Can I get life insurance without a medical?
Life insurance without a medical is available – and means you'll be able to take out a policy without needing to complete health checks. Whether or not you're eligible will depend on your health, lifestyle and your family's medical history.
If you're relatively young and in good health, you probably won't need a medical report for life insurance. But if you're a bit older and, say, have smoked for most of your life, you'll probably be asked by an insurance provider to visit your doctor.
Some life insurance providers offer a type of cover called guaranteed acceptance, where you can be certain you’ll be offered a policy. Provided you pay your premium, it pays a lump sum if you die within the term of the policy.
Why would I need to take a medical for life insurance?
You could be asked to take a medical for life insurance if one or more of the following applies to you:
- You’ve disclosed a pre-existing medical condition on an application
- There are hereditary illnesses (inherited genetically) in your family
- You’ve lived overseas for extended periods of time
- You’ve been turned down for life insurance in the past
How are life insurance costs calculated?
When calculating how much you’ll pay for your life insurance, providers look at:
- Basic details. Information including your age, weight, height and gender
- Your lifestyle. Whether you smoke and how many units of alcohol you drink a week
- Your job. Some occupations are considered riskier than others
- Your health history. This includes if you have any existing or chronic health conditions
- If there are any known hereditary health conditions in your family
Frequently asked questions
What’s the point of a medical?
Having a medical or getting a doctor’s report (after an insurance provider asks for your consent), means that a life insurance provider will be able to assess your application in more detail. This will help them to give you the fairest and most accurate premium to pay, based on your individual health and lifestyle.
The insurance provider usually covers the cost of a medical and it’ll take place somewhere convenient to you.
What’s in a life insurance medical exam?
If you need a medical, it’s not something to be worried about. A medical professional will check your weight and height, calculate your body mass index (BMI) and take your blood pressure. A blood sample may also be taken.
You may also be asked about your lifestyle – whether you smoke, and how much exercise you do, for example.
How can I reduce the cost of a policy?
There are factors which you have no control over, like your family’s health history or if you have a pre-existing medical condition. But there are plenty of other things you can control, including eating well and not smoking. Typically, the healthier you are, the better it is for you when it comes to the cost of life insurance.
Find out why it’s a common misunderstanding that you can’t get life or health insurance cover with a pre-existing medical condition and read our guide about lowering the cost of your life insurance.
Will my life insurance provider check my medical records?
You might be under the impression that insurance providers are able to access your medical records whenever they want. But they can’t do this without your permission.
In some, but certainly not all, cases they might ask to see your records when you apply for life insurance. This may happen if they need further evidence about your medical background, for example if you have any pre-existing conditions.
Some life insurance providers might ask for a copy of your medical file if a claim is made when you die, but they’ll need to seek permission from someone authorised to act on your behalf.
Should I tell my life insurance provider that I smoke?
It’s important to answer any questions truthfully. It may seem tempting to say you don’t smoke in the hope of reducing your premiums. But if it comes to light later that you’ve been smoking for years, you could invalidate your entire policy.
Few things in life are guaranteed. That’s why it’s very important to think about the financial welfare of the people you love if the worst happens to you – and the consequences of not being honest when you take out a policy.
If your insurance provider finds out you lied about your lifestyle, or left out details of any existing conditions, they can refuse to pay out on a claim. Then your family and those you most care about would be left without the support you’d planned for them.
Find out more about how smoking and vaping affect your life insurance.
Can I get life insurance without answering questions about my health?
Yes, guaranteed acceptance is a type of life insurance where you don’t have to answer questions about your health, unlike when you apply for a standard policy. This makes life insurance more accessible to people who may otherwise struggle to get cover.
A guaranteed acceptance policy doesn’t have a time limit, so will pay out a lump sum when you die (unless that’s within the first two years of you taking out the policy). But your premiums are usually much higher than a standard policy, for the simple reason that it’s certain your provider will have to pay out on your policy at some point.
What about over 50s life insurance?
Over 50s life insurance normally pays out a lump sum when you die. This can be given to a loved one as a gift. Or it could be used to help with financial commitments like funeral costs or outstanding bills.
One of the main benefits of over 50s life insurance is that you’re guaranteed to be accepted, regardless of your lifestyle or medical history. But you’ll have to pay into the policy for a minimum amount of time, for it to pay out.
What else do I need to know about my life insurance policy?
Any pay-out from your life insurance claim counts as being part of your legal estate. It’s worth seeing if it would push you above the inheritance tax threshold.
To avoid paying inheritance tax on any pay-out from your life insurance, you might consider writing the policy in trust. This is where you establish a trust allowing you to set your life insurance policy aside as an asset. Doing so means it can be paid directly to a named beneficiary, or to beneficiaries, instead of it being counted as part of your legal estate.
Another benefit of writing your policy in trust is that you shouldn’t need to go through probate (the process of administering the deceased’s estate). As a result, claiming should be much quicker.
Many insurance providers can write your policy in trust at no additional cost and you may be able to amend an existing policy. But it’s worth seeking independent legal advice, to make sure it’s the right choice for you.
Where can I find a great deal on life insurance?
You can compare life insurance with us or talk to our partners at LifeSearch, who will be happy to help you. Remember, the cheapest quote isn’t always the right deal for you, as this will depend on your individual circumstances. Compare with us today and we’ll help you find a policy to suit your needs.
How much does life insurance cost?
Life insurance could cost from £15.25 a month**
A non-smoker under 30 could get life insurance from £3.50 a month***
**51% of customers could achieve a premium of £15.25 per month/year for their life insurance for a 10 year term, up to £100k worth of cover and no citricial illness cover. Based on Compare the Market data from October, 2021.
***51% of customers could achieve a premium of £3.50 per month/year for their 10 year decreasing term life insurance policy, up to £100k worth of cover, no critical illness cover, with guaranteed premiums for a 30 year old non-smoker based on Compare the Market data from October, 2021.
What do I need to get a quote?
To compare life insurance quotes for you, we’ll need to know:
- Some personal details about you or any other people you want to insure
- If you’ve smoked or vaped within the last 12 months
- What type of cover you want – level term or decreasing term
If you want to include critical illness cover
Why use Compare the Market?
|5 minutes to get a quote^^||92% of users would recommend Compare the Market to friends or family^^^|
^^Correct as of October 2021.
^^^For the period 1st June to 31st August 2021, 8944 people responded to the recommend question. 8,226 responded with a score of 6 or above, therefore 92.0% are likely to recommend.
From the Life team
What our expert says…
“We all want to make sure our family is taken care of, no matter what. Going for a medical before taking out a life insurance policy may seem intimidating, and in most cases a medical is not required. But if your insurance provider requires it, going for a medical will help make sure you get the right cover for you.”