Life Insurance: How The Medical Exam Can Affect Your Quote

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The point of the medical exam for life insurance companies is to determine a person's overall health and risks. As such, the examiner will measure a person's pulse, height and weight (or body mass index), and blood pressure. There's also a blood test to check glucose levels and provide the insurer with other important information to make an informed decision in regards to the applicant.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Undergoing the Medical Exam

There are numerous insurers touting "no medical exam" life insurance, but these companies don't extend the most affordable rates to customers. When an applicant is in good health, doesn't participate in risky activities, and has a decent family history, they're better off undergoing the medical exam to qualify for more favorable life insurance rates. In most cases, in fact, the medical exam doesn't prove to be a problem. There are several categories under which policyholders fall that determine their premiums. These categories include Preferred Plus (the most affordable and hardest to qualify for), Preferred, Select, and Standard (the most expensive). The biggest disadvantage to applying for life insurance with a medical exam requirement is the risk of being turned down or being denied low-cost coverage. Smokers, heavy drinkers, and high-risk athletes such as rock climbers and skydivers cannot qualify for the most preferred rates and might even be denied coverage depending on the insurance company. As such, going the "no medical exam" route makes sense. Those choosing to undergo the medical exam option, however, should carefully prepare.

Preparing for the Medical Exam

There are certain things an applicant can do to improve the odds of passing the medical exam and qualifying for Preferred Plus or Preferred status. For starters, drink plenty of water before the exam. Water increases blood flow and boosts energy levels. A few days before the exam, be mindful of nutrition. Reducing sodium, cutting out sugar, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine can help improve test results. It's also acceptable to ask the examiner to measure blood pressure last. Many people are nervous at the start of an exam and exhibit higher-than-normal blood pressure, which is a phenomenon known as "white coat hypertension." Waiting until the end allows the applicant to calm down and feel at ease. Knowing what to except during the medical exam can affect one's whole life and term life insurance quotes, it's important to be prepared.

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