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When applying for life insurance, applicants typically must undergo a medical exam to evaluate their health, which determines their life insurance classification and the premium offered for coverage.

Although applicants self-report various aspects of their health on their initial application, the medical exam helps insurers get a better picture of the applicant’s actual health and any risk factors that can affect their life insurance premium.

What Happens During the Life Insurance Medical Exam?

Medical exams for life insurance typically have two components. The first is an interview with an underwriter who asks various questions about your health and lifestyle; the second is a physical exam to medically evaluate your health.

It’s important to answer every question during your interview as truthfully as possible. If it’s discovered at a later time that you weren’t truthful, your policy may be canceled and/or your loved ones denied the death benefit.

The physical exam may include things such as a blood test, urine test, electrocardiogram, and other diagnostics to evaluate your physical health. In many cases, the insurance carrier covers these tests.

What Is a Life Insurance Classification?

Your life insurance classification correlates to your health risk, as determined by the medical exam. The purpose of a classification is to match you with an appropriate premium.

In many life insurance products, you might see classifications such as the following:

  • Preferred Plus: You are considered to be at the lowest risk, so you can benefit from the lowest premiums.
  • Preferred: You are considered to be at very low risk and can benefit from very low premiums.
  • Standard: You are considered to have average risk and can benefit from premiums most people would receive.
  • Table Ratings: You might be considered to be at higher risk due to your health history, lifestyle, and other complex factors. This means your premiums may be higher than average.
  • Smoker Ratings: You are considered to be at very high risk due to tobacco use, so you may be offered the highest premiums available.

If you aren’t satisfied with your classification, efforts to become healthier can put you in a more favorable category. Quitting smoking and losing weight can go a long way, but keep in mind that your age is also an important factor that you can’t change.

Why Does My Health Affect My Life Insurance Premium?

Your health affects your life insurance premium because it correlates with your life expectancy. While it’s possible for someone who’s a smoker, obese, or has a chronic disease to live a long life, such people are statistically more likely to have shorter lives.

For that reason, certain aspects of your health that may be revealed by your life insurance medical exam can affect your classification and premium.

Contact Insurance Specialists, Inc. to Learn More

If you have additional questions about life insurance, the application process, or wish to find a policy that’s right for you, don’t hesitate to contact us! At Insurance Specialists, Inc., we can offer the full support you require to find life insurance that can protect your loved ones.

Reach out to us online for more information!