Do I Need Additional Medicals Everytime I Want Extra Life Insurance?

You’ve moved into a bigger spot (and it’s coupled with a much larger mortgage), the wife’s got another bun in the oven and it’s become pretty evident that you need more life insurance. With your busy schedule the last thing you want is another needle jab in the arm and I short sprint on your GP’s treadmill. So here is your question “I need extra life cover but do I seriously need another medical examination?”

I wish I had a simple “yes – no” answer for you. The truth of the matter is that it really depends on your life insurer and the re-insurance treaties they have in place (rules of doing business).  I will say this, the general rule of thumb is “yes” as soon as you look at taking out extra life cover you will need to supply fresh medical evidence.

“Ok so if my life insurer needs extra medicals before they grant me more cover but are we talking about a simple set of blood tests or a full blown medical examination?”

It’s a fair question because “new medical evidence” is a pretty broad statement. Again, my answer is going to seem a little “wishy washy”. Only because it depends on a few things:

1. How Much Extra Life over Are You Looking To Take Out?

If it’s a smallish increase in your life cover then the insurer isn’t taking on a lot of additional risk and as a result the medical requirements might be limited to a set of blood tests. But if you are looking at increasing your life cover by a few million bucks then the insurer is taking on a reasonable amount of risk and don’t be surprised if they ask you to pop into your GP for a full medical (the more risk your life insurer is taking on, the more medical information they will require)

2. Is The Status Of Your Health Any Different Now?

Let’s assume you originally took out your life insurance policy when you were in your mid-twenties (and in the best shape of your life!) .You haven’t looked at your policy document since you took it out. It’s fifteen years down the line and now you are looking for that extra life cover at age 40. The problem is that you aint 25 anymore. The belly has crept over the belt, you’ve developed a cholesterol problem, you are battling to get any exercise in and have acquired a real fondness for red wine and the odd cigarette. From a life insurance stand-point let’s just say you aren’t quite the same risk as you were fifteen years ago. Back then you got away with a blood test, now don’t be surprised if your insurer asks you to pop in at your GP for the full medical montie.

3. When Last Did You Take Out Your Life Cover?

But let’s get real here. Life insurance underwriters aren’t completely unreasonable! If you recently took out life cover and your health hasn’t changed since then, provided it’s a reasonable time frame that’s elapsed (let’s call that a few months) they could simply just grant you the additional life cover. I’ve put in place a ton of life insurance policies and occasionally I’ve seen this type of underwriting concession. It really does boil down to risk. If your life insurer sees the risk (that would be you) as something they are happy to accept then you might get lucky and avoid submitting any new medicals.

Just to wrap up. If you are looking to increase your life cover, your insurer is going to ask you for fresh medical evidence. It might simply be a negative HIV test. On the other side of the spectrum if could be a full blown medical, ECG and reports from your Specialist.

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Until next time.

The InsuranceFundi Team

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