Chris and his team work with clients across the country to help them navigate the insurance and financial world. His mission is to help people and businesses have the protection they need at the lowest possible price. He works on behalf of his clients and not the insurance companies. When not researching the latest financial and insurance topics, Chris can be found spending time with his family...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: Oct 12, 2020

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Many people are undecided about which option is best in choosing between life insurance with and without an exam.

What’s the difference?

Most standard life insurance policies, whether term or permanent policies, generally require that you take a medical exam as part of the application process.

Quick Tip: Use the Instant Quote form on this page to view quotes for life insurance with and without an exam.

Some insurers will issue term policies depending on your age and response to health questions and may forego the exam. It also depends on the face coverage you apply for.

The purpose of the medical exam is so the insurer can more readily evaluate your overall health condition and rate you accordingly. Those who are younger and in better health will obviously reap the benefits of paying lower premiums.

Individuals who have health issues and those who are elderly may receive a lower rating which means they pay more. Individuals with more serious medical conditions may risk being declined altogether.

To avoid this possibility many of these individuals are looking at no-exam life insurance policies to avoid the possibility of being declined.

Life Insurance Without Exam Overview

Many life insurers are now advertising “No Medical” Life insurance policies. Many of these insurers offering this form of life insurance only require that you respond to a few health questions.

The main advantage of no medical policies is that they are very convenient. An application can be approved in anywhere from a few minutes but usually not more than 48 hours. The issuing of a life insurance policy with an exam can be as long as 6 – 8 weeks.

The other good aspect of no exam policies is the cost. Previously, when only a handful of companies were offering these policies, they were considerably more expensive than those requiring a medical exam.

Now, there are many more companies offering these policies.
As a result, increased competition has driven the cost of no policies much lower.

You will still pay less for policies which require a medical exam, but the cost differential has shrunk quite significantly.

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Who Needs a No Life Insurance Policy?

Everyone has their own reasons for considering a no medical exam policy. You might need one right away and you just don’t want to bother with the hassle of a comprehensive application process. Some people have a strong aversion to medical practitioners or hate the thought of being prodded with a needle.

You might require life insurance right away to cover a business or personal loan. You might be elderly or have severe health issues and fear that you might be declined.

There are many valid reasons why going this route can be a good choice.

Insurance Rates Comparison

The first thing to know is that applying online or directly with a life insurance company is not the best route to take. The cost differential between no policies offered by insurers is quite significant.

Be aware! Many of the no exam policies advertised on TV or online have premiums that increase every year or every 5 years.  Over time these policies end up costing much more than a standard no exam term policy that locks in the premium from 10 to 30 years.

The more important thing to keep in mind is that the no policies being advertised are very different. Some are a lot more expensive than others. The reason is that there are 6 DIFFERENT NO policies which are available.

Some are Term policies while others are Permanent policies which include Whole Life and Universal Life. Term policies are much cheaper so you want to be careful in which one you choose.

Additionally, 2 of the no policies are only best suited for those who are elderly and have very serious medical conditions. These include those described as:

• Graded Life Insurance
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Free Life Insurance Comparison

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Another thing to note is that many of the policies offered by life insurers may have age restrictions. Other life insurers may also include various exclusions for a variety of health conditions, impaired driving convictions, criminal history, smoking, and other exclusions.

You should also know that most companies which offer no policies may also check various databases such as the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) and the Prescription Database. The purpose is to ascertain whether you have answered the medical questions truthfully.

Failure to do so will likely result in being automatically declined for coverage.

The final thing to know is that the policy face amounts offered for no policies can also vary quite significantly. There are only a very small number of insurers offering policy amounts for more than $500,000.

There is only 1 life insurer offering a no policy for $1,000,000. Most companies limit their risk exposure by offering ceilings of $500,000 or lower.

All of these issues and limitations vary quite significantly from company to company. Since there are so many differences in what these companies offer, the best route in finding the right company to match your particular needs is by using an independent life insurance agent.

Independent life insurance agents have access to dozens of different insurers so they can compare the limitations and restrictions to find the best coverage and at the lowest premiums. Independent life insurance agents work for you and not the life insurer.

They are also a source of valuable advice. These agents are able to answer any questions you might have in selecting a life insurance policy with and without an exam, and which is right for your family.

Life Insurance With and Without an Exam Price Comparison

If you are wondering what the price comparison would be between a policy with or without a medical exam, we did some research and are pleased to provide some examples.

Below, you will find a comparison for a male of various ages. We look at a “Preferred Best –Non-Smoking” rate and what it would cost for a 20 Year Term Policy with a face Value of $500,000. Female readers should keep in mind that you would be less than the rates shown below.

The premium rates are for both monthly and annual cost.


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As you can see from the quotes above, the price differential is not that significant. Keep in mind that these quotes are for individuals who do not smoke and are very healthy.

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Last Thing About No Exam Insurance Rates

If you want to find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of no medical life insurance, our experienced team of independent life insurance agents is happy to answer all your questions.