Life Insurance

Best No Medical Exam Life Insurance Companies

If you’ve been thinking about getting life insurance but don’t want to take a medical exam, you might wonder how that will affect your chances of getting insured. We break down the types of life insurance you can get, how to avoid the medical exam, the impact on your premium, and the best no-medical-exam life insurance companies.

Editor's Note

You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone. This content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser, unless otherwise noted below.

With so many insurance policies out there, it can be pretty hard to figure out which one is the right life insurance policy for you and your family.

Many insurance companies require a medical exam before they green-light or underwrite your insurance. There are options for applying for life insurance without the medical exam.

Do you know how much money you can afford to spend on a life insurance policy? Be sure your finances are in order. Use Personal Capital’s free dashboard for a big picture view of where you stand financially. Read more about it in our review.

Why Do Insurance Companies Require Medical Exams?

When you first apply for life insurance, the insurance company may ask you to meet an insurance agent and complete a medical exam as part of its standard underwriting process. Afterward, the insurer will determine your eligibility for coverage and then determine premiums (how much you pay each year for insurance).

This process checks for certain underlying health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV, and potential substance abuse. Most life insurance companies may request any of the following:

  • Urine/blood sample
  • Weight
  • Height
  • Pulse
  • Blood pressure
  • Medical records
  • Family history

If you're above a certain age, the company may ask you to complete a treadmill stress test, electrocardiogram (EKG), or other measures. The insurance company sends your results to the lab for testing before approving or rejecting your request for insurance.

What Is a No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance Policy?

No-medical-exam life insurance eliminates the full medical underwriting process to approve your life insurance policy. You will not need to sit in for a physical exam.

However, the insurer could still ask you to complete a basic health questionnaire about your medical history, which you must answer truthfully. You should not lie about any health conditions or omit any relevant information; if you do, the insurer may charge you a higher premium or revoke your policy.

Many no-medical-exam life insurance policies have an immediate process, so you can get a decision on your application within a matter of minutes.

Theoretically, no-medical-exam life insurance policies should be a win-win for the insurer and the consumer.

But does it really make sense to skip the medical exam during a life insurance application?

What Are the Pros and Cons of No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance?

  • You save time with a simpler application process (often over the phone or online) and may not need to meet in-person with an insurance agent.

  • You avoid the discomfort that comes with potentially invasive medical procedures.

  • You’re likely to get instant approval, particularly if you are young.

  • The insurance company may raise your premium rates down the road since they are starting off with limited knowledge of your medical condition.

  • No-medical-exam life insurance usually limits coverage to smaller amounts (often $25,000 or less), which won’t work if you’re seeking a higher amount of insurance coverage.

  • You will not be eligible for the full death benefit (also known as a graded death benefit) for a few years after the policy takes effect.

Term Versus Whole Life Insurance

To better understand different kinds of no-medical-exam life insurance, let’s dig into the two primary types of life insurance: term and whole life insurance.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is pretty straightforward: the insurance company provides you coverage for the policy's fixed duration (term), whether that's one or 20 years. Term life insurance usually comes in increments of 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years.

Most term life insurance policies maintain consistent premium rates throughout the term, so your premium won't go up or down, especially before the age of 50. Therefore, term is often a cheaper option than whole life insurance.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance lasts for your entire life—from your date of purchase of the policy until your death.

Whole life is a good option if you want to purchase life insurance at a young age. You'll avoid the hassle of needing to find life insurance later on in life, particularly when you might face a higher premium due to age and the greater likelihood of illness or injury.

What Are the Different Kinds of No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance?

In this section, we will look at the different types of no-medical-exam life insurance available, including coverage amounts, rates, and other relevant information.

What Is Simplified-Issue Life Insurance?

Simplified-issue life insurance may be either a term or whole life insurance plan, but with one significant difference: it doesn't require a medical exam. Instead, you will likely fill out a simple health questionnaire.

Insurance companies usually limit coverage under such a plan to $500,000 or less, so if you're seeking a high-coverage $1 million plan, you'll need to consider a different option.

Whether you get a simplified issue term life insurance plan or a simplified-issue whole life plan depends on your age, financial circumstances, health, and other factors.

You should consider simplified-issue coverage if you're young, healthy, and short on time.

What Is Guaranteed-Issue Life Insurance?

However, if you estimate that your death-related expenses (i.e., funeral expenses, your minor children's needs, etc.) will exceed $50,000, you may consider guaranteed-issue universal life (UL) insurance instead.

This type of small, low-coverage policy gives you access to a limited cash value that you can use while you're still living to address educational needs, estate planning, and other matters. It's an excellent option for those who are older and suffering from health issues.

However, you will not be eligible for the full death benefit until a few years after buying the policy, so if you pass away shortly after receiving the policy, your loved ones may only get a refund of what you have paid into it.

You should consider guaranteed issue coverage if a medical exam might prevent you from obtaining insurance or make coverage too costly.

What Is Instant-Approval Life Insurance?

The title pretty much says it all: instant-approval life insurance is a term life insurance policy that offers an expedited underwriting process so that the insurance company can immediately approve your application.

The insurer gathers your driving record and other information about you online, which their algorithm will use to generate a risk assessment. Then, the company determines a premium rate based upon that risk assessment.

In some cases, you may still need to undergo a medical exam after getting approved, especially if you're older or battling certain health conditions. However, for most young, healthy people, a medical exam is unnecessary.

This option is great if you're seeking a convenient way to get life insurance when you have a spare moment from your busy schedule. You can also often access higher coverage amounts than the usual no-medical-exam life insurance. But there are some downsides and limitations.

For example, State Farm's Instant Answer Term Insurance seems like a slam-dunk no-medical-exam policy. Still, it only applies to people between the ages of 16-45, and coverage only lasts until age 50 (or ten years after the policy's issue date, whichever comes sooner).

Remember, no insurance company can guarantee approval for any of its policies. If they do, you should be skeptical of those promises.

Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance Policies Overview

While no-medical-exam life insurance policies typically carry higher premiums, affordable plans have cropped up on the marketplace. Read on to find our buyer's guide for the best no-medical-exam life insurance policies.

Below is a list of sample quotes taken on October 12, 2020 for a male in his 30s.

ProviderType of insuranceAgeCoverage amountMonthly premium costs
Bestow*Term life insurance30s$500,000$29.60
SprouttTerm life insurance30s$500,000$29
Haven LifeTerm life insurance30s$500,000Between $24.63 and $51.33 per month
LadderTerm life insurance30s$500,000$36
LeapLifeTerm life insurance30s$500,000$22.76
EthosTerm life insurance30s$500,000Between $36 and $61 per month
Assurity Life InsuranceTerm life insurance30s$500,000$30.89
John HancockTerm life insurance30s$500,000$34.65
GerberTerm life insurance30s$500,000$67
PrincipalTerm life insurance30s$500,000$23
TransAmericaTerm life insurance30s$500,000$21.07

In-depth Analysis of No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance companies

Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance for Innovative Convenience: Bestow

Bestow logo

Bestow provides a nifty online application known for its innovation and convenience. With flexible cancellation policies, speedy approval, and high coverage amounts of up to $1 million Bestow is great if you need to secure life insurance in a pinch.

    Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance for Maximum Coverage: Haven

    Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance for Young/Healthy Applicants: Ladder

    Ladder logo

    Ladder is a fintech company that carved out a name for itself in recent years. If you’re a young, healthy person under the age of 60, you will be able to forgo a medical exam for coverage up to $3M and obtain term life coverage using Ladder’s efficient website, if approved. Ladder also boasts a massive coverage range, so you’ll be covered no matter what level of coverage you need.

      Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance for Less-Than-Perfect Health and Credit: LeapLife

      Best Instant-Approval No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance: Ethos (Banner Life)

      Ethos boasts a speedy online approval process that can take ten minutes or less, with no in-person visits. This company provides customer service representatives who can chat online or by phone. Banner Life Insurance issues Ethos’ policies.

      Ethos' crowning glory is its accelerated death benefits program, which stands out among its competitors. Accelerated death benefits mean that you can receive the insurance benefits while alive if you receive a terminal illness diagnosis.

      However, if you live in New York, you're out of luck: Ethos does not operate in your state. And Ethos may still try to get you to take a medical exam, depending on the circumstances.

      Sample Quote from Ethos (from October 12, 2020):

      • Coverage amount: $500,000
      • Gender: Male
      • Age: 30s
      • Type of insurance: Term life insurance
      • Years of coverage: 20
      • Monthly premium costs: Between $36 and $61 per month

      Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance for Mid-Range Coverage: Assurity Life Insurance

      Unlike many other companies, Assurity offers a simplified term issue program that does not require a medical exam, and you will likely receive an approval within 72 hours.

      Assurity caps its coverage at $350,000, so if you're a young, healthy individual looking for higher coverage, you may want to look elsewhere. But Assurity provides a great option for older individuals who want to go beyond final expense coverage.

      Sample Quote from Assurity (from October 12, 2020):

      • Coverage amount: $500,000
      • Gender: Male
      • Age: 30s
      • Type of insurance: Term life insurance
      • Years of coverage: 20
      • Monthly premium costs: $30.89

      Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance with Wellness Benefits: John Hancock

      With other insurance companies, you’ll struggle to get more than $350,000 worth of coverage with a no-medical-exam option—but not so with John Hancock. John Hancock offers up to $1 million for its no-medical-exam life insurance, and you can receive your approval within 72 hours.

      Plus, John Hancock offers a tempting benefits program, Vitality, to help you stay active while also earning you savings for healthy behavior.

      Sample Quote from John Hancock (from October 12, 2020):

      • Coverage amount: $500,000
      • Gender: Male
      • Age: 30s
      • Type of insurance: Term life insurance
      • Years of coverage: 20
      • Monthly premium costs: $34.65

      Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance for People with Pre-Existing Conditions: Gerber

      Gerber provides multiple options (term life and whole life), giving you the flexibility that you need when considering life insurance. Some of those options require filling out a health questionnaire, although no medical exam is necessary.

      A rare find, Gerber allows you to bypass any health questions for their guaranteed-issue, final expense coverage of up to $25,000 for burials and other matters.

      While premiums at Gerber may be high, this is an excellent option for people with pre-existing conditions who might be shut out of purchasing life insurance from other companies.

      Sample Quote from Gerber (from October 12, 2020):

      • Coverage amount: $300,000
      • Gender: Male
      • Age: 30s
      • Type of insurance: Term life insurance
      • Years of coverage: 20
      • Monthly premium costs: $67

      Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance with Expedited Underwriting: Principal

      Principal offers an accelerated underwriting process, which allows people who meet certain qualifying criteria to forego a medical exam and receive an approval within a day. The company boasts a century-plus track record of providing quality insurance to Americans.

      Sample Quote from Principal (taken October 12, 2020):

      • Coverage amount: $500,000
      • Gender: Male
      • Age: 30s
      • Type of insurance: Term life insurance
      • Years of coverage: 20
      • Monthly premium costs: $23

      Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance for Final Expense Coverage: TransAmerica

      Healthy individuals should seriously consider TransAmerica for limited final expense coverage needs. It's not a great option for people seeking high amounts of coverage, but the premium is fairly low, and it will give you the peace of mind you need for burial expenses.

      Sample Quote from TransAmerica (from October 12, 2020):

      • Coverage amount: $500,000
      • Gender: Male
      • Age: 30s
      • Type of insurance: Term life insurance
      • Years in coverage: 20
      • Monthly premium costs: $21.07

      Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance for Older Americans: AARP

      If you're part of the millennial crowd, then you're probably scratching your head at this option.

      But if you're a senior, you should know that the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) stands out as providing the best no-medical-exam life insurance program for adults above the age of 45, particularly if you're seeking a lower coverage threshold. This organization offers both term and whole life programs.

      Quote unavailable from AARP. Here are some Quick Facts about AARP:

      • Coverage amount: $50,000 for 45-year-olds (whole life), $100,000 for 50 and above
      • Eligibility age: 45-59
      • Type of insurance: Term and whole life
      • Monthly premium costs: Start around $13, based on a variety of factors

      Why Should I Get No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance?

      You should consider purchasing no-medical-exam life insurance if any of the following situations apply to you.

      You're Young & Healthy

      As a young, healthy person, you might think that you would have no issues with a medical exam, so why not go for it? That's true, but it may also not be worth the hassle.

      As a young person, you'll be eligible to apply for nearly every no-medical-exam life insurance exam, and with your healthy background, you'll easily pass the basic medical questionnaire.

      You're Single

      If you are unmarried and have no dependents, you may want to opt-out of a medical exam, as your needs for insurance coverage remain low, so pursuing a high-coverage plan may not be necessary at this point, especially if you don't engage in risky behavior.

      You Need Life Insurance Quickly

      With instant-approval options and short turnaround times for approval of simplified issue coverage, no-medical-exam life insurance works great when you want your insurance needs taken care of quickly and with no fuss.

      It's a great option if your busy schedule rarely allows for excess time to take care of tedious, but necessary, affairs such as life insurance.

      Should I Just Take the Medical Exam?

      Are there times when it makes sense to go for the full medical underwriting process?

      Sure. If any of the following criteria apply to you, then you should probably allow for full medical underwriting in your insurance application. In other words: get the medical exam.

      If You're Not In a Rush

      One of the main benefits of no-medical-exam life insurance is the short approval process. With a normal life insurance underwriting process, it can take 30-60 days to get the results of your testing, and even longer for the insurance company to review and approve your application.

      But if you're in no rush, then why not wait? You'll have a greater choice of insurance options if you do.

      You Don't Want to Face Higher Premium Rates

      It may not be worth saving that trip to the doctor's office if you're just going to make up for it with exorbitant premium rates. Speak with an insurance agent and get a premium estimate for your plan before you decide whether or not to proceed with a medical exam.

      You're Older

      Likewise, if you're an older person (above the age of 60) or someone seeking a higher amount of insurance coverage, you'll likely need to get a medical exam in order to obtain life insurance due to your higher risk status.

      Life insurance policies for senior individuals often entail more rigorous medical testing, but the payoff will be worth it if it allows you to obtain the necessary coverage at an appropriate premium rate. However, you may be denied coverage based upon your health history.

      You Want a Higher Coverage Level

      If you're going to the effort of getting life insurance, it probably means that you're concerned about the future of your loved ones. You want them to be taken care of after you've passed away.

      A higher coverage level also makes more sense if you have a family to support. Many instant-approval, no-medical-exam life insurance policies cap coverage levels at $50,000; some cap even lower at $25,000.

      If your death would mean a significant loss of incomeparticularly if you are the breadwinner or care for minor children or adult dependentsthen you should consider a higher level of coverage, such as $100,000 or more. That level of coverage will likely require a medical exam.

      Do All Companies Carry No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance?

      No. If you're finding it difficult to connect with an insurance company that provides no-medical-exam life insurance, consider hiring an independent insurance agent.

      Independent insurance agents work with numerous insurance agencies, affording their clients multiple options when it comes to choosing life insurance. They work in contrast to "captive" life insurance agents, who only represent one insurance company and may offer a more-limited product.

      Deciding on No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance

      Picking a life insurance plan isn't as easy as it sounds. How much insurance should you get? Do you want whole life insurance or term life insurance?

      And then you have to decide whether getting a medical exam will be inconvenient for you in the short-term. And if you end up skipping an exam, you might end up paying more in the long run.

      But the companies that we've mentioned in this article are a great place to begin your search for the best no-medical-exam life insurance. Or consider hiring an independent insurance agent.

      If you want to widen your pool of options, compare life insurance rates on Policygenius today. You'll be at ease knowing that you've taken the first step to help protect your family's future.

      Summary of the top No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance Companies

      ProviderBest For
      Bestow*Innovative Convenience
      SprouttPeople with Healthy Lifestyles
      Haven LifeMaximum Coverage
      Ladder LifeYoung/Healthy Applicants
      Assurity Life InsuranceMid-Range Coverage
      John HancockWellness Benefits
      GerberPeople with Pre-Existing Conditions
      PrincipalExpedited Underwriting
      TransAmericaFinal Expense Coverage
      AARPOlder Americans

      Bottom Line

      There are so many different types of life insurance, so don’t worry if you find it a bit confusing. If you want life insurance but think you want to forgo a medical exam because of time constraints or another reason then the list in this article is the best place to start.

      Chris Muller

      Chris Muller

      Chris has an MBA with a focus in advanced investments and has been writing about all things personal finance since 2015. He's also built and run a digital marketing agency, focusing on content marketing, copywriting, and SEO, since 2016. You can connect with Chris on Twitter @moneymozartblog.

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