In this article, we’ll cover the following topics as they relate to the life insurance application process:
- The Five Steps Involved in the Life Insurance Application Process
- Step 1: The Application
- Step 2: The Medical Exam
- Step 3: Attending Physician Statements (APS)
- Step 4: Underwriting
- Step 5: Your Offer
- Key Information to Have Ready During the Application Process
- Factors That Could Affect Your Life Insurance Rates
Shopping for life insurance is a unique experience in the sense that you can’t buy it and take it home with you immediately. There are several different components of the application process, and the entire process can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks.
It’s important to understand the process if you’re in the market for life insurance.
Any misunderstandings about the application process could delay your coverage or could even cause you to be declined for coverage. Because life insurance is such an important purchase, it’s vital that you fully understand everything that’s going to happen and the best way in which to navigate the process.
The Five Steps Involved in the Life Insurance Application Process
Most insurance companies require their insurance policies to be sold to consumers through licensed life insurance agents. In some instances, a consumer can purchase life insurance directly through an insurance company, but chances are high that they will overpay for that policy. The reason for that is because life insurance agents have the ability to compare quotes from various companies. This is why it is crucial to use an experienced agent who can ensure the application process is smooth and quick, while also finding the best policy. The first step of the process is to speak with an insurance agent who will get your life insurance application started.
Step 1: The Application
An insurance agent will contact you and will complete your application for you based on your answers. It’s important in this step to be as upfront and honest as possible. Not only is lying fraudulent but if, (and when!) the insurance company finds out, they can deny your application, cancel your policy, or deny your beneficiary your death benefit depending on where in the process they discover the untruths. All that to say, be honest! It only works in everyone’s favor.
Wondering what questions might be asked during the application process?
The life insurance application process can get very personal, but we’re here to help. Be prepared to answer questions relating to your:
- Physical health
- Mental health
- Height and weight
- Family medical history
- Name and contact information for your primary care physician
- Income and debts, if any
- List of prescription medications, if any
- High-risk activities, if any
- Tobacco use or marijuana use, if any
- Travel plans, if any
The most important item you’ll want to have ready is the term (how long you want to be covered) and the coverage amount (what dollar amount is given to your beneficiary). If you can’t decide what kind of insurance policy you’d like, one of our agents can help you with that decision.
Keep in mind that at this point in the application process, you’re not locked into purchasing a policy, so you have some time to determine what type and how much insurance coverage is best for you.
Step 2: The Medical Exam
After you and your insurance agent have completed your insurance application, we’ll schedule a paramedical exam. A paramedical exam is an in-person meeting with a licensed medical worker, usually a registered nurse, who collects important health information from you on behalf of the insurance company. The exam is FREE to you and can be completed at your home, work, or the paramed facility.
We recommend doing this exam first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. More tips to prepare for a life insurance medical exam here, including an invaluable piece of advice from an RN on how to drop your blood pressure reading by 10 points.
During the 30-minute exam, the paramed will obtain the following health information:
- Height measurement
- Weight measurement
- Blood pressure reading
- Blood sample
- Urine sample
- And other vitals as necessary
If taking a medical exam doesn’t work for you, there are options for obtaining life insurance with no medical exam.
Step 3: Attending Physician Statements (APS) or doctor records
An Attending Physician Statement (APS) will be ordered from your primary care physician on your behalf. The APS, as was the case with your medical exam, is FREE to you. This part of the process can slow down and take the longest, depending on how quickly your physician returns this information. We’ve found that the average turn time for this is 2-3 weeks after it was requested.
Step 4: Underwriting
The underwriters, the people at the insurance company who determine your risk, will review your APS and the results of your medical exam. In addition, they will run an MVR, a motor vehicle record, as reported by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
An MVR report may include information relating to the following:
- Your driver’s license status
- Driving violations or convictions, if any
- Points history, if any
The underwriting process may take 1-2 weeks depending on the length of, and the detail of information provided in, your APS.
Step 5: After a full evaluation, the underwriters will determine your health class and make an offer
If you were honest with your agent regarding your health, there should be no surprises here. Your class rating is going to determine the premiums that you’ll pay for your coverage. At this point, you can opt to accept the life insurance company’s offer or decline it.
That’s it! The process is of no cost to you and you are NEVER under any obligation.
A lot of people are confused about the application process, which keeps some people from getting the protection that they need. As you can see, the process is simple and requires very little work on your part.
There are dozens of different kinds of policies, but all of the applications are extremely similar. The only way that is notably different is a no exam medical life insurance policy, which is the same, minus the medical exam.
The goal of every life insurance application is to be “Approved As Applied For”. Meaning your agent quoted you the correct rate. If you have any questions regarding the life insurance application process, please contact our team here at RootFin.com.
Getting the most Affordable Life Insurance Coverage
Now that you know what happens during the application, you need to know how you can snag the cheapest life insurance out there.
As you can see from the application process, your health is a big deal when it comes to your rates. Before you take the medical exam, get in great shape.
If you’re not in the best health, you shouldn’t wait to buy coverage. You can always request they retake the medical exam.
For example, if you’re needing life insurance for diabetics; we can certainly help.
Another thing that you can do is to eliminate any tobacco that you’re currently using. Smokers pay twice as much as a non-smoker for the same coverage. Cutting cigarettes can save you thousands of dollars on your life insurance plan.
Regardless of any health problems or smoking habits, you should always contact an independent agent. Why should you use an independent agent?
Instead of having to do the shopping, we do it all for you. We compare plans, gather quotes, and present you with the top choices. We are your personal insurance shoppers. Want to know the best part? You won’t pay us a dime!
If you’re still confused about the application process, or you want to use an experienced independent agent, go ahead and shoot us a phone call or use our contact page.