10 Things You Need to Know About Life Insurance Without an Exam


By now, most people know that life insurance is essential in protecting their family from financial burden and stress in the event of their passing. Many times, the fear of medical offices and doctor appointments can keep people away from providing that security to their loved ones.

The good news is that there are several no medical exam insurance policy options, so you can still purchase coverage and protect your family without seeing a doctor. Because we want our clients to have the most useful information when it comes to making the best decision for them and their family, here are the 10 things everyone should know about non-med life insurance.

Quick Article Guide:

Several People Can BenefitSeveral Types of People Can Benefit from No-Exam Life Insurance Policies

No-exam life insurance is typically purchased by a wide variety of clients. Those people who are afraid of needles, blood, and other medical office activity can avoid the stress of visiting the doctor. We also have a handful of clients who do not have a fear of the doctor, but simply don’t have the time to make an appointment—with no-exam insurance, they can skip the time consuming process of meeting with an examiner. Non-med policies are also viable alternatives for people who need life insurance quickly (for reasons like collateralizing a loan), or those who only require a small amount of insurance coverage. 

Coverage Not LimitedYour No-Exam Coverage Isn’t As Limited As You May Think

Although no-exam policies typically offer smaller coverage amounts, you can still provide your family with a substantial amount of protection. The handful of life insurance companies that offer no exam insurance have policy limits that vary based on your current age, health history, and income. The following are general guidelines for non-medical exam insurance coverage:

Infant to age 21: $5,000 to $50,000 (whole life insurance)

*Age 21-65: $25,000 to $500,000 (term insurance)
or $5,000 to $500,000 (whole life insurance)

Age 66-75: $5,000 to $99,999 (term insurance)
or $5,000 to $50,000 (whole life insurance)

*We do have one carrier who will approve up to $1 million with no exam, but this is not typical.

Cost Can VaryThe Cost of No-Exam Insurance Can Vary

The price you pay for the convenience of getting approved for life insurance with no medical exam can vary. In some cases, it could be just a couple dollars more per month. In a worst-case scenario, you’re looking at a 30-40% increase.

See below for an example comparison of $100,000 20-year term policies.

AgeExamNo Exam

*20-year term rates above are for a healthy non-smoking male. Rates are accurate as of 1/01/2018 and are provided for illustrative purposes only.

6 types of no-examThere Are Six Types of No-Exam Life Insurance

There is a wide variety of no-exam life insurance policies, so even in skipping the medical tests and appointments, you still have several options to choose from.

6 types of no exam life insurance

  1. Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance—Death benefits in the 50k-500k range; can apply between ages 21-65. 10, 15, and 20-year term lengths (rate guarantee period). Applicants aged 66 to 75 can qualify for a 10-year term, up to $99,999 in coverage.
  2. Simplified Issue Universal Life (UL)—Death benefits in the 25k-500k range; can apply between ages 21-65. Cost and death benefit fixed for life.
  3. Level Death Benefit Whole Life —Similar to Simplified Issue Whole Life in that death benefit and cost is fixed for life. Differences are you can apply up through age 80, smaller death benefits in the 5k-50k range, and easier to qualify. For instance, we’ve had clients qualify with type II diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol medications.
  4. Graded Benefit Whole Life—These policies also provide lifetime coverage at a fixed rate, taking clients with more serious health history. As a result, the cost is higher, and the death benefit is reduced during the first two years, commonly paying 40% in year one, 75% in year two. Health issues which may be approved include history of heart disease, type I diabetes, stroke, or substance abuse. Policies generally purchased in the 5k-25k range.
  5. Rapid Decision Senior Whole Life—Death benefits in the 10k-25k range; usually purchased by seniors between ages 65-85. Underwriting guidelines/requirements similar to Level Benefit Whole Life.
  6. Guaranteed Issue or “GI” Policies—No health questions asked. This is the type of life insurance advertised on TV where they say, “You can’t be turned down for health reasons.” Usually purchased by people in poor health or advanced age, where they can’t qualify for other lower cost coverage. Death benefits typically available in the $5k-$25k range. 

Whenever you’re talking to an agent about non-exam insurance, make sure you’re not being sold “accidental death” coverage. This type of policy only pays the death benefit if you die as the result of an accident.


Guaranteed Coverage With No-Exam Life Insurance, You Can Be Guaranteed Coverage

The biggest perk of no-exam life insurance is that certain policies can guarantee your coverage. On the other hand, with a fully underwritten exam, you are never actually guaranteed approval. 

Any time you have an exam, you run the risk of being declined. It could be for a medical issue you have that you weren’t even aware of, or it could be because your doctor accidentally made a note in your file about a health issue that leads to a decline. These are rare instances, but they have happened.

Medical HistoryInsurance Companies Look at Your Medical History & Conduct a Phone Interview Before Approving Your No-Exam Policy 

Since you will not be taking a medical exam, the insurance company needs another way to assess their risk of insuring you. With the exception of Guaranteed Issue (GI) life insurance, you’ll likely have a phone interview with your insurance agent and an insurance company underwriter/screener following completion of a written medical questionnaire. The company will also typically receive information from, and check your history with, the Medical Information Bureau (MIB), MVR (Motor Vehicle Records), and Pharmacy Database.

When completing your questionnaire, you’ll want to answer questions truthfully, to the best of your knowledge, with all parties, including whether you’ve previously been turned down (“declined”) when applying for life insurance. (This will normally show up in the MIB check anyway.) If you have been previously declined, there is a high likelihood that you will be declined with your “no exam” application as well, unless you’re applying for a “GI” policy. There are exceptions, so be truthful with your agent so they can advise you accordingly to reduce the chance of disappointment. 

15 Minute ApprovalYou Can Be Approved in as Little as 15 Minutes

It might seem like a gimmicky sales point, but no-exam life insurance does have a quick approval period. Some of our top-rated no exam companies give approval almost instantly (in some instances, even immediately after submitting the application). They pull a motor vehicle report and prescription check in the background, and if all is clear, you’ll be approved immediately.

In other situations, it could take anywhere from 24 hours to 15 business days for approval, depending on the policy type and size of the death benefit you’ve applied for. But for the most part, any waiting period is dependent on your health. Some no-exam policies offer immediate coverage once your application is approved and first payment posted. Your life insurance agent will review your options once they have your health profile.

pre-existing conditionYou Can Qualify for No-Exam Coverage Even If You Have a Pre-Existing Condition

You may be surprised to learn that even if you have previous medical issues or conditions you can still qualify for life insurance. For most no-exam policies, there is usually a waiting period for underwriters to feel comfortable the condition is under control or hasn’t reoccurred. For example:

  • Type II diabetes generally has a one-year waiting period from the time of diagnosis
  • Internal cancer has a five-year waiting period from the time of diagnosis
  • External cancer has anywhere from a zero to three-year waiting period depending upon the type and severity
  • Heart disease, requiring bypass surgery, angioplasty, or placement of stents or cardiac defibrillator will generally have a five-year waiting period from end of treatment

With “Guaranteed Issue” life insurance, there are no health questions, so just about anyone can qualify, though cost is high for relatively smaller death benefits. However, even with any of the following health issues, you can still qualify and be approved:

  • ALS
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Blood or bleeding disorder
  • Chronic brain, heart, respiratory or other serious internal organ conditions
  • Chronic hepatitis B, C, or D
  • Cirrhosis
  • Connective tissue disorder
  • Dementia
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Inability to perform activities of daily living (toileting, transferring, continence, eating, bathing, dressing walking, managing medications)
  • Kidney disease with dialysis
  • Leukemia
  • Liver disease
  • Lymph node enlargement or malignant melanoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Received or been advised to receive an organ or tissue transplant
  • Systemic lupus 

purchase for yourselfLike Other Policies, You Can Only Purchase Life Insurance For Yourself 

Anyone over the age of 18 must complete their own life insurance application, including any verbal interviews. Your life insurance agent can provide you quotes for the cost, however. But state and federal life insurance require insurance companies to speak with the person who will be insured.

Advantages OutweighThe Advantages May Outweigh Any Disadvantages—Depending on Your Situation

The advantages of no-exam life insurance include skipping having your blood draw, faster approval, convenience, and less scrutiny. The disadvantages may be limits on coverage amount, possible waiting period for full coverage, higher cost, riskier payout in first two years, an increase in cost every 5 years for some policies (including some AARP life insurance), and an end-coverage age of 80. Whether or not no-exam life insurance will benefit you is solely up to your situation, however, so one of our life insurance agents will gladly discuss your options and help you decide what will work best for you.

Need Help?

If you have questions about life insurance without a medical exam, or any other type of life insurance coverage, JRC Insurance Group is here to help! We represent nearly 50 of the best-rated life insurance companies in the industry. We’re experienced in matching our clients to the right company for their needs, at the best price possible. Our licensed agents will help you free of charge with care and professionalism.

Give us a call toll-free at: 855-247-9555, or request a free instant online quote to compare rates from dozens of highly rated insurers in less than a minute.

Compare Rates from 47 Top-Rated Companies

Get your FREE instant quote online in less than a minute

or (855) 247-9555

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29 comments… add one
  • Ed Walkers November 11, 2014, 6:47 am

    Thanks Chris for this very informative post.

  • Dayna April 20, 2015, 8:31 am

    Body size was not mentioned in this post. I was previously rejected by Primerica (yeah, I know) solely based on body size. As weight is not a proxy for health, I’m mystified that it’s required for applications and that it can be used as a discrimination tool.

    • Randy McClintick May 23, 2015, 1:20 pm

      Mr. Weinhold,

      Very good point….life insurance is definitely legalized discrimination. Underwriters look at us statistically, assessing risk over time. Weight related health issues, such as high blood pressure, cardio vascular disease, and diabetes often present themselves in later years and create a mortality risk if not managed.

      If you haven’t experienced these issues and it was only “build” (height/weight ratio) preventing you from qualifying for a policy from Primerica, Prudential (the “piece of the rock” company) could be a good fit. They have the most liberal height/weight charts in the industry. They aren’t looking for supermodels, just wanting to see that guys are taking reasonably good care of themselves, including check ups appropriate for their age.

      We’re one of the one few companies with the height/weight charts for the major carriers. Call us and we can provide very accurate estimates, particularly if you recently had lab work processed by Primerica. They sometimes only do a mouth swab…one reason they are “discriminating”. If you’re willing to give a vial of blood and urine to secure life insurance, you’ll have many more, and hopefully affordable, options.

      We can be reached at (855) 247-9555 during normal business hours. Our office is located in San Diego, however, we’re licensed and work with top-rated, affordable insurance carriers for 48 states. We hope we can be of help to you and your family.

  • Tannisha September 13, 2015, 7:46 am

    So are all these quotes for none medical exam insurance?

    • Chris Huntley September 17, 2015, 3:14 pm

      The sample quotes in this post are for exam and no exam policies.

  • Scott October 18, 2015, 12:40 pm

    Great question.. I weigh 400 pounds but my blood pressure is good so is my blood sugar. No history of heart problems, non smoker, etc. I do however have sleep apnea. My biggest fear is being turned down because once you are turned down it is almost impossible to get life insurance.

  • Jose Sepulveda October 20, 2015, 6:02 am

    Iam looking for whole life insurance, for me and muy wife

  • Barbara Martin February 5, 2016, 8:05 pm

    Trying to get a life insurance policy and need to get it set up. Please respond at earliest convenience. Thank you Barbara Martin

    • Randy McClintick February 8, 2016, 3:14 pm


      Thank you for your inquiry. One of our licensed agents will be contacting you, but feel free to call us at your convenience at (855-257-9555. Our hours are through 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern.

  • alvin clark February 25, 2016, 11:02 am

    if I chose a 50000 policy and pay monthly for say one year and die. How much does my spouse receive?

    • Cliff Pendell March 16, 2016, 12:43 pm

      Hello Mr. Clark,
      With the vast majority of life insurance policies, if something happens to you, your spouse will receive the full death benefit from your policy. If your policy is for $50,000, your spouse should receive $50,000 tax free. Generally, the only exception to this is with a Guaranteed Issue Policy. These polices do not ask health questions or require a medical exam, but Guaranteed Issue Policies do not offer full life insurance coverage for 2 years.

      If you are not sure of the type of coverage you have, or if you need help selecting your best option, please feel free to call us at (855) 247-9555. We are available from 8am to 6pm PST.

      Thank you for your question.

  • Randy McClintick September 1, 2016, 12:07 pm

    Thank you for visiting JRC’s website. For help with life insurance questions or policy shopping, call us at your convenience at (855) 247-9555.

  • M May 6, 2017, 6:28 am

    Rates for 66 year old male. With no medical records or prescriptions required. In good health. Never smoked. Never had life threatening sickness…not diabetic….no waiting period

    • Randy McClintick May 9, 2017, 2:53 pm

      Ms Smith,

      Thank you for your request. JRC represents over 40 companies, including a number which may be able to offer life insurance, however, unless you’re looking for strictly accidental death insurance or a 2-year waiting period, they’ll at least run a check through the pharmacy database and/or MIB (Medical Information Bureau). We’ll need more information including amount of life insurance you’re trying to qualify for and state of residence. Call JRC at (855) 247-9555 and we’ll help determine the easiest path. Otherwise, employer provided life insurance would be your other option.

  • patrick masoya August 18, 2017, 3:59 pm

    I need a quote for my sister and family.

    • Randy McClintick August 21, 2017, 11:15 am

      Mr. Masoya,

      Thank you for your question and visiting JRC’s Life Insurance website.

      We’ll be glad to assist your sister and her family. JRC represents over 40 A-rated life insurance companies. To quote accurately for amounts and type of life insurance they each qualify for, ask your sister to call JRC at (855) 247-9555. A licensed agent for her state will pre-qualify by phone and email rate comparisons for review and explain the application process and how they differ by company, type of life insurance, and death benefit.

  • Patricia Cordova August 24, 2017, 9:08 am

    I would like to apply for a guaranteed issue term life insurance policy. The benefit should be about $20,000. I am 58 years old and live in New York.
    Please send me an online quote.

    • Randy McClintick August 28, 2017, 9:29 am

      Ms. Cordova,

      Thank you for our question and visiting JRC’s life insurance website.

      JRC is a free shopping service, comparing rates and features for over 40 A-rated insurance carriers we represent.

      Death benefit policies in the $20,000 range are sold as “whole life” or “final expense” policies to help the family with expenses when a loved one dies. Most of our clients choose “fixed price and coverage for life” policies for this purpose, so they know their cost won’t increase with age or policy cancel. Initiating a new policy at age 58 with a $20,000 death benefit and no health questions asked, the cost will likely fall in the $80 per month range.

      If you’d like us to verify your best cost and coverage, call JRC at (855) 247-9555 and a NY licensed agent licensed agent will assist you and answer your questions. We can review your policy with you when it arrives, as well. There’s no cost…we are compensated by whichever carrier you choose.

  • ANABELA December 7, 2017, 12:23 pm

    My ex-husband passed away in August of this year and left 2 kids behind. he made some pretty bad choices in his life. My question is when he applied for life insurance he was not a smoker, drug, or alcoholic. He started about five years ago. He had his life insurance for 15 years, can they reject payout because of his bad choices?

    • Randy McClintick December 7, 2017, 2:01 pm

      Life insurance policies are based on the underwriting at the time of application and subsequent approval. Following a standard 2-year contestability period, life insurance is valid for the coverage purchased for a fully medically underwritten policy as long as premiums were paid up to the date of death. The beneficiary should contact the insurance carrier’s claims department.

  • Susan December 11, 2017, 5:49 am

    Does a “guaranteed issue” policy require consent from insured or can I just take it out by myself and pay for it? (I don’t think my ex would consent, but if I have to pay mortgage, it would help).

    • Randy McClintick December 21, 2017, 12:18 pm


      Thank you for visiting JRC’s life insurance website and your question.

      All life insurance requires the person insured to sign the application and be involved in the process. In other words, you can’t insure another person’s life without them being aware of it.

  • Richard June 11, 2018, 1:16 am

    Can a person take out several policys from the same or different companies? Is it frowned upon, or do companies not care.

    • Randy McClintick June 11, 2018, 1:34 pm


      Thank you for contacting JRC Life Insurance and visiting our website.

      It’s not uncommon for people to have 2-4 life insurance policies. There is a limit, however, on the total amount of life insurance carried. It’s based on income and age when you take a policy out, and how much coverage is previously held. The rationale is based on the future financial loss if you die prematurely while others are dependent upon your income. Like all insurance, you’re insuring against a potential financial loss.
      Life insurance is regulated at a State and National level. All applications ask about existing coverage, when/if it may be ending, etc. Give JRC a call at (855) 247-9555 and we’ll verify what you’re eligible for, and quotes for additional or new coverage.

  • Tasha July 17, 2018, 10:22 am

    Can i get no exam life insurance? I don’t care if they ask medical questions. I’m a 50 year old women in great health, no medical history since I haven’t seen a dr since last child was born 28 years ago. Never been sick, no prescriptions, etc.. in other words, how can they check a medical history if you don’t have one. Should be a good thing I’m assuming.thanks!

    • Randy McClintick July 17, 2018, 11:55 am

      Tasha, Thank you for contacting JRC Life Insurance and visiting our website.

      You sound like a great candidate for life insurance not requiring a medical exam! Call JRC at (888) 247-9555 and an agent licensed for your state will review your options and provide accurate, pre-qualified quotes so you can determine which options may best fit your needs.

  • Ed July 24, 2018, 9:55 pm

    Hi, I’m on dialysis. Please send me info for life Insurance that accepts my current situation. Thank you

    • Randy McClintick July 30, 2018, 11:40 am


      Thank you for contacting JRC Life Insurance and visiting our website.

      With the associated risk of kidney dialysis, you will need a “guaranteed issue/acceptance” type of life insurance policy. Most of our clients with this issue choose lifetime fixed cost/fixed death benefit policies. The cost and eligibility depend upon your state of residence, age, and a few other factors. Call us at (855) 247-9555 and we’ll determine your options and can then email the details to you including the cost of coverage and policy tax-free death benefit amounts which carriers will offer.

      Best Regards,
      JRC Life Insurance Service
      (855) 247-9555

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