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No medical exam life insurance

The life insurance application process is pretty straightforward and usually involves a medical exam, also called the paramedical exam. This 30-minute physical isn’t difficult — a technician or nurse will accommodate you at your home or office — but it’s an extra step that some applicants want to avoid.

It’s possible to skip the physical component of the exam with a no-medical exam life insurance policy (also referred to as instant issue or instant approval life insurance). Whether you’re buying term life or whole life insurance, there are ways to skip the medical exam and quickly buy life insurance with almost no waiting period.


  • There are two types of no-medical exam coverage: term life and whole life

  • Term life insurance with no medical exam offers competitively priced coverage for individuals in good health

  • Whole life insurance with no medical exam is typically used to pay for final expenses and is costly

What is no-medical exam life insurance?

No-medical exam life insurance policies don't require the standard medical exam that most traditional life insurance policies require during underwriting. There are two types of no medical exam life insurance policies: term no-medical exam life insurance and whole no-medical exam life insurance, which includes two types of final expense life insurance.

Term no-medical life insurance

Term life insurance policies with no medical exam are comparable to a medically underwritten life insurance policy and still ask the same life insurance medical questions. This type of policy substitutes the in-person medical exam with a thorough evaluation of your medical history, including your previous labs, prescription history, surgeries, and any past diagnoses.

Whole no-medical life insurance

We don’t typically recommend whole life insurance policies for the average person because they are more expensive for a smaller death benefit. The same is true for whole no-medical life insurance. However, if you're in poor health and have an urgent life insurance need, a whole no-medical exam policy ensures your loved ones have some financial protection.

Guaranteed issue and simplified issue whole life policies only necessitate the initial phone interview, to ensure you can pay for your policy. If you are eligible for the policy after the phone interview — most people are — you'll receive a policy offer and won't have to take any additional steps aside from signing your policy papers and paying your first premium.

No-medical exam life insurance quick comparison

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

Waiting periodAverageFastFastVery fast
Coverage$25,000 - $10 million$50,000 - $2 million$40,000$25,000
TermUp to 30 yearsUp to 30 yearsPermanentPermanent
AgesUp to 85Up to 65Ages 45 - 85Ages 50 - 85

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

→ Learn more about term life insurance here .

The best no-medical exam life insurance companies

It’s completely possible to get a term life insurance policy with optimal coverage at a competitive price without taking the medical exam. Accelerated underwriting speeds up the life insurance application process by allowing insurers to use your previous medical records so you can skip the exam.

Policygenius recommends term no-medical exam life insurance policies from two of our partner insurers — Lincoln Financial and Brighthouse. Both companies offer no waiting period, a thorough application process, and policies comparable to medically underwritten life insurance coverage.

Lincoln TermAccel

Lincoln TermAccel is a competitive policy for individuals in good health — though if you have a more complicated medical history, it may be harder to get approved for coverage. Policies are available to individuals 18-60, with some age restrictions for 30-year terms and smokers.

How does Lincoln TermAccel work?

Lincoln TermAccel offers all the perks of a traditional term life insurance policy – without an in-person medical exam – for individuals 18-60. Instead of an exam, Lincoln conducts a phone interview that is followed by a deep dive into your insurability via your prescription history, motor vehicle report, and medical history. Most of the time, this is enough information to warrant 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.

The entire process takes about two to three days — compared to the usual wait time of five to six weeks for a traditional life insurance policy.

The policy is especially valuable for people who may not get an affordable no-medical exam policy elsewhere. Marijuana users who don’t work in the industry can get competitive rates and smokers have a better chance of getting coverage than they would with other accelerated life insurance policies.

Even though the application process for a Lincoln TermAccel policy usually doesn’t require a medical exam, the coverage you can get is comparable. Term length offerings include 10-, 15-, 20-, or 30-year terms and the death benefit amount can be anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million. Policyholders have the option to convert their coverage into a whole life insurance policy at the end of its term. Other supplemental coverage options include the accelerated death benefits rider, children’s life insurance rider, and waiver of premium rider.

How much does Lincoln TermAccel cost?

Lincoln TermAccel premiums are some of the lowest in the industry. According to Policygenius quoting data, here’s how much you can expect to pay with a Preferred health classification for a $500,000 policy:


Methodology: Sample monthly premium rates based on 20-year term life insurance policy for non-smokers in Preferred health rating based in Columbus, Ohio; quotes based on policies offered by Policygenius in March 2021.

→ Read our full review of Lincoln Financial life insurance .

Brighthouse SimplySelect

Brighthouse SimplySelect is another no-medical exam term policy that offers coverage comparable to a traditional term life insurance policy almost immediately. You can get a term length of 10, 20, or 30 years and up to $2,000,000 in coverage.

How does Brighthouse SimplySelect work?

The application process forgoes the medical exam but includes a phone interview with your licensed agent or broker and a review of the following information:

  • Previous physicals and labs

  • Pharmacy records

  • Prior diagnoses and procedures

  • Medical billing records

  • Credit history

  • Driving history

  • Relevant public information such as criminal history or bankruptcy

Your financial justification for a policy will also be reviewed — and the death benefit amount will depend on your age and income. Within 24 hours of your phone interview, you’ll know if your application has been accepted, rejected, or if it has been “referred to the underwriter,” meaning your application or phone interview raised some questions that require Brighthouse to review before accepting or rejecting. 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 that could lead to a denial.

If your application is accepted, you’ll sign off on the policy via DocuSign and your coverage will be active. If it’s referred to the underwriter, the insurance company needs to ask you some additional questions before they make a decision.

The Brighthouse SimplySelect policy comes with supplemental riders. This includes a term conversion rider, which allows you to convert your coverage into a whole life insurance policy at the end of its term. You can also add an accelerated death benefit rider, which pays out some of the death benefit while you’re still alive if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.

How much does Brighthouse SimplySelect cost?

Check out the tables below to get an idea of how much you might pay for a Brighthouse SimplySelect policy. Your actual premiums will vary depending on your individual circumstances.


Methodology: Sample monthly premium rates based on 20-year term life insurance policy for non-smokers in Preferred health rating based in Columbus, Ohio; quotes based on policies offered by Policygenius in March 2021.

→ Read our full review of Brighthouse Financial life insurance .

What kind of life insurance policies can you get with no exam?

Aside from term no-medical exam life insurance, you can also get instant whole life insurance without taking a medical exam. Unlike term insurance, whole life insurance policies don’t expire; they last as long as you pay the premiums. There are a few types of whole life insurance policies with no medical exam:

Guaranteed issue life insurance

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of final expense life insurance that does not require a medical exam. It’s most commonly purchased by seniors who pose too high of a health risk to qualify for a simplified issue policy.

As the name suggests, your application is virtually guaranteed to be accepted as long as you can pay the premiums and don’t have a terminal illness — there is no medical exam and no health questionnaire. It’s essentially no-questions-asked life insurance, however, the benefit amount is much smaller — usually only enough to cover end-of-life expenses, which is why it’s sometimes called burial insurance. The premiums are much higher than other policies.

The payout from guaranteed issue policies can be used for:

  • Burial and funeral costs

  • Other end-of-life expenses

  • Medical bills

  • Outstanding debt like credit card bills

You can buy guaranteed issue life insurance from AIG, which offers coverage up to $25,000 for people ages 50 to 80 years old, and Mutual of Omaha, which covers up to $40,000 for those aged 45 to 85 years old.

Guaranteed issue life insurance should only be bought as a last resort and isn’t recommended for most people. There’s almost always a better choice in terms of cost and coverage, but for applicants too old or too unhealthy to qualify for another type of insurance, it can provide them with much-needed coverage.

→ Read our full guide to guaranteed issue life insurance .

Simplified issue life insurance

Mutual of Omaha offers simplified issue life insurance for applicants who need a low level of coverage. The death benefit for these policies is a lot lower than a term policy with no medical exam and usually maxes out at around $50,000.

Applicants need to be in sufficiently good health to qualify; there’s a medical questionnaire and history check involved, just like with the no-medical exam term life policy. That also means that not everyone who applies will be eligible. Pre-existing conditions may require a more thorough look at your health.

Unlike standard whole life insurance, no-medical exam whole life insurance doesn’t come with a cash value component that acts like an investment.

→ Read our full guide to simplified issue whole life insurance .

Group life insurance

Group life insurance (also called group term life insurance) is an employee benefit provided by some employers. You can’t purchase it individually, but it’s worth mentioning because it does not typically require a medical exam and can be a back-up or supplemental insurance option.

If you have dependents or debt, you should not use group life insurance as your primary form of financial protection because it provides low coverage amounts that are insufficient for most people.

If your employer is offering life insurance at no extra cost to you, it’s still a no-medical exam benefit that you should take advantage of, as long it isn’t your only form of coverage. Experts, including senior operations manager of Policygenius' advanced planning team Nicholas Mancuso, suggest people aim for 10-15 times their income in life insurance coverage to cover long-term costs and create a financial cushion.

→ Read our full guide to group life insurance .

How much does no-medical exam life insurance cost?

The cost of a no-medical exam life insurance policy varies by insurer and policy type. Some no medical exam life insurance policies, such as instant decision life insurance policies, can be even cheaper than traditionally underwritten policies — for the same amount of coverage. These policies still conduct thorough evaluations of your medical history. But no-medical exam life insurance policies that assume a certain amount of risk — such as guaranteed issue life insurance policies — will end up costing you more for lower amounts of coverage.

Who is eligible for no-medical exam life insurance?

There are various no-medical exam policies — some for individuals in good health, and others for individuals who may be ineligible for a traditional life insurance policy. The price of no-medical exam life insurance can also vary greatly: It may be virtually the same price as a medically underwritten policy, or it may be much more expensive because it’s targeted to unhealthy individuals who pose a higher risk. It all depends on your individual circumstances.

Here are some examples where getting a no-medical exam life insurance could make sense:

  • You’re in relatively good health.

  • You're abiding by social distancing mandates and cannot take an in-person medical exam

  • You’re a 30-year-old male smoker with no other medical conditions. By skipping the exam, you might get a better rate than 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 senior with health issues looking to use the death benefit to cover burial expenses.

  • You don’t have time to complete the underwriting process and want to be covered quickly.

People with a high net worth who need a large financial security net above $2 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 may be limited to one or two million.

How much life insurance can you get without an 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, Brighthouse SimplySelect currently offers the highest maximum coverage amount of $2 million. Below, you can compare the maximum coverage amounts for term, guaranteed issue, and simplified issue policies.

Term no-medical exam life insuranceLincoln TermAccel$1,000,000
Term no-medical exam life insuranceBrighthouse SimplySelect$2,000,000
Guaranteed issue whole life insuranceAIG$25,000
Guaranteed issue whole life insuranceMutual of Omaha$40,000
Simplified issue whole life insuranceMutual of Omaha$50,000

Methodology: Information based on policies offered by Policygenius in February 2021.

Additional no-medical exam policies are available through Policygenius.


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How to choose the best no-medical exam life insurance provider for you

Because each life insurance company treats each application differently, you’ll pay the most affordable premiums by shopping around with multiple insurers as opposed to working with just one. Working with an unbiased, independent broker like Policygenius helps you find a company that is favorable for your budget, coverage needs, and health profile at the most competitive price.

You can also get quotes from many different insurers right under one roof with just a few pieces of personal information, like your location, age, gender, and basic medical history. Though if you know you want a no-medical life insurance policy, it’s usually best to go directly to an agent from the beginning for the most accurate quotes.

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 ratings from trusted third-parties like A.M. Best, and whether they’re best for your particular health profile.

→ Learn more about the best life insurance companies

Coronavirus & no-medical exam life insurance options

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, it’s understandable if you prefer to get a policy that doesn’t require going out and getting a medical exam.

It’s important to note that getting a policy that doesn’t require a health exam still requires recent medical records and doesn’t necessarily shorten the life insurance application process. If you want a faster turnaround time after you apply for coverage, you’ll have to get a plan with a company like Brighthouse or Lincoln Financial, which has accelerated underwriting. An accelerated application doesn’t require a medical exam, but not everyone qualifies.

Temporary life insurance coverage with no medical exam

If, after speaking with a life insurance broker, you realize that a policy that requires a medical exam is your best option — or you simply want to ensure that you’re covered while you await a decision on your life insurance application — you don’t have to sacrifice the optimal amount of coverage for your safety and health if you can’t go out and get a medical exam right now.

You can opt-in for temporary life insurance coverage, which is the coverage you get during the life insurance application process so that if you die before your policy goes in-force, your beneficiaries still get some death benefit. This would enable you to postpone the medical exam portion of the underwriting process until the coronavirus outbreak subsides.

Most life insurance companies still require the completion of the medical exam for temporary coverage to go in force, but Policygenius works with three life insurance companies that offer this supplementary coverage without a medical exam:

To activate temporary coverage with either of these insurers, you’ll simply need to provide your payment information and sign the application for the broker.

You could see some limitations on your temporary coverage without taking a medical exam, but you’d still have some life insurance protection to protect your loved ones during the pandemic.

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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 a robust — and unbiased — analysis of carriers that will help you find the right one for your needs. Our independent analyses are comprised of life insurance recommendations by experts in the field and quote data from the 11 life insurance companies we offer in our marketplace. Our life insurance company reviews and recommendations have helped over 30 million people shop for the most affordable life insurance policy for 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:

Most of the biggest life insurance companies are financially secure, and 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 in general. The best-rated companies have high marks all around to provide peace of mind.

Shoppers can also see how big a company is by looking at its market share and the number of policyholders. Size is typically a good indicator of how well a company is doing, but shoppers shouldn’t be afraid to go with a smaller insurer, like a regional carrier or a membership carrier (like USAA), if it fits their needs.

An insurance company’s ratings and reviews can point you to an insurer you can rely on for your family’s financial protection. If you’re looking for life insurance but don’t want to take a medical exam, a licensed agent at Policygenius can work with you through the application process so you’re getting coverage from the best insurer for your circumstances at the most competitive price.


Can you get life insurance without a medical exam?

If you die prematurely, you can still get a life insurance payout for your loved ones with a no-medical exam life insurance policy.

How does no medical exam life insurance work?

No-medical exam life insurance offers coverage while foregoing the traditional medical exam and instead relying on previous records to make an application decision. Some no medical 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. If you aren’t eligible for a term no-medical exam policy, traditional term life insurance is a better coverage option than a whole no-medical exam policy.

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

You can get up to $2 million in life insurance coverage without taking the medical exam for a term policy. Whole policies without the medical exam offer up to $50,000 in coverage.