Is No-Exam Life Insurance Worth It?

No matter your age, choosing a life insurance policy is an important step in planning for your future. But qualifying for life insurance can be difficult if you’re older or in poor health. So if you’re in this situation, you would naturally want to find a simpler way to get yourself covered. No-exam life insurance can help speed up the process and cover you when other policies won’t. But is a no-exam life insurance policy worth it?article title and stethoscope wrapped around red heart on a table

What Is No-Exam Life Insurance?

medical doctor writing on a chart with a pen
You don’t need a medical exam to get life insurance.

Usually, insurers require you to undergo a medical exam so that they can get an overview of your general health, and know how much of a risk it would be to insure you. They want information like your height, weight, and blood pressure to get an accurate read on the state of your health. But there are policies, known as no-exam life insurance policies, that allow you to skip the medical exam.

In most cases, though, no-exam does not mean no health questions. Most insurance companies who offer these plans will require you to fill out a health questionnaire. This helps them get at least some baseline information about your health. 

Another benefit of no-exam policies is, while traditional policies can take weeks or even months to go through an underwriting process, no-exam policies are usually approved in around a week, and in some cases in only a few minutes.

What Types of Policies Are Available without an Exam?

No-exam policies have become popular in recent years, with insurers offering more and more options. The most popular choices are:

  • Simplified issue life insurance – These policies let you skip the exam, but you will have to fill out a health questionnaire. They will ask you about your and your family’s health history, your smoking history, recent hospitalizations, and drug usage. Most of these policies will only cover you up to $100,000, depending on your answers.
  • Guaranteed issue life insurance – This type of policy is usually only offered to those between 50 and 80-year-old, but you are guaranteed coverage if you meet the insurer’s age requirements. That means there is no medical exam and no questionnaire. These policies are best for those who don’t qualify for regular life insurance due to a terminal illness or age. And they usually have a coverage limit of $25,000. 
  • Accelerated underwriting life insurance – With this type of policy, insurers use technology to quickly decide whether to offer you coverage. Instead of a medical exam, insurers will use an algorithm to assess your possible risk for these policies. The algorithm will analyze data from things like your motor vehicle record, prescription drug history, and even your credit report. All of these factors determine how much of a risk you are to insure. But if you’re a generally healthy person you can be approved for up to $1 million in coverage without having to wait through a long underwriting process.

It’s important to note two things about no-exam policies. First, they usually only cover death from natural causes, although some can offer coverage for accidental death, as well. Second, because your insurer will be taking a bigger risk insuring you, your premiums will be higher than they would be with a traditional policy.

Is No-Exam the Right Option for You?illustration of a silhouetted family walking with a heart drawn around them and a red heart in the background

Everyone is different, and your life insurance should reflect your specific needs. No-exam life insurance can be worth it if you’re older, a smoker, or have a terminal illness. Any of these factors can raise your premiums, or even disqualify you from getting a traditional policy.

Even if you are young and healthy, a no-exam policy can still be right for you. For example, if you have a busy schedule and can’t squeeze in a check-up, or if you have a fear of needles, you might want to check out one of these policies. Even if you just like the convenience of getting coverage without having to leave the house, one of these policies can work for you.

The bottom line is a no-exam life insurance policy is not right for everyone. But this type of policy will get you covered quickly without being invasive. No-exam policies can ensure that you get the coverage you need regardless of age or medical history. You should check with your insurance company to see what you qualify for. And weigh the pros and cons to better help you decide what is best for your situation.

To get more information, and for help choosing a no-exam policy, look below. We’ve compiled a list of the top insurance companies who specialize in life insurance. You can skip the medical exam, but don’t skip comparing multiple insurance sites to find the best fit for you.

Co-written by Brianna Hartnett

Life Insurance for HIV Positive Applicants

While some of the focus has been taken off of HIV these days, the sad reality is there are still many people contracting and living with this virus in the U.S.: according to, about 1.2 million people in the U.S. have HIV. Fortunately, we have made great strides in controlling the virus with medication, and those living with HIV can now go on to live long and normal lives, which brings up the question of life insurance. Will life insurance cover people who are HIV positive?

risk gage with green, orange, and red lines
Life insurers will provide a policy to people who are HIV positive, but they will first assess your risk.

HIV & Life Insurance

Because life insurance companies offer policies based on how risky it is to insure you, many life insurance companies will not insure you if you are living with HIV. With that being said, there are life insurance companies who will consider applicants who are HIV positive, and will offer traditional life insurance policies like term life, whole life, and even universal life insurance, with some limitations. 

For example, insurers will generally not consider an applicant who was diagnosed less than a year before applying for coverage, and there are often age limits on applicants. In addition, you will have to go through the underwriting process, which will determine your rates; living with an illness like HIV will usually mean that your premiums will be higher than other people’s. 

What To Expect During The Underwriting Process

When applying for life insurance, you have to disclose any health issues, including if you are HIV positive. Insurance companies will require that you provide information regarding:

  • The date of your diagnosis
  • Current CD4 count and viral load
  • Medications you have been prescribed and the dosage of each
  • Whether you are currently symptomatic or whether you have ever been symptomatic

In addition, during the underwriting process, life insurance companies will need to know what stage of HIV you have:know your HIV status written on a piece of paper

  1. Acute HIV, which is considered the earliest stage of the virus, extending from two to four weeks from the initial infection.
  2. Chronic HIV,  meaning that your number of CD4 cells is decreasing, leading to damage to the immune system.
  3. AIDS, which is the most advanced stage of HIV.

Insurers will also ask your age, because most insurance companies that will consider an HIV positive applicant will require that the applicant be no older than 50 years old. They will want to know your overall health, including anything that could raise a red flag for them, as well as if you are following a treatment plan prescribed by a doctor, including managing the virus by taking prescribed medications and regularly having your CD4 levels checked. 

Once you have disclosed all of the above information, you might have to wait a few weeks to a few months while the insurance company sifts through your medical records and the statements that they will request from your doctor. 

Life Insurance Options For HIV Positive Applicants

If you are unable to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy, you do have other options, most of which you can be approved for in a matter of days. These policies include: 

Final Expense Insurance

This type of insurance is usually bought to cover funeral and burial expenses, as well as any medical debts. A final expense policy is ideal for you if you are living with a chronic health condition like HIV, because you are guaranteed approval.

Simplified Issue Life Insurance

This type of policy will not require a medical exam, although there will be some medical questions on the application. Premiums are usually higher for simplified issue policies than for traditional term life insurance because there is no medical exam, and those purchasing these policies might be riskier to insure.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

light bulb standing in front of 3 white doors with blue question marks on them
You have many options for life insurance, and if you are denied, then you can opt for a no medical exam plan.

This type of life insurance policy does not consider your health or health history during the underwriting process, which means anyone is eligible for it. The two downsides of guaranteed issue, though, are that your insurance company will cap the death benefit at $35,000, and your premiums will be higher than with traditional term life insurance, because you will be approved no matter how much of a risk you are to insure.

Term Life Insurance

If you are following a treatment plan, some life insurance companies will approve you for term life insurance.

Need Help?

Just because you are living with HIV does not mean you won’t be able to provide for your family when you are gone. Finding a life insurance plan that is affordable and will provide enough coverage for your family, though, means that you will have to do a lot of research and compare different insurance companies and their plans: some companies have strict underwriting guidelines, while others have looser guidelines, and they will all price plans differently. The best way to find the right life insurance policy for you and your specific needs is by working with an agent who specializes in life insurance. We have provided the top life insurance companies in the nation below; each offers hassle-free assistance and the most competitive rates. Always check multiple sites to make sure you have bargaining power and know the advantages of each company. Make sure a hard time isn’t made harder by a financial burden, check life insurance rates today.

The 4 Types Of No Exam Life Insurance

If you’re looking for a life insurance policy, but have pre-existing medical conditions, you might be worried about undergoing a medical exam to get coverage: your medical status could mean that you will have to pay more, or you could even get denied for a policy altogether. Fortunately, though, even if you have health conditions, you have options! There are four types of life insurance policies that do not require medical exams, meaning you’ll still be able to provide financial protection to your family no matter your age or health history. Comparing these different policies will help you better determine which no medical exam life insurance policy is best for your family’s needs.

1. Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

stamp of the word approved in red with a red circle around
You will be approved no matter your health or age with a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.

The first type of life insurance that does not require a medical exam is guaranteed issue life insurance. With one of these policies, you will not be rejected for any health-related reason; you will simply need to answer a few questions about your health to determine your policy rate, and then you can receive coverage in as little as a day. The death benefit for this policy can be anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. 

The drawback to guaranteed issue life insurance? Premiums will be higher than those of other life insurance policies; your insurance company will not have very much information about your health status, so they will be taking on a higher risk by insuring you. In addition, before your family can receive the policy’s death benefit, there is a 2 year waiting period, which means if you pass away during the first 2 years that your policy is active, your beneficiary will only receive a portion of the death benefit. This plan is best for those who are looking for quick, easy coverage for their family. 

2. Simplified Issue Life Insurance

This is a type of term life insurance that has been increasing in popularity over the last few years. These policies last for a certain time period (or term) –  usually 10, 20, or 30 years, and are a step up from guaranteed issue life policies; they are more expensive than traditional life insurance policies, but cheaper than guaranteed issue policies, but coverage is often limited. When you apply for simplified issue life insurance, you will be asked detailed medical questions and will undergo a background check, but you will not have to undergo a medical exam. 

These policies offer coverage anywhere from $25,000 to $200,000, depending on the results of your evaluation. Simplified issue life insurance is best if you are looking for convenience, quick approval, and coverage if you have moderate health issues. 

3. Graded Death Benefit Life Insurance

This kind of insurance is similar to guaranteed issue life insurance, with some slight differences. You will have to answer some health questions, with the number of questions depending on the insurance carrier; because there might be more health-related questions, these policies are slightly less expensive than guaranteed issue life insurance. These policies offer coverage up to $50,000.graded death benefit infographicOne of the major differences between graded death benefit policies and other types of policies is that the death benefits are paid out in percentages; after each year of having an active policy, your beneficiary will receive a higher portion of your death benefit:

  • Death in year 1- 25% of death benefit paid
  • Death in year 2- 50% of death benefit paid
  • Death in year 3 or above- 100% of the death benefit paid. 

4. Final Expense Life Insurance 

This kind of policy is also known as burial insurance; coverage is designed to cover end-of-life expenses, including burial costs, funeral ceremony costs, final medical bills, and any small debts. Even if you don’t have any other type of life insurance, you should consider having this policy: the average cost of a funeral is around $10,000, which is a lot of money for your family to come up with, especially if they are not prepared. 

Final expense policies offer coverage from as low as $2,000 up to $50,000. The great thing about these policies is that your premiums will not increase, and your death benefit will remain the same throughout your life. This policy is a good choice for people who have some health issues and need a smaller amount of coverage to help with costs related to their passing. 

There are options for life insurance that allow you to get a policy without having to undergo a medical exam – this means that, no matter what health conditions you have, you will still be able to get life insurance coverage. If you’re interested in one of the policies above, and you need help deciding on a policy, consider using online tools to see what is available, as well as working with an agent who will help you compare plans and see which is the right fit for you. To get you started, we have provided the top insurance companies that offer life insurance policies below; each can give you hassle-free assistance and the most competitive rates in the nation. Always check multiple sites to make sure you have bargaining power and know the advantages of each company. Make sure a hard time isn’t made harder by a financial burden, check life insurance rates today.