Is No Exam Life Insurance Worth It?

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If you are planning to purchase a life insurance policy, you should know that insurance companies often want you to be examined by a medical professional before taking out your policy. But if the thought of undergoing a medical exam stresses you out, you can also opt for a no-exam policy that allows you to skip the exam.

Several of CNBC Select’s picks for best life insurance offer no-exam coverage. Mutual of Omaha, one of our top picks for seniors, offers whole life insurance with no medical exam. And a top choice for customer satisfaction, State Farm also offers coverage without a medical exam.

Omaha Mutual Life Insurance

  • price

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • App available

  • Highlights in politics

    Mutual of Omaha offers term, whole, indexed universal life policies and universal life policies giving many options.

  • Policies available up to age 85
  • There are no medical screening options available

  • Limited to $25,000 for guaranteed lifetime policies

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State Farm Life Insurance

  • price

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • App available

  • Highlights in politics

    State Farm offers a variety of term, whole and universal life insurance products to choose from, along with other types of insurance. It is rated highly for both financial stability and customer service.

  • A++ AM Best rating for financial stability
  • Highest customer satisfaction rating
  • There is no medical examination option available

  • Low coverage limit with no medical exam option

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However, you’ll likely pay a price in higher premiums if you opt out of the exam when choosing your life insurance policy. Below, we’ll look at why life insurance companies charge more for no-exam policies and help you decide if it’s worth it for your situation.

Medical examinations are used in insurance, which is the process of deciding how much a person will pay in premiums based on their risk profile. These examinations usually include measuring your height, weight and blood pressure. They also likely include a blood and urine test.

If the exam finds you to be in relatively good health, you will often pay lower premiums because the insurance company sees you as less of a risk. But if you don’t undergo a medical, you’re depriving the company of information it would use to set its prices. “They’re going to assume the worst, they’re going to assume you’re trying to hide some information from them,” says Michael Giusti, senior writer and analyst at “They will make the policy more expensive.”

People with a medical condition that may disqualify them from a policy will stand to gain the most from this type of insurance. Although a no-exam option will likely offer less coverage than a policy that requires an exam, it’s certainly better than no coverage.

No-exam insurance also appeals to people who feel a medical exam isn’t worth the disruption to their routines and would rather pay the higher premiums. Although exams usually take less than an hour and the medical professional can even come to your home, you may have to skip going to the gym in the morning or fast on the day of the exam. “Time has value, and maybe you just don’t want to take the time to do the assessment,” says Giusti.

Finally, anyone who wants to keep their medical history as private as possible will see the benefit of no exam life insurance. “Maybe you have high blood pressure or cholesterol,” Giusti says. “You might have some reason for not wanting to talk about it, so you’re willing to pay that higher rate.”

The pros and cons of no-exam life insurance

Here is a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of this type of insurance:


  • If you have health problems, this can help you qualify if you wouldn’t otherwise be eligible for coverage
  • You avoid revealing any health problems you prefer to keep private
  • You avoid disrupting your schedule


  • Almost anyone in good health will pay more premiums with a no-exam policy than with a health exam policy
  • Your coverage amount may be limited without an exam

There are several types of no-exam life insurance that you will come across when you start shopping for coverage. Some of the types you’ll find include:

  • Group life insurance: Your employer may offer life insurance coverage, usually in small amounts equal to a multiple of your salary. However, you may be able to purchase additional coverage through this policy. It will usually end if you quit your job.
  • Simplified issuance of life insurance: Instead of taking an exam, you have to answer questions about your health to qualify.
  • Guaranteed issue life insurance: No medical information is required and anyone can be approved. However, these policies usually provide a small level of coverage.
  • Accelerated life insurance underwriting: A type of life insurance that uses third-party data about your health and habits, such as prescription drug history and driving records, instead of a medical exam.

Life insurance without an exam may make sense for some people, especially if they have health problems, but those in relatively good health will find less expensive coverage with a policy that requires an exam.

Editorial Note: The opinions, analysis, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are solely those of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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