Free life insurance quotes in minutes
No-medical exam life insurance foregoes the medical exam so you can get life insurance quickly at a competitive price.
Patrick Hanzel, CFP®
Updated June 2, 2021|6 min read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The life insurance application process usually involves a medical exam. The exam takes 30-45 minutes and is similar to an annual physical: a technician or nurse will check standard vital signs and may take a blood or urine sample. The process isn’t difficult—the nurse will accommodate you at your home or office—but it’s an extra step that you might want to avoid.
As its name suggests, no-medical exam life insurance gives you the ability to bypass the standard physical by allowing insurers to set your rates based on your past health records. While the option won’t always speed up the application process, it can simplify the experience of buying term or whole life insurance.
Here’s how to choose the best no-exam life insurance policy for your needs.
Underwriters use previous medical records to determine your premiums
Term life insurance with no medical exam offers competitively priced coverage for individuals in good health
Whole life insurance with no medical exam is costly and is best for those who don’t qualify for traditional coverage
No-medical exam life insurance policies skip the standard medical exam required for most traditional life insurance policies. There are two types of no-medical exam coverage:
Term life insurance with no medical exam: Policies are comparable to traditional term life insurance and are best if you don’t have complex health conditions or risky hobbies. Instead of an exam, your underwriter will use your medical history, including previous labs, prescription history, and any past diagnoses, to set your rates.
Whole life insurance with no medical exam: No-exam whole life comes with low coverage and high premiums, so this option is best for older people in poor health with an urgent need for coverage. Policies only require a phone interview, and most people are approved.
Ready to shop for life insurance?
The chart below shows how a few different types of no-medical exam coverage compare to traditional term life insurance:
|POLICY DETAILS||TRADITIONAL TERM LIFE||TERM LIFE NO-MEDICAL EXAM||SIMPLIFIED WHOLE LIFE||GUARANTEED ISSUE|
|Waiting period||Average||Fast||Fast||Very fast|
|Coverage||$25,000 - $10 million||$50,000 - $3 million||$40,000||$25,000|
|Term||Up to 30 years||Up to 30 years||Lifetime||Lifetime|
|Ages||Up to 85||Up to 65||Ages 45 - 85||Ages 50 - 85|
If you have few or no health or lifestyle risks and want a speedy application process, we recommend no-exam term life insurance from two of our partner insurers: Brighthouse and Lincoln Financial.
Both policies offer all the perks of a traditional term life insurance policy at a competitive price. You can expect shorter waiting periods—one to three days instead of five to six weeks—and coverage comparable to medically underwritten life insurance.
Brighthouse SimplySelect, offered exclusively through Policygenius, offers up to $2 million in term life insurance coverage for applicants aged 25-50. It was rated the best no-exam life insurance policy by Forbes in April 2021. 
The underwriter will conduct a phone interview and carefully review your records. Within 24 hours, you’ll know if your application has been accepted, rejected, or referred to the underwriter, meaning your application or interview raised some questions that require a closer review.
Unlike Lincoln TermAccel, Brighthouse will only approve or deny your application and does not have the option to complete a medical exam if your application has any red flags.
Lincoln TermAccel is a competitive term life policy for individuals who are in good health. Policies offering up to $1 million in coverage are available to applicants between 18-60 years old, with some age restrictions for 30-year terms and smokers.
The policy is especially valuable for people who may not qualify for an affordable no-medical exam policy elsewhere, including:
Lincoln also conducts a phone interview and reviews health records in place of a medical exam. Within two to three days, you’ll likely get an application approval (or denial).
However, if the underwriter notices any red flags or irregularities, they might ask you to take the medical exam or additional lab tests. In that case, it will take a little longer to get a policy decision, but you could still be eligible for affordable rates and won’t have to restart the application process with another provider.
There are other types of life insurance that offer coverage with no exam, including no-exam whole life, group life insurance, and temporary life insurance.
There’s almost always a better choice than whole life insurance in terms of cost and coverage, but if your age and/or health prevent you from buying another type of insurance, no-exam whole life can provide your family with some financial protection.
There are two common types of whole life insurance you can get without taking the medical exam:
Guaranteed issue life insurance: A type of final expense insurance that offers almost certain approval as long as you can afford the high premiums. This is best for older people with serious health conditions who need assistance to cover end-of-life expenses.
Simplified issue life insurance: Another type of final expense coverage that offers slightly lower rates and higher coverage than guaranteed issue. You’ll need to fill out a medical questionnaire and could be disqualified if you require assisted care or have a more complex health history.
Two additional types of life insurance offer coverage without an exam, but they’re only available in specific circumstances.
Group life insurance: Some employers offer subsidized life insurance as a benefit to employees, which rarely requires medical information. However, you’re unlikely to get the full amount of coverage you need (our advisors recommend 10-15x your income).
Temporary life insurance: Temporary coverage is only available while you wait for a decision on your life insurance application. Three Policygenius partners allow you to buy temporary coverage before taking a medical exam: Banner, Lincoln, and Pacific Life.
Ready to shop for life insurance?
The price of no-medical exam life insurance can vary greatly depending on the type of policy you buy. No-exam term life may be virtually the same price as a medically underwritten policy, but no-exam whole life is much more expensive.
Based on June 2021 Policygenius data, a 50-year-old male would pay $136.96 per month for a $25,000 guaranteed issue policy. But a 50-year old male who qualifies for a term no-medical exam policy could pay $87.63 per month for a $500,000, 20-year policy—20 times the coverage for about $50 less.
Whether you qualify depends on the type of no-exam insurance you want to buy and your individual circumstances.
Here are some instances where it might make sense to purchase no-medical exam life insurance:
You’re in relatively good health.
You don’t want to take an in-person medical exam due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
You’re a 30-year-old male smoker with no other medical conditions. By skipping the exam, you might get a better rate than you would with a traditional policy.
You’re a 55-year-old with moderate risk who doesn’t qualify for traditional life insurance.
You’re a 75-year-old with health issues looking to cover burial expenses.
You don’t have time to complete the underwriting process and need coverage quickly.
The amount of life insurance you’re eligible for depends on the company, type of policy, your age, health, and several other factors. Of the no-medical policies offered by Policygenius, Prudential FastTrack currently offers the highest maximum coverage amount of $3 million.
Below, you can compare the maximum coverage amounts for term, guaranteed issue, and simplified issue policies.
|INSURANCE PRODUCT||MAXIMUM COVERAGE AMOUNT|
|Term life insurance with no medical exam||$3,000,000|
|Guaranteed issue whole life insurance||$25,000|
|Simplified issue whole life insurance||$50,000|
People with a high net worth who need a financial security net above $3 million should not get no-medical exam life insurance. A traditional life insurance policy can reach well into the millions, while a policy without a medical exam is limited to one to three two million.
The best life insurance company for one person might not offer competitive coverage or pricing for another. At Policygenius, we want affordable and robust coverage to be easy to find for everyone.
Policygenius takes a comprehensive approach to determine the best no-medical exam life insurance companies out there. We don't get paid for reviews and evaluate an extensive set of criteria to come up with an unbiased analysis to help you find the right insurer.
Our independent analyses consist of life insurance recommendations by experts in the field and data from the 11 life insurance companies we offer in our marketplace. Our reviews and recommendations have helped over 30 million people find affordable life insurance that fits their needs.
Policygenius also weighs ratings from third-party agencies in our assessments. The most common third-party life insurance ratings come from:
An insurance company’s ratings and reviews can point you to an insurer you can rely on for your family’s financial protection. Most of the biggest life insurance companies are financially secure.
While you should look at BBB ratings, keep in mind some reviews may be from customers who had particularly positive or negative experiences that aren’t necessarily representative of the company as a whole. The best-rated companies have high marks all around.
The best life insurance company for you depends on your needs, and you should always shop around to get the best rate. Most people pick the cheapest policy that has the coverage they need, but it’s important to compare other features, like what riders a company offers, their customer service record, and whether they’re best for your particular health profile.
Compare the market, right here.
Policygenius saves you up to 40% by comparing the top-rated insurers in one place.
If you’re looking for life insurance but don’t want to take a medical exam, a licensed agent at Policygenius can ensure you get the right amount of coverage at the most competitive price.
Yes. You can purchase no-medical exam life insurance, which evaluates your previous health records instead of requiring a medical exam.
Your insurer skips the traditional medical exam and instead relies on previous records to make an application decision. Some no-exam policies, like guaranteed issue life insurance, simply require that you pay your premiums to get coverage.
If you are in good health, term no-medical exam policies offer affordable coverage. Traditional term life insurance is more affordable and flexible than whole life insurance with no medical exam.
You can get up to $3 million in term insurance coverage with no exam. Whole policies without the medical exam offer up to $40,000 in coverage.
Was this article helpful?