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What to Expect: Your Life Insurance Medical Exam

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Now that you have decided to purchase life insurance you may be required to undergo a medical exam. The primary reason life insurance companies need to administer medical exams is to judge how much premium to charge a potential policyholder. If the company determines you are likely to die at an early age, they will want to collect more premiums early in your life, but if they feel you will live longer they would not need to collect as much from you in the early part of your life because you will be around longer to continue to make premium payments.

Life insurance companies try to accurately judge how long a potential policyholder will live with two factors: Longevity Charts and Medical Exams and History

Longevity charts are statistics on the mortality rates of people. Basically, longevity charts give an insurance company a way of knowing how many men, women, and children die when they are various ages. This information can help an insurance company determine what risk they are taking by choosing you as a policyholder. For example, say a longevity chart reveals that men at age 29 die on average at a higher rate than women at age 29. From that statistic the insurance company would be taking a larger risk by insuring a man than a woman. This is why insurance for children is very inexpensive, because the risk of a child dying is very low so the insurance company does not have to charge a large premium.

Your medical exam and history is the second factor in determining how much risk you are for the life insurance company. Usually your medical exam can be done in the privacy of your home or office unless the insurance company will require additional tests then you may be referred to a clinic to complete your medical exam. Things you can routinely expect to be asked about during your life insurance medical exam would be:

1. Your medical history

2. Your family’s medical history

3. Information about how to contact your primary doctor

4. Lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking, recreational drug use and exercise

5. How much life insurance you are interested in purchasing

Procedures you can routinely expect to be performed during your life insurance medical exam would be:

1. Measurement of your weight and height

2. Measurement of your blood pressure and pulse

3. Blood work (to check things such as cholesterol, glucose, protein, and HIV)

4. Urinalysis (to check things such as protein, glucose, creatinine and cocaine)

After undergoing the medical exam your insurance company will review the results to determine if you are insurable and for what premium. The time to fully process this information may take a few months. If you failed the medical exam or feel something on the medical exam was inaccurate you will want to ask the insurance company to send a copy of your medical exam results to you or your doctor. This way if you failed because you have a health problem you can address that with your doctor, but if you failed because of a mistake by the insurance company you and your doctor can remedy the situation immediately so your mistaken results will not stay on your health record and cause you to be denied for other insurance.

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