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- 1 month ago

Most life insurance policies require a urine test, and it can lower the premiums you ll pay

 Summary List Placement Traditional life insurance require include a medical exam that includes a blood and urine test. A urine test reveals if you use drugs or nicotine, and shows whether other health issues exist. There are no medical exam life insurance policies, but they pay lower death benefits. Policygenius can help you compare life insurance policies to find the right coverage for you, at the right price » Table of Contents: Masthead StickyWhether you choose permanent life insurance or term life insurance, you will need to go through the underwriting process. This is how the insurance company decides how much of a risk you are and how much of a death benefit you qualify for. The insurance company collects information about your health, job, income, finances, and other personal information to determine how much it will insure you and what your premium will be.  The underwriting process can take four to six weeks or even longer. If you have no previous life insurance policy in effect, some insurance companies provide conditional, or, temporary life insurance until the underwriting process is complete. What is a life insurance urine test?  Traditional life insurance policies require a medical exam, which includes the collection of a blood and urine sample, as part of the underwriting process. A urine test will reveal drugs, nicotine, and other health issues. The exam is paid for by the insurance company as part of the underwriting process. People with certain pre-existing health conditions may be ineligible for traditional life insurance — in which case they should consider no medical exam life insurance. As the name implies, this type of insurance doesn t require a medical exam. What happens during a life insurance urine test? With a life insurance urine test, the insurance company sends a paramedical professional to your home or business to perform the exam. The medical exam, also known as a paramedical exam, can take up to 30 minutes and usually includes a blood and urine sample, plus taking your weight and blood pressure.  For the urine sample, you will use a cup like you would at the doctor s office during a physical. The cup has a temperature strip that helps determine if the urine is genuine and fresh –  to prevent using someone else s urine or synthetic urine.  It s recommended that you fast before the exam, so early appointments are best — otherwise, you ll have to fast most of the day for an afternoon appointment. Your samples are sent to a lab and you are given a code to check the results. If you have health issues like high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, or a family history of cancer or heart disease, the insurance company may request your health records from your attending or primary care physician. This will make the underwriting process longer, as the insurance company waits to receive your medical records from your doctor and review them. If your medical records indicate other health concerns, expect follow-up calls from the insurance company. Why should you get a life insurance urine test? Not knowing your medical history means the insurance company is taking a gamble on your health. As a result, death benefits for no medical exam life insurance are limited, typically with a more expensive premium than insurance with a medical exam. Plus, no medical exam life insurance is only available for a limited term — no more than 20 years. Getting a medical exam with a urine test and blood sample helps lower your premiums because the underwriting process can better determine your level of risk.  Be truthful on your life insurance application It s important to answer truthfully on your life insurance application. If it s discovered that you lied on the application or failed to disclose important facts, the insurance company can invalidate the policy, and your beneficiaries will not receive your death benefit.  Also, your blood sample and urine test will reveal whether there drugs, nicotine, or other health problems exist. In your initial life insurance application, you are asked about your medical history and if you are a smoker, have a felony record, or mental illness. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should expect a follow-up call or additional questionnaire about your family medical history before your medical exam is scheduled. If you answer no to the initial medical questions, you will receive an email or phone call from a representative to schedule your medical exam. Life insurance premiums are based on your health risk Based on your urine test and medical exam, you are assigned a risk assessment category. Once your risk is assessed, your life insurance premiums are calculated based on your risk and you are issued a policy. Here s an overview of the different risk classifications used by insurance companies: Risk Classification Definition Preferred Plus/Elite Excellent health without any big risk factors for coverage will most likely end up rated at Preferred Plus, giving them the lowest possible premium payment. Preferred Excellent health but may have some subtle red flags, but will enjoy low premiums. Standard Plus Above-average health, but some things may be outside the ideal range. You will have low premiums just not as low as Preferred or Preferred Plus. Standard Normal risk and insurable at standard rates. Substandard Impaired risk deemed undesirable due to medical condition or hazardous occupation requiring a higher premium charge. Smoker Higher risk because nicotine negatively affects health and impacts life expectancy. Will pay more than non-smokers. Some companies separate cannabis users from tobacco users. Data sourced from NAIC and Quotacy Alternatives if you re denied life insurance coverage If you are denied life insurance coverage for health reasons, consider these alternatives: Group life insurance: A term life policy offered by employers to employees. That means that all employees are accepted. One disadvantage of employer-provided group life insurance is that if you leave your job (resign, retire, or are terminated), you lose your coverage.  No medical exam life insurance: A policy with a low death benefit and sometimes a two-year waiting period before paying out to beneficiaries. Check the guaranteed and simplified issue no medical exam policy mailers that might arrive in your mailbox from AARP, Colonial Penn, or Mutual of Omaha.  Annual renewable term life insurance: Short-term coverage. A one-year policy is cheap compared to a traditional term life policy. It is renewed at the end of each year, and your premium usually increases as you age. Although your premium may increase each year based on your age, you will not have to have a medical exam every time you renew, according to Fidelity Life. Final expense insurance: A type of guaranteed issue policy that can be term or whole life, with a low death benefit that covers funeral and burial expenses. Find life insurance companies that specialize in high risk applicants. This will require some work and research because high-risk can mean you are a smoker, felon, or have health issues. Ronda Lee is an associate editor for insurance at Personal Finance Insider covering life, auto, homeowners, and renters insurance for consumers. She is also a licensed attorney who practiced litigation and insurance defense. Related Content Module: More on Life InsuranceJoin the conversation about this story


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