37.73
Male$16.43$26.45$46.08
45Female$25.30$43.77$80.69
Male$31.57$56.30$104.08
55FemaleN/AN/AN/A
MaleN/AN/AN/A

Methodology: Sample monthly rates based on a 20-year term life insurance policy for male and female non-smokers with a Preferred health rating. Not all policies are available in all states. Individual rates will vary as specific circumstances will affect each customer's rate. Rate illustration valid as of 2/01/2022.

Lincoln TermAccel

Lincoln TermAccel offers up to $1 million in coverage and comes with a wider variety of riders than Brighthouse SimplySelect. It’s a great choice if you may not qualify for accelerated underwriting life insurance elsewhere: 

  • Applicants age 50 to 60

  • Marijuana smokers who don’t work in the industry 

  • Smokers who don’t qualify for other AU policies

Lincoln TermAccel premiums are some of the lowest in the industry. Here are sample monthly premiums: 

Sample rates: Lincoln TermAccel  

AgeSex$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
25Female$13.46$18.82$30.71
Male$15.90$24.19$41.01
35Female$14.83$22.42$38.08
Male$16.76$26.30$45.58
45Female$26.01$43.35$78.94
Male$32.46$55.58$104.05
55Female$55.03$98.08$188.54
Male$75.07$136.21$265.07

Methodology: Sample monthly rates based on 20-year term life insurance policy for male and female non-smokers with a Preferred health rating. Not all policies are available in all states. Individual rates will vary as specific circumstances will affect each customer's rate. Rate illustration valid as of 2/01/2022.

Accelerated underwriting isn’t the best fit for everyone. A Policygenius advisor will let you know if you qualify for an accelerated policy during your initial phone interview. If your accelerated policy is later rejected by the insurer, your agent will find the best alternative for your needs.

Frequently asked questions

How does accelerated underwriting work?

Accelerated underwriting forgoes a medical exam or attending physician statement (APS) and instead uses existing records to evaluate you for term life insurance. This shortens the application timeline to around two weeks or less.

Which life insurance companies offer accelerated underwriting?

Banner Life, Brighthouse, Lincoln Financial, Prudential, SBLI, and Transamerica offer accelerated underwriting life insurance through Policygenius.

Who is eligible for an accelerated underwriting life insurance policy?

Eligibility varies by insurance company. If you are a healthy individual between the ages of 18 and 60, don’t have a pre-existing medical condition, have no criminal record, and in good financial shape, you’re more likely to qualify.