The reason you buy life insurance is to provide financial protection for your loved ones. When people start to think about life insurance they can get intimidated with all the medical questions on the application. Some companies offer simple applications where the number of specific questions is minimized but the insurance company is still able to find that information. National databases of medical records are used to check a persons medical history including but not limited to current and past medications. When completing an application the number one rule is not to lie. I will summarize standard questions on the application and how to reduce the chance of being denied.
When shopping for life insurance the worst thing that can happen is being denied for a policy. This usually happens because your current medical condition does not fit acceptable criteria set by the insurance company. Each company is different but if you ever get denied by any company it will be put on your record and will inhibit you from being approved by other companies.
Below are some standard life insurance application questions and ways to make sure you answer them correctly.
Height and Weight:
This is obvious but what most people don't realize is if they are on the bubble which will give them lower rates just by losing a few pounds before the exam. Take a 5'7" female that weighs 182 pounds, she may be two pounds heavier than the preferred rating and this could cost her hundreds of dollars per year. Ask the insurance agent if there is a cutoff level near your height and weight so you can have a chance to lose a few pounds prior to the medical exam.
It may not make sense to most people why your driving history has anything to do with life insurance but consider someone who is consistently getting speeding tickets. This person is more likely to be killed in an auto accident than someone who has never had a ticket. That being said most people have some citation on their record but make sure you have not had a major violation like a DUI or reckless driving ticket in the past five years. Some insurance companies can deny or surcharge your insurance for this or other violations. A good rule of thumb is to have no majors in the last five years and no minors in the past three years.
You will not be denied for life insurance because you smoke or chew but it will cost a lot more. Some people try to lie about nicotine use later to find out the medical exam was able to find nicotine in their system. Never lie on a life insurance application, this is considered fraud and can cost you more than a denied policy. Try to abstain from using nicotine for one year and then apply for life insurance. Your rate will be dramatically lower and you will improve your health.
Life insurance underwriters don't like to see anyone using mood enhancing drugs commonly referred to as anti-depressants. The studies show someone on anti-depressants is more likely to commit suicide and in turn cost the company money. If you are currently on medications to treat depression or high blood pressure just know that it will likely increase your cost of life insurance. Continue to follow your doctors recommendation and put any current medications you take on the application.
Hopefully this gave you some insight on what to expect on your life insurance application. You now know what you can control and what is out of your hands.
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