How To Pass Life Insurance Medical Exam

A life-saving cheat sheet to pass your Life Insurance Medical Exam.

Life insurance plans are the new norm these days. Everyone is looking to get themselves insured to protect their families and their financial condition.

Even though you can afford to purchase a policy doesn’t mean you will get one.

For many life insurance plans, such as whole life or term life insurance, they ask you to pass a medical exam first.

What is an Insurance Medical Exam?

To calculate the amount of risk you carry, an insurance company conducts a medical exam. The medical exam is conducted in two series: one is the life insurance medical questionnaire and the other is a collection of samples. This includes asking some personal details like your name, address, income AND some tests like your blood test, checking driving score etc.

If you’re a healthy non-smoker, chances are you will ‘pass’ the medical exam and end up paying low premiums on the policy. The logic behind this notion is that companies will invest their money and time into people who have a chance of living a longer life (so that they can continue paying their premiums for a long time!).

The medical exam usually takes about 20-30 minutes where an underwriter thoroughly reviews your application.

What exactly will be part of the Medical Exam?

Your application process will consist of your:

  • Personal details like your name, age, date of birth, gender
  • Family history of illnesses and disease
  • Measurements like your height, weight
  • Evaluation of your nervous system, respiratory system
  • Pulse check

Tests will include:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine samples
  • Reports of any past surgeries or treatments you may have had

How to pass a Life Insurance Medical Exam?

Now that you have submitted your application for a life insurance plan, you will be informed by your insurer when you will have your medical exam. They usually give at least a week’s notice before telling you the date.

You NEED to pass that exam if you want to qualify for a good life insurance policy, but how do you do it? Here are some life insurance exam tips that you should definitely do to raise your chances of achieving a good result at the end.

What you should do before a Medical Exam:

  • Stay hydrated: The key to a present mind and body is if you’re hydrated. Drink lots and lots of water so that when they take your exam, your pulse is normal and you’re not panting.
  • Eat healthy: You need to eat clean for a healthy lifestyle. The week before your medical exam, try to avoid oily, salty or sugary items. Instead focus on greens and fruits. You will notice you look fresh!
  • Exercise: Normal movement or yoga really helps in losing weight. Excess weight invites the risk of diabetes and so many other diseases, so make exercise a part of your regular weight loss journey.
  • Sleep: The medical exam is 50% on how you look and what your lifestyle looks like, which is why getting a good night’s sleep is VERY important. You need to stay fresh to look fresh and active for your exam to improve your chances.

What should you NOT do before a Blood Test?

  • Eat: Medical exams require you to fast the day before or at least 12 hours before you come for a medical exam. Make sure you don’t eat anything! But having lots of water during the fast is absolutely necessary.
  • Drink beer/alcohol: Having even one glass of beer or alcohol will bring down your chances a lot. Either quit completely or make it just an occasional thing because you could be a risk that the insurance company wouldn’t take. Your blood stream should be absolutely clean for at least three days before you take a blood test.
  • Smoke: The tests will show levels of nicotine in your system which will be a bad sign. Smokers tend to pay a very high amount of premiums on their insurance policies than non-smokers. QUIT! But if you can’t, don’t smoke at least 6 hours before you take the exam because it could show an elevating blood pressure in the test.
  • Go to the gym: Light exercise is okay, but hardcore gym is a BAD idea. Your pulse and heart rate could be very high which will give you a bad edge on the exam.
  • Coca Tea drinks: Avoid having those before the exam because they could indicate that you have cocaine in your system. Even though you don’t, the dried leaves are used to make cocaine. This false indication could make you a drug user which will seriously affect your exam.
  • Avoid coffee: High levels of caffeine also indicate high blood pressure. Maybe a usual cup in the morning is fine; but not right before you’re walking in for the exam.

All of these dos and don’ts can actually level up your chances for qualifying for a medical exam. It is important that you keep all these factors in mind before you go.

Reasons you can Fail the Exam

As repeatedly mentioned above, the life insurance medical exam depends on several factors, all that revolve around your health and wellbeing.

That being said, if the insurance company feels that you aren’t healthy as per their criteria and the risk of insuring you is far greater than the premiums you will be paying, they won’t qualify you for getting a life insurance- hence, you failed the exam.

Having high levels of alcohol or tobacco or any drug substance will lead to negative points.

Road violations and having a poor driving record can also be a risk to your life. And the condition could worsen if you have ever been charged with a DUI (driving under influence).

One major reason why you can fail the test is simply because you didn’t tell the truth or you weren’t transparent in all your records and information. It is SO important for you to tell the truth about all your details, because even one lie and you could fail the exam. Not just that, even if you pass the exam and later on the insurance company finds out you lied, they could lapse your policy and won’t give any sort of death benefit to your beneficiaries.

Not just that, but they could also put you in a ‘red-flag’ zone which means you will be blacklisted from ever applying for insurance from any other company. This could fall negatively on your record and you won’t be in any sort of benefit then.

Even lying about basic details such as your age (to get lower premiums) will ultimately have severe consequences, so just make sure you’re completely transparent with your insurance company.

Can you Retake the Life Insurance Exam?

What happens if you fail your exam?

Can you give another?


In case you fail once, you can definitely give another medical exam with another company. It is recommended to wait at least six months before going for another exam. In these six months you can really improve in all the places you went wrong: lessen your cigarette count, alcohol consumption, lose weight etc.

If you want to give one out immediately, you can do so by giving it through another insurance company.

Who pays for a life insurance medical exam?

Since it is the insurance company that requires all policyholders to take a medical exam, they pay for it too. They will simply go through all the financial requirements, take your test and hand it over to the underwriter for a proper evaluation.

Is there any Life Insurance without Medical Exams or Health Questions?

Where most healthy people can easily qualify for a medical exam, there are some who just don’t. Especially seniors who have had deteriorating health or some illness may find it very hard to qualify for a life insurance plan.

But, there is a life insurance policy that doesn’t require a medical exam: Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance.

This is a life insurance plan that is a mini version of whole life policy; here the death benefit isn’t paid in the first 2-3 years of the policy if the insured person dies. But they do give a 10% return on premiums if the insured person dies during this time.

This is the only life insurance policy that does NOT require a medical exam or any health questions. However, the applicant will be required to answer very basic questions about their lifestyle.


Passing a medical exam is absolutely necessary to qualify for a life insurance plan, this way the insurance company knows you’re a safe bet they can invest their money in.

Most people are able to qualify for the plan by passing their medical exam, and you could too. Just follow the tips given in this guide and avoid all the don’ts.

But again, make sure that you’re absolutely transparent in whatever information you give during the exam, DON’T lie even in one tiny question because you could actually risk being blacklisted. Be fresh, sleep well and good luck!

John Otero

John Otero

John Otero is an industry practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has held various senior management roles both in the insurance companies and insurance brokers during this span of time. He began his insurance career in 2004 as an office assistant at an agency in her hometown of Duluth, MN. He got licensed as a producer while working at that agency and progressed to serve as an office manager. Working in the agency is how he fell in love with the industry. He saw firsthand the good that insurance consumers experienced by having the proper protection. John has diverse experience in corporate & consumer insurance services, across a range of vocations. His specialties include Major Corporate risk management and insurance programs, and Financial Lines He has been instrumental in making his firm as one of the leading organizations in the country in generating sustainable rapid growth of the company while maintaining service excellence to clients.