What to Expect For a Life Insurance Physical Exam

There is a hilarious sub plot in Jennifer Aniston’s Along Came Polly where an eccentric (and risk taking) billionaire is attempting to get a life insurance policy. His lifestyle and habits are scrutinized by the company, most notably by Ben Stiller’s character, in order to determine if he is a poor risk.

Of course he was, but got the insurance anyway, just like the hero got Polly. Luckily, your lifestyle won’t be put under that extensive of a microscope when you apply for a life insurance policy. You might however be asked to take a physical exam.

What is the Insurance Company Looking For?

A life insurance company is not going to expect you to be in perfect health, but they are also not going to want to insure someone who has a condition that is going to shorten their life. Certain immune disorders are checked for as well as a slew of other types diseases.

Admittedly, they are also checking to see if you have any drugs in your system, prescription, recreational or otherwise. Again, this is a precaution to make sure that the person who is being insured is not making lifestyle choices that can shorten their life span.

What Can You do to Make Sure You are Cleared for Life Insurance?

First of all be honest. A detailed medical history will be filled out, but verified during the exam. If you smoke, admit it. Your wheezing lungs are going to give you away during the exam anyway. And if your lungs don’t give you away your teeth will. That’s right, the examining physician is going to ask you to say aahh, and there is not an electric toothbrush in the world or a tooth paste strong enough to get rid of those stains on your teeth or smoker’s breath.

Once the head to toe exam is finished you will be asked to provide a blood and urine sample. Depending on the amount of life insurance you are applying for, this could be just a finger prick worth of blood or enough to conduct a full profile.

The exam may be more intensive if you are asking for a high valued policy. In this case it may include tests to ascertain the strength of your heart and lungs and cognitive tests to determine brain function.

Find out more about life insurance considerations you should take before surgery.

Who Gets the Results?

The results get sent to the insurance company who will use their own algorithm to decide if you qualify for a policy and for what amount. Don’t let this scare you away from life insurance, this is just a precaution that providers take. They don’t expect every qualifying applicant to be in perfect health.

If you do want to improve your odds, make sure that you get a good nights rest the night before and stay away from caffeine and cigarettes. Try to make the appointment in the morning and stay as relaxed as possible while waiting for it.

Life insurance is necessary, especially if you have a young family that depends on it. Make sure that you don’t avoid this just because you feel like you may not be healthy enough.

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