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How to Score Well on Your Life Insurance Medical Test

Applicants looking to purchase a life insurance policy usually have to go through a life insurance medical test. This test consists of two components: a physical evaluation and a questionnaire session. Passing this test allows applicants to be approved for a life insurance policy.

Many insurance companies also offer other benefits to applicants who score well on the medical test. These benefits include lower premium rates and a better risk classification (this makes it easier for the life insurance companies to qualify you for their life insurance products).

If you’re thinking about purchasing a life insurance policy in the near future and want to do well on both components of your life insurance medical test, try following these tips.

How to Do Well On The Physical Evaluation

1. Schedule The Evaluation At The Right Time And Place

It’s important for you to stay as relaxed as possible when you undergo your physical evaluation. Being stressed out could cause your blood pressure levels to spike and adversely affect the evaluation.

Make sure that you schedule your evaluation at a time that is most convenient for you. Don’t schedule it on a day when you’re pressed for time. If you’re taking your evaluation on a weekday, consider doing it before going to work.

If you feel nervous or uncomfortable with having the evaluation at the broker’s office, ask to have it done at your own home or another place where you feel more at ease.

2. On The Day Of Your Evaluation

Stay away from vigorous exercise and other strenuous physical activities on the day of your evaluation. Remember, being exhausted physically could raise your blood pressure.

Try to stay as refreshed and energized as possible in the hours leading up to the exam. But, at the same time, avoid drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks to boost your energy up. These drinks could cause your heart rates to fluctuate and negatively affect your electrocardiogram (ECG) results.

Try drinking more water instead. This will clean out your system and make it easier for you to provide a urine sample (which you will have to do during the evaluation).

If you’re stressed out by something unexpected that has happened on the day of your evaluation (for example, a death in the family.), immediately ask your broker to re-schedule your appointment.

3. Avoid Harmful Substances

During the physical component of your test, you will be tested (through your saliva, urine, etc.) for any traces of drug use and substance abuse.

If traces of illegal or unauthorized drugs are found in your system during the test, your life insurance application could be immediately terminated. The same thing could happen if your liver shows traces alcohol abuse.

Smokers pay a much higher premium than non smokers and while most urine samples will only show nicotine traces for a week or so, the life insurance application question generally asks if the insured has used any tobacco products or nicotine substitutes within the last year.

If you’re interested in doing well on your medical test, not mention having a healthy lifestyle, consider quitting your smoking habit, abstain from using illegal drugs and avoid excessive alcohol use.

How to Do Well On The Questionnaire Session

1. Be Transparent

The key to doing well on your questionnaire session is being transparent and providing honest answers to any of the questions that are asked.

During the questionnaire, you’ll likely be asked several sensitive questions about your prior medical history and current medical state. The important thing here is to be entirely truthful when answering these questions.

Even if you’ve suffered from a serious disease in the past but are now cured, share that detail and provide information about your treatments.

Remember, insurance companies can and often do employ investigators to ensure the validity of your answers. All of your answers during the questionnaire process are also investigated later on if you ever apply for a claim. If you’re found to have been dishonest or provided inaccurate answers, your claim could be rejected and you could lose your previously paid premiums.

2. Provide Detailed Answers

Aside from being transparent, it’s in your best interest to provide as much detail as possible in your answers during the questionnaire session.

It’s also important to properly listen to and understand all the questions that you’re being asked. You can always ask for a clarification any time you don’t understand the way a question is worded or asked.

Also, many of the questions you will be asked will have multiple parts. Make sure that you understand and answer all the parts of a question.

Providing detailed answers makes it easier for the insurance company to qualify you for their life insurance products and investigate your claims.

3. Be Knowledgeable About The Process and Get Help If Needed

Samples of the questionnaires used by a life insurance company can often be found on that company’s website online. Make sure you read through them and understand all the questions. It’s also important to have all relevant paperwork and records at the ready in advance.

If you don’t have the time to research and understand this process yourself, then ask questions. Your Independent broker or captive agent should be able to easily look up answers to any questions you have on the application process and/or any medical tests.

Chantal Marr is President of LSM Insurance, a leading Canadian life and health insurance brokerage, where she is in charge of product development. She has a B.A. from Laval University and Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario. Chantal is a member of the Independent Financial Brokers of Canada, which gives her the flexibility to deal with all major insurance companies.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • saveddijon March 16, 2015, 6:23 pm

    Another tip:

    As you strive to answer truthfully, carefully avoid certain words or phrases.

    A few years ago my dentist advised me that I’d need some gum grafts – a fairly simple oral surgery procedure. On a disability insurance medical questionnaire where they asked “are you aware of the need for any surgery”, I made the mistake of answering “my dentist advised that I’d require a gum transplant”.

    Bad move.

    These things are not read and scored by humans, but rather by computers. Once the computer sees the word “transplant”, as in “heart transplant”, “lung transplant” or “liver transplant”, alarm bells go off. I was sent a supplementary questionnaire about my teeth and gums, which I answered and sent back. But to this day, my disability insurance has the caveat that I am not covered for any LTD issue involving teeth and gums. Hopefully I don’t get stage 4 tongue/throat cancer.

  • LifeInsuranceCanada.com March 16, 2015, 7:31 pm

    Saveddigon: You are mistaken and you’re misleading readers.

    The decision you received was based on the the procedure, NOT what you called the procedure. And in my experience, there was no computer involved, but likely an underwriter who knows very well everything there is to know about the procedure – maybe even more than your dentist.

    Don’t play weasel words with your insurance applications. Disclose, heck, over-disclose. Start playing terminology games with the insurance company and you’ll find your claim denied for misrepresentation.

    Conversely, clarification is fine – if you need to elaborate, the companies will accept this and change their decision based on new information. It’s rare that this happens because the fact is, the insurance companies have already seen whatever it is that you have going on 10,00 times. I see clarification making a difference about once a year, maybe less. The rest of the time, the response from the underwriter (not the computer) is yes, we know what it is, our decision is already based on what you’re telling us. Yes you called it a graft, we know it’s minor surgery, our decision stands.

  • anon March 17, 2015, 8:29 am

    Thanks for the article. I’d like to add that in respect to smoking, some insurance companies allow a certain amount of casual large cigars per year while being considered a non-smoker. If you enjoy an occasional cigar during the warm months of the summer, it would be worth your while to seek out companies who view this as a lower risk in order to keep your premiums low while being 100% honest.

  • LifeInsuranceCanada.com March 17, 2015, 11:16 am

    Anon is correct. Generally it must be <12 cigars per year. And it has to be the fat stogies; cigarillos (colts, etc) do not qualify. And you have to pee clean :), so make sure you don't have a cigar anytime near the medical exam.

    While it sounds like a good strategy, few people actually fit into this exact qualification.

  • Brandon March 17, 2015, 2:51 pm

    I am one of those cigar people. I go to Cuba, buy a box of 25 cigars… typically the ones that take over an hour to smoke, give away 10, and 5 years later on my next Cuba trip I realize I still have 8 cigars left over from my last trip.

    It’s good to know that will not be much of an impact.

    Do you have any insight regarding heart rate and blood pressure? My resting rate has been in the 80s since I was a teenager and I’ve noticed my Systolic blood pressure can range from 125-140, Diastolic is usually 75-85

  • LifeInsuranceCanada.com March 17, 2015, 3:41 pm

    Brandon:
    While I can’t speak to your numbers, blood pressure and cholesterol would not normallyt cause a problem.

    If these are well controlled by meds and stable, then it shouldn’t be a concern. The companies will go completely sideways though if it’s uncontrolled or unstable.

    I was at a seminar last fall where the chief underwriter from Manulife said that the new mortality tables have eliminated a bump for those in their 50’s. That’s a direct result of the meds that are available to maintain BP and cholesterol.

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