Life Insurance

What Do Life Insurance Companies Test For?

Life Insurance Company Requirements

When you apply for life insurance coverage from most any company, you answer a number of personal questions found on the application. They include:

Current health problems

Family health history


Height and weight

Past illnesses

Risky hobbies or career choices (bull riding, sky diving, etc.)

Smoking, alcohol and drug use information

This is only part of the factors life insurance companies use to determine your premiums. While you provide them the information they need to come up with rates, they also require a medical exam to prove you have not lied on your application.

Who Performs A Life Insurance Medical Exam

Life insurance companies employ licensed health professionals to perform the medical exams. These men and women are trained nurses or paramedicals. They come to your home or office, or you can go to them, and perform a brief health exam. You cannot use your own physician for the exam. The life insurance company hires an unbiased party to perform the required tests.

How Physician Fees Are Handled

Do not worry about paying for this health exam; the life insurance company is responsible for all fees. You will not pay for any tests out of your own pocket. If you receive a bill, call the life insurance company immediately.

What A Life Insurance Medical Exam Entails

The paramedical or nurse that performs the insurance exam often starts with the paramedical asking you a number of health related questions. These include information on your own health history and your immediate family’s.

The next portion of the exam involves your height and weight. The paramedical uses   his or her own equipment to get your height and weight. This information is then recorded on the paperwork sent to you by the perspective insurance company. Some paramedicals receive the paperwork directly from the insurance company. Be sure to ask the insurance company if you should be watching for a package before the day of the medical exam.

Blood pressure and pulse are next. It’s important to remember that nerves can increase blood pressure and pulses. If you are feeling uncomfortable, let the paramedical know. Other portions of the test can be performed allowing you time to feel relaxed with the paramedical.

At some point in the medical exam, the paramedical will draw a vial of blood to test for things like your cholesterol levels, HIV and drug use. A urine sample is also taken. Applicants of large life insurance policies, usually for $1 million or more may be ordered to undergo a treadmill test and an EKG. If this is the case, you may have to go to a health clinic chosen by the life insurance company.