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What Exactly is a Medical Exam for Life Insurance?

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Verifying the Information in the Questionnaire

For the insurance company, the medical examination allows to verify a lot of information;  it is an opportunity to examine the applicant's medical history in detail and to answer the following questions:

  • Does he or she have or have had a hereditary disease?
  • Has the applicant had a heart attack or stroke?
  • Does he or she have cholesterol?
  • Is the applicant diabetic?
  • Is he or she receiving any medical treatment?
  • Has he/she had surgery in the past few years?

Even though the applicant may not have a medical history, his or her lifestyle habits have a strong influence on his or her life expectancy. The medical examination will determine:

  • Whether the applicant is or has been a smoker
  • If he/she has consumed or consumes alcohol or drugs
  • Height and weight
  • His/her blood pressure
  • If he/she practices risky sports, such as scuba diving.
Screening for Illnesses

Companies generally require the policyholder to undergo a medical examination that includes at least a blood test and a blood pressure test. Sometimes, depending on the insurer, the client must also undergo an electrocardiogram and a urine test.

Estimating Risk

The data provided by the medical examinations combined with the statistics on longevity and the information provided on the medical questionnaire make it possible to determine whether the insurer will accept or refuse to offer a life insurance contract with the applicant. Indeed, nothing prevents the company from refusing to issue a life insurance contract with a person it considers "at risk". It is also the medical examination that will be used as the basis for calculating premiums.

When it comes to coverage, insurers all work in the same way: they want to verify the veracity of the information contained in the medical questionnaire, to know the patient's lifestyle and medical history. Through the medical examination, they are able to detect many illnesses, determine the insurability of the client and calculate the appropriate insurance premiums.