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Applying for Life Insurance? Here's What to Expect

Life insurance is an important part of your estate planning strategy. You can use it to provide money for your children's education, cover your funeral expenses and leave money behind for loved ones. Understanding what to expect and what you need for the application can help make the process easier. 

Below we’re discussing what you need to complete the application, what your medical examination might include and what to do if you don't pass the health requirements. Our team at Walsh Financial Services can help you decide which policy best suits your needs and budget. In the meantime, keep reading to learn more about securing a life insurance policy. 

Information Needed for the Life Insurance Application

If you could just pick a policy and pay the premium, buying life insurance would be simple. 

Unfortunately, there are a few more steps to the process. To start, you’ll want to choose between permanent and term life insurance. A permanent life insurance policy covers you for your entire life, while term life insurance covers you for a set period of time. Additional steps and considerations include:

  • Calculating how much coverage is needed (based on spouse's earning potential, the age of your children, current debt levels, monthly expenses and more). 
  • How to pay for the policy (annually, semi-annually, quarterly or monthly).
  • Other life insurance policies you may already have. If you already have life insurance or are applying for more than one policy, this may cause the insurer to question why you need additional coverage.
  • Your annual income.
  • Net worth, including assets such as real estate, stocks and cash assets.

Medical Information

Even though you undergo a medical exam as part of the application process, you should still expect medical questions on the application. These questions may include:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Date of birth
  • Lifestyle habits 

If you smoke, drink or have other lifestyle habits that the insurer considers a risk, it may impact your eligibility for life insurance or the price you pay for your policy. 

What Can I Expect During the Medical Exam?

The medical exam for each carrier may vary slightly. However, you can expect to undergo an in-person medical exam at a time and location that is convenient for you. For some, this is the most uncomfortable part of the process.

During the exam, the medical professional guides you through the requirements, which may include:

  • Documentation of your medical history (including surgeries, prescription medications and other details)
  • Details about your family's medical history
  • Current blood pressure
  • Current heartbeat characteristics
  • Height and weight
  • Blood and urine samples
  • Questionnaire or interview about lifestyle habits such as drinking, exercise, smoking, recreational drug use, travel and certain risky hobbies.

There may be other tests depending on what policy you choose, your age or the amount of coverage needed. These could include a chest x-ray, an EKG or a treadmill (stress) test. 

What If the Insurance Company Denies My Application?

Your options after an insurer denies your application depend on the reasons for the denial. If you were turned down due to health risks, you can seek a policy that doesn't require a medical exam. These policies, however, can cost more money. You can also seek life insurance through your employer during an open enrollment period. These policies often don't require a medical exam. Additionally, you can wait, improve health conditions under your control and try again later down the road.

Our team at Walsh Financial Services can help you choose a policy that works best for you and helps you leave a legacy behind for your beneficiaries. In the meantime, consider making healthy lifestyle choices that make it possible for you to support your dependents for a long time to come. This will help you keep your premiums down and let you get as much life insurance as your budget allows. 

Walsh Financial Services Can Assist You in Obtaining the Best Policy for Your Needs

At Walsh Financial Services, we are an independent broker and have access to dozens of carriers. In other words, we are not bound to sell any carrier's particular product. By having access to in-house underwriters who can shop the market and negotiate on your behalf, we put our client's best interest first. This allows us to assist you in securing the most favorable policy and rate possible based on your current health profile.

If you find yourself without insurance or an inadequate amount, let us help you get started. Do you have a life insurance policy that is about to expire, rates increasing soon or an existing policy that is too expensive? Contact us today at (314) 392-2846 to determine if any of the following options are suitable for your needs. 

Keep the current policy and pay the increased premiums.

For most, this is not usually the best option because of the increasing costs that steadily rise yearly.

Convert the current policy to a plan of permanent insurance.

You may potentially be eligible for a policy conversion. Applicants do not undergo underwriting with conversion policies. In other words, medical records or exams will not be ordered. Converting your current policy to a permanent plan may be beneficial if you have developed health risks/events from when the policy was originally issued. If you are concerned these health risks/events may result in increased premium rates, converting to a permanent plan may be a great option to consider.

Apply for a new life insurance policy.

With a new policy, you will undergo underwriting. This process will include the ordering of medical records and exams. Applying for a new policy may be beneficial if you have not developed any significant health risks/events from when you first applied for your current policy.

Please contact our team at Walsh Financial Services (314-392-2846) to discuss your options for life insurance or other financial planning services our firm could provide for your family.


This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security--.