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How to Prepare for a Life Insurance Medical Exam

medical exam
Fiona Staff4/29/2022

If you’re applying for life insurance coverage, you may be asked to submit a paramedical exam. This exam, which is provided at no charge to you, usually takes less than an hour of your time. While it is a fairly simple process, the results of your life insurance exam can impact your policy significantly.

Here’s a look at some ways you can prepare for a life insurance exam, as well as a few things you should absolutely avoid.

 Why Life Insurance Exams Matter

Life insurance carriers provide policyholders (and their loved ones) with important financial security, protecting against life’s worst possible scenarios. In order to provide customers with this reliable coverage, though, life insurance companies need to balance their risk.

Paramedical exams are one way carriers assess risk. The results of these exams give life insurance companies a good idea of the applicant’s overall health. Through exams, carriers can determine whether or not to approve an application, how much coverage to allow, and what sort of premium to charge for the policy.

Will I Be Required to Take an Exam?

Sometimes, depending on the type of life insurance policy you are buying, your age, and your previous medical history, you may be asked to submit to a paramedical exam before your policy is issued. However, this is not always the case. 

Some permanent life (and some term life) insurance policies will not require you to take an exam before issuing coverage, especially when it comes to younger and healthier applicants. In this case, premiums will be based on a series of medical and health-related questions, as well as certain medical and pharmacology records. 

Curious about your no-medical-exam life insurance options? Fiona, through LeapLife, can match you with personalized policy quotes, whether you’re looking for term or permanent life insurance.

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How to Prepare for a Life Insurance Exam

Since a life insurance exam is performed to evaluate your current health and physical condition, there’s not much “cramming” that can be done beforehand. However, there are a few things you can do in the days and weeks leading up to your exam, to help ensure that your results are as positive as they can be. 

A life insurance exam will involve an intake of your:

  • Height and weight

  • Basic vitals (such as blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate)

  • Urine, blood, and saliva samples

  • EKG (in certain cases)

If you anticipate taking a life insurance exam in the near future, you should start getting yourself into the best possible shape. This may mean getting better sleep, eating healthier, drinking more water, and laying off caffeine, sugar, and other harmful foods. 

Your body mass index (BMI) will be calculated as part of your life insurance exam, so losing weight can improve your results — just make sure your weight loss is achieved through the healthiest means possible. Regular exercise can also help regulate your heart rate and blood pressure, improving your results further.

If you use tobacco products, quitting will not only improve your health and longevity, but also reduce your life insurance premiums. Generally, carriers will want to see you quit for two years or more before you can qualify for non-smoker rates again.

What NOT to Do Before a Life Insurance Exam

There are a few things you should absolutely avoid doing in the time leading up to your life insurance exam, if you want to ensure the most accurate results.

Don’t begin an aggressive workout regimen: The physical stress involved with a new exercise routine can negatively impact your life insurance exam results, especially if it’s a drastic shift from what your body is used to. Avoid heavy weight lifting or strenuous cardio for at least 24 hours before your exam, as this can raise your blood pressure, your pulse, and even cause excess protein levels in your urine (which will skew your results).

Don’t go out for a big steak: Honestly, eat as healthily as possible in the days before your life insurance exam. Heavy meals, including those with a lot of animal proteins or cheeses, can impact your blood work. This is also the case with salty foods, sugar, and processed foods. Try to stick with lighter meals and lots of vegetables, if you can. 

Don’t pull an all-nighter: Lack of sleep can raise cortisol levels, which impacts your pulse and blood pressure. Try to get some consistent, good sleep in the days prior to your exam.

Don’t skip the water: Limit your soda, juice, and coffee intake before your paramedical exam and boost your water consumption. Being hydrated will help flush out your kidneys, regulate your blood pressure and pulse, and even affect your liver enzymes.

Bottom Line

Paramedical exams are a necessary part of the life insurance application process for many consumers. These exams may sound intimidating, but are usually as quick and convenient as possible, making it easier for carriers to provide you with the most personalized life insurance coverage. 

In the days, weeks, and even months leading up to your exam, there are several things you can do to prepare. These tips will not only help you receive more positive results on your exam, but can also improve your health and well-being going forward.

In the market for life insurance, with or without a medical exam? Fiona, through LeapLife, offers an easy and comprehensive way to get matched with personalized life insurance policy quotes from A-rated (or higher) carriers across the country.

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