Can I Get Life Insurance With No Medical Exam?

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You can generally get life insurance with no medical exam, although your insurer may substitute the exam with a questionnaire or information from external records to learn about your health and lifestyle. In addition, you may have to pay more money for less coverage if you decide to purchase no-exam life insurance.

Keep reading to learn about the different types of no-exam life insurance and whether it could be the right option for you.

Key Takeaways

  • You can get life insurance with no medical exam from several insurance providers.
  • Since your insurance company will have less information to use when assessing your risk profile, no-exam life insurance can be more expensive and provide less coverage than fully underwritten life insurance.
  • The underwriting process for no-exam life insurance may involve a questionnaire, an analysis of digital records or guaranteed acceptance without regard for your health.
  • You may be able to get term life insurance that lasts for a limited amount of time or permanent life insurance that lasts until you die without a medical exam.
  • No-exam life insurance may not be a good fit for a young and healthy person, but it may be a good fit for someone who needs quick approval or has been denied life insurance coverage elsewhere.

What Is No-Exam Life Insurance?

No-exam life insurance is a category of coverage that you can purchase without going through a medical examination first. Typically, the life insurance application process can require undergoing a physical, a blood test, a urinalysis and occasionally an electrocardiogram (EKG).[1]

However, some insurance companies offer policies that replace the in-depth exam with an unintrusive questionnaire about your health, family medical history and lifestyle or an analysis of documents from outside sources. Meanwhile, some insurers also offer no-questions-asked policies that don’t require any sort of analysis of your health.

Keep in mind that insurance carriers take on greater risk when they insure you without precisely evaluating your health. As a result, they may attempt to offset this risk by charging you higher life insurance premiums for a no-exam policy.

How Does No-Exam Life Insurance Work?

Like any other life insurance policy, no-exam life insurance requires you to make regular premium payments throughout the duration of the coverage period, usually once a month, twice a year or once a year.

As long as you pay your premiums, you ensure that your insurance company will pay a death benefit to your beneficiaries if you die while the policy is active.

There are two main types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. Term life insurance, which is the most common type of no-exam life insurance, is only active for a set period of time, usually between one and 30 years.[2] These policies come with a lower risk for the insurance company since your term could expire before you die. For this reason, term life insurance tends to be the cheapest type of life insurance.

Conversely, higher-cost permanent life insurance policies remain active for your entire life up to age 121, meaning it is guaranteed that your insurance provider will have to pay a death benefit when you die.[3] These policies also accrue cash value that can lead to a higher death benefit for your life insurance beneficiaries or that you may be able to access before you die by forfeiting your beneficiaries’ right to the death benefit.

The most common type of permanent life insurance, whole life insurance, comes with fixed premiums and death benefits and may have a guaranteed rate of return on its cash value. Meanwhile, universal life insurance lets you raise or lower your premiums and death benefits over time. It also provides different and sometimes riskier options for how your policy grows (or loses) its cash value.

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How Much Does It Cost To Get Life Insurance Without an Exam?

Generally, you will have to pay more for life insurance without an exam than you would for life insurance with an exam. For example, a 40-year-old woman might have to pay $18.42 a month for a 10-year term life insurance policy with a $400,000 death benefit if she undergoes a medical exam. Without an exam, a policy with the same amount of coverage might cost her $21.64 a month.[4]

Along with whether you get a medical exam as part of the underwriting process, the following factors can impact the cost of your life insurance:

  • Age: Older people typically pay more for life insurance since it is more likely that they will die during their coverage term and will have less time to pay into the policy through their premiums.
  • Sex: Women live longer than men on average and generally pay less for life insurance as a result.[5]
  • Medical history: If you or your family members have a history of dealing with chronic illness, you will generally pay more for life insurance than someone whose medical record indicates a low risk of premature death.
  • Lifestyle: You could face higher life insurance premiums if you smoke or have a dangerous hobby like rock climbing or skydiving.
  • Occupation: If you have a dangerous job such as working in the fishing or hunting industry, you will likely pay more for life insurance than someone with a work-from-home desk job.
  • Type of life insurance: Your rates will vary depending on whether you opt for term life insurance, whole life insurance or another kind of policy.
  • Term length: The longer the term is for your term life insurance policy, the more expensive the coverage will be. For example, a five-year policy with a $500,000 death benefit will cost less than a 20-year policy with the same amount of coverage since it is more likely that the insurance company will have to pay out a death benefit on the 20-year policy.
  • Coverage amount: You will have to pay higher premiums for a higher death benefit, meaning $250,000 in coverage will cost you less than $1 million in coverage.
  • Riders: You may be able to add extra coverage to your policy by purchasing a life insurance rider. For example, if you are willing to pay a higher premium, you could add an accelerated death benefit rider that allows you to draw money from your policy before you die to help cover your medical expenses if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.[6]

What Are the Pros and Cons of No-Exam Life Insurance?

The biggest pros of no-exam life insurance include convenience and the potential benefits of avoiding a medical exam, while the biggest cons are the high cost and lower coverage amounts. No-exam life insurance naturally has a fast application and approval process, making it a helpful option if you need to secure a life insurance policy quickly.

In addition, it’s possible that a medical exam could reveal a health issue that you didn’t know about and cause your life insurance rates to increase, leading to a rare scenario where life insurance would be more expensive with an exam than without. However, these factors plus the convenience of avoiding needles and other anxiety-inducing portions of a medical exam may not be worth the higher premiums for most people.

If you are in good health, it is likely worth the trouble of going through a medical exam to get a quote that accurately reflects the risk of insuring you.

If you opt for a policy that doesn’t require any sort of analysis of your health, you can also expect to receive a lower potential death benefit. However, if you have pre-existing conditions, a history of early death in your family or some other kind of major health problem that makes you risky to insure, this kind of no-questions-asked policy may be your only option if you want life insurance.

Types of No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance

There are a few major categories of no-exam life insurance, which are distinguished by the underwriting method that the insurance company uses to assess the risk of insuring you.

types of no exam life insurance

Simplified Issue

Simplified issue life insurance substitutes a medical exam with a questionnaire about your health, habits and medical history. The insurance company will then use the information you provide to estimate how likely it is that you would die during the coverage period of a life insurance policy.

A type of simplified issue life insurance known as instant life insurance allows you to fill out and submit your questionnaire online. After the insurance company determines that you are eligible for coverage by way of algorithmic analysis and sends you a quote, you will be able to immediately purchase and activate a policy.

Remember that you may have to pay higher premiums for this kind of life insurance coverage since it provides your insurance company with less detailed information than a traditional life insurance medical exam would.

Accelerated Underwriting

Accelerated underwriting is another underwriting method that evaluates your risk without conducting a medical exam. Instead, this method draws on data provided directly by you and from external resources like your medical records, prescription drug history, motor vehicle records and credit report. It then feeds that information to an algorithm trained to recognize the characteristics of someone who is eligible for life insurance.

This method can create a more detailed risk profile than simplified issue life insurance while also allowing you to complete the application process more quickly than fully underwritten life insurance. However, you may still face limits on the amount of life insurance coverage you can purchase if you opt for accelerated underwriting.

Guaranteed Issue

Guaranteed issue life insurance offers coverage at a set rate without evaluating your risk. With guaranteed issue life insurance, you will never be denied coverage on the basis of poor health, although some insurance companies may set an age range that you must fall within to be eligible.

However, the trade-off is that guaranteed issue life insurance is among the most expensive types of life insurance available. In addition, this kind of policy provides smaller death benefits, usually up to $25,000.[1] As a result, guaranteed issue life insurance is only recommended for someone who is already elderly or ill and is looking for a way to help their family members cover their funeral costs and other final expenses after they die.

Which Companies Offer Life Insurance With No Medical Exam?

You can get life insurance with no medical exam from traditional insurers like Nationwide, State Farm and, if you are connected to the United States military, USAA. In addition, you can get this type of coverage from companies that specialize in life insurance such as Bestow, Ethos and Haven Life.

No-Exam Life Insurance Carrier

Issue Age


Policy Type



$100,000 to $1.5 million




$20,000 to $2 million


Haven Life[11]


$25,000 to $1 million




$100,000 to $1.5 million


State Farm[13]

Up to age 50







You should note that each insurance company uses its own formula to calculate risk and one insurer may provide you with a more favorable quote than another as a result. Using an insurance marketplace like SmartFinancial can help you easily compare life insurance rates and find the best coverage for your circumstances and budget.


What happens if you lie on your life insurance application?

Lying on your life insurance application is considered insurance fraud. If you are caught after your policy begins, your policy will most likely be canceled and you may not be refunded any premiums you paid.

Are medical exams required to get life insurance?

Some types of life insurance do not require a medical exam, although no-exam life insurance may offer less coverage at a higher cost.

How much life insurance can you get without a medical exam?

You may be able to get up to $2 million in life insurance coverage without a medical exam, but the limits for no-exam life insurance policies will vary from company to company.[15]

When should I get a medical exam for life insurance?

If you are looking to buy life insurance that requires a medical exam, you should fill out the application and set up an appointment with a doctor as early as possible since younger, healthier people get cheaper life insurance premiums.


  1. Nationwide. “What Is No-Exam Life Insurance and How Does It Work?” Accessed April 10, 2023.
  2. Insurance Information Institute. “What Are the Principal Types of Life Insurance?” Accessed April 10, 2023.
  3. Society of Actuaries. “2017 CSO Report,” Page 3. Accessed April 10, 2023.
  4. Haven Life. “No Medical Exam Life Insurance.” Accessed April 10, 2023.
  5. State Farm. “What Determines the Cost of Life Insurance?” Accessed April 10, 2023.
  6. Allstate. “Popular Riders to Consider for Life Insurance.” Accessed April 10, 2023.
  7. Bestow. “Applying for Life Insurance With No Medical Exam.” Accessed April 11, 2023.
  8. Bestow. “No Medical Exam Life Insurance.” Accessed April 11, 2023.
  9. Ethos. “Who Is Eligible To Apply for a Policy With Ethos?” Accessed April 11, 2023.
  10. Ethos. “Life Insurance With No Medical Exam.” Accessed April 11, 2023.
  11. Haven Life. “Haven Simple | Buy Affordable Term Life Insurance Online.” Accessed April 11, 2023.
  12. Nationwide. “Nationwide Life Essentials.” Accessed April 11, 2023.
  13. State Farm. “Term Life Insurance – Get a Quote.” Accessed April 11, 2023.
  14. USAA. “Essential Term Life Insurance for Young Adults.” Accessed April 11, 2023.
  15. The Annuity Expert. “How Much Term Life Insurance Can You Buy Without a Medical Exam? (2023).” Accessed April 11, 2023.

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