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The best no-medical exam life insurance options in 2021

No-medical exam life insurance foregoes the medical exam so you can get life insurance quickly at a competitive price.

Nupur GambhirAmanda Shih author photo

By

Nupur Gambhir

Nupur Gambhir

Life Insurance Expert

Nupur Gambhir is an insurance editor at Policygenius and licensed Life, Health, and Disability agent in New York.

&

Amanda Shih

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih is an insurance editor and licensed Life, Health, and Disability agent at Policygenius in New York City. Her work has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Jetty, and J.D. Power.

Expert reviewed

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

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ & Advanced Planning Team Lead

Patrick Hanzel is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Advanced Planning Team Lead at Policygenius. He has eight years of insurance and financial industry experience and previously worked at Northwestern Mutual as an advisor and associate. His expertise has been featured on Lifehacker, Consumer Affairs, Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, and Fatherly.

Updated June 2, 2021|6 min read

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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.

Key Takeaways

  • 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

What is no-medical exam life insurance?

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: 

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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No-medical exam life insurance quick comparison

The chart below shows how a few different types of no-medical exam coverage compare to traditional term life insurance:

POLICY DETAILSTRADITIONAL TERM LIFETERM LIFE NO-MEDICAL EXAMSIMPLIFIED WHOLE LIFEGUARANTEED ISSUE
Cost$$$$$$$$
Waiting periodAverageFastFastVery fast
Coverage$25,000 - $10 million$50,000 - $3 million$40,000$25,000
TermUp to 30 yearsUp to 30 yearsLifetimeLifetime
AgesUp to 85Up to 65Ages 45 - 85Ages 50 - 85

The above information is based on quote averages of policies offered by Policygenius as of June 2021. Quotes are provided by our 11 partner life insurance companies: AIG, Banner, Brighthouse, Lincoln, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Principal, Protective, Prudential, SBLI, and Transamerica.

The best no-medical exam life insurance companies

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

Brighthouse Financial

4.4

|

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Brighthouse Financial logo

Brighthouse Financial offers a low-cost no-medical exam term life policy available exclusively through the Policygenius marketplace.

Pros

  • Fast-tracked coverage with SimplySelect

  • Very affordable

  • Instant decision approval

  • Convertible options available

Cons

  • Only few term lengths available

  • No rate reconsideration

Read our full Brighthouse Financial review

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Brighthouse SimplySelect 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. [1]  

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

Lincoln Financial

4.3

|

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Lincoln Financial logo

Lincoln Financial has a no-medical exam term life policy with quick decisions and affordable rates for all age ranges.

Pros

  • Affordable for older applicants

  • Can skip the medical exam

  • Extremely fast turnaround

  • Benefits marijuana users

Cons

  • Permanent policies are expensive

  • No whole life options

Read our full Lincoln Financial review

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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.

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.

Other types of no-medical exam life insurance

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. 

You’ll get lifelong coverage, but unlike standard whole life insurance, your policy won’t have an investment-like cash value component.

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.

You can buy guaranteed issue life insurance from Policygenius partners AIG and Mutual of Omaha, both of which also offer simplified issue policies.

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.

How much does no-medical exam life insurance cost?

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.

Who qualifies for no-medical exam life insurance?

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.

How much life insurance can you get without a medical exam?

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 PRODUCTMAXIMUM 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

Methodology: Information based on policies offered through Policygenius by AIG, Banner, Brighthouse, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha, and Prudential in June 2021.

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.

Methodology: How we chose the best no-medical exam companies

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.

→ Check out all our life insurance company reviews

Third-party ratings

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.

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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.

Best no-medical exam life insurance FAQ:

Can you get life insurance without a medical exam?

Yes. You can purchase no-medical exam life insurance, which evaluates your previous health records instead of requiring a medical exam.

How does no medical exam life insurance work?

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.

Should I get no-medical exam life insurance?

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.

How much life insurance can you get without a 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.

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