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Can you get Life Insurance without a Medical Check?

When you apply for life insurance, you will generally be asked a few questions about your physical health. In some cases, you may be asked to complete a medical check with your GP. You might wonder why insurance companies do this and if it’s necessary for you to go through a medical check to get life insurance.

The quick answer is no, you don’t need a medical check for all types of life insurance policy. We’ve talked to thousands of customers over the years who have struggled to find the right life insurance because of their medical history. Policies like guaranteed life insurance can be useful in these situations, as they require NO medical information for your application to be approved.

Here we’re explaining more about what to expect if a life insurance provider wants more medical information and how to get life insurance if you don’t want to have one.

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60-Second Summary – Can you get life insurance without a medical check?

Our aim with this guide is to provide as much useful information as possible about life insurance medical checks and how they work. A medical check is nothing to be worried about and simply gives the insurer more relevant information, so they can be sure the policy and price they offer is suitable for your situation and the cover you need.

  • A medical check is a quick way (usually 20-30 minutes) to check for early signs of serious medical conditions like heart disease or diabetes. Insurers ask for medical checks so that they have a better understanding of your overall health and lifestyle.
  • The results of a medical check can affect the cost of your life insurance policy. It is a good idea to try and make healthy lifestyle choices before applying for life insurance to reduce the risk of this happening.
  • There are options available if you don’t the hassle of a medical check or are worried it will make your policy too expensive. Guaranteed life insurance is the main option in this situation. These policies are guaranteed to provide cover with no medical questions at all.
  • If you want more information about life insurance and medical checks, you should speak to a life insurance expert for proper advice.

If you are aged between 40 and 75, you may already have had a medical check several times as the NHS recommends a health check every five years for this age group. They are invaluable as a way to spot serious health conditions in the early stages.

A medical check under the NHS usually lasts 20-30 minutes. It can help spot the early signs of diabetes, heart and kidney disease, and stroke. The GP or nurse will also advise you on how to decrease the risk of contracting any of these conditions by looking at your lifestyle and diet.

You will be asked a few questions about your medical history and daily habits. Your height, weight, and blood pressure will be measured and you may also get a blood test.

Insurers generally ask for a medical examination so they can accurately calculate the monthly premiums (or yearly premiums) you will pay. The more they know about your health, the more accurate they can be.

A medical check is more likely to be requested if you are a bit older or already have a pre-existing medical condition. It is nothing to worry about and a check-up will even be beneficial to your overall good health in the long run.

There are many reasons why a medical check can be a positive and especially good that it can reduce the cost of your life insurance premiums. If the check reveals you are generally healthy and at low risk for developing serious medical conditions this can make an insurer more likely to approve your application.

If the medical exam confirms that you are a high-risk case for a certain condition, it may cause your premiums to be a bit higher than someone who is not as at risk. This can also depend on your diet and lifestyle choices, for example, if you are a smoker then you are more likely to contract an illness like lung disease.

You have a good chance of lowering the cost of your premiums if you make healthier lifestyle choices at least 12 months before you apply for life insurance. This may involve quitting smoking, exercising three times a week, or eating a healthier diet. You are likely to see much better results from your medical exam than if you go in while still smoking a ten pack a day.

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Usually, you will have to answer at least one or two general medical questions when you buy regular life insurance. However, there are options for you if you do not want to go through a medical check at all.

If you’re not sure about how medical checks work for life insurance or just want some more advice, you can talk to a life insurance specialist for free guidance and support.

An insurance policy that doesn’t ask you for a full medical exam when you apply is called no-medical life insurance.

There are two situations where you won’t be asked for a medical check:

  • You are low risk
  • If the insurance provider considers you ‘low risk’ they may not ask for further medical information during your life insurance application

    If you are relatively young, have an uncomplicated medical history, and have a healthy lifestyle (which includes; not smoking, exercising regularly, and having a healthy diet) then your insurer may not need to ask you for a medical check before deciding on price. This is because they can already predict that you are at low risk of contracting a serious illness during the term agreed.


  • You buy whole of life insurance
  • With term insurance, it is not certain whether the insurer will pay out as you may live well after the end of the term. This is why a medical check is important. However, with whole of life insurance, a pay-out is guaranteed as the cover is until the end of your life. Be aware that this also means the premiums will be a little higher.

    Guaranteed life insurance (also known as guaranteed acceptance life insurance) is an insurance policy designed to accept all applicants. These policies won’t require any medical questions or checks when you apply.

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    Guaranteed life insurance can be a good option for people who have serious health conditions or lifestyle factors that might make getting life insurance a little more complicated.

    Other benefits of guaranteed life insurance:

    • Fixed monthly premiums (price never changes)
    • Increasing cover options (depends on the insurer)
    • GUARANTEED to pay out to your loved ones (after a minimum amount of time, usually after you have had the policy for 12 months)

    Some of the UK’s biggest and best known insurance providers sell guaranteed life insurance policies. If you would prefer to choose a familiar name for your life insurance policy there are some great options available for you.

    The main UK insurers selling guaranteed life cover are:

    Many people wrongly believe that guaranteed life insurance is only for over 50s. While these policies were initially designed for people over 50, more and more insurers now offer guaranteed policies to younger applicants. Over 50s life insurance is still a popular form of guaranteed life cover as it offers a range of policy benefits and will normally include features such as funeral benefit.

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    It is most common to be asked for a medical check when buying life insurance if you are older, are asking for a high amount of cover or you already have one or more medical conditions. This is because the insurer wants to work out how high the risk is that you will need to claim on your policy.

    Generally medical checks aren’t anything to be overly concerned about and are just something that is requested to give the insurer a better picture of your overall health. The insurer should arrange and pay for the check for you so you don’t need to worry about sorting this yourself.

    Most life insurance policies will require at least some medical questions when you apply. There are some basic questions that insurers will want the answers to when trying to work out the cost of your policy and what cover is most suitable for you.

    Some common questions that you could be asked include:

    • Have you been diagnosed with or experienced symptoms of any medical conditions within the last 5 years?
    • Do you have a family history of medical conditions such as cancer, MS or Parkinson’s disease?
    • Are you awaiting results from any medical tests, scans or investigations?

    Being asked for further medical information isn’t a bad thing and isn’t something you should be worried about. Providing extra medical evidence can be seen as a positive in most cases. It gives you peace of mind that your cover is guaranteed to be valid and is more likely to pay out without any issues.

    Here are some examples of further medical information that an insurance provider may ask for when you apply for life insurance:

    1. GP report – This is a report from your doctor about your medical history. The insurer will be able to ask for this information on your behalf, so you won’t need to get this and send it over yourself.
    2. A specialist report – If you have seen a specialist because of a medical condition, the insurer might want a report from them about your health.
    3. Nurse screening – This is where a nurse visits you at home to perform some basic medical checks. This can be arranged for a time that is convenient for you and ensures the insurer has the most up to date information about your health.
    4. Telephone medical – This type of medical involves being asked medical questions over the phone. This will usually be a basic questionnaire asking for more details about your general health, medical history and any family history of medical conditions.
    5. Targeted report – The insurer could ask for a more specific medical report from your GP or doctor. This normally happens if you have a specific medical condition that the insurer views as being ‘higher risk’ e.g. cancer or MS.

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    Is it worth paying for life insurance?

    Yes, if you’ve got children or financial dependents then you should have life insurance to protect them if you die. Martin Lewis and the Financial Conduct Authority recommend that you take out life insurance to protect your family and your home. Generally, life insurance premiums start from as little as £5 per month and will be cheaper for younger adults.

    Common myths about life insurance:

    • Life insurance won’t pay out (pays out 98% of claims)
    • People with medical conditions can’t have life insurance
    • Life insurance is expensive
    • Savings can be just as effective as life insurance
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    What is the average cost of life insurance per month?

    Based on recent research carried out, the average cost of life insurance is approximately £38 per month and the average level of cover is £152,000. Life insurance premiums also vary dramatically from one insurance provider to another and you can reduce your monthly premiums by shopping around.

    Fundamentally, life insurance premiums vary depending on your age, health and the amount of cover that you need, starting from as little as £5 per month. You can also get life insurance to protect your family and your home against financial loss if you die.

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    Average cost of life insurance - iam|INSURED

    What does life insurance cover you for?

    Life insurance is a monthly renewable ‘term insurance’ contract that pays out a cash lump sum or regular payments on death to your family or beneficiaries. Policies are most commonly used for family protection or mortgage protection for your loved ones if you die and your household income reduces, plus the additional issues of losing a parent or carer.

    Traditional life insurance will not exclude any pre-existing medical conditions and will cover suicide after 12 or 24 months. You can also use life insurance for business protection purposes as well as tax-efficient business life insurance for directors or key people.

    What are the disadvantages of life insurance?

    The biggest and most common problem that consumers have with life insurance is the cost and the monthly premiums. This is the top reason for policy cancellations and why more people don’t take out life insurance to protect their family.

    Another key disadvantage with life insurance is that it holds no investment value, nor can you cash it in. Life insurance works like any other traditional general insurance policy (e.g. car insurance, house insurance, pet insurance etc.), you pay a monthly premium and it will pay out in the event of a claim. Some people decide to use savings instead of taking out life insurance but you need to make sure that you have sufficient savings to cover the costs of death for your family.

    Why do I need life insurance?

    The fact is that nobody actually ‘needs’ life insurance, but it is strongly recommended that families and couples have cover to protect their loved ones in the event of death. Martin Lewis recommends life insurance and says “this is something that every parent, partner, or person with any other type of dependent needs to consider”.

    Life insurance financially protects your loved ones if you die and pays out a cash lump sum to repay your mortgage, pay for school fees, replace lost income, and pay for regular outgoings. Mortgage life insurance is not linked to your mortgage debt so you can use it to pay off some or all of your mortgage.

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