What Does a Life Insurance Medical Involve?

Advertisements for "no medical" life insurance policies are hard to miss – you’ll notice them on billboards, the radio and daytime TV all year-round. People who are squeamish about visiting a GP can be tempted to opt for coverage that doesn’t require a medical examination. However, getting a life insurance policy that does require a medical may save you a lot of money in the long run, as no-examination policies often have higher premiums because they're considered riskier for insurers to provide.

If you're deciding whether or not to apply for a policy that requires a visit to the doctor, read on. You'll quickly see that a life insurance medical examination isn't that scary, complicated or invasive!


What You Can Expect from Your Life Insurance Medical Examination

The type and intensity of the medical examination your insurer will need you to undertake will depend on both your personal details (age, gender etc.) and your insurer’s underwriting policies.

Applying for a policy that requires a medical usually involves two steps:

  1. A pre-medical questionnaire: This will include questions about you and your family's medical histories, as well as your lifestyle (smoking, drinking, diet, exercise routines etc.). Sometimes you'll need to take paperwork home and fill it out, and sometimes this will just be a verbal questionnaire that the doctor goes through with you before your examination. If you’ve ever been to a specialist, it’s a good idea to request a copy of your medical records to help you fill out your pre-medical questionnaire with as much detail as possible.
  2. Your medical examination: A basic medical examination is as simple as a check of your height, weight, pulse and blood pressure. If your answers to the pre-medical questionnaire flag certain risk factors, you may also have to take additional tests. The most common form of insurance medical takes no more than 15 minutes and is conducted by a nurse.

Your medical will either be conducted by a nurse or if you have a full examination, a doctor. Some insurers will want you to be examined by their doctors, while others are happy to have your GP do this part of the application.


Everything You Need to Know About Additional Tests

There are three types of additional tests that insurers might ask for:

  1. Blood tests: You might be asked to take a blood test to check your cholesterol, glucose, protein and HIV status, or to test for other conditions that you present a high risk of developing. You may have to fast for 6-12 hours before having a blood test.
  2. Urine tests: These are usually to check for HIV, proteins, glucose, drugs and alcohol or other conditions you’re at risk of having. Your doctor will let you know if you need to fast before this test and if it needs to be carried out at a particular time of day.
  3. Stress ECG: Applicants that present a high risk of heart conditions are sometimes asked to do an exercise stress test. This involves walking or running on a treadmill while your heart’s response is examined. Don’t worry though; you’ll be given plenty of warning if you need to have a stress ECG done and this simple test can save you money on your premiums if no issues are uncovered.

Learn More About Life Insurance Medical Examinations

If you’re looking for life insurance and want information on what Australia’s leading insurer’s medical examination requirements are, get in touch with Cover Australia today. Our friendly team of experts are here to take your questions and walk you through different insurer’s application processes so that you’ll always know what to expect. Dial 1300 366 817 or click ‘Get a Quote’ now to reach someone who can help you make the best decisions about your life insurance needs.

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