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Unless you choose the “no exam” route in your life insurance purchase, a path that will cost you dearly for the 30 minutes you save, an application will involve an examination that will include a set of lab results that come from blood and urine specimens. In most cases you will get an exam for free, done in the comfort of your own home, that is not a lot different from what you would pay your primary care doctor hundreds of dollars for.

The no exam life insurance route is one that is dangled out there as a way to not have your personal “inside” story divulged to the life insurance company. I’ve had a lot of potential clients ask about no exam life insurance over the years because they think they can somehow get past the rate they were just offered by another company because their lab results were terrible. The truth is that even though they let you off without an exam, they aren’t stupid. If you have applied before any abnormal labs will be noted in the Medical Information Bureau, a practice that most life insurance companies participate in just so they can cut down on those that would game the system. And even if you didn’t apply before, just because a life insurance company let’s you off with no exam, doesn’t mean they won’t look at your medical records or pull a prescription drug history. They are going to find out what your health is, if not through their own lab results, then through all of the other means available to them. You give them permission to do that on the application you sign.

So, when’s the last time you had a full physical including lab work with your primary care doctor? Have you ever had one? Do you even have a doctor? If you’ve never had a full set of lab results, you should. A lot of hospitals will allow you to have a men’s or women’s laboratory workup without a doctor’ s orders and with Google at hand you can easily look up and understand results, normal or abnormal. Life insurance companies generally test for the same things doctors do.

I’m not suggesting that you apply for life insurance just to get lab results, but what I am suggesting is that to go the “no exam” route to avoid the labs may very well be a missed opportunity to know what’s really going on in your health. It’s not a small number of life insurance applicants that I’ve worked with that find out something on their lab results that is eye opening and immensely important. I’ve had clients who found out for the first time that their cholesterol was completely out of whack, that they had type 2 diabetes or were positive for Hep C. I had one client who didn’t just find out he had type 2 diabetes, but found out it was severe enough to keep him from getting insurance. That gets right to the heart of why people are attracted to no exam life insurance. They don’t want to get declined if something is looming in their labs. In the case above the client was grateful, went to his doctor, and within 6 months had his diabetes well controlled and was approved for life insurance.

Bottom line. Had he gone the no exam route he could have suffered all of the collateral health issues that come with out of control diabetes. He would have missed out on the chance to get his health back on track and live a long, much healthier life. If you are considering no exam life insurance, give these two things some thought. 1. In almost every case you will pay more than if you had opted for the fully underwritten, free exam and labs life insurance and 2. You could very well miss an opportunity to find out something of great importance about your health. If you have questions or would like to discuss the two different directions toward approved life insurance, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.