When a life insurance underwriter assesses your risk and approves, rates up (or declines) a policy, it’s a lot like a loan officer reviewing the facts to determine whether you qualify for a loan. You might feel like you can afford that new mortgage, but it it makes your debt to income ratio 70%, it’s not going to fly.

With life insurance, no matter how you feel or what you believe about your health (physical or mental), what matters to the underwriter is what is on the exam and what is contained in your medical records. Providing a glossed over image of the true story, or providing what you think is true, to an agent or putting it on an application is not going to get the prize you want.

There are those clients who are truly trying to pull the wool over the eyes of a life insurance underwriter, hoping to catch them on a Friday afternoon when their attention has turned to more fun opportunities. While a rare case can slip through without adverse information being detected, it still leaves the newly insured with exactly what they deserve for not telling the truth, a policy that won’t pay if they die. For the first two years that a policy is in force, in the event of death, a company reserves the right (the contestable period) to review all of their underwriting on the case. They can even go back and get additional records that they may not have acquired the first time around. Just because you put a policy in force doesn’t mean you beat the system.

Then there are those clients who truly don’t know (and probably don’t care) what is in their medical records. Their doctor keeps telling them they are “doing just fine and we’ll have you come back in six months and keep an eye on this and an eye on that, but you’re doing great for someone your age, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!!!!!!!! Anyone who has not taken the time to read their entire medical record and who expects to eventually apply for health or life insurance is a fool. I can’t tell you how unbelievably often doctors will say a feel good thing to a patient and then write the reality in the records.

Bottom line. The life insurance underwriter gets to see your story and then they get to review reality on the way to an underwriting decision. They know more about your health than most of you do.