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The Long Read
Everything you *need to know* is right above this. Scroll down, only if you'd still like to read more (honestly, why?)
Here are the common medical tests you need to undergo to buy term insurance:
Blood tests including CBC
Liver and kidney function
Fasting blood sugar
Remember, the exact medical tests required to buy term insurance may vary depending on your life insurance company, your age and health status as well as the life cover. So besides these aforementioned tests, the insurer may tell you to undergo some more tests if they want an even more comprehensive assessment of your health.
Yes, you can buy a term insurance plan without medical tests.
But it is not recommended at all. The life cover offered by these plans are typically much lesser compared to those that require medical examinations. The policy money may not be enough to support your family financially in your absence.
Find out in detail if you should buy a term insurance plan without medicals.
Medical tests that you undergo when applying for a term insurance plan are free*, regardless of whether you take them at home or at a medical laboratory.
And the best part? You won’t be charged a penny for the medicals even if your term plan application gets rejected.
But of course, it varies from insurer to insurer. So it’s always a good idea to check with your life insurance company before starting the process.
Find out in detail about paying for medical tests during term insurance application.
*varies from insurer to insurer
If your term insurance application gets rejected on medical grounds, here are a few steps you can consider:
If the insurer has hiked up your premium, get your application approved by paying the higher premium
If your application was put on hold due to certain medical issues, consult your doctor, focus on improving your health and then re-apply after the insurer’s suggested waiting period
If your application was rejected due to a diagnosis of certain critical or terminal illnesses, then, unfortunately, you will not be eligible for a term plan.
In conclusion, if your term insurance application gets declined on medical grounds, you need to find out the reason for rejection and take appropriate steps.
Not necessarily. What matters to the insurer is your personal health profile.
You will, of course, have to inform them about any history of chronic ailments in your family because it puts you at a risk of developing these conditions too.
But if your immediate family members suffer from certain diseases (such as diabetes, cancer and/or heart disease), and these diagnoses occurred before they turned 60, then your insurer may tell you to take certain medical tests.
They will also want to know about your:
Own medical conditions,
Age of death of select family members
Any pattern of untimely deaths in your family
If these medical conditions that your immediate family members suffer from show up in your test results, only then the insurer may charge you a higher premium.
No. A history of mental health treatments may not necessarily result in a term insurance application rejection.
See, if you’re being treated for your mental health when applying for term insurance, you need to inform your insurer about it.
Based on that disclosure, the insurer may request some additional information from you or your doctor for a better assessment of your health such as
Nature, severity, time of diagnosis
History of hospitalisation
History of substance abuse and/or suicide attempts
Treatment plan and medication - ongoing and past
The requirements may vary from insurer to insurer so make sure to speak to them to understand it well.
Now depending on the assessment, the insurer may:
Approve/reject your application
Put it on hold
Accept it with a premium hike
Never. No matter what, you should never hide your health condition when buying a term insurance plan.
See, your insurer does a thorough assessment of your health to understand how to proceed with your application.
This information will help them provide the best plan for your needs.
But that’s not all. See, if you hide your health status and later the insurer finds out that the cause of your death is a previously undisclosed underlying health condition, they can reject your claim. So disclosing your health information will also ensure a hassle-free claim experience for your nominee.
You may feel scared that the insurer can postpone/reject your application or hike up your premium. But a claim rejection is so much worse - imagine having to grapple with a sudden financial crisis while mourning your loss! You wouldn’t want that for your loved ones, would you?
Yes. Depending on your medical test results, your insurer can postpone your application till the time your medical condition improves. This may happen in cases where you were recently diagnosed with a disease or illness at the time of term plan application.
If this happens to you, the best thing you can do is understand the reason for the postponement from your insurer. Then consult a doctor and focus on getting better. Then re-apply after the waiting period suggested by your insurer.
This is an added incentive for you to get better because besides your well-being, even your family’s future financial security depends on your health, right?
Yes, of course.
See when you apply for a term insurance plan, the insurer will do a proper evaluation of your health and lifestyle habits to determine how much risk is involved in offering you a term plan.
If you have an underlying health condition such as heart diseases, diabetes, cholesterol or you have unhealthy habits like drinking, smoking or drug use, then the insurer will find you a potentially risky customer. Why? Because you are more likely to pass away, compared to someone with a healthier lifestyle and overall good health.
As a result, the insurer may increase your premium. This is called rate-up.
No. You only take medical tests during the term insurance application process. Once you get a term plan, you need not take medical tests every year.
Taking multiple rounds of medical tests is a possibility. Depending on your age, medical condition and other factors that your insurance underwriter deems fit, you may be asked to take multiple rounds of medical tests. Typically, this is asked because your insurer has identified some potential red flags in your health profile and preliminary tests, and wants to be extra sure regarding your term plan.
For example, if you have revealed information about a past medical diagnosis or surgical procedure, or about your family history of chronic illnesses, your insurer may tell you to take additional medical tests to assess your current health status and determine how risky it is to offer you a term plan.
But don’t worry. If the insurer suggests additional medical tests, they will bear the cost or reimburse you and additional tests do not necessarily mean that there are higher chances of your term plan rejection.
Typically, your insurer will tell you which medical lab to visit or will give you a list of labs approved by them to choose from.
You may also be able to visit one that doesn’t have a tie-up with them, if that’s what’s convenient to you. You can get the cost of the tests reimbursed by your insurer.
But honestly, it depends entirely on your chosen insurer. So talk to them about your decision and check if they will allow it or not.
If you undergo the medical tests while you are in India, you can get it done for free or get the cost of the tests reimbursed by your insurer.
But if you take them in your resident country, then you may have to bear the costs.
As always, you should check with your insurer to confirm.
Unfortunately you cannot do that as you will be at the risk of losing your chance to get a term insurance plan. You need to take all the medical tests that your insurer requires you to take.
Besides, why would you want to skip tests? You are getting a free health assessment* and you should make the most of this opportunity.
*varies from insurer to insurer