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The life insurance quotes we provide are always subject to “complete medical underwriting” which includes an examination (labs and physical exam) and a review or your medical records.

One of the larger bones of contention when it comes to underwriting is lab results that either don’t match up with your perception of how healthy you are, or labs that seemingly contradict recent labs done by your own doctor.

There are some “volatile” labs that can actually change from day to day depending on what you’ve eaten or drank, or what over the counter meds you’ve gulped down, but for the most part, if labs were done by your doctor and both that and your insurance labs were fasting tests, there should be little or no difference.

A few tests that I know are “volatile” are triglycerides and to some extent total cholesterol. These tests can vary pretty widely in the absence of fasting. I’ve been challenged on the subject of good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL) when they come back high, but to the best of my knowledge and study, these are pretty stable numbers and should vary much in short periods of time and shouldn’t be impacted by fasting or lack of to any great extent.

I’ve also been challenged on liver function tests. “My doctor said my liver functions were normal”. And that may be accurate, but most doctors don’t run a GGTP which is a test of general liver irritation for lack of a better medical term. GGTP often picks up on irritation that the normal AST and ALT test don’t such as intolerance to medication or perhaps a liver that has processed a bit too much alcohol.

Labs, if there is a recent, comparable set available can be challenged in most cases. One of those results that most companies won’t retest is for nicotine. The reason is that by the time a person is told the test is positive and they arrange a retest, they can simply clean up their act and come up negative. Not fair to the life insurance company, especially when it involves a test that has a very high degree of accuracy.

Bottom line. Life insurance companies use reputable examiners who seal and bar code their samples to avoid potential mixing of results and they use reputable national labs to complete the tests. If you have had a recent set of labs done by your doctor in all fairness you should provide your agent with a copy before you do new labs.

No lab tests are perfect all the time, but if you fast your life insurance labs should be an accurate reflection of what’s going on at that time. If something comes up that you have a question about, work with your agent to get to the answer you both need.