newborn baby sleeping on father's chest

Difference between No Exam Life Insurance and Traditional Term

A no exam life insurance or, a non-med term life insurance plan is different from a traditional term plan where in order to get the coverage, the applicants to go through a free mini-medical exam.
A nurse/paramedic visits you at your location of choice; and depending on how old you are and how much coverage you have applied for, takes your blood pressure reading, draws blood, confirms your height and weight etc. The underwriter at the carrier depends on this to figure out how much risk an insurance company is taking in giving you a life insurance coverage. This plus a few other pieces of information on your health which are requested in the backend dictate what your premium is going to be. The average time from application submission to approval is between 4-8 weeks.

A few reputable insurance companies forgo the medical exam part altogether, especially if you are in good health. They do, however, charge a little extra premium for this option. For those who are not comfortable with a medical exam, this can be a great option. Please keep in mind that this a privilege and not a right. If the other reports on you show bad health, this option of no exam may be withdrawn by the company.

Why would you consider a no-exam, instant issue term life insurance?

  • If you are trying to secure a business loan and urgently need a life insurance policy to finalized it.
  • You need to list children a beneficiaries in a divorce decree.
  • Aslo, if you hate needles and medical exams, this life insurance option can be your savior.

No Medical Exam Life Insurance

Ethos life insurance

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A lifetime of life insurance

Sometime back a potential client in average health called me from New Jersey. At 41, he had suffered through a history of high blood pressure and depression for quite a while. A non-smoker and otherwise in good shape, this family law attorney got married a couple of years back and now his wife was pregnant with their first child.

He wanted a guaranteed lifetime of life insurance coverage of $1,000,000 on himself. At the same time, he did not want to pay premiums for the rest of his life. I offered him had a 30-year term, a 30-year return of premium term, a universal life insurance plans without cash values with the last premium to be paid at age 65; and participating whole life insurance with cash values (pay only till 65).
Of course, I looked into multiple insurance carriers to find him the best options. Here is what I found. His 30-year term was for $228 monthly; return of premium term for $446; universal life plan (pay only till 65) for $850 monthly; and whole life for $1,786 monthly. A 30-year term for $228 monthly premium made the most sense to him at this point in life.

But his heart was set on a policy with a lifetime of coverage. He also wanted to come back in a few years when his practice would begin to do better and convert the term policy into a permanent life insurance plan.  This is where it becomes tricky. Since there are always multiple insurance carriers fighting for your business, it is not always a good idea to go with the one that offers the lowest premium. In his case, for a few dollars more, I found him an A+ rated solid carrier with excellent options to convert to a whole life or guaranteed universal life in future.

The lowest premium term life insurance policy may not be the best option for you.

In my experience, most people who buy a term life insurance policy do it because they could not afford the higher premium of a permanent policy. Since our needs and affordability change over time, it is always a good idea to talk to your insurance advisor before accepting a life insurance carrier. You want to make sure that if you cannot purchase a lifetime of coverage today, you do have reasonable options to pick one in future.


Since most of us do not live beyond the age of 120, a permanent life insurance policy guarantees a financial cushion or in many cases a financial legacy for your loved ones. If purchased at the right time in life, a lifetime of life insurance coverage can be surprisingly affordable.

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