If you’re exploring your options when it comes to life insurance, you may have found no medical life insurance appealing. And it does have benefits, like not having to complete a medical exam. But it has some downfalls, too. No medical life insurance comes with a higher price tag than traditional life insurance and, often, less coverage.
Learn who should — and shouldn’t — opt for no medical life insurance in this guide so you can make an informed and educated decision for yourself and your loved ones.
No medical life insurance is a type of insurance that can be purchased without having to do a medical exam. Different types of no medical life insurance include simplified life insurance and guaranteed issue life insurance.
No medical life insurance might be a good alternative for people who:
But because insurance companies are taking on extra “risk” in providing coverage without a physical exam, they need to charge higher premiums and may not offer the same coverage as traditional policies.
Instead of immediately opting for a no medical policy, apply for an underwritten policy first, like PolicyMe's term life insurance product.
Underwritten policies provide more coverage and lower premiums, so you don’t compromise on how much life insurance you need. And you might not have to do a physical at all.
You’ll start by filling out a health questionnaire, and may be asked to provide medical records. And if you are asked to do a medical exam, it’s no big deal.
To give you a better idea of whether no medical life insurance is right for you, here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of life insurance policies with no medical requirements.
Applying for an underwritten term policy first makes the most sense for the average Canadian family. And you can see how affordable term life insurance can be with PolicyMe below.
No medical life insurance is a good option for those who don’t qualify for life insurance through a traditional life insurance provider.
A no medical insurance policy may be right for you if you:
Instead, look into term life insurance plans to save money and explore better coverage options. Read more about term life insurance in Canada.
If you’re not sure whether you should get no medical life insurance or not, take a look at these real-life scenarios for expert advice from our advisor, Tobin Tuff.
Tobin says, “Probably not, depending on the severity of the phobia. You get much more affordable life insurance, for possibly more coverage with the quick prick of a needle.”
“Not necessarily,” says Tobin. “As a smoker, you may not even need to get a medical exam with a traditional life insurance provider — you’ll just get rated one or two times higher.
Smoker rates exist for no medical policies too — so you’d still get dinged for being a smoker while spending more.”
Read more: The Best Life Insurance for Smokers
Tobin says it’s not a straight “yes” or “no” answer.
“It depends on the terms of the rejection. Some declines come with a timeline stating that you could be accepted 'once X happens' — meaning your application will be reconsidered if you get an additional test, like an ECG or an MRI.
No medical typically means that you’ll pay more, but you’ll be approved right away. Term life insurance is cheaper, but you have to wait.
Most traditional life insurance companies use similar criteria, so if your application is denied by one company, chances are you’ll be denied by another. If you need to, you can use a no medical policy as your plan B.”
“Maybe,” says Tobin. “Most traditional life insurance companies will approve you within 3 years after completing your treatment.
Even no medical policy providers will still ask you medical questions so that will be something they take into consideration for your application.”
“Probably,” advises Tobin. “You would get rated on a traditional life insurance policy for being a skydiving instructor. More so than if you were a smoker!
There’s a chance that a no medical life insurance provider wouldn’t even ask if you partook in skydiving and you’d get their standard rate. This is one of those cases where you could slip through and get all the benefits.”
If you’re still considering no medical life insurance, there are two main types of life insurance for you to choose from: simplified issue life insurance and guaranteed issue life insurance.
Both types allow you to skip a physical medical exam, but one requires some health-related background information from you before you qualify.
Simplified issue life insurance is a type of no medical life insurance that requires you to complete a questionnaire related to your personal medical history.
Potential questions you will need to answer include:
Guaranteed issue life insurance is no medical life insurance that:
And while it may seem like a good option on the surface, the coverage is typically low. For example, for non-accidental deaths due to illness or old age, you can expect as little as $25,000.
In many cases, if you pass away within the first two years of paying premiums, insurance providers will only pay out an amount equal to the payments you made so far. That won’t go very far when it comes to paying a mortgage, covering daycare costs, or saving up for tuition.
Take a look at this comparison between simplified issue, guaranteed issue and term life insurance. Which coverage looks like the best fit for your family?
The cost of no medical life insurance varies. As with any form of life insurance, the cost of no medical life insurance premiums will change based on your “risk” level.
For example, if you’re at a higher risk of becoming ill, getting injured or passing away.
Read more: Can I buy life insurance if I'm overweight?
Here are some average numbers from PolicyMe to give you an idea of how much more affordable term life insurance is compared to guaranteed or no medical life insurance.
With other bills piling up, like daycare, college funds, and retirement, these premiums aren’t affordable for many parents with young families. Even as the rates increase with age, term life insurance still comes out on top.
If you’re in good health, avoid smoking and are otherwise low-risk, you stand a good chance of qualifying for a more affordable life insurance policy that may or may not ask for a medical exam.
While getting a medical exam may seem like an inconvenience, you’ll benefit from lower premiums and more extensive coverage. This keeps more money in your pocket and provides your family with added financial security.
PolicyMe offers Canadians an affordable solution that helps them to save on premiums and benefit from excellent coverage: term life insurance.
Not sure how much coverage you need? Try our life insurance cost calculator. Input your details and we'll tell you how much life insurance you need, at at what price.
The short answer is yes, you can get life insurance if you have pre-existing conditions. Our expert advisor, Tobin Tuff offers his take:
“Most people can get life insurance even if they have a pre-existing condition! During the application, you’ll be asked medical questions to help the life insurance company to get a better idea of your general health. This helps them determine whether they want to take the “risk” of insuring you.
If you’re denied coverage because of your health, the denial might come with a timeline as to when you can reapply.”
Whether or not you qualify for life insurance if you have a pre-existing condition depends on a few of factors, like which condition you suffer from, what your overall health looks like and the requirements of the life insurance company itself.
60+? Read our post on the best life insurance companies in Canada for seniors.
No. Not every life insurance applicant is required to get a medical exam to get their policy.
For example, if you apply for term life insurance through PolicyMe, you might have to undergo a medical exam. In your application, you’ll be asked a series of questions related to your medical history and lifestyle.
Most healthy applicants will be approved without having to visit a doctor if they’re:
Although no medical life insurance is a great option for some, it’s not well-suited to the average Canadian family. If you live a healthy lifestyle, stick to low-risk hobbies and avoid smoking, chances are, term life insurance is a better option for you.
Here’s a breakdown of what term life insurance can offer you:
Still have questions about no medical life insurance? Take a look at these FAQs to ensure you have all the information you need to move forward.
Depending on whether you opt for simplified issue or guaranteed issue life insurance, your coverage will range anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000.
However, it’s important to note that term life insurance doesn’t always require you to complete a medical exam, either.
In order to maximize your coverage and minimize your premiums, it’s best to start with a term life insurance policy.
If your application is denied, or if you’re asked to complete a physical health exam, you can always opt out and move forward with no medical insurance instead.
Recommended reading: Guide to How Life Insurance Works
The best time to get any type of life insurance is as soon as possible. As you age, your premiums will increase. The longer you wait to apply, the more expensive your policy will be. And if you have people in your life who rely on your income, it's worth it to get life insurance as soon as possible.
While this is ultimately a personal decision, it’s important to know exactly what no medical insurance means for your premiums and coverage.
In general, Tobin advises against no medical insurance for healthy people who don’t have any pre-existing health conditions:
“I don’t think you should get no medical insurance. But, you can if you really don’t want to get a medical and you’re willing to pay much more to avoid it. If you’re willing to pay almost double to avoid the nurse visit, then go ahead. But in most cases, shoot for the best with regular life insurance and, if it doesn't work out, you always have other options.”
Guaranteed acceptance no medical policies will approve anyone regardless of their medical status or history.
While you can’t technically be denied, sometimes no medical policies some with such heavily restricted coverage and expensive premiums that they don’t make financial sense for you to take on.
If you choose a no medical policy, evaluate the coverage, premiums, and terms carefully to ensure it provides you with the benefits you need.