What do the life insurance companies test for?

Life insurance companies may conduct various tests and assessments as part of the underwriting process to evaluate an applicant's health and assess the risk involved in insuring them. The specific tests can vary depending on the insurer and the type of policy being applied for. Here are some common tests and assessments that life insurance companies may perform:

  1. Medical history questionnaire: Applicants are typically required to provide information about their medical history, including previous illnesses, surgeries, medications, and ongoing medical conditions.
  2. Medical examinations: A medical examination may involve measurements of height, weight, blood pressure, and pulse rate. The insurer may also conduct a general physical examination to assess overall health.
  3. Blood tests: Blood tests are commonly performed to check various health indicators, such as cholesterol levels, glucose levels (for diabetes), liver function, kidney function, and the presence of certain diseases or conditions.
  4. Urine tests: Urine tests can help identify various health conditions, including kidney problems, diabetes, and drug use.
  5. EKG/ECG: Electrocardiograms (EKG or ECG) are used to evaluate the electrical activity of the heart and detect any abnormalities or signs of heart disease.
  6. Medical records review: Insurance companies may request access to an applicant's medical records from their healthcare providers. This allows them to gather additional information about an individual's health history, including diagnoses, treatments, and any ongoing medical conditions.
  7. Family history assessment: Life insurers often consider an applicant's family medical history, particularly for conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other hereditary health issues. 

It's important to note that not all life insurance policies require extensive medical testing. Some policies, such as simplified issue or guaranteed issue policies, may have simplified underwriting processes that involve fewer or no medical tests, but they may have limitations on coverage amounts or higher premiums.

The specific tests conducted by an insurance company will depend on their underwriting guidelines and the risk assessment they need to perform. It's advisable to consult with the insurance company or an insurance agent to understand the specific requirements for the policy you are interested in and to clarify any questions you may have about the testing process.

Disclaimer: The questions and answers above are for educational purposes only. They are meant to provide the public with a general conceptual understanding of insurance and do not constitute advice or analysis. Some answers might be incomplete, outdated, and even not always accurate depending on the particular rules applicable to your state. Importantly, these questions and answers are generic and do not relate to any particular insurance product, including products available on the Waffle platform. If you have any questions about any of your own insurance products, always check the policy first and direct your questions to your insurance agent or the insurance company underwriting your policy.