The underwriting process for life insurance with a medical exam
When you submit an application to purchase life insurance, the application goes through what is called underwriting. That simply means the insurance company evaluates the information you’ve provided on the application and other information that might be requested, such as your medical records or financial documents, to determine how much risk the company will be taking on by providing you with life insurance.
Traditionally, getting a life insurance policy also involves scheduling and completing a medical exam. That can be time consuming and inconvenient, and nobody really looks forward to getting a physical exam, do they?
The insurance company picks up the tab for the exam, so that part is painless. But the exam will most likely involve providing a urine sample and having blood drawn — and for those who don’t like needles, that can be an especially nerve-wracking experience.
After you’ve taken the exam, a professional from the insurance company will review your application, the exam results, and any other documents that have been requested. He or she will then use the insurance company’s criteria to approve or deny the application, and determine the final cost of the policy if your application is approved.
All in all, with the initial review, plus extra time for any additional requested reports and clarifications, and mail delivery, the entire process can take months to complete.
And then there’s accelerated underwriting
Fortunately, accelerated underwriting is becoming more and more common. After all‚ when you’re applying for a life insurance policy, the quicker the process the better, right?
Accelerated underwriting is when the life insurance company waives the requirement for medical exams, labs, and physician reports. Accelerated underwriting shortens the process from possibly months to just days — or even hours. Applications are either approved instantly using algorithms or they’re quickly reviewed by an underwriter for final approval.
A comparison of traditional underwriting vs. accelerated underwriting
Note: You always have the option to receive a paper policy by mail rather than a digital version by email if you prefer.
In a fully underwritten process with a medical exam, any and all of the following can delay the process:
- Scheduling the medical exam
- Processing the medical results
- The time it takes the underwriter to review the application and medical results
- The time it takes physicians’ offices to respond to requests for medical records
- The need for mail delivery and wet signatures
- Payment processing
According to a study by the Society of Actuaries, a life insurer typically takes about a month to underwrite each proposed insured.
Whether accelerated underwriter is available depends on several factors, such as:
- Answers provided in the insurance application, including the applicant’s age and health history
- Information contained in the automated reports the underwriter checks
- The type of insurance being applied for
- The amount of coverage requested
The benefits of the accelerated underwriting process
Legal & General America (LGA) is committed to streamlining the life insurance process in every way. In some cases, the company can waive the medical exam requirement — and that’s just one way customers are better served. Another way is by taking advantage of public records that can be pulled automatically; this allows customers to be approved even faster.
Legal & General America’s lab-free accelerated underwriting is lightning-fast because it bypasses the most time-consuming portions of the application process. Policies are often approved within 48 hours of the phone interview, and some can be approved instantly.
With LGA, everything can be done digitally. From signing the application with a voice signature to delivering the policy by email, this technology streamlines and shortens the process by two to three weeks. The first premium can be paid online with a credit card via PayPal®, or by bank draft.
It’s important to note that although the accelerated underwriting is available to many customers, there’s still a chance that you could be required to take a medical exam.
Whether you go through the lab-free accelerated underwriting or the full medical exam process, with Legal & General America you’ll be guided through one of the most streamlined processes in the life insurance industry.
The same product, same pricing
Most lab-free, no medical exam life insurance policies are more expensive than traditional policies that do require an exam because the insurance company assumes greater risk.
But Legal & General America’s lab-free term life insurance is the same exact plan and price whether an exam is required or not. This means that you can get the most competitively priced term policy in the market and still bypass the medical exam requirement.
This is an important distinction because a $30 monthly price difference over a 20-year term policy adds up to $7,200 more in premiums. This is money you can invest or use to better support your family.
Legal & General America also offers a Children's Life Insurance Rider for all of the family’s eligible children. This rider provides death benefit protection for families with one or more children. It can be converted to a permanent policy for the full duration of the guaranteed term period or when the insured reaches age 70, whichever comes first.
Who is eligible for lab-free underwriting?
Life insurance is based on several factors. The better your medical, financial, criminal, and prescription medication history is, the more likely it is you’ll qualify for the accelerated underwriting process. The lab-free program is best for healthy individuals who have regular health checkups, few or no prescription medications, and no history of serious or chronic illness.
How to apply
To begin the application process, call 1-888-984-3393 to speak to a licensed representative. Or, find a financial professional near you.
You only need to answer seven basic questions to get started. Then, an experienced professional will contact you to schedule your interview. If you meet the lab-free accelerated requirements, you can get approved in 48 hours, and possibly even faster!
Banner OPTerm policy form # ICC18-OPTC and state variations. In New York, William Penn OPTerm policy form # OPTN-NY. Two-year contestability and suicide provisions apply. Policy descriptions provided here are not a statement of contract. Please refer to the policy forms for full disclosure of all benefits and limitations. OPTerm 35 and 40 are not available in New York. Accelerated Underwriting Program is not available in Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii and New York. Voice signature and eDelivery for AppAssist are not available in Connecticut.