How should I prepare for my life insurance exam?

By Insurance.com Posted : 01/01/2011

Usually when you apply for life insurance, the company will ask you to undergo a medical exam. At the exam, you'll get your height and weight measured and blood pressure taken. You'll also provide blood and urine samples and answer questions to confirm information you provided on the life insurance application.

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The insurance company will use the results of the information to set your life insurance premium. Insurers look for signs that indicate risk, such as high blood pressure or unhealthy cholesterol levels.

Although you can't reverse major health conditions in a matter of days, you can take some simple steps to prepare so the exam results are accurate.

Preparing for your life insurance exam

Just getting a good night's sleep the night before will help you feel rested and avoid nervousness that could cause a spike in blood pressure. Make sure you follow directions for fasting to avoid inaccurate blood test results. Lay off alcohol the night before the exam, which can cause dehydration, and don't drink coffee or smoke an hour before the exam. Both can elevate blood pressure.

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, which will make it easier to draw blood, and write down a list of the medications and the amounts you take each day.

Want to skip the exam? Some insurance companies market "guaranteed acceptance" life insurance policies that do not require a medical exam. However, if you're in reasonably good health, you'll get a better deal on life insurance that requires an exam. The more information insurance companies have, the more accurately they can price policies. Guaranteed acceptance policies are priced higher to cover the unknown risks.

For more, see "How to ace your life insurance medical exam."

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