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Life Insurance Basics

Fully underwritten vs. no exam life insurance

This article explains the differences between fully underwritten and no exam life insurance policies.

If you're in the market for life insurance, you may have been shopping for a policy that offers you coverage with no exam, versus a policy that's fully underwritten. While the concept of no exam life insurance is rather self-explanatory, you may be wondering what's involved with a fully underwritten life policy. Here's what you need to know.

A fully underwritten life insurance policy generally requires a medical exam to establish the premium rate you'll pay based on the results. In addition to the life insurance application, a fully underwritten life insurance policy typically includes a blood and urine sample, as well as checking your height and weight. There is typically no cost to you for the exam - whether you accept the policy or not.

In most instances, lab results are processed rather quickly - typically within a few weeks. However, this depends on your overall health. For example, if you have a complex health history, it may take more time for the life insurance company to request health records or obtain a physician's statement if additional information is needed to make a decision. Once your lab results are processed, the life insurance company may offer you a policy based on your medical exam findings, as well as other factors such as your family health history, occupation and age. 

Benefits of a life insurance medical exam

One advantage that a fully underwritten policy has over a no exam policy, is that the insurance company can establish your rates based on your verifiable good health. For example, you may have received a good rate quote prior to your exam, but because medical findings indicate an exceptional health history of regular physicals, a normal height to weight ratio, low cholesterol, normal blood pressure, etc., you may qualify for an even better rate.

Read more information about preparing for a life insurance medical exam, as well as the pros and cons of no medical exam life insurance.



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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

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